Runtime (min/max): 90 – 100 minutes
Characters (male/female): 4 / 2 (playing 17 characters total)
Setting: Budapest, capital of Hungary, and later Vienna.
Time: early 1988, nearing the end of the communist era.
Budapest Klotild Palace (Klotild-palota), Ferenciek Square (public domain)
“THE PLAIN OF MEMORY” is a drama set in Budapest, Hungary – circa 1988. The communist era in Eastern Europe is entering its final stages, when a young American woman on a wayward holiday is ensnared by an ambiguous operator who may or may not be working for both the C.I.A. and the Hungarian secret police, the A.V.H. She concurrently becomes involved in the private lives of a number of Hungarians, and unwittingly becomes the catalyst to a tragedy.
Great Synagogue on Dohány Street, Budapest (public domain)
She survives, battered, but an unforgetting witness.
Click here to read a dialogue sample.
Click here for a complete description of characters and roles as well as a description of the setting.
Budapest parliament, Soviet Victory statue on the hill in the background (public domain)
As a writer, I am far more drawn to moral and spiritual questions than to political didacticism. For example, in this play I query the responsibility of the individual. What justifies collaboration? Can all crimes be forgiven? Does memory save or destroy us?
Old Chain Bridge over the Danube River in Budapest (public domain)
While traveling through Hungary by train, I saw fields of sunflowers... these California poppies give some of that same feeling. ©
Banner image: view of Budapest, public domain