Elaine has had enough. Ralph, her exasperating, risk-taking husband, has got to go. With the help of Pookie, her younger sister; Anthony “Prettyboy” Ferrari, her father; and Rudy Gambruzzo, her father’s personal assistant, Elaine sets out to stage an accident that will rid her of marital stress. In the space of one morning, Elaine accidentally gets the pool guy and the mailman killed before finally clobbering Ralph. Then she learns that Ralph must be alive that afternoon to sign a vital contract or she will be not only happily widowed, but unhappily bankrupt. Pookie and Elaine lash Ralph’s inert form into a wheelchair and frantically hide him until he is made to appear to sign the contract. Then she discovers that Ralph was merely passed out and her third murder victim was actually the meter reader. Will her dreams of widowhood ever come true? Full evening, one interior set.
PLAYWRIGHT JOAN SWEEN TALKS ABOUT
“MURDER BY ACCIDENT”
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: The play was originally written for the International Mystery Writers Festival in Owensboro, KY.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: My favorite character is Pookie; she is such a materialist. My favorite lines are the exchanges about the Rottweilers next door. Or maybe my favorite lines are when Rudy Gambruzzo philosophizes about the problems with amateur shooters. Or maybe my favorite line is Biff's, "I will no longer adore you!" And then again, Louise's running grumbles crack me up.
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
All of these characters leaped straight from "what if" thinking. They're no one I know, thank goodness.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
I wanted nothing more than to create a humorous evening's entertainment for theatre-going folks.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
Like all farces, the play is even funnier in the "seeing" than it is in the reading.