Cliff Diving

3 m, 2 w/ Act I / 15 scenes
Act II / 16 scenes / 90 minutes

Over the last twenty years, Frank Woodson's life has become a cubist nightmare. Worker, husband, father and Korean Prisoner-of-War, Frank has watched the once familiar terrain of his life collide in confusion. The Ohio factories of his childhood have disappeared as surely as the security of an unlocked door in his neighborhood. A protest march against a war no one seems to understand turns a quiet midwestern campus into death and chaos. His son, Michael, who once seemed to share his undying love of football has become a nurse while Annie, his ballerina daughter, grows increasingly afraid of both her father's growing arsenal and the lines in the meat she can no longer stand to eat. His wife, Catherine, has given up trying to remove her husband's guns and now just tries to remove the lumps in her breast with the power of a videotaped faith healer. Vern, his neighbor and co-worker, sees both his job and his friend slipping away from him. No one wants to face reality until the night Frank Woodson's furies finally confront him.
CLIFF DIVING is constructed in non-linear time with minimal set requirements.
Cast
Vern Wiley – Neighbor 40's
Frank Woodson – Father 40's
Michael Woodson – Son 20's
Annie Woodson – Daughter 16
Catherine Woodson – Mother 40's

Set
The major action takes place in either the Woodson's TV room or Vern's patio. When these areas are not specifically indicated in the script, the action may occur in any other space on the stage. Dream sequences or monologues may become as surreal as necessary. Lighting should assist the audience in following the many time changes.

Time
The play occurs in non-linear time overlapping a period of twenty years (1960-1980) in the life of the Woodson family of Akron, Ohio. The specific years are often delineated by important moments in both the internal life of this family and those external events which seem to increasingly impinge on its fragile equilibrium.

History
1989 Upstart Theatre, CA
1988 Manhattan Theatre Club, reading
1988 Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship
1988 Dobama Theatre, Cleveland (OH)
1988 NORTHERN OHIO LIVE MAGAZINE, Honorable mention, Belles Lettres
 
"Vern is a tragic character in Cliff Diving a forceful play
Abe Zaidan, Akron Beacon Journal
"Bit by bit the playwright adds the unremarkable burdens of daily life to the shoulders of her main character, Frank, who staggers in the end beneath a load he can no longer shoulder..."
E. E. Johnson, The Daily Record
"Perlman writes insightful dialogue, the kind that not only reveals but distinguishes one character from another. She also displays a quirky sense of humor."
Tony Mastroianni, Akron Beacon Journal
adobe-pdf-icon-logo-vector-01 Cliff Diving (full play)
Cliff Diving – Sandra Perlman – © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED REPRODUCTION WITHOUT SPECIFIC WRITTEN PERMISSION PROHIBITED

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