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The Shadow Box
Written by Michael Cristofer
Characters Maggie
The Interviewer
Date premiered 3 March 1977
Place premiered Morosco Theatre
New York City, New York
Original language English
Genre Drama
Setting Three cottages of a large hospital
IBDB profile

The Shadow Box is a play written by actor Michael Cristofer. The play made its Broadway debut on March 31, 1977. The original cast included Simon Oakland as Joe, Laurence Luckinbill as Brian, Mandy Patinkin as Mark, Geraldine Fitzgerald as Felicity, and Vincent Spano as Steve.


Plot synopsis

The play revolves around a trio of terminally ill patients, each of whom lives in a separate cottage at a hospice. Each is being interviewed about the process of dying. For most of the play, the interviewer is unseen, which means that characters speak directly to the members of the audience, as if they were the interviewer.

The first dying person is Joe, a middle-aged, blue-collar family man. Joe seems well-adjusted and has accepted that he is dying. However, his wife Maggie is in denial and has not told their son Steve about his father's condition.

The second dying person is Brian, a bisexual English professor. He is being cared for by his lover, Mark. They receive a visit from Brian's flamboyant, slightly trashy ex-wife Beverly. Beverly's presence lifts Brian's spirits but rankles Mark.

The final dying person is Felicity, an elderly, cantankerous, somewhat senile woman, who is cared for by her long-suffering daughter Agnes. Felicity is in great pain but refuses to die because she remains hopeful that her favorite daughter, Claire, will return to her soon.

Film adaptation

Cristofer adapted the play for a television movie in 1980, directed by Paul Newman. It went on to win a Golden Globe and nominations for three Emmy Awards

Awards and nominations



External links



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