Something Short of Balance


This ten-minute experimental play begins with Maureen, who considers various methods of suicide.  Her three deceased daughters Abby, Jen, and Veronica enter and attempt to persuade her not to join them in death, asserting in particular that she will face the same dangers in death as she had in life.


During the course of the play, we discover that two daughters, Abby and Jen, had the strong bond of full sisters, that they had actively excluded their half-sister Veronica as well as their brother H.P., and that Maureen had not demanded that they change their behavior toward their brother and half-sister.  Eventually, H.P.’s anger had burst out into physical abuse of their mother, into which Abby, Jen, and Veronica intervened to stop; this violent confrontation resulted in the deaths of all four children, leaving Maureen with an empty house and little reason to live.  At the end of the play, however, the daughters work together to persuade Maureen that she should avoid both H.P. and death.




Play Structure:

1 Act: 10-minute play

Cast size:




4 female


An interim in the present.


All wear ordinary streetclothes, but also utilize two bathrobes, a hospital gown or robe, and a bunny robe/rug.



The open floor of Maureen’s apartment.


A mostly bare stage. Props include:  mallet, dagger, gun, newspaper, angel wings, three-legged chair, fourth leg, large stick.



Conventional blocking and presentation in the style of realism should both be used sparingly.






Production History


Something Short of Balance received its premiere production by Green Theatre Productions and Theatre Puget Sound at Theatre4 in Seattle, WA, on April 23, 2005, as part of the Seattle premiere of the 24 Hour Plays.  The festival was coordinated by Rik Deskin, with lighting and sound provided by Thomas Deskin.  The play was directed by Margaret O’Malley, with the following cast:




J Maki


Mandy Delashmitt


Liziah Woods


Jillian Ratliff



Something Short of Balance was next produced by Another Country Productions at the Devanaughn Theatre on Tremont St. in Boston, MA, on November 8-9, 2005, as part of SLAMBoston!  The play was directed by Jeffry Gray, with the following cast:




Sheryl Johns


Karen Katz


Bernice Sim


Kelly McCabe