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The Oldest Profession - Acting Edition Paperback – January 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822220512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822220510
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #766,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
Paula Vogel is best known for the plays THE BALTIMORE WALTZ and HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE. Debuting in 1981, THE WORLD'S OLDEST PROFESSION is among her earlier works. It requires five actresses and a simple set depicting a bench in a New York City park. The play is performed in five scenes without intermission.

The play is not so much a story as it is a series of character portraits that comment, in a rather roundabout way, on feminism, economics, and social mores. THE OLDEST PROFESSION concerns five aging prostitutes who were thrown out New Orleans' fabled Storyville and made their way to New York City, where they now ply their trade with men who are even older than they. Each of the women has a distinct personality. Mae is the madam of the troop. Lillian and Ursula are the tough gals, Lillian noted for her now-fading beauty and Ursula for her Nazi-like demeanor. Vera is the sweetheart and Edna has a motherly disposition. They hold their mid-day business meetings on a park bench, scheduling tricks, complaining (and laughing about) customers, sometimes bickering, and slowly but surely drifting further and further into an old age from which there is no return.

A good portion of the script plays for comedy, but THE OLDEST PROFESSION is not exactly a laugh riot. As time passes and death takes it toll on their band, they find themselves with fewer and fewer resources--and as one character puts it, "we're too broke to get out of New York and we don't have enough money to live here." The conclusion might best be described as bitter-sweet, longer on the bitter, shorter on the sweet. I think this show is better seen than read, but playreaders will probably enjoy it.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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I had seen an excerpt of this play at a festival and I was very excited about it. However, when I read the whole thing I was very disappointed.It turns out not be be suitable for our audiences.
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