Norman & Beatrice

Available in Library

80 minutes
“What if you couldn’t remember what you thought you’d never forget?” Norman and Beatrice's elegant structure seeks to challenge the very nature of who we are and who we might become, both as individuals and in partnership with another, as the titular couple have a quiet lunch. An exploration of how the major events of the latter half of the twentieth century affects an ordinary family in the American Midwest.

Cast Requirements

1 Man, 80s
1 Woman, 70s-80s

Set Description

Minimalist Midwestern kitchen, a breakfast table, chairs.

Honors

Finalist: Tennessee Williams One-Act Play Festival.

Press

"Norman and Beatrice" is an uncommon and uncommonly beautiful play: a love story not focused on sprightly passion or sanguine striving but rather on quiet endurance and unwavering loyalty. Barbara Hammond paints a penetrating portrait of extraordinary human connection at a time of life when the deterioration of body and mind pushes all toward disconnection." - Jonathan Kalb (Mar 25, 2007)

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Press

"Norman & Beatrice," a new play by Barbara Hammond, is subtitled "A Marriage in Two Acts," and this indeed it is: a slice-of-life portrait of a couple as they become familiar with each other through a half century. The onset of Alzheimer's disease in the husband provides an opportunity for Ms. Hammond to celebrate the love and caring that inhere in a happy, 54-year-young marriage.
...a wistful acknowledgment of little tragedies and challenges in even the most loving relationships.
George Hunka - New York Times (Mar 3, 2006)

... a sweetly heartbreaking look at a marriage that endures for more than half a century. The titular couple's story is told in reverse, with Act I taking place in their kitchen on a snowy Sunday morning in 2001, and ACT II on the same kind of day in 1947, when the pair has been married only three months....here's a story of love that lasts.
Josselyn Simpson - Time Out New York (Feb 23, 2006)

Barbara Hammond's elegantly powerful new work spans 50 years as it offers two bittersweet servings from a loving couple's life together. ... moving and heartbreaking... - flavorpill nyc (Feb 14, 2006)

Yes, this is a fun play: there are moments that are quite funny. And yes, it is a sad play: there are moments of poignancy that will stop your breath. I guess it’s like Life, a life from which the playwright has skillfully drawn.... Kudos to Synapse Productions for bringing Norman & Beatrice to life. I have a feeling this play will not be forgotten.
david fuller - nytheatre.com (Feb 8, 2006)

...It is startling and heartening to see humor brought into a play about dementia. The topic, when addressed at all, is usually handled with a focus on the tragedy of losing ones’ identity, and the heartbreak of having to take care of those who once took care of everyone else......
Ms. Hammond has written a simple, honest, and beautiful account of what Alzheimer’s does, and doesn’t, change. - Margaret Cross - Broadway World (Feb 23, 2006)

Production and Development History

Production: Synapse Productions, Connolly Theatre, NYC (February 2006).