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AMBITION
© 1998 by Hugh Aaron
A realistic three act play in English

CAST OF CHARACTERS:
DAN BLACK: A black corporate executive in his mid-forties
ANNA BLACK: Dan's wife, fortiesh
JACK WHITE: A white corporate executive in his fifties
HELEN WHITE: Jack's wife, fiftiesh
CHRISTOPHER BOSSMAN: the CEO in his late sixties
JUNE BOSSMAN: Christopher's wife
SALLY LOVE: Bossman's girl Friday, and Jack's mistress, in her late thirties
GEORGE BUYER: The distinguished looking, silver haired, smartly attired chairman of SuperGeneral Corp.

SETTING:
The White's living room
Bossman's office
The Black's living room
Sally's living room

STRUCTURE:
Act I - 30 minutes
6 scenes
Act II - 25 minutes
5 scenes
Act III - 20 minutes
5 scenes

SYNOPSIS:
Jack White, a liberal Jewish executive, in line for the presidency of Bossman's closely held corporation, is grooming his black manager, Dan Black, to step into his vice president's position. However, the conservative Bossman objects to this on the grounds that it wouldn't be good for the business and fires Dan behind Jack's back. Jack threatens to quit over this, but Bossman reveals that he has Parkinson's disease and needs him to take over. Dan, outraged at being fired, blames Jack and refuses to believe Jack's denial that he was responsible.

Jack's marriage is unhappy, and he is carrying on an affair with Bossman's private secretary. When Bossman's wife, who admires Jack's wife, discovers this, she comes to distrust Jack and persuades Bossman to sell the company, especially in view of his illness. A deal is made with George Buyer, head of a large corporation.

Buyer offers to keep Jack on as second in command of the acquired company. When Jack learns that his new boss will be none other than Dan Black, his former subordinate, he refuses, discovering his own prejudice. Sally holds up a mirror to Jack, showing him his hypocrisy, which leads to Jack's deeper understanding of himself and his willingness to work as Dan's subordinate after all. Dan is understanding and accepts Jack, but is realistic about the distance that remains between blacks and whites.

COMMENT:
Although the scenes are mostly brief, and follow chronologically, the set should be so designed that each scene blends into the next without curtain closings. The dialog is tense during most of the play except for a few scenes which provide the audience relief. The main character, Jack White, is constantly under intense pressure because nothing goes his way, partly the result of his own actions. This is an issue play concerning racial and religious prejudice. It reveals the repressed, ingrained resentment underlying such feelings even among the victims themselves and the liberals who abhor prejudice. The characters in this drama, both blacks and whites, are upper middle class.

THEMES:
Racial prejudice, religious prejudice, business, hypocrisy, love, infidelity, corporate strategy, self-revelation, black prejudice, forgiveness


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