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THE ULTIMATE SUCCESS
©2000 by Hugh Aaron
A stage play

CHARACTERS:
BECKWITH: An insurance investigator, age middle 70s
SID: CEO of his own company, age late 50s
CHLOE: Sid's wife, age early 50s
GEORGE: Sid's son, executive in Sid's company, age mid 20s
EVE: Sid's daughter, a stock broker, age late 20s
LILY: Sid's mistress, a painter, age 30s
BRADLEY: Sid's banker and board member, age mid 40s
FRANKLIN: Sid's accountant, age 60s
BEN: A lawyer and director on Sid's board, age 50s
SIGGY: A businessman and director on Sid's board, age 50s

SETTING:
Middle City, a small city anywhere in the U.S. today

STRUCTURE:
17 scenes occurring, on a northern beach, in living rooms, a board room, a banker's office, an apartment, hotels in L.A. and Tahiti, on the beach in Western Samoa. Two characters address the camera directly with comments. The time span: 3 years.

SYNOPSIS:
Sid is caught inflating the sales figures and profits of his closely held company, resulting in the bank taking over the reins. Sid is disgraced and brings dishonor on his family, especially his son who is an executive with the company, and his daughter, a stock broker who has been recommending the company's stock to her customers. He tries to start over, but his reputation is so sullied that no one will back him. Feeling hopeless, he concocts a scheme. In league with his mistress, Sid fakes his death by disappearing during an ocean swim, thereby leaving a tidy insurance benefit to his wife who believes he has committed suicide.

Sid and his artist mistress, Lily, take off for a South Pacific Island and assume new identities. There she plans to paint while Sid would be her agent. But their disguise is foiled by a determined insurance investigator who, based on a telltale piece of evidence, suspects that Sid is alive. He pursues the couple, just missing them at several locations, until he hunts them down in Western Samoa. Unhappy and bored with their life on the island, the couple realize they can't escape forever and agree to return home with their pursuer regardless of the punishment that they expect to face.

THEMES:
Dishonesty, business, shame, misplaced values, love, loyalty, persistence, law, family, art, age, dishonor, risk.


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