Catron, Louis E. Where Have All the Lightning Bugs Gone. Samuel French, Inc, 1971. ISBN 0573625832. $15. 25 pp. Reviewer: Rebecca K. Connerley Reading Level: Intermediate; Young adult Rating: Outstanding Genre: Plays; Humorous plays; Subject: Drama--Reviews; Acting--Competition--Juvenile drama; Friendship--Juvenile drama; Theme: Friendship and friendliness Production Requirements: The only set requirement is a park bench. Acts: 1 Run Time: 30-40 min. Characters: 2 Cast: 1 male, 1 female Time Period: Contemporary The plot is simple. The play begins with a young girl sitting on a park bench reading. A young man disturbs her by staring at her. As he approaches to speak, she stops him with an abrupt request for him to go away. He then enchants her throughout the play. He uses references from books, movies, and various characters in order to make her laugh and open up to him. By the end of the play, they are friends, and the young girl is even interacting with him in the wordplay and joking. As the play ends, the young man pretends to be a soldier going off to the war and the girl is left writing him an imaginary letter. This is a beautiful little play with variety and lots of action. The characters are believable and have a wonderful interplay with each other that causes everyone to adore them. Their antics and jokes cause us to laugh right along with them and remember when we had similar thoughts. The young couple exemplifies any young couple getting to know each other, or any young friendship beginning to bud. The play has enormous potential as far as staging; it could be done with just a simple park bench or an elaborate park setting. This would be an excellent competition piece for any school and is riddled with wonderful monologues. To put it simply, Where Have All the Lightning Bugs Gone is a marvelous play and highly recommended.
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