A SAMUEL FRENCH, INC. TITLE

Break of Day

Stephen Fife

Full Length Play, Drama  /  3f, 4m

Van Gogh at 27 decides to be an artist, moves back with his family and falls for his widowed cousin, thus enraging his minister father.

Break of Day

by  Stephen Fife

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OVERVIEW

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    3f, 4m
  • Duration
    Duration
    90 minutes
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Period, Docudrama/Historic
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)
Description
A play about Van Gogh’s life from the time he worked in the coal mines as an apprentice preacher through the time of his father’s death.  It’s about family relationships, genius, passion and its toll both on the passionate artist and those around him.
History
Previous versions received readings at Primary Stages Co. (NYC), Shenandoah Playwrights Retreat in Virginia, and Nexus Ensemble in LA under the title Light and Darkness. An earlier version of Break of Day premiered at the Lillian Theatre, Hollywood, on 10/1/99, directed by Billy Hayes, produced by Francesca Rollins.

Considerations

Performing Groups
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
Cautions
  • Mild Adult Themes

Licence details

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

Specifics

Details

  • Time Period: 19th Century
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Setting:

The play takes place between 1880-1885, mostly in a small town in Northern Holland. A variety of settings are required, most of them centered around the parsonage of Pastor Theodorus van Gogh. A few short scenes takes place in the mining town of the Borinage, Belgium and two others take place in Amsterdam.

Casting

3f, 4m
Cast Attributes
  • Ensemble cast
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
VINCENT VAN GOGH - Male, 30-35
THEO VAN GOGH - Male, 25-32 
THOMAS - (coalminer) & REVEREND PETERSON - Male, 35-45
PASTOR THEODORUS VAN GOGH - Male, 58-65
ANNA VAN GOGH, MINING WOMAN - Female, 52-57
KAY VOS, MINER’S WIFE - Female, 30-35
MAGDA, MINER’S WIFE, MAID, SIEN KELLER - Female, 25-30
(Note: These roles can also be divided up between two actresses.)
Casting Notes

The role of THOMAS/REVEREND PETERSON could be played by someone who also has other associations with the production – such as Assistant Stage Manager.
The role of MAGDA/MINER’S WIFE/MAID/SIEN KELLER can be divided up between two actresses. 

Materials

Scripts

FORMATS AVAILABLE:

Media

Press

"The interesting and not altogether familiar subject matter makes for a fine new chapter in a book we thought we'd already read." - Backstage West

"Stephen Fife’s play, Break of Day, takes a look at the man behind the paintings.  Instead of analyzing the paintings, Fife puts the focus on the painter and creates a play with meaning and beauty. Fife’s script was marterfully created. With clever dialogue, he tells a tale of a tortured soul’s confusion without letting Van Gogh’s inner conflicts become boringly obvious to the audience. " - Entertainment Today

Videos

  • A scene from "Break of Day" by Stephen Fife

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Authors

Stephen Fife

Stephen Fife‘s new play Blue Kiss recently finished a run as part of the Hollywood Fringe, where one critic called it “a sly and brilliant conundrum.” His other new play, The American Wife – co-written with Ralph Pezzullo – has been chosen by HB Playwrights in New York City for the ...

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