By Phyllis Zatlin

These related short plays focus on love stories of a Jewish man and Irish Catholic woman. Although not lacking in conflict, both have moments of humor and music.


The comedy ďAbieís Irish RoseĒ told a heartwarming story of a young Jewish man who married the daughter of Irish Catholic parents. Sam and Kathleen did not fare as well as the characters in that classic work. Now their daughter Jean, a best-selling novelist, is trying to invent their love story for a new work. Her daughter has access to secrets that Jean doesnít. With her help and that of ghosts who settle into the novelistís study while she works, the story from the past begins to take shape. The elderly ghosts sit in rocking chairs. Their younger selves, admirers of Fred Astaire,  dance cheek to cheek.

SETTING: Single set. Jeanís office. Unseen entries to entrance hall and outside door, and to kitchen. Downstage two rocking chairs, side by side.

ACTION of five scenes in this one-act play takes place over several weeks.


JEAN:  A senior citizen.

KATHLEEN:  Jeanís mother, an elderly woman.

KITTY:  Jeanís mother as a young woman.

ANGIE: Jeanís daughter, late 30s/early 40s (This non-speaking role may be doubled with that of

SAM:  Jeanís father as a young man. (Non-speaking role.)

SAMUEL: Jeanís father as an elderly man.


What happens when a Catholic priest wants a Jewish husband to have his marriage blessed? The wife was raised Catholic but abandoned the church. The priest explains that their two daughters are illegitimate in the eyes of the Church. The husband, who is depressed by his failing business, shifts the conversation to the reasons why the Catholic high school behind their property needs to buy his familyís house. Some twenty years later, one of the daughters tells the story to her husband who, like her, is the product of a Jewish-Irish marriage.

SETTING: Single set: Front room of a house converted into a showroom for sofa beds and other  
            furniture. Essential props: living room set with two armchairs for use by family and  
            customers; upright piano and bench. The young daughters, guided by their mother, will
            sing their fatherís favorite songs to cheer him up.

ACTION: Prologue and epilogue in the present; projected scenery desirable. Four scenes in this
             one-act play take place over a period of days in the past.


DAVID FEIN: Her husband. Late 40s.
RACHEL: Their older daughter, a high school student.
MOLLY: Their younger daughter, an elementary school student.
FATHER HOGAN: Priest from the neighborhood church.


© 2020 Copyright by Phyllis Zatlin. This work is fully protected under international copyright laws and is subject to a royalty. Contact the author at for permission to perform.

Contact the author, Phyllis Zatlin, at or call 920-823-2013. Phyllis Zatlin is a member of The Dramatists Guild. Her webpage is



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