Multiple Family Dwelling


Multiple Family Dwelling
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The bonds of friendship reach their breaking point when lifelong friends share a family home.  Two couples find themselves entangled in multiple deceits and betrayals, past and present, and no one is truly innocent.  Multiple Family Dwelling explores the silent agreements we make with ourselves in order to survive.  


Act I
We open on the kitchen/living room area of Kelly and James’ modest two-family home in an up-and-coming but challenging neighborhood.  It is evident, from the Little Mermaid-themed decorations, that an eight-year-old’s birthday party has just taken place. Staying after to help clean up are Kelly’s best friend Tia and her fiancée Stuart.  All four have had a bit too much to drink and are now enjoying a party of their own.  We learn that Tia and James will be soon be moving upstairs, something all four are happy about.  The booze keeps flowing until Tia, always the life of the party, starts a game of truth or dare that reveals a small lie she told her fiancée earlier that week.  Wanting to keep peace, Kelly and James back up Tia’s lie but this only upsets Stuart more.  Stuart’s behavior becomes more irrational until he finally announces he will not be moving into this house, then exits. James suggests Tia doesn’t know Stuart well enough and she should think twice before marrying him. After Tia’s exit, Kelly and James are left concerned about Tia’s safety and wondering, after the lies that were just told, can they trust each other?  

On the car ride home, things get heated as Stuart brings up Tia’s past and accuses her of seeing someone else.  She denies the accusations and tries to assure him there is no one else.  

The next day, Tia comes back to Kelly’s to announce that she and Stuart will not be moving in.  Instead, they will move into an apartment above Stuart’s parents’ garage.  Kelly, now upset, brings up the lies that Tia told the night before.  As Tia tries to explain herself, Kelly puts the pieces together and realizes something may have happened years ago between Tia and her husband James.  This comes to a head just as James comes home from work.  Kelly sets the stage to confront James in front of Tia…but ultimately backs down, afraid to find out the truth. 

This brings us to our first flashback, where we see Tia and James outside a bar.  James tells Tia how he plans to ask Kelly to marry him…the two “play act” the scenario and, swept up in the moment, the two end in an embrace that shocks them both.  

Back to present time – Kelly comes home just as two kids throw eggs at her front door.  Disgusted, she cleans up the mess while she and James argue about whose decision it was to buy this house.  Just then, Stuart drops by to confront Kelly about the lies told the other night.  He wants to find out if Tia was seeing someone else.  When Kelly refuses to incriminate her best friend, Stuart further plants the seed of an affair between James and Tia.
Act II
Our second flashback.  Tia is helping Kelly get ready for her wedding when James calls Tia.  Kelly finds this odd but brushes it off.  They discuss relationships, or a lack thereof – and when Kelly leaves the room for a moment, Tia is pulled into another flashback where she and James are having a picnic.  In this flashback, Tia announces to James that she is leaving town and she wants James to go with her.  When James says he can’t and expresses his confusion, Tia says she doesn’t want to see him anymore.  

Back in the present, Kelly and James are visiting Tia and Stuart’s home above the garage.  Like the first scene, all four are drinking.  Things start out pleasant enough but tensions soon build when Stuart pushes Kelly and James to tell the truth about Tia.  All end up in an argument until Tia can take no more and finally spills the truth about her and James’ relationship.  Kelly storms out: James follows.  Tia and Stuart are left to reconcile and, for once, they are honest with each other.  

Kelly and James are back home where she tells James she will be leaving him in the morning.  James finally admits everything he’s done wrong and begs Kelly to stay.  Unwilling to hear any more, Kelly goes to the bedroom, leaving James to sleep on the couch.  James is now caught between the two worlds as lights rise on Tia sitting on the opposite side of the stage. While Tia talks about her future plans with James, Kelly reenters and, without saying a word, leads him into the bedroom. 

Ultimately, Multiple Family Dwelling explores the silent agreements we make with ourselves in order to survive. 


A terrific new play. –NJ Star Ledger

Top Ten Best NJ Production for 2017


Kelly: Early to late thirties.  Married to James for almost ten years with an eight-year-old child.  Kelly left her journalism career for motherhood and now focuses all her energy on straightening up her neighborhood.
James: Early to late thirties.  After finishing Grad School, James now works with special needs students in the local high school.  Secrets he has been hiding are finally revealed and bring him to a crossroads in his life.   
Tia: Early to late thirties.  Great sense of humor.  Kelly’s best friend since childhood.  She likes living a little on the wild side.  
Stuart: Mid-thirties to forties.  Blue collar with a bit of a temper.  Engaged to Tia.  His devastating first marriage makes him very suspicious of his fiancée. 
Casting Note: Alternate version available with same sex couple
Setting: Present Day.  An area of a city that is going through gentrification.  

Performance Royalties for AMATEUR and EDUCATIONAL Groups begin at $90.00 performance for theaters under 150 seats, and rise depending on ticket prices and theater particulars. Please fill out an application for your personalized quote. 

Performance Royalties for PROFESSIONAL Theaters will be quoted as a box office percentage, with a minimum guarantee based on ticket prices and theater particulars. Please fill out an application for your personalized quote. 

An Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package must be purchased from Stage Rights as a part of your licensing agreement (see Materials).

Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement.

“A terrific new play — see it while you can. The production finds its strength in the development of these  characters; rather than just repositories of jealousy or anxiety, each of the four figures reveals unique depth. “ –NJ Star Ledger

“Intriguing. Affecting.” –BroadwayWorld
Top Ten NJ Productions for 2017 – NJ Star Legder
“A compelling play.” –The Link News
“The play’s revelations also holds surprises, some easier to foretell than others, and you will be waiting with anticipation for the next layer of lies to peel away to the truth below.” –The Link News

An Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package must be purchased from Stage Rights as a part of your licensing agreement. Your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date, unless other arrangements have been made in advance with your Stage Rights Licensing Representative.

The Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package for MULTIPLE FAMILY DWELLING consists of: 12 Production Scripts / $150.00 (shipping included)
Production Scripts for Plays are professionally printed and bound with a full-color cover.

You will have the option to purchase additional Production Scripts at a discounted rate when you complete your Licensing Agreement.

Official Logo Pack Now Included! To help you promote your show, Stage Rights now includes a logo pack with your license. The logo pack includes high resolution versions (both color and black and white) of our show logo. The logo is the portion of the artwork with the title of the show. The surrounding artwork is also available for an additional fee.

Optional Materials:

Stage Manager’s Script – Printed on standard 8.5” x 11” 3-hole-punched paper, with the same page numbers and text as the Printed Production Scripts, but with more space on the page for notes and cues.