Quiet Gardens
one act play


Neil, in his mid-30s, is wearing loose fitting khakis and a faded, blue, cotton work shirt. Originally, he came to Oregon to join a tree planting cooperative. A native of small town Kansas, Neil is single, perpetually restless and a world traveler. After working two years as a trial assistant for a Portland law firm, he has decided to move to Pennsylvania to join an intentional spiritual community. On his trip east, he passes through Eugene to spend a few days with his close friends Thad and Ginny.

From St. Louis, Thad is in his late 20s. Lean and rangy, he wears wire rimmed glasses and faded blue jeans with a green, plaid, flannel shirt. After teaching high school English for a number of years in his home town, Thad decided to head for Oregon on a cross country bicycle trek and settled in Eugene. He is a disciplined daily journal writer, a musician and a poet who is currently pursuing a graduate degree in counseling. Thad is the intellectual of the three and frequently self-absorbed.

The two men became close friends when they rented individual rooms in a nearby boarding house before Neil moved to Portland to work for the law firm. Both have a keen interest in music, ritual and spirituality. They also have an abiding hunger for capturing a sense of awe in their respective lives. Pushing the envelope is a habit they have in common.

Ginny, who enjoys curling up on the front room couch and working on a NY Times crossword puzzle, was born and raised in New York City. She is Thad’s wife of two months. Still speaking with a slight New York accent, Ginny thinks of herself as a bohemian. Seven years older than her husband, she came to Oregon a decade ago to visit a friend and never left. With a fair complexion, dark shoulder length hair and a full figure, Ginny is dressed in a colorful peasant skirt and a puffy white blouse. An independent woman who is clearly mystified and, at times, perplexed by her new spouse, she is a full time nurse and presently on call at the local hospital. Because of her job responsibilities, Ginny has not eaten any of the mushrooms. She is the most practical of the three.