Together Again for the First Time by Reed McColm


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Together Again for the First Time by Reed McColm

Max and Audrey Frobisher have been married for 15 years, but this Christmas Eve is their first with their complete blended family together. Max has three teenage daughters from his first marriage, while Audrey has two sons from hers. Only Jason, Audrey's younger son, has lived at home with them consistently through their marriage. The step-siblings, however, show various degrees of appreciation for one another, ranging from complete acceptance to the outright hostility between Audrey's oldest, Roger, and Max's oldest, Sandra. Roger, in fact, seems to cause friction for everyone, including the girlfriend he's brought with him from college. However, for his brother Jason, Roger exhibits an uncharacteristic and seemingly urgent protectiveness.

Conflicting agendas from each of the kids become overwhelming to the parents, especially when middle daughter Chinelle reveals her unexpected engagement to a doctorate candidate in psychology named Carey Krzyznyk. Chinelle has invited him for Christmas (only now informing Max and Audrey), though she hasn't yet informed Sandra, for whom Carey is an ex-beau.

When Carey arrives, family conflicts ebb for a time, focusing instead on the ramifications of Chinelle's surprise guest. Max is deeply cowed by his perceived lack of influence over his daughters, while Audrey chides him for his miserable mood. Soon the enmity between Sandra and Roger boils over after she accuses him of bringing drugs into the house. Harsh truths are tossed at volume, until Max kicks Roger out. Roger leaves, but the house remains greatly unsettled. Roger's absence, in fact, only emphasizes deeper conflicts, until Carey helps the girls realize a great mistake has been made. Christmas for this family is only salvaged after Roger's return and admissions come to the fore.

Produced by Interplayers Theatre, Spokane, WA, 2008. This play has enjoyed many dozens of amateur productions, including inclusion in summer stock (Playmill Theatre, West Yellowstone, Montana, 1991).
The play was adapted into a television movie of the same name (2008), starring Julia Duffy, David Ogden Stiers, Larisa Oleynick and Kirby Heyborne.

Keywords: family, comedy, step-family, stepbrother, stepsister, Christmas

Genre: Comedy
Run time: 110 minutes
Acts: 2
Male roles: 4
Female roles: 5
Suitable for students aged 16+
Check out the sequel, "Together Again for the Next Time"!