A House in the Country and Other Plays is a collection of five plays by the award-winning playwright Peter Coy. Coy’s plays explore chaos, emotional discord and, ultimately, redemption as his characters confront disorder, wrestle with love and struggle with the effects of trauma and loss. Coy tackles these issues with a mixture of psychological realism, offbeat humor, musicality and theatrical inventiveness.
Each of the five plays in this collection embody Coy’s ongoing search for the right form of theatrical expressiveness to reveal his characters, their worlds, stories, and their ultimate redemption.
As Charter Theatre founder Richard Washer puts it in his introduction to the book, Coy’s writing becomes a blueprint for seeing these stories come to life on stage. The collection includes A House in the Country, Will’s Bach, The Gift of the Magi, Poe & All That Jazz, and A Shadow of Honor. Coy won The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play for A House in the Country at the 2001 Helen Hayes Awards.
Peter Coy is a Helen Hayes Award-winning playwright and a SUNY Purchase-trained director with more than 40 years of experience working in theatre. Based in Nelson County, Virginia, Coy has directed over 60 productions and written or adapted over 45 plays. Coy explores familial legacy, hope, and redemption as well as the nuanced impact of historical events on individual lives and relationships. He brings a deep appreciation for the power of psychological truth to his work. Stemming from his extensive training in clowning, bouffon, and commedia dell’arte, he adds a vibrant and often intense physical theatricality to his plays and productions. Coy has founded several theater companies, most recently The Earl Hamner Theater in Afton, Virginia, that is dedicated to the development and production of new work. His plays have been produced in Washington, D.C., New York City, across Virginia, and beyond.
“Peter Coy is a director's playwright. His characters are complicated emotional beings struggling to come to terms with the past, looking for love, trying to find ways to communicate. Many of his plays are memory plays and explore how memory can distort and protect. And many of his plays use music as a character, which emphasizes the inherent musicality of his language. A veritable feast for a director!" -- Boomie Pedersen, Artistic Director, Hamner Theater
“Peter Coy astutely applies a fierce intellect and lyrical touch to mankind’s never-ending search for emotional truth and understanding. His plays will leave audiences thinking about his characters and their stories long after they’ve left the theater.” -- Leslie Kobylinski, Artistic Director, The Rose Theatre Co.
“Peter Coy is the kind of playwright we wanted to work with: a writer who put storytelling and the entertainment of our audiences above all else.” --Richard C. Washer, Founding Member, Charter Theatre