TOUGH COOKIES was first presented on October 21, 1988 by New Mexico Repertory Company’s Theatre-in-the-Making at the Rep East Theatre, Albuquerque, NM. The Set Designer was Barbara Bock, the Lighting Designer was Paul ford, the Photographer was Ron Perkins and the Stage Manager was Alan Ware. The production was directed by Barbara Bock with the following cast:
JO - Dolores Gravning
BILLIE - Jean Thompson
MAMMAW - Penny Powell
TOUGH COOKIES was the winner of the 1991 Festival of New Plays sponsored by The Society for Theatrical Artists’ Guidance & Enhancement (S.T.A.G.E.) Dallas, Texas and was produced by STAGES ’91 at the Dallas Museum of Art in August 1991.
In 2010 TOUGH COOKIES appeared on a double bill with Arthur Miller's CLARA, produced by the Insight Theatre Group - Celbridge Co.Kildare, Ireland.
3W, One Set, One hour.
Set in the formerly oil-rich desert Southwest, this play explores the lives of two generations of women living under one roof. The story centers on Jo who, after her father dies, takes in her feisty mother. The dialogue between them and with a long-time neighbor is, at once, outrageously funny and heart-breakingly tragic. These women tear and rip into each other's psyche with reckless abandon and something barely resembling love. The cookies in question may or may not be poisoned, but just beneath the surface these women hide a more potent poison - the deadly venom accumulated over years of unfulfilled dreams mixed with the sudden and bitter acceptance of a life unrealized. If you like your tragedies hysterically funny then take a bite of this.
"Wells' dialogue is snappy, clean and often very funny. He has a talent for writing lines for his characters that rarely miss their marks. Whether it is outrageous humor or cutting cynicism, Wells is always on target."
"TOUGH COOKIES may be one of the best small plays performed on an Albuquerque stage. . . .a beautiful script. . .great characters. . . .The plot is quirky, intimate and black, suggesting the work of Beth Henley and Joe Orton."
"TOUGH COOKIES holds essential truths. . . .the essential truth about human frictions rings true beneath the acid silliness. . . .Wells shows talent for offbeat dialogue that makes heavy themes bearable."
"TOUGH COOKIES is a slice-of-life story of a woman trying to live under the senile wing of her mother. In the middle of the conflict sits Billie, attempting to make sense of the vicious maternal relationship. The script is teaming with malicious comments and accusations between mother and daughter, often to the point of a sick reality. . . .Wells' dialogue is clever and witty. . . ."
- NEW MEXICO DAILY LOBO
". . .another response to Americans' seemingly bottomless love of black-hearted, foul-mouthed elderly female characters."
- DALLAS TIMES HERALD
". . .a family sitcom with emotions that essentially explode the form. . . .it's as if Mr. Wells removed Aunt Pearl and her poisoned bitter pills from Greater Tuna and set her loose on the rest of the family. . . .This is camp Southern-gothic taken to an extreme. . . ."
- THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS
"TOUGH COOKIES is a powerful hour of theater, exploring jealous love and hatred. . . .an extraordinary play."
- CORRALES COMMENT
TOUGH COOKIES is handled exclusively by Samuel French, Inc. To order the script click HERE
For a Google preview of the text, click HERE