Dead Soldiers

My mother, who actually was a published author, wrote a short story called "Turkey Bones and Dead Soldiers" for a magazine. The story centered around three sisters meeting for Thanksgiving dinner, told from the point of view of a little girl playing under the kitchen table. The oldest sister held a dark secret, which shocked the other women when it was revealed. The title of the story stems from the ending, when the oldest sister threw a garbage bag out the door, strewing turkey bones and empty beer cans ("dead soldiers") across the yard.

Upon reading this, I realized it would make for a great stage play. I took the original story, added two more sisters, a couple of husbands and children, and a lot more interpersonal baggage. I stretched it from the original two pages to a two act play: the first act set before Thanksgiving dinner, the second act set afterwards. I also removed "Turkey Bones" from the title, because I think just "Dead Soldiers" clearly identifies this as a drama.

I set the story in a nonexistent house in the very real town of Westbrookville, New York, in the Tristate region, a few miles from Pennsylvania. I feel I've captured the rhythm of the area's speech patterns quite well. I placed the house in a vacant lot on Piatt Road (yes, "Piatt Road"). While any resemblance of any character to any of my family members, living or dead, is probably coincidental, all of the names used in this story are family names. Also, though the actions surrounding them are fictional, Culver's Grocery and Monahan's are very real places. Culver's may be operating under a different name these days, but Monahan's closed down after Ada Monahan died.

If, after reading the script, you feel you want to put this play on stage, you have my permission to do so. All I ask is that you film the production, and send me two copies on DVD. Feel free to send me royalties, too, if you wish. Contact me for the mailing address.