The Cole Porter Suite

Written by:

Elyse Friedman

Cast Size:
7

Roles For:

  • LGBTQ+: 1
  • Men: 1
  • People of Colour: 4
  • Women: 6

Genre:

Comedy
Drama

Themes:

Death
Friendship
Illness

Length:

80 min.

Year Written:

2017

Synopsis:

The Cole Porter Suite is about a group of friends who travel to New York City for a very special celebration. They are marking the completion of chemo for one of the women in attendance. But when she reveals that her treatment has been unsuccessful, the evening takes a dramatic turn and the women must figure out how to navigate the gathering in the face of their friend’s impending death.

Characters:

Dee: Fifty-five. A Canadian with a Greek background. Has cancer and just finished chemo. Very stoic and selfless. Dry sense of humour. 

Cecilia: Late forties. Any race/ethnicity. Sweet, kind, spiritual. Bakes artisinal breads. Owns a lot of candles and crystals. 

Fran: Early fifties. Jewish. Smart, funny, brash. An attorney for Amnesty International.

Amy: Late forties. Jewish. Fran’s sister. Funny, kind, nurturing. Mother of four.

Margot: Mid-forties. Any race/ethnicity. A perpetually broke artist, unconventional, intuitive, relaxed. 

James: Twenty-two. Any race/ethnicity. Gay. Plays piano well and has a decent voice. Young-looking. Sweet and enthusiastic. 

Justice of the Peace: Thirty-something. Any gender/race/ethnicity.

First Produced:

Staged reading at Tarragon Theatre, Toronto, 2017

Resources:

The Cole Porter Suite is available through the CPO Website.

Notes:

There is a musical element to the play. Four of the women need to have decent singing voices, and one (Dee) needs to have a really strong voice. The male in the play needs to be able to play Cole Porter tunes on the piano. He sings a bit, but doesn’t have to have a strong voice.

Shortlisted for the RBC Emerging Playwright Award, 2019.