Cover photo of Alan Bowne, Stuyvesant Square, NYC, in 1976

The Able-Bodied Seaman

Alan Bowne

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Roy, a merchant marine, is home after a six-month stint at sea. He drinks heavily and argues with Rita, his neighbor and sometime lover, and with his sixteen-year-old daughter, Fay. Roy does not approve of Fay's boyfriend, whose aspiration is to become a car thief. Meanwhile, Roy has decided to sell his testimony that a shipmate's death at sea was an accident to the shipping firm's lawyer for $50,000.

Production Info

Cast: 6 total (2 female, 4 male)
Full Length Drama (about 100 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“Home comes the sailor, home from the sea, which in Alan Bowne’s ABLE-BODIED SEAMAN means a hard-drinking lout of a swabby named Roy, showing up unannounced one summer morning at his walk-up in Corona, Queens, and shouting abuse at anyone within earshot. Roy is the kind of guy who may put on a dirty shirt for a visiting lawyer, but he won’t go so far as to button it. He starts his day drinking Scotch, and sees no reason to switch to anything else, like food. His idea of conversation is to yell at Rita, his neighbor and sometime lover, or Manfred, a pet-shop owner and his best friend on land. But it is Roy’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Fay, who gets the brunt of his rage. During Roy’s latest six-month trip to sea, Fay has started an affair with a local loser named Bogart, whose ambition in life is to become a car thief. But Roy has a plan to put everything right and regain his daughter’s alienated affection.” —Wilborn Hampton, New York Times

About the Author


  • Alan Bowne

    Alan Bowne was an American playwright and author. His plays include BEIRUT, FORTY-DEUCE, SHARON AND BILLY, and THE BEANY AND CECIL SHOW, many of which are available from Broadway Play Publishing Inc. He was a member of New Dramatists. He also wrote one novel, Wally Wonderstruck. He died of complications related to AIDS at the age of forty-four.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 11/13/2017
Pages 78
ISBN 9780881457100

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:
The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
The Able-Bodied Seaman is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC