Come Back Little Sheba by Elkhart Civic Theatre

Staged Reading

Set in the cramped, cluttered Midwestern house of Lola and Doc Delaney, the plot centers on how their life is disrupted by the presence of a boarder named Marie, a college art student with a strong lustful appetite.

Overweight and slovenly, the housebound middle-aged Lola engages in mild flirtations with the milkman and mailman, like the ingratiating coquette she once was. She sees in Marie herself at that age, and encourages her pursuit of wealthy Bruce and muscular Turk.

Doc, who ekes out a living as a chiropractor, was forced to abandon a promising career in medicine when he married a pregnant Lola. She subsequently lost the baby.

As a recovering alcoholic, Doc maintains a precarious sobriety by avoiding the past. For him, Marie represents the youth and opportunity he sacrificed, and his eventual realization that she is not as pure and perfect as he imagined sends him back to the bottle and a slow descent into unbridled rage.

The title refers to Lola’s missing dog, who disappeared before the play’s opening and remains gone throughout the story.