Tangents — A Play

Tangents — A Play

by Elizabeth Hansen

A taut and edgy psycho-drama that leaves a searing imprint on the heart and mind!

(For performance by Professionals, Community Theatres, Colleges & Universities)

Dr. Nancy Ellis, a gifted professor of clinical psychology, leads us on a journey into the troubled mind of Sandy Garrison, a young brilliant student with Multiple Personality Disorder. In a uniquely theatrical way, the personalities are portrayed by five different actresses, who battle, not only for control of “Sandy,” but the doctor as well. Nancy finds herself intrigued with “Sandy’s” different “selves:” Beth, quiet, kind-hearted, yet confused; Kirsten, filled with wisdom and compassion; Kelly, a bright and brave tomboy of 10; Lara, the 4-year-old, gentle and trusting, but full of pain and fear; and Trevin, Nancy’s nemesis, with a genius intellect and a rapid-fire wit, but who has never experienced a moment of joy. Nancy and “Sandy” parallel each other as they struggle with the demons from their troubled pasts as Nancy finds herself battling “Sandy,” the university, and herself, desperately trying to cope with “Sandy’s” descent into chaos. Nancy’s obsession to find the key that will free her bright protégé from the tangents locked within, forces the doctor to face and reconcile a recent tragic loss. At the same time, “Sandy” battles her own internal confusion as she tries to embrace the fragments of her “selves.” At the dramatic conclusion, both Nancy and “Sandy” complete their journeys as they come to an understanding and acceptance of themselves and more importantly, their humanness. …A footnote. W.H. Auden states, “The image of myself which I try to create in my own mind in order that I may love myself is very different from the image which I try to create in the minds of others in order that they may love me.” Perhaps what Auden summarized for us is the poignant struggle we all engage in as our private and public selves contend for control. The possibility of humans splitting the self into several parts or “personalities” is not really the surprise in our development. The truly remarkable surprise accomplished by humans, is that most of us do have only one. These SEVEN women create a tour-de-force powerhouse of an evening in the theatre. VARIETY raved: “”Tangents” is a compelling and provocative psychodrama, pairing a spunky college shrink with a troubled student governed by multiple personalities. Playwright Elizabeth Hansen has devised a clever theatrical twist by creating roles for five actresses in the varied identities of the girl, each investing her side of the character with different mannerisms and speech patterns.” Mature themes and language.


  • 7 Women
  • Several locations in one fluid space.
  •  1980’s costumes or the play can be set in the present
  • About 2 hours
  • Order #3102

Available now!


  • The PERUSAL PAGES file for Tangents  will be available by clicking Tangents PERUSAL The PDF file is the first act of the play and all other pertinent information about the play.
  • PRINT BOOK: Two Plays for Women by Elizabeth Hansen Volume 6 of the Playwrights on the aPage series (continuing A String of Pearls and Tangents) is available at an economical price so you can peruse then for possible production, or just personal reading. PURCHASE LINK
  • EMAIL us for rights and information. Be sure to give us anticipated performance dates and the address of your group and, if different, your theatre. Please also include a contact name and phone number.


(Any PDF purchased will be emailed to your email address — if you need to provide that to us (not the one on your PayPal account?), email us. CDs will be mailed to a snail mail address)

  • Script in PDF format — Order #3102a : $20.00 (from which you will be authorized to copy for your production)

  • First Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3102d : $75

  • Second Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3102e : $65

  • Professional Royalties will be quoted upon application
  • Perusal Package (Printed script on rental) — Order #3102g : $6.00 (includes Priority Mail charges on rental for 15 days)
  • As all Rorschach Tests are copyrighted, the author has formatted her own ink blots for use in the production. They are available from the publisher upon request.


  • Florida Studio Theatre — 1995 NATIONAL PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
  • George Street Playhouse (Premiere) — 1994


The following is how the credits should read in all programs, posters, fliers, handbills and other promotional advertising for the show:
a play by
Elizabeth Hansen

NOTE: The names of the Playwright(s), Composer, Lyricist, and Bookwriter shall be equal in size, type, coloring, boldness, and prominence. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to the Authors except for the title of the play.


Tangents is presented through special arrangement with Premiére Theatrical Licensing on behalf of Leicester Bay Theatricals.  All authorized materials are also supplied by LBT, www.leicesterbaytheatricals.com”


From the Catalog of