Mr. Burns, a post-electric play


Mr. Burns, a post-electric play

Anne Washburn

Full Length Play, Dark Comedy  /  5f, 3m

What will endure when the cataclysm arrives—when the grid fails, society crumbles, and we’re faced with the task of rebuilding?

Mr. Burns, a post-electric play

by  Anne Washburn

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  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    5f, 3m
  • Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Adult

    WINNER - 2015 Whiting Award
    NOMINEE- 2014 Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off- Broadway Play

    Anne Washburn is the recipient of the 2015 Whiting Award for Drama


Anne Washburn’s imaginative dark comedy propels us forward nearly a century, following a new civilization stumbling into its future.

After the collapse of civilization, a group of survivors share a campfire and begin to piece together the plot of "The Simpsons" episode "Cape Feare" entirely from memory. 7 years later, this and other snippets of pop culture (sitcom plots, commercials, jingles, and pop songs) have become the live entertainment of a post-apocalyptic society, sincerely trying to hold onto its past. 75 years later, these are the myths and legends from which new forms of performance are created.

A paean to live theater, and the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, Mr. Burns is an animated exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another.

Mr. Burns a post-electric play received its world premiere at the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company in Washington DC in May, 2012, and had its New York City debut at Playwrights Horizons in August, 2013 under the direction of Steve Cosson. 


Performing Groups
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
  • Gun Shots
  • Mild Adult Themes

Licence details

  • Minimum Fee: £85 per performance plus VAT when applicable.
    This title is now available for licensing. Please contact your
    licensing representative for more information regarding this title.



  • Time Period: Contemporary, The Future
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


This play is set in the very near future. Then 7 years after that. The 75 years after that


5f, 3m
Cast Attributes
  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Room for Extras
Roles are doubled/tripled like so:

MATT - Homer/Scratchy
JENNY - Marge/Marge
SUSANNAH - Lisa & Second FBI Agent/Itchy
SAM - Bart/Mr. Burns
COLLEEN - First FBI Agent/Lisa
GIBSON - Loving Husband & Sideshow Bob/Homer
QUINCY - Businesswoman/Bart
NEDRA - Edna Krabappel 

Everyone participates in the second act medley, and everyone spare sings chorally in the third act -- with Nedra (playing Edna Krabappel) as the Chorus Leader.
Casting Notes

It should be noted that the characters in this play bear at best a passing and in many cases no resemblance whatsoever to the actors initially involved in the project!


  • Musical Style: Pop/Rock
  • Vocal Demands: Easy
  • Chorus Size: Small





  • MR. BURNS (NY Premiere), Playwrights Horizons

  • MR. BURNS, a post-electric play - Woolly Mammoth

  • Matthew Maher - In Performance, NY Times

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Anne Washburn

Anne Washburn’s play's include Mr. Burns, 10 out of 12, Antlia Pneumatica, A Devil At Noon, Apparition, The Communist Dracula Pageant, I Have Loved Strangers, The Ladies, The Internationalist, The Small, Little Bunny Foo Foo, and transadaptations of Euripides' Orestes and Iphigenia In Aulis. Awards include a Whiting A ...

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