The Evildoers

Full-Length Play, Dark Comedy  /  2w, 2m

A dark and slashingly funny play that follows the shattering of four pristine American lives.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    2w, 2m
  • Duration
    90 minutes
  • Audience
    Target Audience


David Adjmi offers a fierce and furious play about intimate human relationships. Carol and Jerry celebrate their anniversary with friends Martin and Judy. But an evening of haute cuisine and expensive wine is cut short when Martin, no longer able to repress years of frustration, lashes out at the people he loves. Soon, the facade of their pristine American lives shatters. With ferocious humor and violent turns, David Adjmi's searing drama lays bare the vast desolation that lies beneath a quiet dinner with friends. 

The Evildoers premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre in 2008 under the direction of Rebecca Taichman. 
Cast Attributes
JERRY THERNSTROM - Possesses the old-world affectations and speech of an older WASP-y type, as well as the glow of narcissism and self-containment that is specific to New York psychoanalysts. Habituated to luxury and privilege—to the extent that he just blends in with it. Outwardly polite, slightly eccentric, nerdishly academic and also a little abstracted, out of touch. Has a true goofy, silly side to him and also a quietly pained detachment that—by the end of the play—opens into chaos and self-loathing. Late thirties to early forties; right before the cusp of middle age.

CAROL THERNSTROM - Jerry’s wife. A wedding planner who is intensely cynical about marriage. She is quick-witted, fashionable, controlling, meticulous (i.e., compulsive), self-conscious, literate, and wears all this like a kind of breastplate, or armor. But deep down she knows something in her is dying, or has died; her conscience is bothering her. The discomfiture comes out as hostility. There’s something childlike and untouched in her that no one sees. A woman in her forties who takes care of herself, or a woman in her mid-thirties who is aging prematurely—either way, the lines are showing.

MARTIN GOLDSTROM - Jerry’s best friend from boarding school. An anesthesiologist. Has a warmth, a naifish sweetness and desire to learn. Intensely emotional, but tries to conceal this with varying degrees of success. Develops a deep, agonizing, insatiable spiritual longing throughout the course of the play, as well as a profound—and finally pathological—need to connect to people, to himself, to something authentic and rooted. Jerry’s age, maybe a year younger.

JUDY GOLDSTROM - The fragile, under-confident and somewhat neurotic wife of Martin. She works to conceal her obsessiveness and neuroses—she’s embarrassed by them; will admit to her “inappropriate” frailties out of both politeness and the need to exhibit “self-awareness.” Her respect for decorum is a default. Younger than Martin.
  • Time Period Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Setting Carol and Jerry's apartment. 
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
  • Duration 90 minutes
  • Cautions
    • Intense Adult Themes


"Slashingly funny...Mr. Adjmi is certainly skilled at writing dialogue that both captures and softly lampoons the fluid eloquence and showy wit that perfumes the air at Manhattan restaurants and dining rooms." - New York Times, Read More 

"An anxiety attack of a play... Adjmi is clearly a writer with a distinct voice, style and ambition. In 'The Evildoers' he attempts nothing less than a reality check for the post-Baby Boom generation as it hits middle age... The playwright tears down the facade that masks veneer upon veneer with stinging detail, idiosyncratic loopiness and shocking incident." - Variety, Read More 

"A culmination of the last four centuries of theater, playing with theatrical forms from Jacobean tragedy to drawing-room comedies, while adding its own very modern twists... You’ll need someone to stabilize you when you walk out of the theater shaking. But drag a friend, an enemy or a professor along for perhaps the most thought-provoking stage production you’ll encounter this year." - Yale Daily News, Read More 

"The world premiere of David Adjmi's The Evildoers will open your eyes to a new level of depth perception in the study of human relationships. And you'll keep them open (maybe joined by a mouth) right to the final moment of the play. Filled with exquisite metaphor.. a great theatre piece." - Connecticut Critics' Circle, Read More 

"The Evildoers has received some of the most enthusiastic reviews of the season... Adjmi is a playwright to watch--and support." - Hartford Courant, Read More

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.


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David Adjmi

David Adjmi was called 'virtuosic' by the New York Times and he was listed as one of the Top Ten in Culture for 2011 by The New Yorker magazine. His play Marie Antoinette received a critically acclaimed world premiere co-production with A.R.T. and Yale Rep. The play won 3 Con ...
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