Single Black Female

Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  2w

"A socially significant and very entertaining two-woman show that manages to be simultaneously self-deprecating and proud." – The New York Times

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
  • Duration
    105 Minutes
  • SubGenre
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Senior, Teen (Age 14 - 18)
  • Nominee! 2019 Black Theater Alliance’s Lorraine Hansberry Award for Best Writing of a Play
    Nominee! 2019 Irma P. Hall Black Theatre Award for Best Play
    Nominee! 2004 LA Weekly Theater Award, Best Comedy



Single Black Female is a two-woman show with rapid-fire comic vignettes that explore the lives of thirty-something African American middle-class women in urban America as they search for love, clothes, and dignity in a world that fails to recognize them amongst a parade of stereotypical images. SBF 1, an English literature professor, and SBF 2, a corporate lawyer, keep each other balanced as they face their fears of rejection, hopes for romance, and reminisce about black girlhood wounds. While embodying a variety of characters, the girlfriends discuss the absurdities of interracial dating, the lure of recreational shopping, and the merits of college reunions for bolstering one’s self-esteem. After reviewing their escapades in past relationships and confessing their own mounting anxieties about commitment and the possibility of motherhood, the pair realize their best chance at love may be found closer than they ever imagined.

Single Black Female was first developed in workshop at the Brava Theater in San Francisco, California and Arturo Catricala directed its first stage reading at Brava Theater’s Festival of New Plays on January 28, 1998.

Single Black Female received its world premiere at Theatre Rhinoceros (Artistic Director, Adele Prandini) in San Francisco, California on March 11, 1999. Scenic design was by Maritza Perez, lighting design by Jason Fuges, costume design by Flynn DeMarco, sound design by Byron Mason and dramaturgy by Kim Euell.  Colman Domingo directed Tia Hunnicutt (SBF 1) and Comika Griffin (SBF 2).

SBF 1 - African American woman. Mid-thirties. A mildly androgynous literature professor with natural hair, a bookish, style and clothing accented with “afrocentric” accessories. She wears eccentric eyeglasses.

SBF 2 - African American woman. Mid-thirties. An attorney who sports a flowing perm or hair weave and wears sexy business suits. SBF 1’s best friend, confidante and alter ego. 



  • Time Period Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
  • Additional Features Physical Comedy, Multimedia
  • Duration 105 Minutes
  • Cautions
    • Alcohol
    • Intense Adult Themes
    • Strong Language
    • Mild Adult Themes


"Fresh... hugely entertaining theater!" – Variety

"A socially significant and very entertaining two-woman show that manages to be simultaneously self-deprecating and proud." – The New York Times

"Perfectly suited for the post-Sex and the City woman." – BackStage

"Thompson stands her stereotypes on their heads, to apt and funny effect. These right-on feminist sisters want equal rights and equal pay, but they also yearn for steamy romance and Jimmy Choo shoes, not necessarily in that order." – The Los Angeles Times

"A bracing, funny, bittersweet [...] show that is both bigger than life and wondrously small, with plenty of notes in between." – LA Weekly

"Very entertaining [...] is a testament to Thompson's sharp wit." – San Francisco Examiner

Licensing & Materials

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


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Lisa B. Thompson

Lisa B. Thompson’s satirical comedies and poignant dramas explode stereotypes about Black life in the US, particularly the experiences of the Black middle class. Her plays include Single Black Female, Underground, Monroe, The Mamalogues and Dinner. She is also the author of B ...

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