Perfect Mendacity

Jason Wells

Full Length Play, Dark Comedy  /  1f, 4m

Perfect Mendacity examines the nature of self-deception as a business executive seeks to avoid being implicated in the leak of a sensitive memo during a lie detector investigation.

Perfect Mendacity

by  Jason Wells

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  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    1f, 4m
  • Duration
    90 minutes
  • SubGenre
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Adult
  • Winner! 2010 M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for an Emerging Playwright
Walter Kreutzer, a microbiologist for a defense contractor, is being investigated by his employers over an incriminating memo that was leaked to the media. Walter thinks his Moroccan wife may have done the whistleblowing, and to protect her - and himself - Walter needs to learn how to defeat a  lie detector, and fast. D'avore Peoples, a polygraph consultant, is happy to help - for a price, of course. But D'avore's technique will require Walter to look deep within himself, a terrifying prospect for a man hiding from his past.

With his best friend spying on him, his wife intent on opening old wounds, and D'avore uncovering dark secrets, Walter's desperate journey toward the perfect lie becomes a spiral into paranoia and bitter reckoning.

Perfect Mendacity was first presented at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida, on May 15, 2009. It was directed by Michael Donald Edwards.


Performing Groups
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
  • Strong Language
  • Mild Adult Themes

Licence details

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



  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: An office. A suburban condo. A laboratory office.
  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy, Stage Combat
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


1f, 4m
Cast Attributes
  • Multicultural casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
WALTER KREUTZER – 50s, white American
D'AVORE PEOPLES – 40s, black American
SAMIRA KREUTZER – 30s or 40s, Moroccan
ROGER STANHOPE – 50s, white South African


  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)





"The play wears its politics lightly...letting slip bits of information that we then can combine into sense...Funny, at moments, hilarious, with much of the humor coming from characters who are always more human than symbolic... I want to recommend Mendacity not just as a couple of entertaining hours of theater, which it certainly is, but as a rare attempt to witness real political art, the sort that seldom turns up on the American scene." –Mark E. Leib, Creative Loafing

"A sharp meditation on the nature of truth and lies in the post 9-11 world... Jason Wells conjures the same sort of nerve-jangling menace found in his earlier play Men Of Tortuga. But here he spins a story that bears a downright eerie prescience...Wells' play is wired with a dazzling, tightly wound, steel-spring mechanism that keeps you riveted." –Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times

"As he proved in his play Men of Tortuga, Jason Wells knows how to build suspense and tension with clever and intriguing dialogue that clips along." - Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

"...This look at intrigue, duplicity and self-deception in the corporate world resonates in every aspect of human endeavor." –American Theatre Critics Association

"One would think a drama about a government defense contractor's secret cover-ups and the people woven within them would be heavy and intense, but playwright Jason Wells surprises with witty comedy in the most unlikely moments while keeping the intensity alive...Wells' dialogue, coupled with the story's imagination, flows nicely. It is enjoyable to watch each scene build to a climax, then soften somewhat, leaving the audience intrigued, laughing or, in the end, completely stunned." –Bradenton Herald

"Intriguing and exciting!" –Sarasota Magazine



Jason Wells

Jason Wells’s first play, 'Men of Tortuga,' debuted at Steppenwolf Theatre's First Look Repertory of New Work and had its official premiere at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota. Jason’s second play, 'Perfect Mendacity,' was a commission from Manhattan Theatre Club and the Sloan Foundation. Like 'Men of Tortuga,' ...

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