A SAMUEL FRENCH, INC. TITLE

Becky Nurse of Salem

Full-Length Play, Dark Comedy  /  4w, 3m

A descendent of a woman accused of being a witch in Salem is now having struggles of her own. She looks to a local witch to help right her wrongs, but it only makes things worse. A look at how times have changed, or not, for women in America.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    4w, 3m
  • Duration
    Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Details

Summary
Out of work and out of love, Becky Nurse is an ordinary but strong-willed grandmother just trying to get by in post-Obama America. She’s also the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Rebecca Nurse, who was infamously executed for witchcraft in 1692 – but things have changed for women since then, haven’t they? Desperate to raise her troubled teenaged granddaughter right, and also hook up with an old flame, Becky visits a local witch for help. But those spells and potions don’t work out exactly as planned.
History
Becky Nurse of Salem premiered off-Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater on December 4, 2022. Directed by Rebecca Taichman, the production featured Deirdre O'Connell, Bernard White, Tina Benko, Candy Buckley, Alicia Crowder, Thomas Jay Ryan and Julian Sanchez.

BECKY – Mid 50s to 60s. Our hero, descended from Rebecca Nurse.
BOB – Mid 50s to 60s. The man she loves.
GAIL – In her teens. Becky's grand-daughter. Plays Abigail in Act 2.
A WITCH – 60s to 80s.
STAN – 17 or 18. A little bit androgynous.
SHELBY – 30s. Has several degrees in art history.
THE JUDGE / THE JAILER – 30 to 50. Virtuosic male performer, plays jailer, magistrate, creepy voices and judge.

  • Time Period Contemporary, 17th Century
  • Setting Salem, Massachusetts. 2016, 2017 and an imagined 1692.
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • Alcohol
    • Strong Language
    • Mild Adult Themes
    • Smoking

Media

“Witty, sharp and irreverent!” – Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast

“A fun, smart play.” – Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker

“As authentic as it is illuminating!” – Ari Hoffman, The New York Sun

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £70 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

Scripts

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Authors

Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl’s plays include In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, The Clean House, Passion Play, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Melancholy Play, For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday, The Oldest Boy, Stage Kiss, Dear Elizabeth, Eurydice, How to Transcend a Happy Marriage, Orlando, Late ...

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