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The Humans

The Humans
Your Price: $18.95 CDN
Author: Stephen Karam
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 117
Pub. Date: 2017
ISBN-10: 0822235277
ISBN-13: 9780822235279
Cast Size: 2 female, 4 male

About the Play:

Finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Winner of the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play

The Humans is a full-length comedy by Stephen Karam. When three generations of the Blake family gathers to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, underlying anxiety and family skeletons threaten to come out. The Humans shows the strength people can find in humour and how the darkest moments can turn hilarious with enough wit and self-deprecation.

The Humans charts the at times fractious but always loving interplay between The Blakes, a Pennsylvania family uprooted to Manhattan for Thanksgiving. Brigid Blake has just moved to Manhattan with her boyfriend Richard, and what better way to celebrate than invite her family over for Thanksgiving? When her parents, elder sister and grandmother arrive they find a barely furnished apartment, replete with dripping taps, buzzing light bulbs and strange thumps coming through the ceiling. Determined to make the best of its time together, the Blakes make a start on the dinner, yet the unfamiliar surroundings instills an unusual atmosphere around the table. As they attempt to focus on the traditional festivities, eerie things start to go bump in the night and fears of the past and pressures of the future seep into the reunion and the precariousness of their position becomes increasingly evident. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed with humour and compassion in this new American classic. The Humans is a stunning portrayal of the human condition; a family at its best and worst navigating the challenges of everyday life.

The Humans premiered in 2014 at the American Theater Company in Chicago before opening at off-Broadway's Laura Pels Theatre in 2015, where it continued to receive rave reviews. It made the jump to Broadway in 2016 at the Helen Hayes Theatre and swept the 2016 awards season, including winning the Tony Award for Best Play. This new American classic was also named the Best Play of the Year by the New York Drama Critics' Circle, the Outer Critics Circle and the Drama League. The Obie Awards honoured Stephen Karam with a 2016 Award for Playwriting and he was a Pulitzer Finalist for The Humans. The play is regularly performed in regional repertory, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 2 female, 4 male

What people say:

"Drawn in subtle but indelible strokes, Mr. Karam's play might almost qualify as deep-delving reportage, so clearly does it illuminate the current, tremor-ridden landscape of contemporary America… The Humans is a major discovery, a play as empathetic as it is clear-minded, as entertaining as it is honest. For all the darkness at its core… a bright light shines forth from it, the blazing luminescence of collective artistic achievement." — The New York Times

"The Humans explores, across an enthralling spectrum of ups and downs, what being a family is all about." — The Washington Post

"Great plays are usually great in one of two ways. Either they are culminating examples of existing ideas, or groundbreaking examples of new things entirely… The Humans, it turns out, is not just one of those culminating genre pieces but also, at the same time, one of those ‘new things entirely.' Into the familiar dinner-table-drama genre the playwright has mixed the unexpected element of terror – or, rather, he has created a new element by bombarding one with the other. I should add that, for all this, the play is rackingly funny even as it pummels the heart and scares the bejesus out of you."New York Magazine

"[An] inestimably kind, rich and beautiful play…truly remarkable and exceptionally moving…Few writers of his generation have achieved anything quite like The Humans, a play about the horrors of ordinary life and the love we need to counter them." — Chicago Tribune

About the Playwright:

Stephen Karam is an American playwright. He is the Tony Award-winning author of The Humans, Sons of the Prophet and Speech & Debate. For his work he's received two Drama Critics Circle Awards, an OBIE Award and is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. He grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Brown University.

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