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The Penitent

The Penitent
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: David Mamet
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 65
Pub. Date: 2017
ISBN-10: 0573706468
ISBN-13: 9780573706462
Cast Size: 1 woman, 3 men

About the Play

The Penitent is a full-length drama by David Mamet. A renowned psychiatrist is asked to testify on behalf of a young patient. When he refuses, his career, ethics and faith are thrown into question. The Penitent asks the question: What is the cost of standing up for what you believe?

The Penitent is the story of an acclaimed psychiatrist facing a media-shaming when he refuses to testify in court for a young patient facing trial for a violent crime – an act that might undo everything he's worked for. Charles, a psychiatrist, is asked to testify on behalf of a gay client accused of killing ten people. At first he is hesitant, and as his lawyer and his wife begin to tell him how he should handle the situation, Charles clings more fervently to his morals and his ethics. He claims his refusal to testify is a principled defense of the Hippocratic oath, enshrining the confidentiality of the doctor-client relationship. However, the tighter he clings, the more his reputation and career hang in the balance, especially as more truths are revealed about his relationship to his patient. As Charles is subjected to a Job-like barrage of misfortune, he client's defense claims it is bigotry. The great American dramatist David Mamet is in his wheelhouse – examining and undermining systems of power and the impact they have on individuals caught in their grasp.

The Penitent premiered in 2017 off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York City.

Cast: 1 woman, 3 men

What people say:

"Doctor-patient privilege, religion and infidelity are all worked into the mix, so much so that the story seems unbelievably loaded with twists, but that's part of the entertaining quality of it all, as are the elevated verbal rhythms that Mamet orchestrates so well into his dialogue." — BroadwayWorld

"The Penitent is timely and exciting and, in the best of ways, awfully depressing." — NBC New York

"You can still hear a little of that old Mametian Magic. The language is both casual and formal and the result can be wonderful – like Schubert scoring a boxing match." — The New York Times

About the Playwright:

David Mamet is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter as well as a director, novelist, poet, and essayist. He has written the screenplays for more than twenty films, including the Oscar-nominated The Verdict. His more than twenty plays include the Pulitzer Prizewinning Glengarry Glen Ross. His other awards include a Tony Award, an Academy Award, two OBIE Awards, two NYDCC Awards, and Outer Circle, Society of West End Theatre, and Dramatists Guild Hall-Warriner Awards.