AMERICAN DEAL

Clive Jenkins. A husband. A father. A writer with an MFA. An addict. A man who, sixteen years ago, gunned down a stranger, and still can't say why. Clive’s most successful attempts to examine his life come when he puts pen to paper, pouring out his demons in stories. Now, he’s got a chance at parole, and a six-figure book deal that might help him get it—if he can prove he’s a changed man. This play asks:...
Clive Jenkins. A husband. A father. A writer with an MFA. An addict. A man who, sixteen years ago, gunned down a stranger, and still can't say why. Clive’s most successful attempts to examine his life come when he puts pen to paper, pouring out his demons in stories. Now, he’s got a chance at parole, and a six-figure book deal that might help him get it—if he can prove he’s a changed man. This play asks: what do we owe those we purport to rehabilitate and what do we owe their victims?
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AMERICAN DEAL

Recommended by

  • Alice Josephs:
    30 Jun. 2021
    A publishing deal, a deal for the people of America — and the parole board. A convicted murderer finds himself at the centre of competing claims once he pens a potential bestseller. Not least those of the victim’s family, his own family and his own conscience and soul. Constructed within a prison framework, a series of stories works back through his life and psyche. Working on several levels, this is a resonant play asking tough questions of current day America, fame at others’ expense and, by the end, literally, of the audience.
  • Dan Taube:
    6 Dec. 2020
    A thrilling story that manages to avoid all the usual cliches of a man in prison trying to do better. Fiercely theatrical in its intent to be a treatise on the importance of story telling. Clive and his fellow characters tell a story you will not soon forget. Very enjoyable read.
  • Franky D. Gonzalez:
    17 Apr. 2018
    A timely play that could not have come at a better time. It forces us to question the debts we owe to society and those those we love and those we hurt. She cuts into the heart of the battle between the ethical and the financial with a clarity and understanding not just of the subject matter, but of American culture at large. Using a beautiful blend of realism, expressionism and so many other styles, Hoke weaves the story of Clive and those around him over 16 years. Stunning. Be on the lookout for when you can read this play.

Character Information

  • Clive Jenkins
    48,
    White
    ,
    Male
    Caucasian, quiet, intellectual, depressed, calm, covered in prison tattoos but only in places where we can't see them, and utterly, utterly charming with a smile that melts anyone and anything
  • EVA/other women
    20-43,
    any but black
    ,
    Female
    Plays EVA, Clive's wife, as well as Ghostly Mona, Martin's Mother, Clive's high school teacher (in V.O.), Clive's mother
  • Warren Monroe/Byron Jackson/other men
    30s,
    Black
    ,
    Male
    Plays WARREN MONROE, Clive's publisher; and BYRON JACKSON, the partner of Clive's victim; as well as Man #2, Clive's roommate (V.O.), Clive's former employer (V.O.), Passing Stranger, Byron Man
  • ACTOR: Murph, Fivey, and others
    30s-50s,
    any but black
    ,
    Male
    Plays MURPH, the prison chaplain, as well as Fivey, Ghostly Derek, Man #1, Clive's Father, Literary Editor (in V.O.), Martin

Development History

  • Commission
    ,
    Looking for development partner, contact me for latest draft

Awards

Semi-Finalist
,
International Wolfe Prize
,
Playmakers Repertory Company
,
2019