Lies

Fresh out of law school, Benny, an inexperienced public defender, is facing the case of his life - trying to win the parole of a notorious German World War II radio propagandist who has a hard time telling the truth. Or does she? Are her truths all lies, or are her lies really the truth? And what happens when you can no longer tell the two apart?
Set in 1950 but as timely as today’s Washington tweets,...
Fresh out of law school, Benny, an inexperienced public defender, is facing the case of his life - trying to win the parole of a notorious German World War II radio propagandist who has a hard time telling the truth. Or does she? Are her truths all lies, or are her lies really the truth? And what happens when you can no longer tell the two apart?
Set in 1950 but as timely as today’s Washington tweets, the 90-minute, one-set, 2-character play (1f, early 40s; 1m, 25-28) is an allegory about lying in government, and a meditation on what truth actually is.



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Lies

Recommended by

  • Philip Middleton Williams:
    13 Oct. 2021
    In "The Crucible," Arthur Miller used the Salem witch trials as the allegory for the McCarthy era, framing the paranoia of the Red Scare as a cautionary tale of the consequences for the accused and accusers. In much the same way, Jerry Slaff uses the case of an American woman convicted of treason during World War II as analogous to the time when truth vs. "alternative facts" made us all wonder where the line between reality and fiction became blurred or obliterated. There are many lessons in this intense two-hander. Ignore them at your peril.
  • Jennifer O'Grady:
    2 Feb. 2021
    A terrifically skillful and suspenseful play, with two fascinating characters and lots of twists and turns you never see coming. I'd love to see this produced. Highly recommend!
  • Catherine Weingarten:
    7 Oct. 2020
    Wow! What an exciting and dramatic and freaky ride Slaff takes us on. Both characters are flawed yet likable yet hot messes and I love loved figuring out who they thought they were vs who they actually were. This fast moving psychological thriller of a story is chock full of great surprises and moments of reckoning.

Character Information

  • LORELEI
    42,
    White
    ,
    Female
    a German American radio propagandist in jail for treason
  • BENNY
    25,
    Jewish
    ,
    Male
    a young inexperienced lawyer

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    AMT Theater, New York
    ,
    2023
  • Reading
    ,
    PlayFest Santa Barbara
    ,
    2022
  • Reading
    ,
    HRC Showcase Theater, New Canaan, NY
    ,
    2022
  • Reading
    ,
    Theater on the Lake, Deep Creek Lake, Md.
    ,
    2020
  • Reading
    ,
    Attic Salt Theatre Company, Asheville NC
    ,
    2020
  • Reading
    ,
    Baltimore Playwrights Festival
    ,
    2019

Production History

  • Fringe
    ,
    Scripted Brussels theater festival
    ,
    2020
  • Professional
    ,
    Lab Theater Festival, Tampa, Fl.
    ,
    2019

Awards

Winner
,
Grand Prize, 88th Annual Writers Digest Writing Competition
,
Writers Digest
,
2019
Finalist
,
SigWorks reading series
,
Signature Theater, Arlington, Va.
,
2019