evelyn in purgatory
a play in two acts
5 f/2 m
When a complaint is filed against one of the 70,000 teachers in New York’s public schools, they’re sent to a Reassignment Center, one of a series of empty offices in the Department of Education Building. There, they sit and wait for their case to be reviewed. Usually for months. Sometimes for over a year.
A claim of improper behavior by a failing student lands Evelyn Reid in “the rubber room,” where she encounters a group of teachers, some guilty, some not, who have long since lost any hope of returning to a classroom.
Over the course of the school year, these colleagues form an unlikely alliance, reminding each other of forgotten passions, emerging to face life outside in unexpected new directions. They also learn French and workshop a screenplay.
World Premiere, 2012
Out of Box Theatre
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio
San Jose, California
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
Live Arts Theatre
Boise Little Theater
Market House Theatre
“The Breakfast Club for teachers... an uncommonly smart and restrained commentary on the public education system.” – Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“The script mixes sharp humor and close character observations with drama that darkens along the way. There’s an undertow of unease, not unlike a Twilight Zone episode.” – Bowling Green Independent
“A remarkably well-constructed and very funny dramatic comedy… we’re kept constantly curious about each character.” – ArtsATL
“I love how these characters are introduced, how they change before our eyes (through an unlayering of truth and falsehood rather than through arbitrary plot contrivances.) I love how they surprise, how they make me laugh and move me, how they represent a broad spectrum of teachers and styles and ambitions. I loved every minute of Evelyn in Purgatory.” – Atlanta Theatre Buzz