perfect arrangement

a play in two acts

4 F / 3 m

It’s 1950, and new colors are being added to the Red Scare. Two U.S. State Department employees, Bob and Norma, have been tasked with identifying sexual deviants within their ranks. There’s just one problem: Both Bob and Norma are gay, and have married each other’s partners as a carefully constructed cover. Inspired by the true story of the earliest stirrings of the American gay rights movement, madcap classic sitcom-style laughs give way to provocative drama as two “All-American” couples are forced to stare down the closet door.

Process Theatre Co

Atlanta, Georgia

Workshop Production, 2009

Source Festival

Washington, DC

World Premiere, 2013

Out North

Anchorage, Alaska

2014

Pandora Productions

Louisville, Kentucky

2014

Process Theatre Co

Atlanta, Georgia

2014

Primary Stages

in association with

MARS Theatricals

New York, New York

Off-Broadway Premiere

2015

Concordia College

Moorhead, Minnesota

2016

Richmond Triangle Players

Richmond, Virginia

2016

Island City Stage

Wilton Manors, Florida

2016

Camille Playhouse

Brownsville, Texas

2016

Vermont Pride Theatre

Burlington, Vermont

2017

Intrepid Theatre Co

San Diego, California

2017

ReAct Theatre

Seattle, Washington

2017

Stage Q

Madison, Wisconsin

2017

Source Festival

Washington, DC

2017

Evolution Theatre

Columbus, Ohio

2017

Pride Films & Plays

Chicago, Illinois

2017

Raleigh Little Theatre

Raleigh, North Carolina

2017

Playhouse on the Square

Memphis, Tennessee

2018

Theatrical Outfit

Atlanta, Georgia

2018

University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

2018

Springer Opera House

Columbus, Georgia

2018

Uptown Players

Dallas, Texas

2018

Fredericksburg Theatre Ensemble

Fredericksburg, Virginia

2018

An Other Theatre

Provo, Utah

2018

R-S Theatrics

St. Louis, Missouri

2018

Dezart Performs

Palm Springs, California

2019

Freefall Theatre

St. Petersburg, Florida

2019

Greenbelt Arts Center

Greenbelt, Maryland

2019

Canisius College

Buffalo, New York

2019

University of Massachusetts

Lowell, Massachusetts

2019

Brookfield Theatre for the Arts

Brookfield, Connecticut

2019

The Barn Theatre

Port Sanilac, Michigan

2019

Soka University of America

Aliso Viejo, California

2019

Silver Spring Stage

Silver Spring, Maryland

2020

Surrey Little Theatre

Surrey, British Columbia

2020

"[A] clever canapé of a comedy... Mr. Payne is a deft and witty writer."

The New York Times

“As hiding gets harder, pitch-perfect comedy ensues: slamming doors, strange disguises, preposterous excuses [….] Eventually, the four must decide whether face-saving domestic lies are worth it, or whether ostracism beats living in fear. In our own era of surveillance and paranoia, their mid-century problems don’t feel so far away.” - The New Yorker

"This is truly what a play should be. Thought-provoking, but with loads of laughs, this terrific show strikes the perfect balance between harsh social criticism and comedy." - Triangle Arts & Entertainment

"Usually a playwright has to choose between writing a laugh-out-loud comedy and a very serious drama. Topher Payne has written both with Perfect Arrangement." - TheatreMania

"The best thing about Topher Payne’s fabulous Perfect Arrangement is its pitch-perfect capture of the 1950s comic voice, and its application to the dreadfully serious drama." - DC Theatre Scene

"Introduces audiences to a piece of theatre where tragedy and farce wrap around each other like strands of DNA. It's two distinct plays telling the same hilarious and heartbreaking story... Perfect Arrangement drags history out of the closet." - Memphis Flyer

  Winner, 2014 M Elizabeth Osborn Prize  

  Nominee, 2017 Lambda Literary Awards: LGBTQ Drama  

 

  2018 Suzi Bass Awards  

Nominee, Outstanding Production of a Play

Nominee, Outstanding Ensemble Cast

Nominee, Outstanding Costume Design, Linda Patterson

  2018 Jeff Awards  

Nominee, Performer in a Supporting Role, Kelli Harrington (Barbara Grant)

  2017 Carbonell Awards  

Nominee, Best Supporting Actress, Christina Groom (Kitty Sunderson)

Winner, Best Costume Design, Peter A. Lovello 

Nominee, Best Sound Design, David Hart

  2015 Suzi Bass Awards  

Winner, Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award

  2015 Metropolitan Atlanta Theatre Awards  

Winner, Best Play

Winner, Best Ensemble

Winner, Moira Thornett Director's Award, DeWayne Morgan

Nom​inee, Leading Actor, Larry Davis (Bob Martindale)

Winner, Leading Actress, Barbara Cole-Uterhardt (Millie Martindale)

Nominee, Leading Actress, Kristin Kalbli (Norma Baxter)

Winner, Major Supporting Actor, Bryan Lee (Jim Baxter)

Nominee, Major Supporting Actress, Amanda Cucher (Barbara Grant)

Winner, Minor Supporting Actor, Charles Green (Theodore Sunderson)

Winner, Minor Supporting Actress, Karen Whitaker (Kitty Sunderson)

Nominee, Scenic Design, Nadia Morgan

Winner, Costume Design, Nikki Thomas

Winner, Lighting Design, Elisabeth Cooper

Nominee, Sound Design, Charlie Miller

topher

 payne

© 2019 by Topher Payne

THEATRICAL INQUIRIES 

topher@topherpayne.com

FILM/TELEVISION MANAGEMENT 

Scott Halle, Gramercy Park Entertainment

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