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The Conscientious Objector - Full Length Play

The Conscientious Objector

Michael Murphy

Full Length Play

10m, 1f

ISBN: 9780822223108

Political theatre at its best, bringing to life an issue that has perp…

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DPS Acting Edition

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Full Length Play


Unit Set/Multiple Settings

Political theatre at its best, bringing to life an issue that has perplexed this nation since its founding: dissent during a time of war. The play dramatizes a largely forgotten period in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1965 and at the height of his power and influence, Dr. King became the first person of his stature to publicly oppose the Vietnam War. This put him in direct conflict with President Lyndon Johnson, his most important ally in the Civil Rights Movement. Johnson viewed King as the one person who could galvanize the nation against the war (and his presidency). He recruited the media, the FBI and even other Civil Rights leaders to try to stop King. Grounded in historical accounts and White House and FBI telephone transcripts, THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR voices the conflicting views of some of the most fascinating and charismatic figures of the twentieth century. The climax of the play—the last time King and Johnson would ever speak to each other—left New York audiences in tears.
"…fraught with contemporary resonance, as a charismatic black man takes a stand against a white president who is stubbornly continuing an unpopular war. The play's sharp yet nuanced dialogue shows how theater can be absorbing and also earn a place in today's political conversation." —NY Times. "Engrossing, heartbreaking…THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR is America's answer to Greek tragedy, a tale full of larger-than-life characters in which irreconcilable interests and personal loyalties collide." —NY Magazine. "THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR practices a whole string of virtues rarely seen in political theater. The unforgettable last scene between King and Johnson suggests two remorseful Oedipuses finding a moment's peace together in the sacred grove at Colonus." —Village Voice.


10m, 1f


Flexible casting


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