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Elephant's Graveyard (Full Length Version) - Full Length Play, Drama

Elephant's Graveyard (Full Length Version)

George Brant

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Full Length Play, Drama

10m, 3f

ISBN: 9780573698156

Winner! 2008 Keene Prize for Literature

"The script—based on a true story about a traveling circus that, in 1916, stumbled into gory disaster in a muddy Tennessee town—is, like the best art, microscopically specific with echoes that radiate outward…

: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager
ePlay Download

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play


Period, Docudrama/Historic

75 Minutes

Time Period - 1910s / WWI

Settings Of Play - 1916. The set may be an empty stage or an abstract collision of the worlds of the circus, town and railroad. This collision need not be pretty.


No intermission, Physical Comedy, Play w/ Music

Unit Set/Multiple Settings, Bare Stage/Simple Set

Period Costumes


Alcohol, Strong Language, Mild Adult Themes


Adult, Senior, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Senior Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Shoestring Budget, Outdoor, Large Stage, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


KCACTF: Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival New Play

Winner! 2008 Keene Prize for Literature
Elephant's Graveyard is the true tale of the tragic collision of a struggling circus and a tiny town in Tennessee, which resulted in the only known lynching of an elephant. Set in September of 1916, the play combines historical fact and legend, exploring the deep-seated American craving for spectacle, violence and revenge.
"The script—based on a true story about a traveling circus that, in 1916, stumbled into gory disaster in a muddy Tennessee town—is, like the best art, microscopically specific with echoes that radiate outward across time. It conjures a world with its own atmosphere and terrible internal logic. It's mesmerizing... symphonic in its emotional variations on a tragic theme. Elephant's Graveyard buzzes with truth about the consequences of misunderstanding, the invisible but enormous gap between artists and their audiences, and the infernal beauty of vaudeville." - The Stranger, Seattle

"A theatrical masterpiece." – Columbia City Paper

"The most striking production in the (NSDF) festival." – Times of London

"Deeply moving...has the audience in stitches at the open and tears at the close." – TheSunCoast.com
Elephant's Graveyard was first produced by the University of Texas at Austin at the Oscar Brockett Theatre in Austin, Texas on November 16, 2007. The director was Laura Kepley. Elephant's Graveyard had its non-Equity premiere at the Trus


10m, 3f


Ensemble cast, Non-Traditional casting, Cross gender casting, Expandable casting, Flexible casting, Multicultural casting, Room for Extras


Non-speaking musicians may be added to the production, particularly a Drummer and Guitarist. Roles may be played by any race or gender except when specified.

RINGMASTER – obsessed with the bottom line
TRAINER – loves his work
BALLET GIRL – a showgirl in control
TOUR MANAGER – bit of a bully
STRONGMAN – a proud muscleman from Europe’s far-off shores
CLOWN – a comedian with an inferiority complex
DRUMMER – keeps the beat
HUNGRY TOWNSPERSON – African-American, a steel-trap memory
MARSHAL – keeps the peace
MUDDY TOWNSPERSON – a haunted widow
PREACHER – doggedly hopeful
STEAM SHOVEL OPERATOR – looking for escape
YOUNG TOWNSPERSON – excitable dreamer
ENGINEER – confident Time is on his side
Rental Materials


N/A (Not a musical)

George Brant

George Brant

George Brant’s plays include Grounded, Elephant’s Graveyard, The Mourners’ Bench, Any Other Name, Salvage, Grizzly Mama, Three Voyages of the Lobotomobile, and Dark Room. A Core Writer at the Playwright’s Center, his scripts have been produced internationally by Trinity Repertory Company, the Studio Theatre, City Theatre, the Gate Theatre of London, Page 73, and the Traverse Theatre, among others. ... view full profile

Now Playing
Megan Myers 1/4/2016 8:04 AM
Very abstract and representational script. Poetically written with strong emotional character work. May be too challenging for very young actors, but would be great for designers!
Maggie Downing 11/24/2015 1:00 PM
Sarah Mosher 3/7/2015 4:01 PM

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