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Extremities - Full Length Play, Drama


William Mastrosimone

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Full Length Play, Drama

1m, 3f

ISBN: 9780573608759

This incredibly gripping drama portrays the act of rape and its aftermath as the victim turns the tables on her attacker, reaching a climax of fever pitch suspense.

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Description | Characters | Author | Now Playing | Reviews | Related Products
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play


Time Period - Present Day

Settings Of Play - The living room of an old farmhouse in-between Trenton and Princeton, NJ.


Interior Set


Intense Adult Themes, Strong Language




Professional Theatre, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Marjorie is home alone when Raul enters through her unlocked door and attempts to attack and rape her. The tables turn when Marjorie is able to subdue Raul and keep him tied up in her fireplace. When Terry and Patricia, Marjorie's roommates, come home, they are shocked and begin discussing how to handle the situation: call the police or take matters into their own hands?


"A good, jolting evening." - N.Y. Daily News

"A white knuckle psychological thriller." - USA Today

"...its emotional heft can't be denied." - Star Tribune

"It is hard to imagine anyone unmoved...or unshaken by the tough questions the play raises." - Talkin' Broadway 


EXTREMITIES: More Relevant Than I Could Have Imagined
by Sara Marsh
November 5, 2015

Extremities premiered at the Rutgers Theatre Company in New Brunswick, NJ in July of 1980 under the direction of John Bettenbender.


1m, 3f


William Mastrosimone

William Mastrosimone is an American playwright and screenwriter from Trenton, New Jersey. He attended high school at The Pennington School and received a graduate degree in playwriting from Mason Gross School of the Arts, a part of Rutgers University. His plays include The Woolgatherer, Extremities, Shivaree, and Cat’s Paw. He also wrote Bang Bang You’re Dead, which can be downloaded from the ... view full profile

Other William Mastrosimone titles:

Now Playing
Puja Goyal 9/9/2016 4:42 AM
tyra yarber 1/5/2016 9:06 AM
Oscar Lopez 4/19/2013 6:37 PM
From its explosive beginning to its unnerving end, this psychological thriller is simultaneously intriguing and profoundly disturbing. It follows Raul’s attempted rape of Marjorie, and the lengths to which she goes for revenge. The dialogue is brutally sharp: few monologues punctuate the script, which moves at a violently rapid pace. The setting is claustrophobic: all the action takes place in the living room of a farmhouse from which neither protagonist nor audience can escape. Mastrosimone is a master of surprise: the moment when we (and Marjorie) realize that Raul is truly psychotic in the opening scene is nerve shattering. Likewise, Mastrosimone subverts the initial setup by transforming victim into attacker, predator into feeble prey. He thereby taunts our idea of empathy as our sympathy shifts from one character to the other.

Yet while the play is certainly thrilling and confronting, it expounds an ideology that is ultimately disturbing. In Raul’s psychopathic nature Mastrosimone has achieved his goal of deconstructing “the two lethal myths. One, that women cause rape, and two, that rape is for sex.” Certainly the play suggests the failings of society in allowing rape to happen and go unchecked. Yet in making a villain out of Marjorie the author seems to suggest that anyone is capable of violent behaviour if pushed to the limit. Yet rape is an undeniably male act: rather than being able to unite with her sisters and defeat Raul, Marjorie must adopt the male identity of violent torturer. It suggests that the only way to defeat male violence is with an equal level of masculine brutality.

In the afterword, Mastrosimone writes that “so many rape victims have told me that ‘Extremities’ has provided the catharsis that rape, police, lawyers, courts have not provided.” Yet catharsis is not the same as healing. By dealing only with the violence and horror of the event, Mastrosimone has neglected to demonstrate what is most difficult and most necessary, both for the victim and for society at large: healing, hope and recovery.

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