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Jerome Bixby's The Man From Earth - Full Length Play, Drama

Jerome Bixby's The Man From Earth

Jerome Bixby, Richard Schenkman

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Full Length Play, Drama

6m, 3f

ISBN: 9780573663345

Based on the book "The Man From Earth" by Jerome Bixby
After history professor John Oldman unexpectedly resigns from the University, his startled colleagues impulsively invite themselves to his home, pressing him for an explanation. But they're shocked to hear his reason for premature retirement: John claims he must move on because he is immortal, and c…
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
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Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play


Fantasy, Adaptations (Stage & Screen), Theatre for Young Audiences, Fables/Folktales, Science Fiction, Docudrama/Historic, Faith-based

90 minutes

Time Period - Contemporary, Present Day

Settings Of Play - A cabin in the California desert. The present. 


No intermission

Bare Stage/Simple Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


No Special Cautions


Appropriate for all audiences, Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Shoestring Budget, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups, Church / Religious Groups

After history professor John Oldman unexpectedly resigns from the University, his startled colleagues impulsively invite themselves to his home, pressing him for an explanation. But they're shocked to hear his reason for premature retirement: John claims he must move on because he is immortal, and cannot stay in one place for more than ten years without his secret being discovered. Tempers rise and emotions flow as John's fellow professors attempt to poke holes in his story, but it soon becomes clear that his tale is as impossible to disprove as it is to verify. What starts out as a friendly gathering soon builds to an unexpected and shattering climax. Acclaimed science fiction writer Jerome Bixby, writer of the original 'Star Trek' and 'The Twilight Zone', originally conceived this story back in the early 1960's. It would come to be his last great work.

Praise for the original motion picture, "Jerome Bixby's The Man From Earth":

"Jerome Bixby's The Man From Earth really has a chance of being the single best piece of screenwriting you will see on a screen large or small this year (really!)."  - Late Film

“A considerable achievement… a picture which deserves wide exposure… The Man From Earth gradually and stimulatingly builds to a pitch of near hypnotic intensity.” – Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter

“The Man From Earth restores dignity to science fiction of the mind." - Michael Guillen, Twitch (www.twitch.com)

"A tall tale... that ends with a devastatingly clever twist." - Michael Janusonis, The Providence Journal

"An intelligent fantasy." – Ed Grant, Video Business

“One film has taken us back to the good old days of classic sci-fi; The Man From Earth… If you love science fiction, this is a must for you.” – Doug MacLean, Home Theater Info (www.hometheaterinfo.com)

The Man From Earth is an interesting and highly intense film… full of good actors and actresses that rarely get the attention they so rightfully deserve… Richard Schenkman directs with a careful hand.” – Charlie K, Associated Content (www.associatedcontent.com)

The Man From Earth is very much a labor of love from all involved… it’s well worth the effort. The final work from the writer responsible for some of the finest episodes of “The Twilight Zone” and the original “Star Trek” gets a thoughtful, low-budget treatment.” – Ian Spelling, Sci Fi.com

The Man From Earth is one of the best movies I’ve seen all year…  Director Richard Schenkman has cast the film brilliantly… the premise and follow through of Schenkman’s film is simply irresistible.” – Nix, Beyond Hollywood (www.beyondhollywood.com)

Originally presented as a motion picture in 2007, Jerome Bixby's The Man From Earth has been produced on stages around the world since 2008.


6m, 3f


Ensemble cast, Non-Traditional casting, Reduced casting (Doubling Possible), Local Celebrity Cameo, Multicultural casting, Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle), Parts for Senior Actors


N/A (Not a musical)

JOHN OLDMAN – About 35, good looking, competent, easygoing history professor
DAN – 60-ish professor of anthropology; big, fit
HARRY – 50’s professor of biology; stocky, likable
EDITH – 50’s, art history professor; a hint of the spinster about her
SANDY – Late 20’s; fiercely intelligent, but reticent
ART – 50’s, but holding desperately onto youth; archeology professor
LINDA – Very pretty young student; wide-eyed, yet smart
WILL GRUBER – 75, large, mustachioed, bluff
MOVING MAN #1 – Burly, uniformed mover from “Charity Now”
MOVING MAN #2 – Another uniformed mover from “Charity Now”
PARAMEDIC – Uniformed EMS worker (can be played by a Moving Man)
COP – Young uniformed officer (can be played by a Moving Man)
Rental Materials


N/A (Not a musical)


N/A (Not a musical)

Richard Schenkman

Richard Schenkman

Richard Schenkman is a prolific writer, director & producer. His first feature film was The Pompatus of Love, which he wrote with Jon Cryer & Adam Oliensis. Rapturously reviewed, it enjoyed a successful theatrical release in 1995. He then directed the action/drama October 22 for Nu Image/Millennium Films, and followed that with Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by ... view full profile

Now Playing
Brian Spencer 6/3/2017 12:45 AM
I found this play fascinating! The story is intriguing and the characters are drawn with enough depth to keep driving the action forward. If I can find a producing venue, I will most certainly be mounting a production.
Michael Kettner 4/16/2015 11:14 AM
This is an excellent premise and I'm glad its been written but I feel Mr Bixby's valiant attempt leaves one with a sigh more than a gasp.  Having said that, Bixby has a clear gift for dialog and this writing is an ambitious display of that most impressive talent.

       The play is based on the premise that there's an immortal in the room and he's wanting, just once, to let his friends know before he moves on.  A man of this experience and age would necessarily be profoundly intelligent (or would seem so by sheer experience).  One does not get this impression from the lines given the character.  The sudden death, of a key character, at the end of the play seems, at best, contrived.  At worst, a panicked writer needing a denouement that the story line only minimally supports.

I think these things can be surmounted with subtext and interpretive lighting/sound but that requires a re-envisioning of the material that nearly amounts to a rewrite.

I had a thousand ideas while I read the play.  Things to render the gravity and depth of a 4,000 year old man but none of them were touched or alluded to at all.  

Its one of those writings that inspires more than it delivers.
Isaac Fischer 5/28/2014 9:35 PM

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