Growing up in an impoverished Bronx family and forced to drop out of school at age thirteen, Moss Hart dreamed of joining the glamorous world of the theater. Hart's famous memoir Act One plots his unlikely collaboration with the legendary playwright George S. Kaufman and his arrival on Broadway. Tony Award-winning writer and director James Lapine has adapted Act One for the stage, creating a funny, heartbreaking and suspenseful celebration of a playwright and his work. ACT ONE offers an opportunity to cast over fifty-three roles, which can be played by a cast as small as twelve, in a production that can be done as simply or elaborately as desired.
"…brims contagiously with the ineffable, irrational and irrefutable passion for that endangered religion called the Theater…ACT ONE critically reminds us, at a moment when it's easy to forget, of why so many of us fell head over heels for this cockamamie faith to begin with…Hart captured the desperation, egotism, self-consciousness, illusionism and perverse certainty that made his escape possible. It's a self-portrait in which affected and determined young misfits continue to find consoling reflections of themselves…Mr. Lapine has telescoped the book's events with honorable efficiency." —NY Times. "A rollicking valentine to the theater." —Associated Press. "…quite faithful and wrought with abundant skill and empathy…And although Lapine is evoking a Broadway scene nearly a century old, not so much has changed: Writers are still neurotic, actors are still vain, and producers are still snakes or saints—or both…credit is due to Lapine for efffectively distilling a fast-moving memory play…ACT ONE is tremendous fun, sweet and wise-wistful, [full of] insight into the joys and terrors of show business." —Time Out NY.