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God's Ear - Full Length Play, Drama

God's Ear

Jenny Schwartz

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Full Length Play, Drama

3m, 4f

ISBN: 9780573663017

"A triumph! An adventurous, arresting new play!" - The New York Times

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Rental Materials | Media | Author | Reviews
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play


Fantasy, Experimental

90 minutes

Time Period - Contemporary


No intermission, Play w/ Music, Special Effects

Unit Set/Multiple Settings, Opportunity for Spectacle

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


Intense Adult Themes




College Theatre / Student, Professional Theatre, Large Stage, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

WINNER! 2007 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

God's Ear marks the debut of Jenny Schwartz, "an indelibly clever playwright, possessed of linguistic playfulness and a lively sense of rhythm" (The Village Voice). Through the skillfully disarming use of clichéd language and homilies, the play explores with subtle grace and depth the way the death of a child tears one family apart, while showcasing the talents of a promising young playwright who "in [a] very modern way [is] making a rather old-fashioned case for the power of the written word" (The New York Times).

A husband and wife have trouble coping with the loss of their son, they find themselves speaking in cliches and the husband travels to forget. The wife stays with their daughter and the tooth fairy and tries to figure out how to cope from home.


"A triumph! An adventurous, arresting new play!"  - The New York Times

"An original and inventive theatrical experience...brilliantly written and staged!" - The Associated Press

"Magnificent!" - Time Out New York

"What a remarkable new voice!"  - Newsday

"God's Ear packs a wallop! An intriguing, haunting and moving play."  - Backstage

God's Ear had its world premiere in a New Georges (Susan Bernfield, Artistic Director) production in New York City, 2007.

God's Ear was developed at the Vineyard Theatre (Douglas Aibel, Artistic Director) and produced by the Vineyard Theatre, in association with New Georges, in New York City, 2008.



3m, 4f


Ensemble cast, Reduced casting (Doubling Possible), Features Children, Flexible casting


GI JOE and FLIGHT ATTENDANT are played by the same actor.


N/A (Not a musical)

TED – Mel's husband
LANIE – Mel and Ted's six year old daughter
LENORA – a lady at a lounge
GUY – a guy at a bar
Rental Materials


N/A (Not a musical)


N/A (Not a musical)

All necessary music materials can be found at the back of the acting edition. 
  • God's Ear Trailer - University of Virginia

Jenny Schwartz

Jenny Schwartz

Jenny Schwartz’s plays include God’s Ear, Somewhere Fun, and Cause For Alarm. Somewhere Fun will receive its world premiere at the Vineyard Theatre in the spring of 2013, directed by Anne Kauffman. God's Ear was produced in New York by New Georges and the Vineyard Theatre, also directed by Anne Kauffman. God's Ear has been produced nationally and internationally from Lisbon, Portugal to Boise, ... view full profile

Other Jenny Schwartz titles:

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Ashley Belle 4/24/2013 8:20 PM
Toni Morrison ended her novel “Sula” with the phrase “circles and circles of sorrow”, and it is this phrase that I think of when I read “God’s Ear”.  Jenny Schwartz works as expertly as a surgeon in this play as she explores what happens to language when her main characters, Ted and Mel, are confronted with the loss of their son.  Any good novel follows a plot line and uses full sentences and paragraphs along the path of that plot.  However, the fragmented and cyclical language of “God’s Ear” shows what plays do that novels cannot.  Human dialogue has no straight line, the mind usually works quicker than the mouth can form words, and this is proven in Schwartz’s writing.  The characters of this play stop, repeat, skip over, and silence themselves and others on every page of this play.  I would encourage anyone interested in seeing the power of a play to read this one.  The language is simple, yet dense, proving that art can be found in any conversation.
Jess Honovich [W] 4/19/2013 5:11 PM
A husband and wife, Ted and Mel, struggle to cope with the loss of their son, who recently drowned. Jenny Schwartz proves that some grief is impossible to articulate as the couple navigates through empty conversations, cyclical clichés that spin through each other. When our grief is too large to wrap our arms around and too deep and painful to explain, what do we do, where do we go, and most importantly, what do we say?

Schwartz’s play doubles as a visual playground for the reader; entirely in verse, God’s Ear is both a complex web of emptiness as a result of sheer emotional pain and a list of questions and answers, unsatisfying and unhappy. Mel and Ted’s relationship is on the rocks, but they must keep it together for the sake of their other child, Lanie.  Within their whimsically numb world, we watch them interact with the poetically realized likes of G.I Joe and the Tooth Fairy.

Language is the only means of communication we have between two people, and yet, as Jenny Schwartz proves, it always lets us down. With the use and overuse of tropes and repetition, God’s Ear is a linguistic masterpiece and a testament to the failure of our own words.

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