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Social Darwinism - Full Length Play, Comedy

Social Darwinism

Angela Gant

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Full Length Play, Comedy

5m, 5f

ISBN: 9780573700637

Winner! 2006 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Student Playwriting Award
Winner! 2006 Paula Vogel Award Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
"Gant finds new comedic ways to bare a number of societal sins" - Lubbock Avalanche Journal

More Information Below:

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

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play


90 minutes

Time Period - Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century, 1950s

Settings Of Play - The set can be sparse or elaborate, but it needs to have minimal elements of the jungle, and lower, middle, and upper classes, which can be added and/or removed.


Audience Participation/Interactive, Mime, No intermission, Physical Comedy, Play w/ Music, Stage Combat, Special Effects

Unit Set/Multiple Settings, Bare Stage/Simple Set, Opportunity for Spectacle

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Elaborate / High Volume Costumes, Fantasy Costumes, Period Costumes


Alcohol, Strong Language, Mild Adult Themes




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


KCACTF: Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival New Play

Winner! 2006 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Student Playwriting Award
Winner! 2006 Paula Vogel Award Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

From the author: "To anyone who has ever gotten a beat down for looking like a woman, being a woman, looking like a queer, being a queer, not being manly enough, being too manly, or having the audacity to be any race other than Caucasian, here's the last laugh!"

Social Darwinism is a socio-political absurdist comedy that follows a familial group: an Alpha Male, Alpha Female, Second Banana (Subordinate Male), Subordinate Female, Adolescent Male, Adolescent Female, Outside Male, and Outside Female as they move through several different social classes as viewed by a Field Scientist and his Assistant:

Redneck (ends with a wrestling scene)
Very 1950’s Middle Class (ends with a racist game show)
Upper Class (ends with a court scene)
and back to Chimpanzee

The play looks at racism, homosexuality, and the subjugation of women, which changes as the play evolves.

"Brilliant Social Darwinism inspires many laughs while making points... Gant finds new comedic ways to bare a number of societal sins... makes her statements in consistently entertaining fashion, and... form[s] a real-life evolutionary chart on stage [that] is a stroke of brilliance. There is no shortage of laugh-out-loud moments within playwright Angela Gant's original adult comedy Social Darwinism.” – Lubbock Avalanche Journal (click link for full review)
Social Darwinism was first presentd by Texas Tech Univeristy's Lab Theatre in Lubbock, Texas, on October 3, 2005. It was directed by Jeffrey Wells.


5m, 5f


Ensemble cast, Multicultural casting, Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle), Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle), Parts for Senior Actors


The FIELD SCIENTIST and JANE can be any ethnicity or age; the OUTSIDE MALE and OUTSIDE FEMALE can be an ethnicity other than the family unit. The rest of the characters are written to be Caucasian, but it might make just as powerful a statement if the core family unit were played by a ethnicity other than Caucasian. Additionally, the ages of the Alpha's could be as young as their 30s or as late as their 60s. The subordinates and adolescents should scale down to be age appropriate.


No Chorus

FIELD SCIENTIST – a male scientist studying different classes of pri­mates; a cross between Jane Goodall and Mutual of Omaha
ALPHA MALE (JASON) – the strongest and oldest male; rules by fear, money, or stature; often cheats on his wife with the OUTSIDEFEMALE.
ALPHA FEMALE (ELIZABETH) – the oldest and strongest female
SECOND BANANA (CHARLIE) – the homosexual step­brother of the ALPHA MALE, who is always striving to move up
SUBORDINATE FEMALE (KATE) – the most headstrong and outspoken of the women
ADOLESCENT MALE (ISAAC) – an awkward teenager who has few social skills; often spurned by ALPHA MALE
ADOLESCENT FEMALE (JESSIE) – a cheerleader-­type of adolescent; is not very bright but is her father’s favorite
OUTSIDE MALE (AUSTIN) – the sometime ­lover of SECOND BANANA; an ethnicity other than Caucasian
OUTSIDE FEMALE (MARY) – the other woman; is an ethnicity other than Caucasian
JANE – Female assistant to the FIELD SCIENTIST who does the Field Sci­entist’s grunt work and the tagging of the animals; interacts with the subjects throughout the play, and is always on stage
Rental Materials


N/A (Not a musical)


N/A (Not a musical)

Angela Gant

Angela Gant

Angela Gant has received two national playwriting awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, including the Paula Vogel Award for Social Darwinism (published by Samuel French). Ms. Gant also enjoyed attending the Sundance Theatre Laboratory as the Kennedy Center Grantee. Her current projects include So this Guy Walks Into a Bar (screenwriter, short film, post-production 2012), ... view full profile

Now Playing
Tara Kennedy 5/7/2013 12:10 PM
This play depicts a way of observing the human race to help the public realize how primal and animalistic human are, even after humanity has continued to progress and evolve to being a more fair and group of creatures. The play successfully allows the viewers an objective set of eyes through the narration by the Field Scientist who can comment on the various situations without bias, with strictly scientific observations.

The most interesting scene for me was a quick shot at the start of the play when the actors were all playing the chimpanzees and the Field Scientist was making observations about males wanting to mate with females. I felt that the comments made about how animalistic the idea of rape is, and how those who partake in the act are truly inhuman are opinions that should be expressed more in society, as we are still dealing with the problem of rape culture.

Gant's observations about the roles of men and women over time are about startling and truthful, and really force the audience to consider where they fall in today's social classes and how their actions and thoughts are viewed by their peers.

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