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Clarence Darrow's Last Trial - Full Length Play, Drama

Clarence Darrow's Last Trial

Shirley Lauro

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Full Length Play, Drama

5m, 3f

ISBN: 9780573697067

"Shirley Lauro captures...the infamous Massie Case... a compelling writer. - American Theater Magazine

"The verdict on [Shirley Lauro's] latest play is that it can only add to her prizewinning ways." -The Entertainment News and View…

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: Acting Edition

Minimum Fee: $100 per performance


Full Length Play



Winner: 2005 NEA "Access to Excellence Award", in collaboration with New Theatre, Florida
Finalist: 2001 New American History Play Prize
Nominee: Carbonell 2006 Award, "Best New Play of the year in Florida"

The story takes place in 1932, the last time Clarence Darrow pleads in a criminal court of law. Set in various places in Chicago and Hawaii, Darrow with his wife, Ruby, travels to Honolulu to defend a Pearl Harbor Naval Lieutenant accused of shooting a Hawaiian who allegedly led a gang rape on the Lieutenant's wife.

"Shirley Lauro captures...the infamous Massie Case... a compelling writer." - American Theater Magazine

"The verdict on [Shirley Lauro's] latest play is that it can only add to her prizewinning ways." - The Entertainment News and Views

"Interesting...with genuine emotion." - Miami Sun Sentinel

World Premiere Production: New Theatre, Main Stage, Coral Gables, FLA., 2006





5m, 3f


Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)

CLARENCE DARROW – 70s. Tall, craggy, American looks. Wears red galluses, string tie, white shirt, crumpled gray linen suit, hat of the era. Rambunctious, strong, brilliant, egocentric, stubborn, but in his seniority, aging, at an extremely vulnerable time in his life and career.

RUBY DARROW – Middle-aged. Younger than Darrow. This is a second marriage for Darrow. Ruby was his secretary. They are deeply in love. She is totally devoted to him and his work. They are partners in work; she is intuitive about him and his strengths and she trusts her opinion. More now that he's older. She believes in the causes he fights as much as he does. All he does: his triumphs, his defeats are hers too. In this way they are truly "one." She has an inner and outer beauty, is very bright, steady and intuitive. Simple print dress of the period, small heels, hat, chenille robe at start.

LIEUTENANT JOHN RAMSEY – Late 20s. Handsome. "All American" in looks and manner. A Naval officer, first Lieutenant, who bears himself as such. Sense of authority, in control of himself and others. Perhaps too much? Speaks with Southern accent.

DR. DAVID STEIN – Middle aged. Dark, Jewish. Wears vest, doctors white coat, glasses/pince-nez),smokes pipe. Man of intelligence, an avant-garde doctor in the new field of psychiatry, coming into vogue at time of play. Has known Darrow since he was still in Residency and testified and helped him with the Leopold Loeb case, "Insanity as mitigating circumstance in the defense."

REPORTER TOM LOU – 30s. Asian/white/mixed blood. An ambitious, bright, assertive man with depth, perception, humor. Wears mix of Hawaiian/American/Asian clothes. A straw hat of some sort.

MRS. MONTEGU – 40-ish. Lieutenant Ramsey's mother-in-law; Theodie Ramsey's mother. Very aristocratic. WASP, Southern accent. A Southern matriarch from an old Southern plantation family in Atlanta that's kept its wealth. A heritage she's proud of. Charming, grand in manner, a great hostess, especially at Oyster Bay, L.I., their summer residence. Attractive. Seductive with men in her Southern way. Underneath is steel. Silk dress of the period, pearls, small heels.

THEODORA (THEODIE) RAMSEY – Very early 20s. Lieutenant Ramsey's wife, and Mrs. Montegu's daughter. Aristocratic, elegant WASP: blonde, attractive. Southern accent. A little of the "20's flapper" and "Southern flirt." A bubbly, "little girl" aura. People view her as slightly eccentric with dramatic flair but something about her hints that she's been badly wounded, long ago. Wears long chartreuse chiffon scarf around neck that trails down.

NANILOA WHITEFIELD CHAN – 30s. The prosecuting attorney. Mixed blood: white, Chinese, and from a Royal Hawaiian Ali'i family. Bears herself as such. Extremely intelligent, strong, regal. A free-thinker. Beautiful and passionate. Wears dark crepe dress of the period, and a Hawaiian lei.
Shirley Lauro

Shirley Lauro

Shirley Lauro’s The Radiant enjoyed its World Premiere in March, 2011, at New Theatre, Miami, starring Angelica Torn as Marie Curie. The play will mark its New York off-Broadway premiere in winter, 2013. All Through the Night enjoyed its World Premiere in Chicago, receiving a Jeff Nomination, as “Best New Play of the Year," with subsequent productions at Red Fern Theater (off-Broadway), The Living ... view full profile

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