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Night Sky - Full Length Play, Drama

Night Sky

Susan Yankowitz

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Full Length Play, Drama

3m, 3f

ISBN: 9780573693205

"A moving and poetic experience. Like the sky, it is a play of seemingly infinite depth." - Los Angeles Times

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Author | Now Playing | Reviews
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play


90 minutes

Time Period - Present Day


Cutting Approved for Competition, Monologues, Scene work

Unit Set/Multiple Settings

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


No Special Cautions


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


High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Senior Theatre, Large Stage, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


From Off-Broadway

This extraordinary drama premiered to acclaim in a New York production directed by Joseph Chaikin. Night Sky theatrically explores what Steven Hawking has called the two mysteries remaining to us: the brain and the cosmos. When she is hit by a car, the brilliant and articulate astronomer Anna loses her ability to speak, a condition known as aphasia. What emerges from her mouth is a hodge-podge of unconnected words alternately confusing, funny, original and wise - and sometimes all four. In a series of brief, often comic episodes, the play follows Anna through her illness and ultimate acceptance of herself – a personal triumph, despite a continuing infirmity – and dramatizes the impact of her changed circumstances on her lover, her teen-aged daughter, and her professional life.

Everyone will be touched by the themes this play considers - language, inner and outer space, the challenges of a devastating affliction, the consolations and ordeals of family life and, most of all, the universal hunger and need for communication.

The play has been extremely popular with audiences and has been translated into Spanish, Catalan, French, Hebrew and German.

"Susan Yankowitz's Night Sky is a rare thing: a play with a mind. It is also about the mind as universe, where language is internal astronomy. It shows us that more than hearts can be broken." - Variety

"A moving and poetic experience. Like the sky, it is a play of seemingly infinite depth." - Los Angeles Times

Originally produced in New York City by the Women’s Project And Productions, Inc. Julia Miles, Artistic Director


3m, 3f


Ensemble cast, Expandable casting, Features Teens, Flexible casting, Room for Extras, Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

ANNA – 40s; an astronomer; intelligent and intense; moves from extreme self-confidence to extreme vulnerability in course of play. The role requires vocal and physical stylization plus the ability to convey a wide range of emotions.
DANIEL – 30s; Anna’s live-in lover, younger than she by 5 years; opera singer, baritone (*see note below); warm, outgoing, playful, loving, and sensual.
JENNIFER – 16; Anna’s daughter; bright, sarcastic, self-dramatizing and tender-hearted - a very contemporary teen-ager.
BILL – 45-60; Anna’s astronomer colleague; socially clumsy but imaginative and charismatic in the classroom.
SPEECH THERAPIST (And other Female Roles) – 30’s-50’s; Articulate; patient; empathic; skilled in active listening. Versatility and a flair for creating a variety of convincing characters are essential to the role.
APHASIC PATIENT and other male roles (including young man at dance) - 25-35; the role requires improvisatory skills, vocal calisthenics and ease with on-naturalistic performance styles.

* Because DANIEL is an opera singer, it is ideal to cast an actor with a fine voice so that his career seems credible. However, it is even more important to have an excellent actor in the role so if a choice is necessary, please consider the acting requirements over the vocal ones: tapes can, if necessary, be used as support, enhancement or substitutes. And except for the “Papageno” aria in Scene 9, all other music sung by DANIEL can be selected by the actor and director.
Susan Yankowitz

Susan Yankowitz

Susan Yankowitz is a playwright, novelist, lyricist and librettist. Among her plays are The Revenge, Phaedra in Delirium (winner of the QRL poetic play competition); Under The Skin, Terminal, and 1969 Terminal 1996, both pieces collaborations with Joseph Chaikin's Open Theatre (Drama Desk Playwright’s Award); A Knife in The Heart (O’Neill Conference winner; West Coast Premiere October 2002 at ... view full profile

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