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in a word - Full Length Play, Drama

in a word

Lauren Yee

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Full Length Play, Drama

2m, 1f

ISBN: 9780573799969

Grief and comedy collide in this lyrical, absurdist journey on how to get over, get around and get through what haunts you.

More Information Below:

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

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play


75 Minutes


No intermission




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


KCACTF: Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival New Play

WINNER! 2011KCACTF Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award
WINNER! 2011 KCACTF Paul Stephen Lim Asian-American Playwriting Award
WINNER! 2011NETC John Gassner Playwriting Competition
FINALIST! 2013 Sundance Theatre Lab
NOMINEE! 2015 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize
WINNER! 2015 Will Glickman Playwright Award
Today is the two-year anniversary of Fiona’s son’s disappearance, and still, nothing makes sense to her. Not her blasé husband, the incompetent detective, or the neighborhood kidnapper who keeps introducing himself in the checkout line. As Fiona delves back into her memories of that fateful day, to uncover that crucial missing piece, grief and comedy collide, and ordinary turns of phrase take on dangerous new meanings


“Engrossing… The pieces and performances grow together with an empathetic force and writerly dexterity that explain why [Lauren Yee] is in increasing demand all over the country.” - San Francisco Chronicle, Read More 

"In a Word is - in a word - riveting. It’s also powerful, moving, funny..." - SF Examiner, Read More 

"Sensational...While the subject matter explored in this play is weighty and disturbing, this production is a remarkably engaging and brilliantly orchestrated series of images." - The News-Hearld, Read More 

"[An] enthralling new play… I was held spellbound for 80 minutes..." - Talkin' Broadway, Read More  

“This is a complex and arresting journey through the words that we employ to clumsily deal with events that are clearly unspeakable.” - Cleveland Scene, Read More

Check out these photos from San Francisco Playhouse's production of In a Word in April 2015.

In a Word first premiered at the San Francisco Playhouse in San Francisco, CA in April 2015 under the direction of Giovanna Sardelli. This production was an NNPN Rolling World Premiere that continued on to productions at Cleveland Public Theatre, Mo'Oleo Performing Arts Company, and Strawdog Theatre Company. For more information please visit nnpn.org.



2m, 1f

FIONA - female, 30s-40s
GUY - male, 30s-40s, Fiona’s husband
MAN - male, multiple people:*
KIDNAPPER* - a guy you’d otherwise hang out with
DETECTIVE* - missing persons detective
TRISTAN* - seven years old, smart, different, maybe has Asperger’s
PRINCIPAL* - Ted, Fiona’s boss
ANDY* - Guy’s friend, a real nice f***er
OFFICER* - police officer on the day of the kidnapping

Lauren Yee

Lauren Yee

Lauren was born and raised in San Francisco and currently lives in New York City. Her plays include CHING CHONG CHINAMAN (Pan Asian, Mu Performing Arts, SIS Productions, Impact Theatre), CREVICE (Impact), THE HATMAKER’S WIFE (The Playwrights Realm, The Hub, Moxie Theatre, AlterTheater, PlayPenn), HOOKMAN (Encore Theatre, Company One), IN A WORD (SF Playhouse, Cleveland Public, upcoming at Strawdog ... view full profile

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