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Song Of Extinction - Full Length Play, Drama

Song Of Extinction

EM Lewis

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Full Length Play, Drama

5m, 1f

ISBN: 9780573697388

Max, a musically gifted high school student, is falling off the edge of the world — and his biology teacher is the only one who's noticed. A play about the science of life and loss, the relationships between fathers and sons, Cambodian fields, Bolivian rainforests and redemption.

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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

Settings Of Play - Multiple locations in Portland, Oregon; office, hospital room, classroom, kitchen, golf course, bus stop, noodle shop, Bolivia.


No intermission, Play w/ Music

Unit Set/Multiple Settings

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes




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


High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre


The Ted Schmitt Award

WINNER! 2008 Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an Outstanding New Play – Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle
WINNER! 2009 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award — American Theater Critics Association

Max Forrestal is going to fail Biology if he doesn't complete a 20-page paper on extinction by 2pm on Tuesday — but his mother, Lily, is dying of cancer, and school is the last thing on his mind. His father, Ellery, a biologist obsessed with saving a rare Bolivian insect, is incapable of dealing with his wife's impending death, or his son's distress. Max's biology teacher, Khim Phan, tries to figure out why Max is failing the class. Helping Max, however, pushes Khim into a magical journey of his own — from the Cambodian fields of his youth into the undiscovered country beyond.


"Critic's Choice…artfully balances its theme of mortality between the intimate and the macroscopic…explores inner psychological states with remarkable eloquence and clarity…" - The Los Angeles Times, Read More

"The interplay of the three [views on extinction] in Lewis' smart and honest script is one small push away from collective transcendence" - Los Angeles Weekly, Read More

Song of Extinction was first produced by Moving Arts Theater Company at [Inside] the Ford in Los Angeles, CA in November 2008 under the direction of Heidi Helen Davis.



5m, 1f


Role(s) for Asian Actor(s)

KHIM PHAN (55) - Max’s biology teacher. Cambodian. He’s been in the US since 1979.
MAX FORRESTAL (15) - Son of Ellery and Lily. Sophomore in high school. Plays the viola and piano, and has some talent as a composer. Wears glasses and appears uncomfortable in his clothes.
ELLERY FORRESTAL (47) - A biologist. Wears glasses and appears uncomfortable in his clothes.
LILY FORRESTAL (45) - Ellery’s wife. Writes high school science textbooks. Has stomach cancer.
DR. JOSHUA DORSEY (28) - A doctor, just out of residency.
GILL MORRIS - CEO of a large corporation which owns (and plans to deforest) an area of the Bolivian jungle where Ellery Forrestal has worked for the last twelve years.

EM Lewis

EM Lewis

EM Lewis is a playwright, librettist, and teacher of playwriting.  She was a finalist for the 2014 Shakespeare's Sister Fellowship, and received a 2012 Fellowship in Playwriting from the New Jersey State Council for the Arts, and the 2010‐2011 Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University.  She received the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and the Ted Schmitt Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics ... view full profile

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