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Single Black Female - Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

Single Black Female

Lisa B. Thompson

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Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy


ISBN: 9780573699580

"A socially significant and very entertaining two-woman show that manages to be simultaneously self-deprecating and proud." – The New York Times

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: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play

Dramatic Comedy


105 Minutes

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

Settings Of Play -

The present.  A comfortable, yet stylish brownstone in Harlem, New York.  The main room is furnished with chairs, a sofa, a television, stereo and a coffee table.  The stage also has a walk-in closet or a dresser that store various props (books, clothing, hats, shoes, etc.) to help them create each vignette and character.  Musical selections by female musicians and singers should be used to aid segues between scenes.  There is the option of including video, voice-over audio and slides to add to the post-modern, fast-paced, surreal environment. 

Additionally, the theater lobby ought to contain various SBF artifacts: a bookshelf with several books by African American novelists and theorists as well as a stack of popular women’s magazines and piles of CDs, a dresser with framed vintage family photographs; a chair with an old quilt and perhaps a bulletin board with take-out menus and credit card bills attached.  There should also be paintings and sculptures by black women artists. 


Physical Comedy, Multimedia

Interior Set, Unit Set/Multiple Settings, Bare Stage/Simple Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


Alcohol, Intense Adult Themes, Strong Language, Mild Adult Themes


Adult, Senior, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


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


From Off-Broadway

Nominee! 2004 LA Weekly Theater Award, Best Comedy
Single Black Female is a two-woman show with rapid-fire comic vignettes that explore the lives of thirty-something African American middle-class women in urban America as they search for love, clothes, and dignity in a world that fails to recognize them amongst a parade of stereotypical images. SBF 1, an English literature professor, and SBF 2, a corporate lawyer, keep each other balanced as they face their fears of rejection, hopes for romance, and reminisce about black girlhood wounds. While embodying a variety of characters, the girlfriends discuss the absurdities of interracial dating, the lure of recreational shopping, and the merits of college reunions for bolstering one’s self-esteem. After reviewing their escapades in past relationships and confessing their own mounting anxieties about commitment and the possibility of motherhood, the pair realize their best chance at love may be found closer than they ever imagined.

"A socially significant and very entertaining two-woman show that manages to be simultaneously self-deprecating and proud." – The New York Times

 "Fresh [...] hugely entertaining theater!" – Variety 

"Perfectly suited for the post-Sex and the City woman." – BackStage

"Thompson stands her stereotypes on their heads, to apt and funny effect. These right-on feminist sisters want equal rights and equal pay, but they also yearn for steamy romance and Jimmy Choo shoes, not necessarily in that order." – The Los Angeles Times

"A bracing, funny, bittersweet [...] show that is both bigger than life and wondrously small, with plenty of notes in between." – LA Weekly

"Very entertaining [...] is a testament to Thompson's sharp wit." – San Francisco Examiner

Single Black Female was first developed in workshop at the Brava Theater in San Francisco, California and Arturo Catricaladirected its first stage reading at Brava Theater’s Festival of New Plays on January 28, 1998.

Single Black Female received its world premiere at Theatre Rhinoceros (Artistic Director, Adele Prandini) in San Francisco, California on March 11, 1999.  Scenic design was by Maritza Perez, lighting design by Jason Fuges, costume design by Flynn DeMarco, sound design by Byron Mason and dramaturgy by Kim Euell.  Colman Domingo directed Tia Hunnicutt (SBF 1) and Comika Griffin (SBF 2).




Role(s) for Black Actor(s), All Female, Multicultural casting, Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)


No Chorus

SBF 1 -  African American woman. Mid-thirties. A mildly androgynous literature professor with natural hair, a bookish, style and clothing accented with “afrocentric” accessories.  She wears  eccentric eyeglasses. 

SBF 2 - African American woman. Mid-thirties.   An attorney who sports a flowing perm or hair weave and wears sexy business suits.  SBF 1’s best friend, confidante and alter ego. 



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Lisa B. Thompson

Lisa B. Thompson

Lisa B. Thompson is a playwright and Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and affiliate faculty in the departments of English, and Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin. Her plays include "Monroe;" "Dreadtime Stories: One Sista’s Hair;" "Mother’s Day;" "I Don’t Want to Be (Mamie Till);" "The Mamalogues;" "Watch;" "Underground;" and "Single Black Female" ... view full profile

Now Playing
tyra yarber 12/20/2016 6:42 AM

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