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John Ball's In The Heat of the Night - Full Length Play, Drama

John Ball's In The Heat of the Night

Matt Pelfrey, John Ball

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Full Length Play, Drama

8m, 2f

ISBN: 9780573698927

"A tight and timely thriller!" – Theatermania.com

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Rental Materials | Author(s) | Reviews
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play


Adaptations (Literature), Mystery/Thriller, Period, Docudrama/Historic

90 minutes

Time Period - Contemporary, 1960s

Settings Of Play - Alabama, 1962


Unit Set/Multiple Settings, Bare Stage/Simple Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes


Gun Shots, Strong Language, Mild Adult Themes


Adult, Senior, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Large Stage, Church / Religious Groups

Acclaimed playwright Matt Pelfrey's adaptation of John Ball's In the Heat of the Night based on the award-winning book that inspired the Oscar-winning film and the Emmy-winning television series.

It's 1962. A hot August night lies heavy over the small town of Argo, Alabama. A dead white man is discovered and the local police arrest a black stranger named Virgil Tibbs. The police discover that their prime suspect is in fact a homicide detective from California. As it happens, Tibbs becomes the racially-tense community's single hope in solving a brutal murder that is turning up no witnesses, no motives, and no clues.


"A tight and timely thriller! – TheaterMania, Read More

"It's eminently stageworthy...a tense and exciting story that follows the book's basic plot but offers viewers a distinctly new and different In the Heat of the Night" – CurtainUp, Read More

"The play is taut and startlingly resonant, even as it deals with events taking place nearly 50 years ago. Pelfrey's work is economical and uncompromising...suspenseful, thrilling, and stunningly theatrical." – Nytheatre.com, Read More 

John Ball's In the Heat of the Night was first produced by Godlight Theatre Company at 59E59 Theaters March 19-April 25, 2010. The production was directed by Joe Tantalo, with production design by Maruti Evans, sound design by Elizabeth Rhodes, costume design by Virginia Monte, choreography by Hachi Yu, and fight choreography by Rick Sordelet. The production stage managers were Christina Hurtado, Meredith Brown, and Derek Shore.



8m, 2f


Ensemble cast, Multicultural casting, Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)


N/A (Not a musical)

ACTOR #1 - Chief Gillespie
ACTOR #2 - Virgil Tibbs
ACTOR #3 - Sam Wood
ACTOR #4 - Pete/Man In Shadows/Klansman 1
ACTOR #5 - Harvey Oberst/Purdy/Klansman
ACTOR #6 - Charles Tatum/Endicott/Al Jennings
ACTOR #7 - Coroner/Mayor Schubert/Klans
Rental Materials


N/A (Not a musical)


N/A (Not a musical)

Matt Pelfrey

Matt Pelfrey

Matt Pelfrey is the resident playwright at Furious Theatre. His plays include An Impending Rupture of the Belly, Cockroach Nation, Terminus Americana, Honkies with Attitude, Gore Hounds, Drive Angry, FrEAk StORm, Jerry Springer is God, John Ball's In the Heat of the Night, and Monkey and A Feast of Famine. They have been produced in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and South Africa by such companies ... view full profile

John Ball

John Ball

The son of scientist, John Ball was born in Schenectady, New York, grew up in Milwaukee, and attended Caroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He subsequently worked as a science staff writer for Fortune, a feature writer for the Brooklyn Eagle, a daily columnist on the New York World-Telegram & Sun, and a broadcaster for a Washington, D.C., radio station. His IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1965) – in ... view full profile

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Wesley Rester 2/20/2014 8:30 PM

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