Benefit of a Doubt

by  Edward Clinton

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  2m, 4f

"Powerful" - Northern Hills Press
"Sensitive and compelling." - Cincinnati Post

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Benefit of a Doubt

by  Edward Clinton

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 4f
  • Duration


    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Accolades


    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

This thought provoking dramatic comedy by Edward Clinton raises questions about the ills of modern society, ranging from the breakdown of the family unit to the treatment of retarded children and our sometimes harsh attitudes, as a society towards the older members of our own families. Mr. Clinton cleverly uses comedy to demonstrate how easily we are led to dream, even when that dream is out of our reach. The play quietly shows how easily we might trade in our own values for a franchised set of values. It is a contemporary tragedy, bending with twists of comedy arising out of natural situations. Mr. Clinton has drawn his characters with care, etching their personalities with compassion, insight, and most importantly, a sharp but gentle sense of humor.
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"Powerful – Northern Hills Press

"Sensitive and compelling" – Cincinnati Post

"[Clinton's] style of probing into his created people would do credit to Edward Albee or Tennessee Williams. He lets you see inside them a line at a time. And many of the revelations come through anger. The use of anger is psychologically sound since so much of it is actually used against ourselves. Thus we get simultaneous truths… The play is impressive. While exploring a tragic human situation, Clinton is humorous without a Neil Simon Brittleness. And his feeling for the way people explain their own problems is right to the point. We are, he suggests, trapped inside ourselves like a prison, and it takes another person to set us free… His characters and words are sensitive and compelling. His play should be seen.”" - Dale Stevens, Cincinnati Post


Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance



  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: House in Warrenville, West Virginia
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)


2m, 4f
LAURIE CASSIDY - Daughter, was born prematurely. Her brain denied oxygen for a short period of time, which caused brain damage. Her memory is affected, her concentration.
SADIE - Eileen's Mother, in her seventies, quarrelsome, white hair.
JOHN CASSIDY - Husband, a very big guy, quite charming and likable, strong and simple.
KAY - Forty-two years old, tired from constant over-work, not pretty at all, quite plain as a matter of fact, quite sure of herself.
EILEEN CASSIDY - Wife, very pretty (esp. in comparison to Kay), very smart.
DANDELION - Old black man who sweep up at the record shop. Drinks gin, but is not your average drunk. Is very proud with a slight streak of sadness in him. He loves to laugh and to entertain.
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)


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Edward Clinton

Edward Clinton

First played at the National Conference of Playwrights at the Eugene O'Neill Memorial Theatre Center in 1976

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