The Job

by  Shem Bitterman

Full Length Play, Dark Comedy  /  4m, 1f

"Bitterman creates a complex mix of characters while weaving a richly textured moral tapestry." -The Village Voice

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 1f
  • Duration


    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre


  • Accolades


    The Ted Schmitt Award
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Frank, a down on his luck con artist, is trying to go straight and sober. His hooker girlfriend wants to get married. He applies at an "agency" where a contractor places him in the perfect "job." When Frank realizes he has been hired to murder an unemployed engineer who wants the insurance money for his family, he panics and subcontracts the hit to his old partner, a slick operator who is now making it as a fire and brimstone evangelist. There are deals, subdeals, and counterdeals, changes of mind and heart. Was Martin really knocked off? Where is the body? Will the Agency take revenge on Frank for a double cross? What really happened in Kansas City?
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  • WINNER! 1999 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Ted Schmitt Award, Outstanding New Play



"Bitterman creates a complex mix of characters while weaving a richly textured moral tapestry." -The Village Voice, Read More

"Richly humorous." - The Los Angeles Times, Read More

"A deeply brooding and introspective sojourn through one man's attempt to repair his life ravaged psyche." - Variety, Read More

"Harshly graceful and haunting comic drama." -The New York Times, Read More


Performing Groups

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


  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance



  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Various locations in a small American city.
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)


4m, 1f

FRANK - mid 30s to 40s,  a down on his luck job seeker
JOHN - mid 30s to 40s, works at an employment agency
MAGS - mid 30s to 40s, never worked
JIM - mid 30s to 40s, a con artist
MARTIN -mid 30s to 40s, long term unemployed

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Cast Attributes

  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Multicultural casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)



Shem Bitterman

Shem Bitterman is an alumnus of Julliard, where he studied acting, and of the University of Iowa where he earned an MFA in Dramatic Writing in 1985. Recent plays include: A Death in Colombia (Katselas Theatre Company, LA, 2011), Influence (Katselas, 2010; Best Play, Best Production, B ...

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The Job was first presented by Circus Theatricals at The Hudson Guild Theatre in Los Angeles on November 7, 1998. It was directed by the author. The play was subsequently produced by the WPA Theatre in New York City in June 1999, where it was also directed by the author.

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