J.B.

by  Archibald MacLeish

Full Length Play, Drama  /  12m, 9f

Winner! 1959 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Winner! 1959 Tony® Award, Best Play

"A fresh and exalting morality that has great stature. It is one of the memorable works of the century as verse, as drama and as spiritual inquiry...We are deep in the unanswered problems of man's relationship to God in an era of cruel injustices. J.…

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    12m, 9f
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Faith-based
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Tony, Pulitzer, From Broadway
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Cutting Approved for Competition
    • UIL Approved
    • Competition or audition material

Additional Info

A fresh and exalting morality that has great stature. It is one of the memorable works of the century as verse, as drama and as spiritual inquiry...We are deep in the unanswered problems of man's relationship to God in an era of cruel injustices. J.B. is Mr. MacLeish's counterpart of the immortal Job. The glory of the play is that, as in the Book of Job, J.B. does not curse God. When he is reunited with his wife, two humbled but valiant people accept the universe, agree to begin life all over again, expecting no justice but unswerving in their devotion to God... In every respect, it is theatre on its highest level.-The New York Times
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Accolades

  • Winner! 1959 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
    Winner! 1959 Tony® Award, Best Play

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Church / Religious Groups

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Greek; Roman & Biblical
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

12m, 9f

MR. ZUSS - a balloon vendor in the circus who assumes the role of God
NICKLES - a popcorn vendor in the circus who assumes the role of Satan
J.B. - based on the biblical character Job, a man confronted by many tests of his faith in God
SARAH - J.B.'s wife, not as confident in God as J.B.
DAVID - son of J.B. and Sarah, 13
JONATHAN - son of J.B. and Sarah, 10 
MARY - daughter of J.B. and Sarah, 12
RUTH - daughter of J.B. and Sarah, 8
REBECCA - daughter of J.B. and Sarah, 6
FIRST MESSENGER
SECOND MESSENGER
GIRL - stylishly dressed
JOLLY - a young girl
BILDAD - a squat, thick man
ZOPHAR - a fat, red-faced man
ELIPHAZ - lean and dark
MRS. ADAMS
MRS. MURPHY
MRS. LESURE
MRS. BOTTICELLI
A DISTANT VOICE - an anonymous voice that prompts the action in the play

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Cast Attributes

  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Flexible casting

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Authors

Archibald MacLeish

Archibald MacLeish

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