Ohio State Murders

by  Adrienne Kennedy

Full Length Play, Drama  /  2m, 4f

Ohio State Murders portrays Suzanne Alexander, a fictional African American writer whose life both is, and is not, like her author's.

Read more +

Ohio State Murders

by  Adrienne Kennedy

License Estimator

Use this tool for cost estimates based on your specific needs.

  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 4f
  • Duration


    75 Minutes
  • SubGenre


  • Accolades


    Obie, From Off-Broadway
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Monologues
    • Scene work
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior

Additional Info

Ohio State Murders portrays Suzanne Alexander, a fictional African American writer whose life both is, and is not, like her author's. When Suzanne enters Ohio State University in 1949, little does she know what the supposed safe haven of academia holds in store. Years later, Suzanne is invited to return to the University to talk about the violence in her writing. A dark mystery unravels. The play is an intriguing, unusual and chilling look at the destructiveness of racism in the U.S.
Read more +



"Much of the pleasure of the play derives from Ms. Kennedy’s elliptical narrative form, which generates a good share of old-fashioned, nail-biting suspense." - The New York Times 

"Part murder mystery, part memoir, this one-act drama leads us delicately but intrepidly into an American heart of darkness." - CurtainUp


8 Plays To Celebrate International Women’s Day!
by Amy Rose Marsh
March 8, 2013


Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


  • Caution Intense Adult Intense Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance



  • Time Period: Present Day, 1950s
  • Duration: 75 Minutes
  • Setting: The present. Night.
  • Additional Features: No intermission
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes


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


2m, 4f
SUZANNE ALEXANDER (1949-1952) – The young writer as a student attending Ohio State from 1949 to 1950
SUZANNE ALEXANDER (Present) – A well-known black writer visiting Ohio State to give a talk on the imagery in her work
DAVID ALEXANDER – A law student she will marry
ROBERT HAMPSHIRE – An English professor at Ohio State
MRS. TYLER – Suzanne’s landlady
VAL – A friend
IRIS ANN – Suzanne’s roommate
MISS DAWSON – Head of the dorm
See all +

Cast Attributes

  • Multicultural casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)



Adrienne Kennedy

Adrienne Kennedy continues to influence the world through her art. She was the recipient of the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, an Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lila Wallace—Reader's Digest Writers' Award and the American Academy of Arts and Letters in Literature Aw ...

View full profile
Ohio State Murders was commissioned by the Great Lakes Theater Festival through a grant from the New Works Program of the Ohio Arts Council. The play received its world premiere at the Great Lakes Theater Festival on March 7, 1992. It was directed by Gerald Freedman. The play was subsequently presented Off Broadway by Theatre for a New Audience at The Duke on 42nd Street in New York City on October 27, 2007. It was directed by Evan Yionoulis.

Now Playing

Community Experiences