Sticks and Bones

by  David Rabe

Full Length Play, Drama  /  5m, 2f

"There’s a more unsettling, eternally fresh dynamic at work here, centered on the fragile shared mythology — of reciprocal and enduring love — that holds most families together." - The New York Times

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Sticks and Bones

by  David Rabe

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 2f
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Tony, From Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

A savagely comic portrait of an archetypal, middle class family, Ozzie, Harriet, David and Rick, falling apart. When David comes back from the war blinded, he is pursued by furies that haunt him. Wanting to return their son to normal, Ozzie offers camaraderie, while Harriet cooks and bakes the foods he once loved, and shares her faith in her beloved religion. But David grows even more vengeful. Ozzie feels the foundation of his world crumbling. In a darkly hilarious scene, a Catholic priest called in to give his blessing is, ingeniously, rebuffed by David. Finally, Ozzie and Harriet break under the pressure, for it seems David is about to turn their home into his nightmare. It's up to guitar-playing, fudge-eating Rick to save the day and allow the family to return to their cherished status quo with a tidy, ritualistic atrocity all their own.
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Accolades

  • WINNER - 1972 Tony Award, Best Play
    NOMINEE - 2015 Drama Desk Award
    NOMINEE - 2015 Two Lucille Lortel Awards including Best Revival of a Play

Reviews

REVIEWS

"STRIKINGLY ORIGINAL ANTI WAR PLAY . . . POWERFUL." - New York Daily News

"A funny, cruel, mordant, unsparing attack on American society." - WCBS TV

"There’s a more unsettling, eternally fresh dynamic at work here, centered on the fragile shared mythology — of reciprocal and enduring love — that holds most families together." The New York Times, Read More

"This fierce and unsettling work, which won the 1972 Tony Award for best play . . .  Captures the capital-R reality of war about as well as any writer ever has." - Boston Globe, Read More

"Forty years after its first production, Sticks and Bones becomes relevant again as a new generation copes with a postwar landscape." - Cape Cod Times, Read More

"It's a blistering black comedy/drama about a Vietnam veteran being returned by the Army to his nuclear family damaged . . . Just when you think it's gone too far, it goes a little further, leaving the audience breathless by the end." - Barnstable Patriot, Read More

Videos

  • The new Group's Sticks and Bones Trailer
  • TheatreMania interviews the cast of Sticks and Bones
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Considerations

Performing Groups

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

Cautions

  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1970s
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The family home
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

5m, 2f

OZZIE
HARRIET
RICK
DAVID
ZUNG
FATHER DONALD
THE SGT. MAJOR

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Authors

David Rabe

David Rabe

Sticks and Bones premiered on November 7th, 1971 at the Public Theater in New York City under the direction of Jeff Bleckner. In October 2014, The New Group revived Sticks and Bones under the direction of Scott Elliott.

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