City of Dreadful Night

by  Don Nigro

Full Length Play, Drama  /  3m, 1f

NOTICE: Please be advised, this title is being made available now in manuscript form prior to its publication.

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City of Dreadful Night

by  Don Nigro

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 1f
  • Duration


    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre


  • Accolades


    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Steeped in the rich, strange atmosphere of black and white film noir New York movies from 1946-49 combined with the city paintings of Edward Hopper, this laconic full length is the sort of movie you might have cast John Garfield, Anthony Quinn, Ida Lupino and Elisha Cook Junior in if you'd been making the second movie of the double feature in 1947. Mysterious and funny, this play is not a parody of those movies but rather a deep immersion in the feel of them, as crystallized by Hopper's late night in the city paintings. Gus is a small time hood who's obsessed by the feeling that his girlfriend Anna is keeping secrets from him. He asks his younger brother Tony, a veteran who's had a serious head injury in the war, to follow her and find out what it is. Tony follows Anna, is confronted by her, becomes himself fascinated by her, and step by step the three of them slip into a dangerous nightmare triangle. Anna's secret is perhaps not that she's cheating on Gus, but something much more disturbing, involving her search for a sister that Gus or Tony may have murdered at Coney Island before the war. Step by step Tony is led deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of Anna's stories until he's not sure who he can trust, including himself, because his war injury has seriously affected his memory. But the solution to the puzzle seems to keep drawing them back to Philly's diner, and the mysterious night clerk there. This play is suspenseful, mysterious, very funny, rich in atmosphere, and has great roles for actors.
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  • Nominee! 2013 Jeff Awards, Best Production of a Play


Nominee! 2013 Jeff Award, Best Production of a Play


Betrayal, Love, Memory


Performing Groups

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


  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $90 per performance



  • Time Period: 1940s / WWII
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


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


3m, 1f
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast




Don Nigro

Don Nigro is among the most frequently published and widely produced playwrights in the world and has continued to build a deeply interrelated and diverse body of dramatic literature, employing a wide variety of dramatic conventions and styles of presentation. He has written monologues and epics, spare realistic dramas ...

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