Black Jack: The Thief of Possession

by  Rosary Hartel O'Neill

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  2m, 4f, 12m or f

Nominee! Pulitzer Prize for new American Drama
Winner! NYC Alice's Fourth Floor Prize for new plays

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Black Jack: The Thief of Possession

by  Rosary Hartel O'Neill

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 4f, 12m or f
  • Duration


    90 minutes
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior

Additional Info

Black Jack the Thief of Possession exposes the greedy machinations of an eccentric Southern family squeezed into the close quarters of a Mississippi paddlewheel cruise ship for the New Year's holiday. Matriarch Irene Dubonnet is determined to unravel the mystery of why her gorgeous daughter thinks she is a 19th century poet. Kaitlyn is channeling the poet Baudelaire, and hiding a secret. Family members don costumes for New Year's Eve, casting off their old identities and trying to figure a new way to face Kaitlin's disturbing news with a buoyant attitude. Blackjack is a sequel to O'Neill's card plays Wishing Aces, and Solitaire. The selective setting of deck of a paddleboat provides atmospheric staging possibilities for sounds and flashing lights.
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  • Nominee! Pulitzer Prize for new American Drama
    Winner! NYC Alice's Fourth Floor Prize for new plays


"The dialogue has a poetic quality and intensity of meaning that even surpasses its three predecessors. O'Neill finds a bombshell combination of '90s sexual dialogue, psychology, and occult metaphysics to move her plot line along." - Spotlight




Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre


  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance



  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: The deck and lounge of the Dixie Queen paddleboat, departing from New Orleans, Louisiana, up the Mississippi River to Natchez, Mississippi.
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Fantasy Costumes


  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus


2m, 4f, 12m or f
IRENE SONIAT DUBONNET (MIMI) - 60's; a ravishing matriarch. Her family has roots in the nineteenth century, and she still presides over a vast Garden District house in New Orleans.
LUISA GARCIA - Early 20s; an Hispanic medical student, too pretty for her office as Irene’s companion; sleek and firm; she is poured into a shirt, jeans, and a nurse’s jacket.
BUNKY DUBONNET LEGERE - 20s; a rock star and Irene’s grandson; he has mood eyes that change colors and wild hair.
JAMES BEAUREGARD ELLIS(BEAU) - 40s; Bunky’s stepfather; athletic and tanned; he dresses in Ivy League, navy and black blazers with shirts and sweaters of gray, blue, and wine.
KAITLIN ELLIS - 40s; Bunky’s mother; a delicate beauty with the clearest eyes and a porcelain complexion just beginning to crack from the strain of illness.
RORY DEBANGO - 40s-50s; single; there is something striking about her, an exotic strain of wild, unpredictable whimsy.
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Cast Attributes

  • Expandable casting
  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Casting Notes

Up to 12 m/f extras may be added.




Rosary Hartel O'Neill

Rosary Hartel O’Neill is the author of 25 plays, 18 published by Samuel French, Inc., and three books of nonfiction. The fourth edition of her text The Actor’s Checklist, is used in schools nationwide. Her book The Director As Artist will be published in a second edition in 2018. Her book New Orleans Carnival Krewes: ...

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