Social Darwinism

by  Angela Gant

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  5m, 5f

Winner! 2006 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Student Playwriting Award
Winner! 2006 Paula Vogel Award Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
"Gant finds new comedic ways to bare a number of societal sins" - Lubbock Avalanche Journal

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Social Darwinism

by  Angela Gant

License Estimator

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

  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 5f
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    KCACTF: Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival New Play
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

From the author: "To anyone who has ever gotten a beat down for looking like a woman, being a woman, looking like a queer, being a queer, not being manly enough, being too manly, or having the audacity to be any race other than Caucasian, here's the last laugh!"

Social Darwinism is a socio-political absurdist comedy that follows a familial group: an Alpha Male, Alpha Female, Second Banana (Subordinate Male), Subordinate Female, Adolescent Male, Adolescent Female, Outside Male, and Outside Female as they move through several different social classes as viewed by a Field Scientist and his Assistant:

Chimpanzee
Redneck (ends with a wrestling scene)
Very 1950’s Middle Class (ends with a racist game show)
Upper Class (ends with a court scene)
and back to Chimpanzee

The play looks at racism, homosexuality, and the subjugation of women, which changes as the play evolves.


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Accolades

  • Winner! 2006 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Student Playwriting Award
    Winner! 2006 Paula Vogel Award Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Reviews

"Brilliant Social Darwinism inspires many laughs while making points... Gant finds new comedic ways to bare a number of societal sins... makes her statements in consistently entertaining fashion, and... form[s] a real-life evolutionary chart on stage [that] is a stroke of brilliance. There is no shortage of laugh-out-loud moments within playwright Angela Gant's original adult comedy Social Darwinism.” – Lubbock Avalanche Journal (click link for full review)

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Outdoor
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

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

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century, 1950s
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: The set can be sparse or elaborate, but it needs to have minimal elements of the jungle, and lower, middle, and upper classes, which can be added and/or removed.
  • Additional Features: Audience Participation/Interactive, Mime, No intermission, Physical Comedy, Play w/ Music, Stage Combat, Special Effects
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Elaborate / High Volume Costumes, Fantasy Costumes, Period Costumes

Music

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

Casting

5m, 5f
FIELD SCIENTIST – a male scientist studying different classes of pri­mates; a cross between Jane Goodall and Mutual of Omaha
ALPHA MALE (JASON) – the strongest and oldest male; rules by fear, money, or stature; often cheats on his wife with the OUTSIDEFEMALE.
ALPHA FEMALE (ELIZABETH) – the oldest and strongest female
SECOND BANANA (CHARLIE) – the homosexual step­brother of the ALPHA MALE, who is always striving to move up
SUBORDINATE FEMALE (KATE) – the most headstrong and outspoken of the women
ADOLESCENT MALE (ISAAC) – an awkward teenager who has few social skills; often spurned by ALPHA MALE
ADOLESCENT FEMALE (JESSIE) – a cheerleader-­type of adolescent; is not very bright but is her father’s favorite
OUTSIDE MALE (AUSTIN) – the sometime ­lover of SECOND BANANA; an ethnicity other than Caucasian
OUTSIDE FEMALE (MARY) – the other woman; is an ethnicity other than Caucasian
JANE – Female assistant to the FIELD SCIENTIST who does the Field Sci­entist’s grunt work and the tagging of the animals; interacts with the subjects throughout the play, and is always on stage
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Multicultural casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Casting Notes

The FIELD SCIENTIST and JANE can be any ethnicity or age; the OUTSIDE MALE and OUTSIDE FEMALE can be an ethnicity other than the family unit. The rest of the characters are written to be Caucasian, but it might make just as powerful a statement if the core family unit were played by a ethnicity other than Caucasian. Additionally, the ages of the Alpha's could be as young as their 30s or as late as their 60s. The subordinates and adolescents should scale down to be age appropriate.

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Authors

Angela Gant

Angela Gant has received two national playwriting awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, including the Paula Vogel Award for Social Darwinism (published by Samuel French). Ms. Gant also enjoyed attending ...

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Social Darwinism was first presentd by Texas Tech Univeristy's Lab Theatre in Lubbock, Texas, on October 3, 2005. It was directed by Jeffrey Wells.

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