Single Black Female

by  Lisa B. Thompson

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  2f

"A socially significant and very entertaining two-woman show that manages to be simultaneously self-deprecating and proud." – The New York Times


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Single Black Female

by  Lisa B. Thompson

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2f
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Experimental
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior

Additional Info

Single Black Female is a two-woman show with rapid-fire comic vignettes that explore the lives of thirty-something African American middle-class women in urban America as they search for love, clothes, and dignity in a world that fails to recognize them amongst a parade of stereotypical images. SBF 1, an English literature professor, and SBF 2, a corporate lawyer, keep each other balanced as they face their fears of rejection, hopes for romance, and reminisce about black girlhood wounds. While embodying a variety of characters, the girlfriends discuss the absurdities of interracial dating, the lure of recreational shopping, and the merits of college reunions for bolstering one’s self-esteem. After reviewing their escapades in past relationships and confessing their own mounting anxieties about commitment and the possibility of motherhood, the pair realize their best chance at love may be found closer than they ever imagined.

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Accolades

  • Nominee! 2004 LA Weekly Theater Award, Best Comedy

Reviews

"A socially significant and very entertaining two-woman show that manages to be simultaneously self-deprecating and proud." – The New York Times

 "Fresh [...] hugely entertaining theater!" – Variety 

"Perfectly suited for the post-Sex and the City woman." – BackStage

"Thompson stands her stereotypes on their heads, to apt and funny effect. These right-on feminist sisters want equal rights and equal pay, but they also yearn for steamy romance and Jimmy Choo shoes, not necessarily in that order." – The Los Angeles Times

"A bracing, funny, bittersweet [...] show that is both bigger than life and wondrously small, with plenty of notes in between." – LA Weekly

"Very entertaining [...] is a testament to Thompson's sharp wit." – San Francisco Examiner

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
  • Tours

Cautions

  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Caution Intense Adult Intense Adult Themes
  • 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
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting:

    The present.  A comfortable, yet stylish brownstone in Harlem, New York.  The main room is furnished with chairs, a sofa, a television, stereo and a coffee table.  The stage also has a walk-in closet or a dresser that store various props (books, clothing, hats, shoes, etc.) to help them create each vignette and character.  Musical selections by female musicians and singers should be used to aid segues between scenes.  There is the option of including video, voice-over audio and slides to add to the post-modern, fast-paced, surreal environment. 

    Additionally, the theater lobby ought to contain various SBF artifacts: a bookshelf with several books by African American novelists and theorists as well as a stack of popular women’s magazines and piles of CDs, a dresser with framed vintage family photographs; a chair with an old quilt and perhaps a bulletin board with take-out menus and credit card bills attached.  There should also be paintings and sculptures by black women artists. 

  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy, Multimedia
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: Pop/Rock
  • Vocal Demands: Easy
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus

Casting

2f

SBF 1 -  African American woman. Mid-thirties. A mildly androgynous literature professor with natural hair, a bookish, style and clothing accented with “afrocentric” accessories.  She wears  eccentric eyeglasses. 

SBF 2 - African American woman. Mid-thirties.   An attorney who sports a flowing perm or hair weave and wears sexy business suits.  SBF 1’s best friend, confidante and alter ego. 

 

 

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Cast Attributes

  • Role(s) for Black Actor(s)
  • All Female
  • Multicultural casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

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Authors

Lisa B. Thompson

Lisa B. Thompson is a playwright and Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and affiliate faculty in the departments of English, and Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin. Her plays include "Monroe;" "Dreadtime Stories: One Sista’s Hair;" "Mother’s Day;" "I Don’t Want to Be (Mamie ...

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1999, Theatre Rhinoceros

 

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