Perfect Mendacity

by  Jason Wells

Full Length Play, Dark Comedy  /  4m, 1f

Perfect Mendacity examines the nature of self-deception as a business executive seeks to avoid being implicated in the leak of a sensitive memo during a lie detector investigation.

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Perfect Mendacity

by  Jason Wells

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 1f
  • Duration


    90 minutes
  • SubGenre


  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Walter Kreutzer, a microbiologist for a defense contractor, is being investigated by his employers over an incriminating memo that was leaked to the media. Walter thinks his Moroccan wife may have done the whistleblowing, and to protect her - and himself - Walter needs to learn how to defeat a  lie detector, and fast. D'avore Peoples, a polygraph consultant, is happy to help - for a price, of course. But D'avore's technique will require Walter to look deep within himself, a terrifying prospect for a man hiding from his past.

With his best friend spying on him, his wife intent on opening old wounds, and D'avore uncovering dark secrets, Walter's desperate journey toward the perfect lie becomes a spiral into paranoia and bitter reckoning.
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  • Winner! 2010 M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for an Emerging Playwright



"A sharp meditation on the nature of truth and lies in the post 9-11 world ... Jason Wells conjures the same sort of nerve-jangling menace found in his earlier play Men of Tortuga. But here he spins a story that bears a downright eerie prescience ... Wells' play is wired with a dazzling, tightly wound, steel-spring mechanism that keeps you riveted." - Chicago Sun-Times

"As he proved in his play Men of Tortuga, Jason Wells knows how to build suspense and tension with clever and intriguing dialogue that clips along." - Sarasota Herald Tribune 

"I want to recommend Mendacity not just as a couple of entertaining hours of theater (which it certainly is,) but as a rare attempt to witness real political art, the sort that seldom turns up on the American scene ... Illuminating. I recommend it to lovers of the theater, and the truth." - Creative Loafing 

"...This look at intrigue, duplicity, and self-deception in the corporate world resonates in every aspect of human endeavor." - American Theatre Critics' Association 

"Wells ... (has) every right ... to take pride in this provocative, beautifully structured play." - Aisle Say


Performing Groups

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


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

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance



  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: An office. A suburban condo. A laboratory office.
  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy, Stage Combat
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


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


4m, 1f
WALTER KREUTZER – 50s, white American
D'AVORE PEOPLES – 40s, black American
SAMIRA KREUTZER – 30s or 40s, Moroccan
ROGER STANHOPE – 50s, white South African
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Cast Attributes

  • Multicultural casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)




Jason Wells

Jason Wells’s first play, "Men of Tortuga," debuted at Steppenwolf Theatre's First Look Repertory of New Work and had its official premiere at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota. Jason’s second play, "Perfect Mendacity," was a commission from Manhattan Theatre Club and the Sloan Foundation. Like "Men of Tortuga," ...

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Perfect Mendacity premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, IL in July 2008 as a part of the First Look Repertory of New Work. The production was directed by David Cromer.

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