Lunacy by Sandra Perlman

Lunacy, Cleveland Play House Fusion Fest

Drama/ 3 Characters, 2 Men, 1 Woman/ Full Length, Two Acts

The year is 1827; the place, a theater in Philadelphia where young Shakespearean actor Edwin Forrest is rehearsing for his role as King Lear. His loud, over-the-top emoting is interrupted by a young Quaker woman, Cornelia Lamb, whom the arrogant Edwin mistakenly assumes is the newspaper reporter he is expecting to interview him. But Cornelia’s purpose is far different.

She knows that the promising actor has been preparing for his role as Lear by visiting the Stillwell Asylum for the Criminally Insane. Cornelia implores Edwin to come with her to the Friends Asylum where he can meet the perfect Lear – her father Benjamin. Lamb is now imprisoned in a madness that allows him to speak only in the words of the play his wife was reading before her untimely death. Cornelia, who runs the Quaker asylum, implores Edwin, who knows every word of the script, to leave his rehearsal and follow her to the Asylum.

If Edwin follows Cornelia will he unlock Benjamin’s madness or imprison his own dream of perfection?

“Perlman takes us on a haunting exploration of not only insanity and Lear, but also of the power of family to comfort, that moment of life called death to unite, and — ultimately — the power of the theater to heal.” – Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Riveting, lean, honest, and deceptively simple.” – Norwalk Reflector

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Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:Amateur and professional rights:
Sandra Perlman
429 Carthage Avenue
Kent OH 44240
Ph.: (330) 673-8632
Playwright’s website:

About the Playwright:┬áSandra Perlman is an award-winning playwright and teacher with more than a dozen plays produced on stages around the world, including The Cleveland PlayHouse, New Jersey Repertory and many small theaters and universities. In 2011, her full length dramaJocasta was translated into Hindi and performed in India, In Search of Red River Dog appeared in Nice, France, and her newest script, 2/Caught, was a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Her play Lunacy premiered at Dobama Theatre in May, 2007 as part of The Cleveland PlayHouse FusionFest. Perlman is the recipient of three Ohio Arts Council fellowships in playwriting for In Search of Red River Dog, Cliff Diving and most recentlySwann. She has also been nominated for the American Theatre Critics Association’s M. Elizabeth Osborn Award for Emerging Playwright.

A former writer-host for PBS television Channels 45/49, Perlman has taught and lectured about playwriting at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University, and currently teaches playwriting at Kent State University. Excerpts from her plays have been published in anthologies by Dramatic Publishing, Smith & Kraus and the Middle Tennessee State University Press.Lunacy was first produced by Dobama Theatre as part of the Cleveland Play House Fusion Fest in May, 2007.