Kalamazoo, Michigan. 1982. At the dawn of the AIDS crisis, when the disease was still a mystery, a no-nonsense nurse becomes a sort of fairy godmother to members of the town’s gay community as they begin dying one by one. She becomes their friend, mother, and sister as they navigate life and death. Out of the ashes of this new plague rise life-long bonds that are forged in beauty found even in the darkest moments.
It’s 1982 and a mysterious plague is beginning to rear its ugly head, making its way across the U.S. In Kalamazoo, Michigan, Joan, a recently divorced, no-nonsense nurse, is on the frontlines of this plague. Not only does she care for the men it affects in the hospital where she works— she also comforts them as they begin to pass away. Facing a world that views her as an outcast like them, Joan becomes these men's friend, mother, and sister as they navigate life and death with this new plague. Out of the ashes of their collective lives, lifelong bonds are forged, and beauty is found even at the darkest moments. We Are a Masterpiece asks: what will you do in the face of fear? What choices are you willing to make?
I feel hard-pressed to find another play that’s brought me as close to tears as this one has.
Joan – Our protagonist. A really great nurse. Hard but has a giant heart. 40s, female.
Ryan Miller – Older, an art collector, the survivor. Late 30s-40s, male.
John – Younger, an artist, the glue of his friends. Early 20s, male.
Tom – The janitor at the hospital where Joan works. Very blue collar, plain. Early 40s, male.
Father Jerome – A priestly priest at the local parish, Joan’s brother, late 40s-early 50s, male.
Lisa – Joan’s daughter, has a strong sense of justice, tends to whine. 17, female.
Shelley – Joan’s friend, a fellow nurse, closed-minded and unknowingly cruel. 40s, female.
Annie – A younger nurse, very vain, a little bratty and air-headed. Late 20s, female.
Linda – Joan’s friend from the choir, a very hometown kinda woman. 40s, female.
Doubling: This play can be presented with the additional suggested doubling:
Setting: This play takes place in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Scenes take place in a graveyard, John’s apartment, a hospital, and Joan’s house.
A blank space with a prop and sound will work more efficiently than built sets.
Performance Royalties for AMATEUR and EDUCATIONAL Groups begin at $90.00 per performance for theaters under 150 seats, and rise depending on ticket prices and theater particulars. Please fill out an application for your personalized quote.
Performance Royalties for PROFESSIONAL Theaters will be quoted as a box office percentage, with a minimum guarantee based on ticket prices and theater particulars. Please fill out an application for your personalized quote.
An Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package must be purchased from Stage Rights as a part of your licensing agreement (see Materials).
Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement.
Doric Wilson Award for Independent Playwrights, NYIT Awards, 2018
Honorable Mention, Christopher Hewitt Award, 2018
“I feel hard-pressed to find another play that’s brought me as close to tears as this one has. The last few scenes of the play are among the most powerful I’ve seen.” –OnStage
An Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package must be purchased from Stage Rights as a part of your licensing agreement. Your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date, unless other arrangements have been made in advance with your Stage Rights Licensing Representative.
The Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package for We Are a Masterpiece consists of:
18 Production Scripts / $210.00 (shipping included)
Production Scripts for Plays are professionally printed and bound with a full-color cover.
You will have the option to purchase additional Production Scripts at a discounted rate when you complete your Licensing Agreement.
Official Logo Pack Now Included! To help you promote your show, Stage Rights now includes a logo pack with your license. The logo pack includes high resolution versions (both color and black and white) of our show logo. The logo is the portion of the artwork with the title of the show. The surrounding artwork is also available for an additional fee.
Stage Manager’s Script – Printed on standard 8.5” x 11” 3-hole-punched paper, with the same page numbers and text as the Printed Production Scripts, but with more space on the page for notes and cues.