The Return to Morality

The Return to Morality
by Jamie Pachino

Productions (25)
  • Political satire
  • |
  • 100 - 110 minutes
  • 3 f, 3 m (6-21 actors possible: 3-10 f, 3-11 m)
  • Content Notes: Adult language and content
  • Set: Many locations, suggested simply by pieces of furniture.

The Return to Morality
by Jamie Pachino

(1)
Productions (25)
  • Political satire
  • |
  • 100 - 110 minutes
  • 3 f, 3 m (6-21 actors possible: 3-10 f, 3-11 m)
  • Content Notes: Adult language and content
  • Set: Many locations, suggested simply by pieces of furniture.

A lightning-paced political satire about the unraveling of a well-meaning liberal, caught in the maelstrom of his own good intentions. Tracing the fast rise and even faster downfall of college professor Arthur Kellogg, the play follows the publication of his first book, a scathing satire of the religious right. When the novel "accidentally" gets published as non-fiction, it spins out of his control and is embraced as a manifesto by the far right and militia groups -- turning Arthur into the poster boy for all he once sought to fight. Before Arthur has a chance to fix the book's misrepresentation, he winds up interviewed by Sixty Minutes, abandoned by his wife, and ultimately blackmailed into giving the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention, live, with unanticipated results...

Pricing Information

Min. Performance Fee* $80
Standard Edition $9.99
Stage Manager Edition $18.99

*The per performance fee begins at $80. Your per performance fee will be provided during the ordering process.

Play Details

A lightning-paced political satire about the unraveling of a well-meaning liberal, caught in the maelstrom of his own good intentions. Tracing the fast rise and even faster downfall of college professor Arthur Kellogg, the play follows the publication of his first book, a scathing satire of the religious right. When the novel "accidentally" gets published as non-fiction, it spins out of his control and is embraced as a manifesto by the far right and militia groups -- turning Arthur into the poster boy for all he once sought to fight. Before Arthur has a chance to fix the book's misrepresentation, he winds up interviewed by Sixty Minutes, abandoned by his wife, and ultimately blackmailed into giving the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention, live, with unanticipated results...

An updated version of this play is available; contact Playscripts for details.

  • Political satire
  • |
  • 100 - 110 minutes
  • 3 f, 3 m (6-21 actors possible: 3-10 f, 3-11 m)
  • Content Notes: Adult language and content
  • Set: Many locations, suggested simply by pieces of furniture.

Published Reviews

"A gem, the kind of play that gets better with each viewing and one which should not be missed... Pachino's play casts a wide net, touching on issues of identity, celebrity, gender, race, politics, spin doctoring, media and language itself. Part comedy, part thriller, part political critique, Morality is intellectually engaging and riveting."

Christopher Wixson, Bloomington Independent

"Extraordinarily entertaining... Funny, acerbic, incisive, and possessing a sensibility that is both current and very human, the comedy-drama moves with supple rhythms and a fluid acting dynamic...a scathingly funny comment on media culture, fame, roots, and misconstrued values, be they conservative, hyperbole or leftist lies."

Bill Cleary, The Intelligencer (Wheeling, West Virginia)

"A funny and timely satire... Though Pachino minces no words in pointing out that there's little made for public consumption that isn't carefully designed to get our dollars or our votes, her play...doesn't judge so much as it gives the characters enough rope to hang themselves -- and their brands of morality right along with them."

Heather Zimmerman, Metro (San Jose, California)

"Sharp, tight and based in an honest concern, its wild yet shockingly acceptable plot is the play's chief asset... Pachino writes with a deft, facile touch. Her light, unburdened dialogue has a nice ear for the monosyllabic spontaneity of conversation. Her political fable depends on a dark streak of cynicism and black comedy...sophisticated and very tricky to create."

Bruce Burgun, Bloomington Herald-Times

"The Return to Morality...is totally cynical, urgently relevant, and wickedly funny...it also strikes the mother lode of iniquity with its trenchant observations on the hypocrisy and venality involved in the merchandising of morality by the media... The Return to Morality, from its satirical title to its surprising but satisfying ending, is a play with a punch that entertains as it admonishes."

Sherman Spencer, The Stockton Record (California)

"A sardonic knockout, as hilarious as a tent full of clowns and as topical as next year's election... Pachino's text bristles with caustic wit, directed principally toward hypocrites and opportunists in publishing and in politics...the acid social commentary comes across as broad brush lunacy, uproarious on its surface, and thoroughly scary beneath."

Leo Stutzin, Modesto Bee (California)

"Playwright Jamie Pachino's pointed satire The Return to Morality is a brisk, biting comedy that lunges for the trembling throats of sound-bite-fixated news media and platitude-dealing politicians alike, as well as artists, their art and those who promote or become enamored of that art for the sake of that other fearful American deity, popularity. The play spares no one."

John W. Young, Chico News & Review (California)

"As a scathing satire on our media saturated age, it hits one high note after another with the accuracy of a missile... Pachino's script has us laughing out loud even as she attacks her targets with surgical skill."

David Cannon, Montgomery County Sentinel (Maryland)

"On the surface...The Return to Morality is a playful, upbeat comedy about the way political attitudes are formed and altered by image managers, spin doctors and the media. But buried under all the superficial fun is a thought-provoking commentary on responsibility, both in and out of the political arena."

Barbara Mackay, The Washington Post

"Intelligently written...there is not a missed step in the show, which is tied up in a dandy and unexpected ending. Bravo and brava."

Kathe Waterbury, The Union Democrat (Sonora, California)

Production History

Sort by Most Recent
Production Group
Location
APR 25, 2017 - APR 26, 2017
Ramon C. Cortines School Of Visual And Performing Arts
Los Angeles, CA United States
Ramon C. Cortines School Of Visual And Performing Arts Los Angeles, CA United States
SEP 07, 2016 - SEP 25, 2016
Titanic Theatre Company
Cambridge, MA United States
Titanic Theatre Company Cambridge, MA United States
NOV 02, 2012 - NOV 11, 2012
Theatre Of Gadsden
Gadsden, AL United States
Theatre Of Gadsden Gadsden, AL United States
AUG 03, 2012 - SEP 08, 2012
The Production Company
Hollywood, CA United States
The Production Company Hollywood, CA United States
APR 03, 2012 - APR 12, 2012
Estacado High School-Lubbock ISD
Lubbock, TX United States
Estacado High School-Lubbock ISD Lubbock, TX United States
SEP 21, 2008 - SEP 27, 2008
Bas Bleu Theatre
Fort Collins, CO United States
Bas Bleu Theatre Fort Collins, CO United States
NOV 10, 2006 - NOV 12, 2006
Quinnipiac University, Fourth Wall
Hamden, CT United States
Quinnipiac University, Fourth Wall Hamden, CT United States
APR 13, 2006 - APR 15, 2006
Georgia College & State University
Milledgeville, GA United States
Georgia College & State University Milledgeville, GA United States
NOV 01, 2005 - DEC 25, 2005
Academy Of The Pacific
Honolulu, HI United States
Academy Of The Pacific Honolulu, HI United States
SEP 30, 2004 - OCT 02, 2004
University Of Maryland Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, Maryland 21853, MD United States
University Of Maryland Eastern Shore Princess Anne, Maryland 21853, MD United States
MAR 01, 2003 - APR 30, 2003
Rep Stage
Columbia, MD United States
Rep Stage Columbia, MD United States
FEB 01, 2002 - MAR 31, 2002
The Blue Room
Chico, CA United States
The Blue Room Chico, CA United States
NOV 01, 2001 - NOV 30, 2001
Seattle Theatre Project
Seattle, WA United States
Seattle Theatre Project Seattle, WA United States
SEP 01, 2000 - SEP 30, 2000
Theatre in the Square
Atlanta, GA United States
Theatre in the Square Atlanta, GA United States
MAR 01, 2000 - MAR 31, 2000
Theatre Americana
Altadena, CA United States
Theatre Americana Altadena, CA United States
FEB 02, 2000 - MAR 31, 2000
Bloomington Playwrights Project
Bloomington, IN United States
Bloomington Playwrights Project Bloomington, IN United States
JAN 01, 2000 - DEC 31, 2000
Ashland New Plays Festival (reading)
Ashland, OR United States
Ashland New Plays Festival (reading) Ashland, OR United States
JAN 01, 2000 - FEB 28, 2000
Oglebay Institute
Wheeling, WV United States
Oglebay Institute Wheeling, WV United States
JAN 01, 2000 - DEC 31, 2000
Fairmont State College
Fairmont, WV United States
Fairmont State College Fairmont, WV United States
OCT 01, 1999 - OCT 31, 1999
InterAct Theatre
Philadelphia, PA United States
InterAct Theatre Philadelphia, PA United States
SEP 01, 1999 - OCT 31, 1999
Stage 3 Theatre
Sonora, CA United States
Stage 3 Theatre Sonora, CA United States
MAR 01, 1999 - APR 30, 1999
City Lights
San Jose, CA United States
City Lights San Jose, CA United States
JAN 01, 1999 - DEC 31, 1999
Blackjacks Festival CAP 21 Theatre (reading)
New York, NY United States
Blackjacks Festival CAP 21 Theatre (reading) New York, NY United States
JAN 01, 1999 - DEC 31, 1999
Prop Thtr, Midwest New Play Festival (reading)
Chicago, IL United States
Prop Thtr, Midwest New Play Festival (reading) Chicago, IL United States
JAN 01, 1999 - DEC 31, 1999
Northern Kentucky University, Y.E.S. New Play Festival (reading)
Highland Heights, KY United States
Northern Kentucky University, Y.E.S. New Play Festival (reading) Highland Heights, KY United States
Sort by Most Recent
Production Group
Location
No upcoming productions.
Sort by Most Recent
Production Group
Location
SEP 07, 2016 - SEP 25, 2016
Titanic Theatre Company
Cambridge, MA United States
Titanic Theatre Company Cambridge, MA United States
MAR 01, 2003 - APR 30, 2003
Rep Stage
Columbia, MD United States
Rep Stage Columbia, MD United States
FEB 01, 2002 - MAR 31, 2002
The Blue Room
Chico, CA United States
The Blue Room Chico, CA United States
NOV 01, 2001 - NOV 30, 2001
Seattle Theatre Project
Seattle, WA United States
Seattle Theatre Project Seattle, WA United States
SEP 01, 2000 - SEP 30, 2000
Theatre in the Square
Atlanta, GA United States
Theatre in the Square Atlanta, GA United States
FEB 02, 2000 - MAR 31, 2000
Bloomington Playwrights Project
Bloomington, IN United States
Bloomington Playwrights Project Bloomington, IN United States
OCT 01, 1999 - OCT 31, 1999
InterAct Theatre
Philadelphia, PA United States
InterAct Theatre Philadelphia, PA United States
SEP 01, 1999 - OCT 31, 1999
Stage 3 Theatre
Sonora, CA United States
Stage 3 Theatre Sonora, CA United States
MAR 01, 1999 - APR 30, 1999
City Lights
San Jose, CA United States
City Lights San Jose, CA United States

Awards (13)

Runner-up: Osborn Award (American Theatre Critics Association)

Nominee: Illinois Governor's Award

Winner: Ashland New Plays Festival

Winner: Blackjacks Festival, CAP 21 Theatre

Winner: David James Ellis Memorial Award

Winner: Midwest New Play Festival (New Play '99), Prop Thtr

Winner: Oglebay Institute Towngate Competition

Winner: Reva Shiner Playwriting Contest

Winner: Stage 3 Theatre Festival of New Plays

Winner: Y.E.S. (Year-End-Series) New Play Festival

Finalist: National Play Conference (O'Neill)

Finalist: Theatre Conspiracy New Play Contest

Finalist: Bay Area Playwrights Fest