Stark Drama takes an honest, but humorous, look at the shortcomings of our judicial system. As the play begins, Gilbert Stark is on death row in a state penitentiary awaiting execution. He was sentenced to die seven years ago. Stark hates being caged like an animal and, therefore, wants to be executed. Against Stark's wishes, his attorney, Roger Advance, is seeking another stay of execution on the eve of the execution date. The governor is concerned about the situation because it's an election year. If he grants a stay of execution, the conservatives will say he's soft on crime. If he allows Stark to be executed, the liberals will say he's heartless and cruel. Roger Advance has a solution for the governor's problem—let Stark escape, the guards will shoot him, and the governor doesn't have to make a decision concerning Stark's execution. The governor agrees to have Advance appointed as a judge if the plan succeeds. On the eve of Stark's execution, the governor, his attorney, a guard, a cook, a human rights activist, the foreman of the jury that convicted him, another member of the jury, the judge that sentenced him to die, a reporter and a cameraman come to see Stark in his cell. What happens amidst the confusion? The prisoner walks out of his cell and sits in the audience. A pungent satire on the bungling of America's criminal justice system while bringing up an interesting question: Is it cruel and unusual punishment to keep an inmate on death row awaiting execution for years?
- Type of Show One-act Play
- Product Code SZ8000
- Cast Size 8
- Min. Royalty Rate $40/perf
- Cost $7.95
- Approx. Run Time 35 min
- Target Audience High School | College and Adult
- Performing Group High School | College Theatre
- Genre Comedy | Drama | Satire
- ISBN(13) 9780886803759
- "This script was a lot of fun to produce. It left room for imagination on the staging, and the characters were written in a way that each stood unique in their presentation and motivation, but the actors were able to make their roles uniquely their own."
- Review by Chris Ibarra, Marshal School, Duluth, Minn.