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Principal Principle

Principal Principle

By Joe Zarrow.

Product Code: PM1000

  • Full-length Play
  • Comedy | Drama | Satire
  • Cast size: 5w.

Rights and availability
This title can be licensed and sold throughout the World.

* Please note the royalty rate listed is the minimum royalty rate per performance. The actual royalty rate will be determined upon completion of a royalty application.

$9.95 /script

Min. Royalty Rate: $80/perf

In stock


Armed only with her dreams of making the world a better place and six weeks of training, Kay Josephs quits her corporate job to teach English at Chinua Achebe High School Academy on Chicago's South Side. She meets her department colleagues: the diplomatic department head Ola Lawrence, the proudly crusty soon-to-be retiree Denise Corey, and the dynamic, inspirational and rebellious Shelley Woods. On the first day of the school year, the business-minded principal announces that she has instituted a harsh new program whereby teachers' jobs are linked to high-stakes standardized testing in terrifying new ways. Kay wakes up to harsh realities: the copy machine is broken, the system is broken, and the spirits of her fellow teachers are broken. Or are they? Principal Principle is a dark comedy of academic intrigue that offers terrific performance opportunities for a diverse cast of women and inspires powerful audience debates.


From the author:

Please note that the racial requirements as noted on the character list page are not flexible. Notably, Banerjee/Wei has been the role that has been trickiest to cast, and more than once directors have given up and attempted to put a white actress in the role. Apart from the artistic demands of the script, I am a stickler about this because of the numerous Asian-American actress friends of mine who came to theatre after having pursued careers in more traditionally prestigious fields (medicine, law, business, etc.). All of them wished someone had reached out to them with a role like this when they were in school, even if they hadn't been fully invested in theatre at that point in their lives. This is why I think it's critical to find an Asian-American actress for the role, even at smaller institutions like high schools, colleges and community theaters.

In the original production we cast an Indian-American actor, and during the play's development, the role, of course, grew with the actor playing it. Though it's never explicitly stated in the dialogue, this actor often expressed how she felt the role in the play-as-published reflects a particularly Asian-American upbringingā€”in many ways, Banerjee fits the archetype/stereotype of an anxious overachiever under pressure from parental figures. This actor, and others, have expressed appreciation for that.

If you have questions about casting requirements or anything else in the play, please contact Dramatic Publishing.


  • Status

    In stock

  • Type of Show Full-length Play
  • Product Code PM1000
  • Cast Size 5
  • Min. Royalty Rate $80/perf
  • Cost $9.95
  • Approx. Run Time 105 min


  • Target Audience College and Adult
  • Performing Group College Theatre | Community Theatre | Professional Theatre
  • Genre Comedy | Drama | Satire
  • ISBN(13) 9781619590243
* Please note the royalty rate listed is the minimum royalty rate per performance. The actual royalty rate will be determined upon completion of a royalty application.

Media Reviews

"Engaging, intelligent and important." -Chicago Theatre Review

"Former public school teacher Joe Zarrow achieves something remarkable … an entertaining play about education that recreates all the quirks and craziness of modern education without lapsing into either cynical hopelessness or Hollywood-style superteacher fantasies. His dialogue feels authentic, and his characters are flawed but likable human beings, not mouthpieces for this or that ideology." -Chicago Reader

"There are very few excellent plays about public education. This is one." -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"This clear-eyed glimpse into the teachers' lounge makes hearty laughs part of an all too relevant lesson plan." -Time Out Chicago