Ugly Lies the Bone

by  Lindsey Ferrentino

Full Length Play, Drama  /  2m, 3f

Newly discharged soldier Jess has finally returned to her Florida hometown. She brings with her not only vivid memories of Afghanistan, but painful burns that have left her physically and emotionally scarred.

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Ugly Lies the Bone

by  Lindsey Ferrentino

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 3f
  • Duration


    90 minutes
  • SubGenre


    Romantic Comedy
  • Accolades


    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Newly discharged soldier Jess has finally returned to her Florida hometown. She brings with her not only vivid memories of Afghanistan, but painful burns that have left her physically and emotionally scarred. Jess soon realizes that things at home have changed even more than she has. Through the use of virtual reality video game therapy, she builds a breathtaking new world where she can escape her pain. As Jess advances farther in the game, she begins to restore her relationships, her life, and, slowly, herself.

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  • WINNER! 2014 Woodward/Newman Drama Award
    WINNER! 2015 Laurents/Hatcher Special Citation of Excellence
    2015 Kilroys List
    WINNER! 2016 Kesserling Prize for Playwriting



CRITICS' PICK! "A bracing drama that confronts an achingly topical issue with hardheaded honesty and admirable compassion. Lindsey Ferrentino is a brave playwright and a writer of dauntless conviction." - The New York Times, Read More 

"Powerful. Uncommonly compelling depection of not merely recovery but also repentance and renewal. Transformative and exhilirating" - TheatreMania, Read More 

"Raw and inescapably moving [...] A play of small moments tha hide big emotions." - The New York Observer, Read More 

"Pain is personal in Lindsey Ferrentino’s thoughtful meditation on trauma [...] Ferrentino reminds us that our internal landscape, like our pain, is ours alone." - The New Yorker, Read More 

"Ugly Lies The Bone is clearly the work of a young talent with plenty ahead of her. It’s timely, compelling and as current as you could want; brava to a playwright who focuses on the combat experiences of a woman." - Deadline Hollywood, Read More 


UGLY LIES THE BONE: A Story of Healing, Small Town America and Magical Realism
by Courtney Kochuba and David Kimple 
April 8, 2016


  • About Ugly Lies the Bone
  • Ugly Lies the Bone on BBC Radio
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Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

    Please submit a license request to determine availability.



  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: Titusville, Florida. The heart of Florida's space coast.
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


2m, 3f
JESS - early  30s. Severly distorted by third degree burns, uses a walker. Quick-witted, intelligent, tough. Trying to have strength in her body, vulnerability in her life.
KACIE - Jess' older sister by a few years. Was probably beautiful once. Sweet, trying hard for positivity.
STEVIE - early 30s. An inviting smile that makes you want to live in it. Life just keeps happening to him.
KELVIN - Kacie's boyfriend. Older than Kacie. Too comfortable in his own skin.
VOICE/THEIR MOM - 60's. Passionate, powerful, maternal. Strong vocal quality.
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Cast Attributes

  • Multicultural casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

Cast can be any race and should hopefully reflect some diversity in the world.


Available Services



Lindsey Ferrentino

Lindsey Ferrentino is a New York based playwright originally from the sunny state of Florida where many of her plays are set. Her latest Ugly Lies the Bone was a New York Times Critic Pick and played a sold out extended run off Broadway at Roundabout Theater Company in the Underground. Charles Isherwood in the New Y ...

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Ugly Lies the Bone premiered at Roundabout Underground in New York City in September of 2015 under the direction of Patricia McGregor.

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