by  Arlitia Jones

Full Length Play, Drama  /  2m, 1f

Summerland tells the mysterious tale of William H. Mumler, a spirit photographer with a talent for capturing haunting images of the dead from the world beyond the veil – Summerland.

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 1f
  • Duration


    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre


    Biography, Period
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Summerland tells the mysterious tale of William H. Mumler, a spirit photographer with a talent for capturing haunting images of the dead from the world beyond the veil – Summerland. Based on true events that didn’t exactly happen this way, Summerland is set in Mumler’s New York studio in 1869 at the height of the American Spiritualist movement. Summerland opens at the peak of Mumler’s career, just as his wildly successful studio trade comes under indictment for fraud. Chief Marshal Joseph Tooker investigates Mumler’s past and his process, uncovering much more than he bargained for in his search for truth. Summerland is about the collision between the two men’s opposing beliefs about the afterlife. Is it a hoax, or is it real? Finding the answer to either question threatens to destroy them. Are we standing between two worlds, are there such things as spirits, or is it only Mrs. Mumler moving in the shadows? No evidence remains, only lingering questions: What happens to us when we die? Do our loved ones really await us in Summerland?

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"Jones’ Summerland is an engaging and cerebral thriller. But why leave it at that? Allow yourself to get caught up in some of its deeper reflections and you’ll find a tale about the pursuit of faith and truth, about our willingness to accept senses that reach beyond science and logic." - Cincinnati Enquirer, Read More

"[...] the overall examination of the themes of death, loss, and grief makes this one a big winner [...] for all artistic directors looking for their next great fall “Halloween” show, this one is a sure-fire hit." - The Sappy Critic, Read More 


  • Cincinati Playhouse in the Park teaser for Summerland
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Performing Groups

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


  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

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



  • Time Period: Victorian (British and American)
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: New York City, circa 1869 in the upstairs photography studio of William H. Mumler located at No. 630 Broadway.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


2m, 1f
WILLIAM H. MUMLER - Male, mid 40s, renown spirit photographer and ardent Spiritualist operating his New York City studio during the height of the Spiritualist Movement in America. He thinks of himself as a healer and the chosen attendant of the spirits of Summerland.
JOSEPH TOOKER - Male, early to mid 30s, Chief Marshall in employ of the Mayor of New York to investigate Mumler’s practice. He is a Civil War veteran who fought at Gettysburg where he lost an arm. He is a Positivist and has ambitions for future political standing.
MRS. MUMLER - Female, early to mid 30s, second wife of William Mumler. She is a suspected somnambulist, a woman with peculiar talent for the occult. Originally from Virginia, she is also a suspected double agent between the North and South.
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Cast Attributes

  • Not Applicable


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Arlitia Jones

Arlitia Jones is a poet, playwright from Anchorage, Alaska. Her short play Tornado was chosen for the 38th Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival and as the 2014 National Award Winner Summer Shorts Festival with City Theatre, Miami, Florida. Come to me, Leopards received a workshop production in 2013 at Cyrano’s Theatre ...

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Summerland premiered at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in Cincinnati, OH in February 2017 under the direction of Michael Evan Haney.

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