The Penitent

by  David Mamet

Full Length Play, Drama  /  3m, 1f

"The Penitent is timely and exciting and, in the best of ways, awfully depressing." - NBC New York

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The Penitent

by  David Mamet

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 1f
  • Duration


    90 minutes
  • SubGenre


    Not Applicable
  • Accolades


    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

A renowned psychologist, Charles, is asked to testify on behalf of one of his former patients who has committed a shooting. At first he is hesitant, and as his lawyer and his wife begin to tell him how he should handle the situation, Charles clings more fervently to his morals and his ethics. However, the tighter he clings, the more his reputation and career hang in the balance, especially as more truths are revealed about his relationship to his patient.
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"Doctor-patient privilege, religion and infidelity are all worked into the mix, so much so that the story seems unbelievably loaded with twists, but that's part of the entertaining quality of it all, as are the elevated verbal rhythms that Mamet orchestrates so well into his dialogue." - BroadwayWorld, Read More 

"The Penitent is timely and exciting and, in the best of ways, awfully depressing." - NBC New York, Read More 

"You can still hear a little of that old MAMETIAN MAGIC. The language is both casual and formal and the result can be wonderful - like Schubert scoring a boxing match.” - The New York Times


Performing Groups

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


  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: £69 per performance plus VAT when applicable.



  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: Multiple locations with chairs and a table
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


3m, 1f
CHARLES - a middle-aged psychologist.
KATE - middle-aged woman, his wife. 
RICHARD - a family friend. 
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Cast Attributes

  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)


Available Services



David Mamet

David Mamet is the author of the plays: Race, Keep Your Pantheon, School, November, Romance, Boston Marriage, Faustus, Oleanna, Glengarry Glen Ross (1984 Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award), American Buffalo, The Old Neighborhood, A Life in the Theatre, Speed-the-Plow, Edmond, Lakeboat, The Water En ...

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The Penitent premiered at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York City in February 2017 under the direction of Neil Pepe.

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