The Humans
Paperback, 112 pages ISBN: 9781559365420Publication Date:
30 Jun 2016
Size: 215mm x 135mm£14.99
First Staged:
Chicago, 2014; off-Broadway, 2015; Broadway, 2016

The Humans (US edition)

By Stephen Karam

Paperback £14.99

  • New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play - 2016
  • Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Play - 2016
  • Tony Award for Best Play - 2016

A powerful comedy-drama about a family gathering at Thanksgiving, from a gifted young American playwright.

Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter’s apartment in lower Manhattan. Unfolding over a single scene, this “delirious tragicomedy” (Chicago Sun-Times) by acclaimed young playwright Stephen Karam “infuses the traditional kitchen-sink family drama with qualities of horror in his portentous and penetrating work of psychological unease” (Variety), creating an indelible family portrait.

The Humans had its world premiere at the American Theater Company, Chicago, Illinois, in November 2014. It opened Off-Broadway at the Laura Pels Theatre in October 2015 in a limited run produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company, transferring to Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre, opening in February 2016.

It was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Play, and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play.

This revised edition of the play was published in 2016.

A later, UK edition of the play is available here.

Press Quotes

'a funny, mournful, richly detailed and deeply humane study of a beleaguered family celebrating Thanksgiving dinner in a tumbledown Chinatown apartment... Karam is a profoundly compassionate writer. He shows us the bravery and tenderness of people trying – and sometimes failing – to get on with their lives.'


'A haunting, beautifully realized play, quite possibly the finest we will see all season... Blisteringly funny and altogether wonderful.'

New York Times

'[a] beautiful, funny-sad and ultimately wrenching portrait of a troubled lower-middle-class Pennsylvania family... builds on the ample promise of Karam's earlier works, confirming him as a uniquely probing investigator of the contemporary American psyche'

Hollywood Reporter

'blisteringly funny, bruisingly sad and altogether wonderful... Written with a fresh-feeling blend of documentarylike naturalism and theatrical daring... Mr. Karam's comedy-drama depicts the way we live now with a precision and compassion unmatched by any play I've seen in recent years.'

New York Times

'A kind, warm, beautifully observed and deeply moving new play, a celebration of working-class familial imperfection and affection and a game-changing work for this gifted young playwright.'

Chicago Tribune

'Karam is in rare form here, showing a remarkable ear for the way families converse… For all the characters’ woes, this is a warm, funny, sharply observed portrait of their abiding connections with one another.'

Time Out Chicago
Paperback, 112 pages ISBN: 9781559365420Publication Date:
30 Jun 2016
Size: 215mm x 135mm£14.99

Also by Stephen Karam:

The Cherry Orchard
The Humans
Speech & Debate

Go to author page...

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