The Humans
Paperback, 120 pages ISBN: 9781848427983Publication Date:
30 Aug 2018
Size: 198mm x 129mm£10.99 £8.79You save £2.20 (20%)
First Staged:
American Theater Company, Chicago, 2014

The Humans

By Stephen Karam

Paperback £10.99£8.79

  • Best Play, New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards
  • Best Play, Tony Awards - 2016

Three generations of the Blake family have assembled for Thanksgiving in Brigid and Richard's ramshackle pre-war apartment in Lower Manhattan. Whilst the event may have a slightly improvised air, the family is determined to make the best of its time together. As they attempt to focus on the traditional festivities, fears of the past and pressures of the future seep into the reunion and the precariousness of their position becomes increasingly evident.

Stephen Karam's blisteringly funny and bruisingly sad drama, The Humans, is a stunning portrayal of the human condition; a family at its best and worst navigating the challenges of everyday life.

The Humans premiered in Chicago in 2014, before transferring to the Roundabout Theatre Company, New York, in 2015; Broadway in 2016; and Hampstead Theatre, London, in 2018. The production won numerous awards, including the Tony Award and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play.

A film adaptation, written and directed by Stephen Karam, was premiered in 2021.

Press Quotes

'Bitingly funny, bitterly sad… Karam's writing is astonishingly genre-literate, from kitchen sink grimness to psychological thriller, with side helpings of sitcom, pulling all its referents in different directions to dissect them and build them into something new. Something familiar and not; something uncanny'

The Stage

'A wonderful play – funny and moving, involving and frightening in almost equal measures… an astonishing tour de force of story-telling; nothing happens, yet as the family talk and squabble we come to know and understand not only them, but also some of the fractures that are tearing apart American society'


'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,120 pages ISBN: 9781848427983Publication Date:
30 Aug 2018
Size: 198mm x 129mm£10.99 £8.79You save £2.20 (20%)

Also by Stephen Karam:

The Cherry Orchard
Sons of the Prophet
Speech & Debate

Go to author page...

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