Cover art: "Juke," Len Jenkin

American Notes

Len Jenkin
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A kaleidoscopic, surrealistic overview of contemporary America, set forth in the bizarre, highly theatrical style which characterizes this writer's distinctive voice. Produced by New York's highly regarded Public Theater, the play employs brilliantly imaginative avante-garde techniques to highlight both the dreams — and delusions — which infuse and motivate our modern world. The play is made up of a series of concurrent actions, some set in a tacky motel, some elsewhere, involving a group of disparate but curiously related people. There is the young night clerk, Pauline, who studies her high-school English Lit notebook, while growing increasingly fearful of the unseen and unwanted suitor who lies in wait in the motel parking lot; a raucous carnival barker touting his giant crocodile, Bonecrusher; a pair of seedy bar denizens who occasionally break into song; a dim-witted handyman, Chuckles, who performs pointless errands; a deranged scientist who believes that he is in contact with creatures from outer space; an abandoned woman who waits restlessly for a lover who will probably never return; and a mysterious drifter, Faber, who, somehow becomes the catalyst which fuses all these divergent elements into a cohesive, and often wildly funny whole. And, in so doing, makes the play both an encapsulation of the American myth and, at the same time, a telling comment on what is right — and wrong — with this myth.

Production Info

Cast: 10 total (3 female, 7 male)
Full Length Drama (about 100 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes
Category: Tag:

Press Quotes

“… it has a cumulative, atmospheric effect, tantalizing our senses at the same time it creates a haunting iconographic world … AMERICAN NOTES is itself sui generis — bearing the unmistakably original signature of Len Jenkin.” —The New York Times

“[AMERICAN NOTES] is a kind of anti-OUR TOWN. The weird backwater in which it’s set is a little surreal and a lot seedy, populated by nighthawks, drifters, pimps, and hucksters.” —Chicago Reader

“Twice as ingeniously written as any play in town …” —The Village Voice

“… a mythic vision of America …” —Drama-Logue

About the Author


  • Len Jenkin

    Len Jenkin is a novelist, playwright, director, and screenwriter. His novels include N Judah, New Jerusalem, and The Secret Life of Billy's Uncle Myron (with Emily Jenkins). Plays include DARK RIDE, PILGRIMS OF THE NIGHT, CARELESS LOVE, MY UNCLE SAM, LIMBO TALES, THE DREAM EXPRESS, and LIKE I SAY. His works for the stage have been produced throughout the United States, as well as in England, Germany, France, Denmark, and Japan. His films include Blame It on the Night, Welcome to Oblivion, and American Notes. He has received many honors and awards, including three Obie awards for directing and playwriting, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Award, a nomination for an Emmy Award, and four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Mr. Jenkin holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from Columbia University. He's a Professor in the Dramatic Writing Department, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and lives in New York City.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 9/16/2015
Pages 56
ISBN 9780881456165

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:
The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
American Notes is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC