Cover art by Bruce McLeod

And I and Silence

Naomi Wallace
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Two imprisoned young women, one African American and the other white, form a perilous bond. As they serve time they forge a plan for survival. They practice hard. If they don’t get it right they’ll lose everything: the outside world is even more dangerous to their friendship than the jail itself. Exploring the fierce dreams of youth and the brutal reality of adulthood in 1950’s segregated America.

Production Info

Cast: 4 total (4 female, Multiethnic Cast)
Full Length Drama (about 75 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“Unmissable … an exquisitely understated examination of female friendship and unspoken love. It’s a truly American tragedy about two women who want so little and get nothing except from each other, yet it is leavened with humour. Wallace’s devastating, moving play is entirely without extravagance and artifice and is completely grounded in the harshness of the real world.” —Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“Naomi Wallace’s short, painful prison drama uses the backdrop of racially segregated ’50s America to weave a tale of the hope that can blossom behind bars, and the despair that can destroy a life outside them.” —Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

“In just 75 minutes on a tiny, almost bare stage, playwright Naomi Wallace conjures a compelling picture of friendship against the odds in the segregated America of the Fifties.” —Fiona Mountford, London Evening Standard

“AND I AND SILENCE is a play that takes on big themes in a very small way and has the ability to be both powerful and touching, leading to an unforgettable dénouement.” —Philip Fisher, The British Theatre Guide

“A former MacArthur genius fellow and Obie winner, Wallace is one of the most subtle and politically engaged American playwrights of her generation. Once again, the question arises: Why isn’t this superb writer more widely produced? … Thanks to Wallace’s delicate touch and generous imagination, AND I AND SILENCE unfolds into a story of love whose unexpected emotional power sideswipes the audience.” —Karen Fricker, Variety

About the Author


  • Naomi Wallace

    Naomi Wallace is a playwright from Kentucky. Her plays — which have been produced in the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, and the Middle East — include IN THE HEART OF AMERICA, SLAUGHTER CITY, ONE FLEA SPARE, THE TRESTLE AT POPE LICK CREEK, THINGS OF DRY HOURS, THE FEVER CHART: THREE VISION OF THE MIDDLE EAST, AND I AND SILENCE, THE HARD WEATHER BOATING PARTY, THE LIQUID PLAIN. Her stage adaptation of William Wharton's novel Birdy was produced on the West End in London. In 2009, ONE FLEA SPARE was incorporated in the permanent repertoire of the French National Theater, the Comédie- Francaise. Only two American playwrights have been added to La Comédie's repertoire in 300 years. Films: Lawn Dogs, The War Boys, Flying Blind (co-written with Bruce McLeod). Awards: Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (twice), Joseph Kesselring Prize, Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award, Obie Award, and the 2012 Horton Foote Award for most promising new American play. She is also a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts development grant. In 2013, Wallace received the inaugural Windham Campbell prize for drama and in 2015, an Arts and Letters Award in Literature.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 12/31/2013
Pages 56
ISBN 9780881455700

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:

First produced by Worn Red Theatre, London

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
And I and Silence is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC


Upcoming and Recent Productions


12/3/2015 – 12/5/2015
Reed College
Portland, OR