Cover art by Kelly Allen

Barbecue Apocalypse

Matt Lyle
Book Item Icon $15.95
PDF ePlay Item Icon
Enter total users


This title may also be purchased in the following bundle at 20% off the regular price: THE APOCALYPSE COMETH


Three couples gather on the back deck of a very modest suburban home for a mid-summer barbecue where the hosts, Mike and Deb, struggle with feelings of inadequacy about their home decor, their clothes, their careers, their culinary skills, and pretty much everything else. Ash is a successful yuppy with impeccable taste but annoys the hell out of his wife, Lulu, who likes to get very drunk, very quickly. Win mistakes his obnoxious confidence for charm, and his new girlfriend, Glory, is just too young and beautiful to be tolerated by other women. Throughout the first act feelings are hurt over the difference between “Organic” and “All Natural” beef, who’s pregnant and who’s just put on a little weight, and a nearly crippling iPhone addiction. The superficial, neuroses-laden interpersonal squabbles bubble over to a flash of inept violence when Win makes what we learn is just one in a series of passes at Deb. As the act closes, the group discovers that the rest of the world has been literally falling apart during their little, terrible barbecue. Act Two takes place on the same deck for another barbecue to celebrate their one-year post-apocalypsiversary. In a year where the only way to measure success is survival, roles have reversed, and we explore how each character’s basic nature has allowed them to adapt and thrive or has pushed them to the brink of extinction.

Production Info

Cast: 7 total (3 female, 4 male)
Full Length Dark Comedy (about 100 minutes)
Single Set
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“The vast reservoir of pop culture Lyle mines to create dialogue that is both realistic and stylized reveals a kind of Aspergery love of language that’s hard to overpraise. The play isn’t laden with jokes so much as a way of saying things with hilarious understatement. You may want to see it twice just to hear all the lines you missed the first time.” —Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice

“It could have been enough for Lyle to set the entire play at this awkward, weird, and painfully honest barbecue; he still would have ended up with an engaging lark that’s sitcom-funny. But then he decides to end the world.” —Lyndsey Wilson, D Magazine

“BARBECUE APOCALYPSE is a tasty nine-layer dip of comedy commentary about the slippery matters of marriage, adult friendships and career failure (real or perceived).” —Elaine Liner, Dallas Observer

“A good comedy makes you laugh. A really good one makes you think. BARBECUE APOCALYPSE is a really good comedy.” —Nancy Churnin, Dallas Morning News

“A hilarious frenzy of existential angst.” —Martha Heimberg,

“BARBECUE APOCALYPSE suggests, in no uncertain terms, that these thoroughly average Americans were far more savage when they were sipping mango margaritas and failing to make small talk as compared to a year later when their new hobbies include devouring raccoons and threatening to stab electronic devices, among other acts defined as depraved by current standards of decorum.” —Kevin Greene, Chicago Stage Standard

About the Author


  • Matt Lyle

    Originally from East Texas, Matt Lyle is a writer, actor, and director living in Dallas, Texas. Matt's plays have been produced across the U.S. His plays THE BOXER, HELLO HUMAN FEMALE, BARBECUE APOCALYPSE and BIG SCARY ANIMALS all garnered DFW Theater Critics Forum Awards for "Outstanding New Play" and BARBECUE APOCALYPSE was nominated for an American Theatre Critics Association Steinberg New Play Award. Matt has been commissioned by Theatre Three, Dallas Theater Center and Audacity Theatre Lab. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Playwrights' Center and was honored as the 2018 Distinguished Alum of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 12/6/2016
Pages 82
ISBN 9780881456851

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:

Originally produced by Kitchen Dog Theater, Dallas, TX

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

Production Stills

Production Stills

Barbecue Apocalypse still 1

Martha Harms and Michael Federico in the Kitchen Dog Theater production of BARBECUE APOCALYPSE. Photo by Matt Mzorek.

Barbecue Apocalypse still 2

Cast of BARBECUE APOCALYPSE in the Kitchen Dog Theater production. Photo by Matt Mzorek.

Upcoming and Recent Productions


5/10/2018 – 5/26/2018
Charlotte's Off-Broadway
Cornelius, NC


11/15/2024 – 11/24/2024
Spokane, WA

8/4/2023 – 8/13/2023
Acting Ensemble, Inc
Mishawaka, IN

11/4/2022 – 11/6/2022
University Of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO

8/27/2021 – 8/28/2021
Ashe County Little Theatre
Laurel Springs, NC

3/5/2020 – 3/15/2020
Select Prefix/title
South Lake Tahoe, CA

11/14/2019 – 11/24/2019
Lone Star College-Cyfair
Cypress, TX

4/26/2019 – 5/4/2019
Out Of Pocket Inc.
Rochester, NY

3/29/2019 – 4/20/2019
Spreckels Theatre Company
Rohnert Park, CA

6/15/2018 – 7/21/2018
The Cuckoo's Theater Project
Chicago, IL

4/27/2018 – 5/12/2018
Verge Theater
Bozeman, MT

2/16/2018 – 2/16/2018
Charlotte's Off-Broadway
Charlotte, NC

4/25/2017 – 4/29/2017
Richland College
Dallas, TX