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Beating a Dead Horse

Jenny Stafford
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Steve and Marty Martin are two brothers on the brink of closing their failing pet funeral home, “A Nice Farm Upstate with Plenty of Room to Run Around.” That is, until an eccentric, rich old lady offers them a fortune for the funeral of her nearly dead racehorse, Sir Trots-A-Lot. There’s only one problem: the horse won’t die.

Production Info

Cast: 7 total (3 female, 4 male, one role doubles)
Full Length Comedy (about 95 minutes)
Single Set
Contemporary Costumes
Category: Tag:

Press Quotes

“For theatregoers who like to laugh and think, BEATING A DEAD HORSE is a winner … the audience is roaring.” —Connie Shakalis, The Herald Times

“It’s rare that you come across such a non-stop funny show. From beginning to end, it’s just flat-out hilarious. The characters are fun, and the show is a great escape from pretty much everything right now.” —Chad Rabinovitz, The Herald Times

About the Author


  • Jenny Stafford

    Jenny Stafford is an award-winning bookwriter, lyricist, playwright, and essayist whose works have been heard on Broadway, regionally, and internationally. Broadway: Cirque du Soleil's PARAMOUR. Regional: SECRET HOUR (Capital Repertory Theatre world premiere), THE HOMEFRONT (with Sam Salmond and Malika Oyetemin, Village Theatre, NAMT and Kleban finalist), THE ARTIST AND THE SCIENTIST (with Brandon Anderson, CAP21), EXTENDED STAY (with Scotty Arnold, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, upcoming production at WOW Theatre), PRODIGY (CCU, NYU, Two Rivers Theatre Company, and Indiana University), TO HAVE AND TO HOLD (Prospect Theatre Company, Barrington Stage), CINDERELLA (commissioned/produced by the Spotlight Youth Theatre), TWO BUGS ARE BETTER THAN ONE (commissioned/produced Off-Broadway by the New York City Children's Theatre, all with Willem Oosthuysen), THE STAR CHILD (with Sarah Underwood and Josh Freilich, produced at French Woods), AWAKENING (with Joel B. New and J. Oconer Navarro), BEATING A DEAD HORSE (winner of the 2017 Reva Shiner Comedy Award, Bloomington Playwrights Project), COLOR INSIDE THE LINES (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Denver Fringe Festival — winner of the "Best Solo Show" award), ELEANOR AND DOLLY (upcoming world premiere at Vintage Theatre) and SKITTLES (Woolly Mammoth). International: SOME KIND OF WEASLE (2020 Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Cirque du Soleil's PARAMOUR (Hamburg, Germany), ALIVE (The Space UK, Edinburgh, published through Pioneer Drama), COLOR INSIDE THE LINES (2021/2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Her work has been featured at the Lincoln Center Songbook Series (The Lyrics of Jennifer Stafford), Prospect Theatre Company, The National Alliance for Musical Theatre Songwriter Salon, the New York Musical Theatre Festival, 54 Below, Ars Nova, Joe's Pub, and numerous other NYC venues, including multiple inclusions in William Finn's Ridiculously Talented concert series. Awards: Capital Rep New Works Award, 2017 Reva Shiner Comedy Award, 2021 and 2022 ASCAP Plus Award, Denver Fringe Best Solo Show (COLOR INSIDE THE LINES), the Paulette Goddard Award. Nominations for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Spirit of the Online Fringe Award and the Fringe Review Hidden Gem Award in Edinburgh. Finalist status for the Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre (2018 and 2021), the Yale Institute for Music Theatre, the Eugene O'Neill Musical Theatre Conference, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Conference, the McKnight Fellowship, the PEN Fellowship, and the Ronald M. Ruble New Play Competition. Artist in Residence: Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Village Theatre, Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, Catwalk Institute, Hypatia in the Woods, Goodspeed Musicals, CAP 21, the Ross Ragland Theatre, the Berkshire Playwrights Theatre. She is also an essayist, with essays published in the Colorado Sun, the Santa Ana Review, and the Ponder Review. Dramatists Guild member. MFA, Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Jenny is the head of playwriting and musical theatre bookwriting at Temple University.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 5/10/2023
Pages 86
ISBN 9780881459715

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 presented by the Bloomington Playwrights Project
(Artistic Director, Chad Rabinovitz; Associate Artistic Director, Ben Smith)
in September 2017.

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


Upcoming and Recent Productions


2/16/2024 – 2/18/2024
Majestic Theatre
Manchester, NH