Bierce Takes on the Railroad!

Phil Bosakowski

This play is included in the collection:


Veteran journalist Ambrose Bierce, whose wit is as sharp as a scalpel, is sent by yellow journalist William Randolph Hearst to the Pacific Western Railroad, the symbol of big business corruption at the turn of the century. Bierce has his hands full, not only with bought-off senators and railroad goons but with a son who has a dangerous proclivity for the ladies and a weariness with his incessant battle against “goodness.”

Production Info

Cast: 9 total (3 female, 6 male)
Full Length Comedy (about 85 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Period Costumes

Press Quotes

“Truly funny plays that not only make you laugh out loud — even in the reading — but also make you think for a long time about such big and varied topics as passion, politics and history, deserve to be kept alive. This new publication of three of Phil Bosakowski’s plays, the first appearance in print of his last play, NIXON APOLOGIZES TO THE NATION, helps assure that longevity. Highly adventurous and eminently theatrical, these plays are more like cubist paintings with musical accompaniments than literature intended to be read. The texts were written to be played, and for the fullest experience they must be — even if only by actors moving around with a few props. But the solitary act of reading them also has its rewards in the fun and detailed exposure to Phil’s comic voice and compassionate world view. His humor, outrage and sense of American history combine and reconfigure in ways that surprise and unsettle our complacency, challenging us to look afresh at our history, our figureheads and ourselves. This is humor with an edge, but it doesn’t bite viciously. Phil’s hearty satire borrows from Monty Python and the Marx Brothers to goad us out of our grudges. With BIERCE (1974) Phil looks at political chicanery in late nineteenth century America through the hard edged and steady gaze of the journalist Ambrose Bierce … With NIXON (1994) Phil combines the two approaches, wrapping the realistic line of development around a surreal free-for-all. In ten takes facing the television cameras Nixon tries to tape an apology to the nation, takes which momentarily stall and inevitably provoke the eruptions of Nixon’s warped visions of people and events in American history.” —Gay Smith, Introduction to Plays by Phil Bosakowski

About the Author


  • Phil Bosakowski

    Phil Bosakowski was born November 1, 1946, in Passaic, New Jersey, and grew up in the surrounding areas. He received both a BA in English and an MA in Theater from Villanova University, and later earned an MFA in Playwriting from the University of Iowa. His plays include BIERCE TAKES ON THE RAILROAD!, LEADING OFF AND PLAYING SHORTSTOP, THE FLOOD, MINSTREL SHOW, PALM 90, KIDS AND DOGS, DISAPPEARING ACTS, CHOPIN IN SPACE, HOME STREET HOME, OUR GOD'S BROTHER, CROSSIN' THE LINE, NORMAL-C, WHEEL AND DEAL, BUSTER COMES THROUGH!, HOW I GOT MY APARTMENT, BETTY AT THE KOOL KLUB, USO PLAYS THE SANDS, and NIXON APOLOGIZES TO THE NATION. He passed away on September 11, 1994, in Middletown, Connecticut.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 6/1/2000
ISBN 9780881451658

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:
Bierce Takes on the Railroad! is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC