Cover artwork from the New York City premiere by Retro Productions, 2009.
Comprised of multiple vintage images of the Dust Bowl made available by the National Archives, Washington DC

Holy Days

Sally Nemeth
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An elegy for the lost souls in the dying plains of Kansas, 1936, who clung to their blighted homesteads like bees to a poisoned hive.

Production Info

Cast: 4 total (2 female, 2 male)
Full Length Drama (about 60 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“If a poem is a form of dense evocational shorthand, Sally Nemeth’s HOLY DAYS is a stage poem. It is uncommonly affecting — an elegy for the lost souls in the dying plains of Kansas, 1936, who clung to their blighted homesteads like bees to the poisoned hive. Not as a matter of choice, but of inevitability. This is The Grapes of Wrath in reverse. There is not much plot. What there is, is simple and stirring … It is not the action that counts, but the chiseled characters. Nemeth is a miniaturist. Is there a play in this? There is. Amazingly. A majestic and gripping one. There is beauty and wisdom in this little piece.” —Sylvie Drake, Los Angeles Times

“Set in Kansas during the Dust Bowl, this play tells the story of two farmer brothers and their wives struggling to make it through the drought and winds that hit the southern Great Plains during the 30’s, blowing away as much withered hope as dried-out topsoil … But the play is less about plot than quiet emotion and reflection … the deep hope Dust Bowlers had to draw upon to carry on.” —Monica Eng, Chicago Tribune

“The power of this play derives partly from its unerring choice and arrangement of events. It begins, in the aftermath of devastation, focusing exclusively on how the characters cope with disaster, and presenting them in an initial state of shock, so that bits of basic exposition gradually come to light during the action, as they regain strength to face the facts. The whole gesture of the piece is to show the shattered group pulling themselves together and making survival plans; and, crucially, holding on to the ceremonies of everyday life.” —Irving Wardle, The Times (London)

About the Author


  • Sally Nemeth

    Born in Chicago in 1959, Sally Nemeth was an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her plays have been produced by theaters throughout the English-speaking world. Published plays include HOLY DAYS, MILL FIRE, WATER PLAY, and SALLY'S SHORTS. Since beginning her television career writing for the hit NBC TV show Law & Order, she had written for every major television network and produced the documentary film Long Story Short. Her novel for young adults, The Heights, the Depths and Everything in Between, is published by Knopf/Yearling. She lived in Indiana, Delaware, Alabama, New York City and Los Angeles. She passed away in 2021.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 5/31/2012
Pages 46
ISBN 9780881455229

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:

Premiered at the SoHo Poly Theatre, London
US premiere at South Coast Rep, Costa Mesa, CA

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


Upcoming and Recent Productions


6/13/2021 – 6/16/2021
U.S. Army Entertainment Division
Louisville, KY

10/1/2020 – 10/4/2020
U.S. Army Entertainment Division
Shape, BE, Belgium

11/16/2019 – 11/16/2019
Kcactf Region 5
Des Moines, IA