Cover art by Len Jenkin


Len Jenkin
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JONAH is a rumination on the story of the man and the sea. Jonah's a man on the run. He hops a Greyhound to Joppa and then grabs a cabin on the ocean-bound Carnival Princess. Drinking away his sorrows at the ship's Grass Skirt Grill, the lounge band Sheila and the Lovetones plays him into a stupor before he tumbles into the waves. Len Jenkin's JONAH is a contemporary retelling of the unfaithful servant; some love stories about the evil city of Ninevah, a Dairy Queen, and of course, the whale.

Production Info

Cast: 9 total (4 female, 5 male)
Full Length Drama (about 100 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“Life’s a beach and then a whale swallows you … Playwright Len Jenkin’s take on the eco-friendliest Bible story in Sunday school is a 100-minute storm of Hawaiian shirts, mermaid skirts and foot-high tropical cocktails served up inside a scalloped circus tent … Just like the Bible says, God stirs up a storm to drown everybody because Jonah, that no account coward and womanizer, refuses to do His will and go preach repentance to the sinners in Nineveh. What we don’t know is the outcome for all the luckless passengers and crew that sailed out to party until they hit land … The fun of a Len Jenkin play is in the wild mix-up of the cocktails and characters operating in a time-warped space where Rhodes scholars and pirate Jezebels stomp [and] fervently sing … They shake, writhe, and wax poetic to accordions and guitars and even an oboe and cello … The show is mesmerizing while you watch — and evocative long after you have left the theater.” —Martha Heimberg, TheaterJones

“Best New Play: … incredible … The frenzied take on the Biblical beach tale featured kaleidoscopic characters and heartwarming stories interwoven in a way that was meaningful, intellectual and fun … [a] hat trick.” —Dallas Observer

About the Author


  • Len Jenkin

    Len Jenkin is a novelist, playwright, director, and screenwriter. His novels include N Judah, New Jerusalem, and The Secret Life of Billy's Uncle Myron (with Emily Jenkins). Plays include DARK RIDE, PILGRIMS OF THE NIGHT, CARELESS LOVE, MY UNCLE SAM, LIMBO TALES, THE DREAM EXPRESS, and LIKE I SAY. His works for the stage have been produced throughout the United States, as well as in England, Germany, France, Denmark, and Japan. His films include Blame It on the Night, Welcome to Oblivion, and American Notes. He has received many honors and awards, including three Obie awards for directing and playwriting, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Award, a nomination for an Emmy Award, and four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Mr. Jenkin holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from Columbia University. He's a Professor in the Dramatic Writing Department, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and lives in New York City.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 5/17/2018
Pages 70
ISBN 9780881457704

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 Undermain Theater, Dallas

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