Cover art by Em Grosland

Mimesophobia or Before and After

Carlos Murillo
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They seemed like the perfect couple. Attractive. Well-educated. Affluent. Why did the husband brutally murder his wife and take his own life? Aaron and Henry, two young wannabe screenwriters at a writer's retreat struggle with crippling blocks as they seek to solve the mystery. Shawn, an academic teetering on the edge of insanity grapples with her own possible involvement in the killing, while writing a book about America’s obsession with violence. Meanwhile, the murder victim's sister attempts to reconstruct the truth from the ashes of her late sister's diary, becoming a celebrity in the process. What really happened that violent night, and will any of them come close to uncovering the truth?

Production Info

Cast: 6 total (3 female, 3 male)
Full Length Drama (about 100 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes
Category: Tags: ,

Press Quotes

“MIMESOPHOBIA [is] defined as ‘the morbid fear of slavish imitation’ … The work is framed as a reality TV show, documentary reenactment, description of a film script and a murder mystery all rolled into a 100-minute show. The result is a theatrical exercise that is an intelligent, funny, satirical look into the American obsession with violence. Our voyeuristic instincts make murder and the cult of celebrity into a fun spectator sport that we can’t get enough of. MIMESOPHOBIA unravels as part murder mystery, part reality TV show, with a glimpse into the creation of a film. Playwright Murillo structures much of the work using a film script description complete with camera shot directions. This effectively paints the action in our minds eye as it evokes humor and wit from the camera point of view. The work dodges between Hollywood and Hyde Park Chicago as it tracks one family’s tragedy … The work demands our full attention as it moves briskly between forms to tell the story. Sprinkles of wit, satire and raw humor propel this challenging work … This provocative play has many levels of meaning that contain cautionary elements about contemporary entertainment.” —Tom Williams, Chicago Critic

“Funny, provocative, and poignant, MIMESOPHOBIA is a huge success … and one of the more refreshing plays to land this season.” —Scotty Zacher, Chicago Theater Beat

About the Author


  • Carlos Murillo

    Carlos Murillo is a Chicago based playwright, director, and educator. He is the author of THE JAVIER PLAYS, a trilogy published by 53rd State Press that includes DIAGRAM OF A PAPER AIRPLANE, A THICK DESCRIPTION OF HARRY SMITH and YOUR NAME WILL FOLLOW YOU HOME. His play DARK PLAY OR STORIES FOR BOYS premiered at the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville in 2007, and has been produced widely throughout the US and Europe. In New York his work has been seen at P73, Repertorio Español, The NYC Summer Play Festival, En Garde Arts, Soho Rep, and The Public. In Chicago, his work has been seen at Steppenwolf, the Goodman, Collaboraction, Adventure Stage, Theatre Seven, and Walkabout Theatre. He is the recipient of a 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award. Other awards include: the Frederick Loewe Award from New Dramatists, the Met Life/Nuestros Voces Award from Repertorio Español, the Otis Guernsey Award from the William Inge Theatre Festival, two National Latino Playwriting Award from Arizona Theatre Company, and a Jerome Fellowship from The Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis. An alumnus of New Dramatists, he currently heads the Playwriting Program at The Theatre School of DePaul University in Chicago. He lives in the south side of Chicago with his wife, Lisa Portes, and their two children, Eva Rose and Carlos Pablo.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 11/19/2015
Pages 90
ISBN 9780881456400

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 commissioned by South Coast Rep

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