Now You See Me

Neal Bell
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Claire has a significant relationship with her television: she talks, and it answers her. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, she auditions to participate in a reality TV show so she can fight her “Final Battle” in front of millions of viewers.

Production Info

Cast: 5 total (3 female, 2 male, 2 offstage voices)
Full Length Dark Comedy (about 100 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“A dark comedy with disturbing insights … funny and provocative.” —The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)

“The technology of vanity is developing so quickly that NOW YOU SEE ME, the new play by Neal Bell, is almost a period piece already. The play imagines what would happen if a terminal cancer patient was the star of a reality TV show that would chronicle her own decay and death … The play … [is] crammed with intriguing ideas, dramatic and otherwise … such as the suggestion that watching people die is a kind of pornography. Among the liveliest inventions is Bell’s plainly deliberate use of stock television-show dialogue for his characters, echoed here and there by actual T V programs seen in fragments on one of two onstage screens. NOW YOU SEE ME comes on like a sitcom — it very nearly is a sitcom, a critique of the thing by nearly being it—and implicitly asks us whether reality shows aren’t actually sitcoms themselves, a cheapening of everyone involved, including the viewer.” —Adam Sobsey, Indy Week

About the Author


  • Neal Bell

    Neal Bell's plays, including SPATTER PATTERN (Edgar Award), MONSTER, TWO SMALL BODIES, RAW YOUTH, COLD SWEAT, READY FOR THE RIVER, SLEEPING DOGS, RAGGED DICK, ON THE BUM, and SOMEWHERE IN THE PACIFIC, have appeared at Playwrights Horizons and Classic Stage Company in New York, and at regional theaters including Berkeley Repertory, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, and Actors Theater of Louisville, where his ten-minute play OUT THE WINDOW was a co-winner of the 1990 Heideman Award. Mr. Bell has been a playwright-in-residence at the Yale School of Drama, and has taught playwriting at New York University, Playwrights Horizons Theater School, and the 42nd Street Collective. He is currently a member of the Theater Department faculty at Duke University. A recipient of fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment and the Guggenheim Foundation, Mr. Bell was awarded an Obie Award in 1992 for sustained achievement in playwriting.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 6/24/2016
Pages 78
ISBN 9780881456509

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 produced by Manbites Dog Theater, Durham, NC in 2011

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