Cover photo by Joan Marcus

Spatter Pattern

Neal Bell
Book Item Icon $15.95
PDF ePlay Item Icon
Enter total users


When a screenwriter becomes entangled in the life of a university professor under investigation for a grisly murder, what begins as self-interest soon gives way to empathy, and a bond between men from seemingly opposite worlds deepens. An eerie, grimly funny whodunit, SPATTER PATTERN is a brutally honest and touching elegy about survival and the guilt that accompanies it.

Production Info

Cast: 4 total (1 female, 3 male)
Full Length Drama (about 100 minutes)
Multiple Sets
Contemporary Costumes
Category: Tag:

Press Quotes

“Leave it to Neal Bell. So many recent plays have made forays into the noir genre — conscious or unconscious, spoofing or surrealist — that I had assumed there was nothing new to be gotten from it. But Bell walks in, boldly and knowingly, where legions have trod before, and instantly finds new paths to explore, new matches of tone and subject, new sources of moral perturbation. His title, from forensic medicine, describes both the directions in which blood has spurted from a fatal wound and the aesthetic tactic his script employs. His topic, achingly visible under the sprayed droplets of his story, is responsibility …” —Michael Feingold, The Village Voice

“Bell’s writing is so sharp, so focused and so consistently interesting — not a word is superfluous — that you come away with a surprisingly theatrical experience … This is a tense, beautiful, speedy drama set in a right-now world of urban menace and fear. It’s a theatrical discovery by a major talent. And it will stay with you long after the final, breathless blackout.” —Jacques le Sourd, The Journal News

“Neal Bell is one of those playwrights you keep expecting to hit big … The immaculate stylist writes clean, crisp lines for characters quivering with urban angst. His humor is droll and laced with self-deprecating irony, and while his central theme might be summed up as ‘spiritual alienation,’ his topics are usually timely, reflecting a macabre interest in crimes of passion and a rather academic curiosity about what compels humans to violence …” —Marilyn Stasio, Variety

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 5/1/2006
Pages 80
ISBN 9780881452921

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 Playwrights Horizons, New York

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