Cover photo by Matt Kaiser

The Friendly Hour

Tom Jacobson
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Based on the actual minutes of a women’s club formed in rural South Dakota in 1934, this poignant comedy charts 70 years of personal and national history, from skinning skunks and julebukking in the ’30s to restoring native prairie in the new millennium.

Production Info

Cast: 5 total (5 female)
Full Length Comedy (about 140 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“Tom Jacobson has paid exemplary homage to real-life American heroes from a less jaded period in our history, using transcripts of minutes from a rural South Dakotan women’s club that gathered monthly from 1934 through 2004, when the last two survivors begin to fade. As with other of Jacobson’s plays (BUNBURY, SPERM, OUROBOROS), the playwright assigns himself intricate narrative challenges that would have sent Williams back to the loony bin … These powerful Midwestern survivors are the stoic Americans to celebrate and honor, something Jacobson has accomplished with his lyrical, sweetly bucolic text.” —Backstage

“Playwright Tom Jacobson seems to challenge himself with each new project, from the ambitious interconnectivity of the two parts of OUROBOROS to the giddy rewrite of famous literature in BUNBURY. On the surface, his latest play, THE FRIENDLY HOUR, may not seem stylistically in line with his other work, but it is — its audacity is simply more quiet. It is a moving and funny piece … Jacobson’s intriguing play structure, which tells the story entirely through meetings of a club, seeks to let the passage of life over seven decades provide the drama …” —Variety

“Tom Jacobson’s lovely new play chronicles the rituals of a women’s club in rural South Dakota from the late ’30s to 2007, and we watch the women with whom we grow increasingly familiar age and engage in theological disputes that are really at the heart of the matter. God’s purpose, and the purpose of community, interweave and clash through the decades … an impressionistic landscape that straddles the literary worlds of Anton Chekhov and Thornton Wilder.” —L A Weekly

About the Author


  • Tom Jacobson

    Tom Jacobson has had more than 80 productions of his plays, including SPERM at Circle X Theatre Company, THE ORANGE GROVE at Playwrights Arena, and the award-winning BUNBURY, TAINTED BLOOD, OUROBOROS and THE FRIENDLY HOUR at The Road Theatre Company. THE TWENTIETH-CENTURY WAY premiered at The Theatre @ Boston Court and the New York International Fringe Festival (five Ovation Award nominations, four Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle nominations, one GLAAD Award nomination, Fringe Festival Award for Outstanding Production of a Play, PEN Center Award for Drama) and moved Off Broadway to Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre. MAKING PARADISE: THE WEST HOLLYWOOD MUSICAL was produced by Cornerstone Theater Company (Critic's Choice in Back Stage West). He has been a co-literary manager of The Theatre @ Boston Court, a founding member of Playwrights Ink, and a board member of Cornerstone Theater Company and The Theatre @ Boston Court. Most recent productions include the world premieres of THE CHINESE MASSACRE (ANNOTATED) at Circle X and HOUSE OF THE RISING SON at Ensemble Studio Theatre-LA (Critic's Choice in Back Stage West and Los Angeles Times, nominated for a GLAAD Award and winner of two Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards). Film: PRAIRIE SONATA (based on THE FRIENDLY HOUR). Opera: HOPSCOTCH, commissioned by The Industry.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 8/15/2011
Pages 110
ISBN 9780881454994

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:

World premiere by The Road Theater Company, Los Angeles

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


Upcoming and Recent Productions


2/28/2024 – 3/3/2024
Aberdeen, SD

5/9/2019 – 5/12/2019
Kcactf Region 5
Des Moines, IA