The Living

Anthony Clarvoe

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In 1665 the plague brought London to its knees. THE LIVING concerns Londoners who have remained in the city as they struggle to find meaning in the midst of such a catastrophic epidemic.

Production Info

Cast: 10 total (2 female, 8 male)
Full Length Drama (about 120 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Period Costumes

Press Quotes

“Set in 1665 London as the Black Plague sweeps the city claiming more than 100,000 lives, THE LIVING is not about death. Rather this remarkable, riveting drama is a compelling confirmation of life. And although it’s set more than three centuries ago, Anthony Clarvoe’s two-act parable (in which the reactions of the people and the government parallel those surrounding today’s AIDS epidemic), maintains … stunning immediacy … Often bitterly funny, often ineffably sad, this is the story of a few brave sometimes reluctantly so people who stood fast, doing what need to be done … Propelled by Clarvoe’s masterful handling of language …” —Sandra Dillard-Rosen, The Denver Post

“The play THE LIVING is alive with lessons for tomorrow. Set in London in the bubonic plague year of 1665, the play is a scary morality tale, a ghoulish slice of history and an evening shining with hope … Inevitably, the world wakes up from nightmares and learns to dance and grumble again. Clarvoe’s play reveals much in its simple retelling of a real horror. The Londoners of 1665 knew nothing about the causes of the plague. In the end, it passed, as all things do. The lesson in THE LIVING is about being tested and not being found wanting.” —Jackie Campbell, Rocky Mountain News

“… Clarvoe’s thought-provoking script, which not only celebrates the strength of courage and compassion in a climate of overwhelming fear, but has a clear parallel in this country’s muddled response to the dire beginning of the AIDS crisis …” —Terri Roberts, Backstage West

About the Author


  • Anthony Clarvoe

    Anthony Clarvoe’s plays PICK UP AX, SHOW AND TELL, THE LIVING, LET’S PLAY TWO, THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, AMBITION FACING WEST, WALKING OFF THE ROOF, CTRL+ALT+DELETE, THE ART OF SACRIFICE, GUNPOWDER JOE, and PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE and his translations of Henrik Ibsen’s GHOSTS and THE WILD DUCK are published by Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. He has received American Theatre Critics, Will Glickman, Bay Area Theatre Critics, Los Angeles Drama Critics, Garland, Elliot Norton, and Edgerton New American Play awards; fellowships from the Guggenheim, Irvine, Jerome, and McKnight Foundations, National Endowment for the Arts, Theater Communications Group/Pew Charitable Trusts, and Kennedy Center; commissions from South Coast Rep, Mark Taper Forum, and Playwrights Horizons; the Berrilla Kerr Award for his contributions to American theater; and many others. He teaches dramatic literature at OLLI@UC Berkeley and playwriting in Oakland, CA. A native San Franciscan and long-time resident of New York City and the Midwest, he lives with his family in Berkeley, CA.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 12/14/2020
Pages 88
ISBN 9780881458756

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 The Denver Center Theater Company

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


Upcoming and Recent Productions


3/31/2023 – 4/16/2023
Augsburg University Theater
Minneapolis, MN

4/21/2022 – 4/30/2022
Depaul College Prep H.S.
Chicago, IL

11/12/2021 – 11/21/2021
Centralia College
Centralia, WA

10/28/2021 – 10/30/2021
Lawrence University
Appleton, WI

10/22/2021 – 10/30/2021
Coe College
Cedar Rapids, IA

10/7/2021 – 10/24/2021
College Of Dupage
Glen Ellyn, IL

6/5/2021 – 6/5/2021
Montyland Productions
Madison, WI

4/21/2021 – 4/23/2021
Echo Theater Collective
Oak Park, IL

3/12/2021 – 3/13/2021
Wilshire Baptist Church
Dallas, TX

2/26/2021 – 2/26/2021
Butler University
Indianapolis, IN

2/4/2021 – 2/6/2021
Wilshire Baptist Church
Dallas, TX

11/21/2020 – 11/21/2020
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA

11/19/2020 – 11/22/2020
Webster University
St. Louis, MO

11/19/2020 – 11/22/2020
School Of Performing Arts
Brookings, SD

11/13/2020 – 11/19/2020
Oakton Community College
Des Plaines, IL

11/12/2020 – 11/22/2020
The Abbey Players
Belmont, NC

11/6/2020 – 11/14/2020
Up And Coming Theatre
McHenry, IL

10/30/2020 – 11/7/2020
Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Coon Rapids, MN

10/30/2020 – 11/8/2020
Christopher Newport University
Newport News, VA

10/23/2020 – 10/31/2020
Le Moyne College
Syracuse, NY

11/8/2019 – 11/17/2019
Dartmouth College Department Of Theater
Hanover, NH