Cover art: Edvard Munch

Thérèse Raquin

Neal Bell, adapted from the novel by Emile Zola
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The story of a young woman forced into an unhappy marriage to her dull, sickly cousin and smothered by her overbearing aunt. When her husband’s childhood friend enters her life, it leads Thérèse into a torrid affair that sets her spirit free for the first time but with shattering consequences. Steeped in the atmosphere of 19th-century France with a darkly rich foreboding.

Production Info

Cast: 8 total (3 female, 5 male)
Full Length Drama (about 110 minutes)
Multiple Sets
Period Costumes
Categories: , Tags: ,

Press Quotes

“… Zola allows no rest from the pervasive gloom — and neither does Neal Bell in his ambitious, intelligent adaptation. Bell stimulates both our voyeurism and our moral sensibilities, and he honors Zola’s exquisite sense of cultural detail …” —Carol Burbank, Chicago Reader

“Neal Bell’s exciting new adaptation, from the novel, keeps the grit and erotic animality, but throws out the cumbersome apparatus, letting the sordid story breathe and compressing it into a series of tight, poetically written short scenes, using the grotesque tiny details to imply feelings and situations in vivid shorthand: Naturalism as haiku.” —Michael Feingold, The Village Voice

“Naturalism and expressionism collide with shattering effectiveness in THÉRÈSE RAQUIN. Emile Zola’s seminal work of naturalistic fiction caused an international scandal when published in 1867. Zola’s blunt, unprettified representation of the most sordid elements of life — infidelity, murder, madness and suicide — seemed revolutionary in the context of his time. Especially remarkable was Zola’s gritty portrayal of his eponymous central character Therese, a brilliantly radical departure from the simpering female prototypes of Victorian convention. Playwright Neal Bell’s expressionistic adaptation of Zola’s masterwork is both allusive and bold. Bell, who understands that less is more, tersely renders a psychological suspense story that keeps us on the edge of our seats.” —F Kathleen Foley, The Los Angeles Times

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.

  • Émile Zola

    Émile-Édouard-Charles-Antoine Zola (1840 – 1902) was a French novelist, critic, and political activist who was the most prominent French novelist of the late 19th century. Among his most famous novels are Thérèse Raquin (1867), Madeleine Ferat (1868), and his Rougon-Macquart series, which over the course of 20 novellas follows the lives of two branches of a fictional family living during the Second French Empire (1852 – 1870). The Rougon-Maquart series is considered a masterpiece of the French naturalism movement, which used realism to suggest that social conditions, heredity, and environment had inescapable force in shaping human character.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 2/1/2016
Pages 88
ISBN 9780881455472

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 professionally at The Williamstown Theater Festival, MA

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