Cover photo by Tony Cisek

Things That Break

Sherry Kramer

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When you make glass for a living, your body breaks. Victor, the last in a long line of glassmakers, lies under the knife on the operating table for heart and lung surgery, while his family waits to know if he will live or die. An inside-out surrealist ride on the wishes and fears of a family as they wait in a hospital waiting room, where every thought and terror becomes manifest. It is a play about the end of the American manufacturing era, a postmodern history of glass making, and a tale about the need we have to turn the story of our breakable lives into an unbreakable story.

Production Info

Cast: 13 total (6 female, 7 male)
Full Length Drama (about 100 minutes)
Multiple Sets
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“Sherry Kramer’s THINGS THAT BREAK is a terribly difficult, painfully beautiful play in which everything is broken. The storytelling is jagged, taking surreal twists as it shifts back and forth between the worried wife of a man having heart surgery and her grown son and daughter … This is a wildly imaginative piece of work … listening to Miss Kramer’s kaleidoscopic language … is like being under some hallucinogenic anesthetic …” —Nelson Pressley, The Washington Times

“You may have heard that playwright Sherry Kramer is biting off more than she can chew in THINGS THAT BREAK, her free-form comedy about sibling rivalry, heart surgery, and the American dream. Don’t believe it. The lady chews like a champion. Chomps, actually, greedily bobbling up insights that would surely escape lesser writers, just as she did when introducing the metaphysics-obsessed lesbian lovers of DAVID’S REDHAIRED DEATH …” —Bob Mondello, CityPaper

About the Author


  • Sherry Kramer

    Sherry Kramer's work has been seen at theaters across the country and abroad, including the Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Yale Repertory Theatre, Soho Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York's Second Stage, Woolly Mammoth, and The Theater of the First Amendment. She holds an MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and an MFA in Playwriting from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. She was the first national member of New Dramatists. She is also an affiliated writer at The Playwright's Center. She is a recipient of NEA, New York Foundation for the Arts and McKnight Fellowships, the Weissberger Playwriting Award, and a New York Drama League Award (WHAT A MAN WEIGHS), the LA Women in Theater New Play Award (THE WALL OF WATER), the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award (DAVID'S REDHAIRED DEATH), and commissions from The Moscow Arts Theatre/Iowa International Workshop (THE DREAM HOUSE) and the Audrey Skirball Kenis Foundation (THE MAD MASTER). Other plays include: WHEN SOMETHING WONDERFUL ENDS, HOW WATER BEHAVES, THINGS THAT BREAK, A THING OF BEAUTY, ABOUT SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION, NAPOLEON'S CHINA (music theatre piece with Ann Haskell and Rebecca Newton), THE MASTER AND MARGARITA (music theatre adaptation with composer Margaret Pine), THE RELEASE OF A LIVE PERFORMANCE, PARTIAL OBJECTS, THE WORLD AT ABSOLUTE ZERO, HOLD FOR THREE, CAKE, NANO AND NICKI IN BOCA RATON, IVANHOE, AMERICA, THE LONG ARMS OF JUPITER, THE RULING PASSION, THE END OF RADIO, THE LAW MAKES EVENING FALL, and THE BAY OF FUNDY: AN ADAPTATION OF ONE LINE FROM THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 3/4/2019
Pages 102
ISBN 9780881458022

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 at Theater of the First Amendment

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