Three Wise Guys

Scott Alan Evans and Jeffrey Couchman, based on the stories "Dancing Dan's Christmas" and "The Three Wise Guys" by Damon Runyon
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The PDF ePlay version includes both the original version of the play and a version in manuscript conceived specifically for virtual productions such as live and recorded streaming.

Recordings consist of a cue sheet and 20 WAV music files by Joseph Trapanese created for the original Off-Broadway production.

This title may also be purchased in the following bundle at 20% off the regular price: THE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION


Christmas Eve, 1932. Three New York wise guys on the run from a hotheaded racketeer journey from a Manhattan speakeasy to a swanky Long Island mansion to a ramshackle barn in Pennsylvania, inadvertently spreading holiday cheer everywhere they go. Based on two short stories by Damon Runyon (GUYS AND DOLLS), this effervescent comedy fizzes with laughter and heart.

Production Info

Cast: 7 total (2 female, 5 male, doubling or flexible casting, up to 4 females, 10 males)
Full Length Comedy (about 100 minutes)
Multiple Sets
Period Costumes
Category: Tags: ,

Press Quotes

“Funny, sweet, and thoroughly charming … The voices here are unalloyed, cartoon New York, with a ‘guys and dolls’ locution that earns laughs as much from sentence structure as from the jokes themselves. In Runyon’s universe, unlawful activities are mitigated by a deep but grudging moral code. And his characters, like all good gangsters, occasionally break out into impeccable barbershop harmonies.” —The New Yorker

“A sure bet … graceful, funny, and warm [which] comforts as much as it amuses … a tribute to the era of speakeasies, bootleggers, guys and dolls.” —Curtain Up

“Very charming … sit back and enjoy … high-wire theatre-making that leaves you a little breathless and considerably in awe.” —Theaterscene

“An adorable new wise-guy fable … It’s so lovable that regional theater artistic directors across the land would be their own guys and dolls to program the piece this very year as a seasonal treat. [It] is simply too, too good.” —David Finkle, New York Stage Review

“A little gem of a play.” —NY Theatre Guide

“Tickles the funny bone! … It’s amazing how much can happen in one evening!” —Theater Pizzazz

About the Author


  • Scott Alan Evans

    Scott Alan Evans is a director, writer, teacher, and the former Founding Executive Artistic Director of the award-winning Off-Broadway company TACT/The Actors Company Theatre. Since 1993, Evans has unearthed, produced, and/or directed over 200 plays for TACT, including rare or forgotten works as well as new plays. His writing includes: THE TRIANGLE FACTORY FIRE PROJECT (conceived, co-wrote, and directed the World Premiere Off-Broadway production); GOOSE! BEYOND THE NURSERY (book, lyrics, directed, Outer Critic Circle Award nominations for Best Lyrics and Best Off-Broadway Musical); CHARLOTTE & SHAW, OR ON THE MARRIAGE QUESTION (book and lyrics, Eugene O'Neill Theatre Conference finalist); and adaptations of SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER by Oliver Goldsmith; SALUTE TO THE BRAVE, SEMI-MONDE by Noel Coward; and A HANDSOME MAN by Aleksandr Ostrovsky. Off-Broadway directing credits include: Noël Coward's LONG ISLAND SOUND (US premiere, adapted and directed); HOME by David Storey; THE SEA by Edward Bond; INCIDENT AT VICHY by Arthur Miller; THE COCKTAIL PARTY by T.S. Eliot; THREE MEN ON A HORSE by John Cecil Holms & George Abbott; CHILDREN by A.R. Gurney; HAPPY BIRTHDAY by Anita Loos; BEYOND THERAPY by Christopher Durang; HARD LOVE by Motti Lerner; and SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER by Oliver Goldsmith. In 2010, Evans established newTACTics, a new play development program to discover and foster innovative voices in the theatre. Each June the newTACTics New Play Festival showcased four new works, many of which have gone on to professional productions across the country. Additionally, he has directed works regionally and in the university setting. For 10 years, Evans served as Artistic Director of the American Musicals Project, an educational program created by the New York Historical Society in conjunction with the NYC Board of Education. AMP created innovative curricula based on American Musical Master Works to help teach Social Studies and English Language Arts to middle school students and each year presented a concert series featuring top Broadway talent. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild and SDC.

  • Jeffrey Couchman

    Jeffrey Couchman collaborated with Scott Alan Evans on the comedy THREE WISE GUYS, based on a pair of stories by Damon Runyon, which was produced Off-Broadway by TACT/The Actors Company Theatre. He has written the book and lyrics for the sung-through musicals BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (music by Eric Allaman) and BLOOD AND FIRE (music by Lisa Heffter). POTEMKIN has been staged Off-Broadway at the York Theatre, at the Algonquin Arts Theatre in New Jersey, the Hartt School in Hartford, as part of a Festival of New Works in Nashville, and at Gallissas Theaterverlag in Berlin (German translation), among other venues. BLOOD AND FIRE has been performed at the York Theatre, the Theater Resources Unlimited New Musicals Reading Series in New York City, and the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival in Auburn, New York. He translated the book and lyrics of a new German musical, ZEPPELIN (music by Ralph Siegel), into English. Couchman has worked in Hollywood, collaborating with Russell Louis Dvonch on screenplays for various studios. His fiction has been published in many literary journals, and his nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, American Cinematographer, and other magazines and essay anthologies. He is the author of the well-received book The Night of the Hunter: A Biography of a Film (selected by the Financial Times of London as one of its Best Books of the Year) and editor of an annotated edition of two film scripts by James Agee, The African Queen and The Night of the Hunter: First and Final Screenplays, part of The Works of James Agee, a series published by University of Tennessee Press. He has taught Textual Analysis at HB Studio and currently teaches Screenwriting at the College of Staten Island.

  • Damon Runyon

    Damon Runyon (1880–1946) is best known today as the source for Nathan Detroit, Miss Adelaide, and the other New York characters of the musical GUYS AND DOLLS (1950). In his own time, however, Runyon was legendary as a sportswriter and feature columnist for the Hearst newspapers. He was also an author of short fiction and a prolific poet of often grimly humorous verse even before he wrote the tales of those Broadway guys and dolls that gave him lasting fame and considerable fortune. So distinctive is his style that his name has become a common adjective, "Runyonesque," which refers both to a character on the fringes of respectable society, who nevertheless lives by a strict code of outlaw honor, and to a highly distinctive argot. Runyon's work is still in print the world over and lives on as well in the many films made from his stories, including such classics as Frank Capra's Lady for a Day (1933), based on Runyon's touching "Madame La Gimp," and Little Miss Marker (1934), starring Shirley Temple as Runyon's diminutive charmer. When Runyon died of throat cancer in 1946, his friend Eddie Rickenbacker, the World War I flying ace and president of Eastern Airlines, fulfilled a request in Runyon's will, and from a plane above Times Square scattered the writer's ashes over the Broadway that Runyon loved and immortalized.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 11/9/2018
Pages 82
ISBN 9780881457940

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:

The World Premiere of THREE WISE GUYS was produced
by TACT/The Actors Company Theatre
(Scott Alan Evans, Executive Artistic Director), March 11, 2018

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

Production Video and Stills

Production Video and Stills

THREE WISE GUYS produced by TACT/The Actors Company Theatre in New York City.

Three Wise Guys cast and set

The cast and set of the TACT production.

Three Wise Guys cast and set

The cast and set of the TACT production.

Three Wise Guys cast and set

The cast and set of the TACT production.

Three Wise Guys cast and set

The cast and set of the TACT production.
Production Notes

Download the following materials from the original Off-Broadway production for use in your production’s social media and programs:


Upcoming and Recent Productions


12/6/2019 – 12/15/2019
Chetco Pelican Players
Brookings, OR