Cover image: detail from Bere'shit,
from the Schocken Bible, Southern German, circa 1300

Underneath the Lintel

Glen Berger
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In this gripping ghost story an eccentric librarian discovers a weather-beaten book in a return bin — 113 years overdue. Sparked by a message left in its margins, he embarks on a magical quest that takes him around the world and 2,000 years into the past. With astonishing twists and turns, UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL draws us into an unforgettable odyssey.

Production Info

Cast: 1 total (1 male)
Full Length Drama (about 65 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Contemporary Costumes
Categories: , Tags: ,

Press Quotes

“… one of a handful of great plays written in the last five years … it’s an astonishingly beautiful piece of writing …” —Steve Wiecking, Seattle Weekly

“On an inauspicious morning at a Dutch library, a librarian makes an unexpected find in the overnight return box … a much mistreated Baedeker’s guidebook 123 years overdue. Even without compound interest, this tardiness merits a tidy fine, and in UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL, playwright Glen Berger’s latest, our librarian hero determines to track down the miscreant. Berger’s monologue, subtitled ‘The Mystery of the Abandoned Trousers,’ hardly slacks. Mailing a fine to the long-lived scofflaw in question proves difficult, as the borrower listed his name only as ‘A.’ In an effort to run him to earth, the librarian, who has never left his native town of Hoofddorp, zips to China, Australia, Germany, and America. He eats sweets, greases palms, sees Les Miserables in three languages, and fritters away all his accumulated vacation days. He has the time of his life, or perhaps for the first time actually has a life.” —Alexis Soloski, The Village Voice

“Berger has shown a penchant for men obsessively investigating truths that blind them to more ordinary pursuits of happiness. This one-man show is no exception. It’s a satisfying mix of intelligent writing and quirky humor in a package that isn’t neatly wrapped up with pat answers.” —Jana J Monji, Los Angeles Times

“Glen Berger’s work feels like what an entire generation of playwrights have been struggling to write.” —Bret Fetzer, The Stranger (Seattle)

About the Author


  • Glen Berger

    Glen Berger's plays include UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL (more than 450 performances off Broadway; several Best Play awards; more than 200 productions; translated into eight languages), O LOVELY GLOWWORM (2005 Portland Drammy Award for Best Script), and GREAT MEN OF SCIENCE, NOS. 21 & 22 (1998 Ovation Award and L A Weekly Award for Best Play). His television credits include two Emmy Awards (twelve total nominations) and more than 150 episodes for children's series, including Arthur (P B S), Peep (Discovery/The Learning Channel), Big and Small (B B C), and Fetch (P B S), for which he was head writer for all five of its seasons. Berger was the co-bookwriter for SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK on Broadway, directed by Julie Taymor, with music by Bono and Edge of U2. He wrote a book of that experience — Song of Spider-Man — which was published by Simon & Schuster in 2013. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 12/30/2003
Pages 60
ISBN 9780881452235

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 Off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse

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


Upcoming and Recent Productions


2/2/2024 – 2/4/2024
Frosted Glass Creative
Marine on Saint Croix, MN

9/24/2020 – 9/27/2020
Lab Theater Project
Tampa, FL

6/25/2019 – 6/25/2019
Gloucester Stage Company
Gloucester, MA

2/8/2019 – 2/17/2019
The Zephyr Theatre
Stillwater, MN

5/30/2018 – 7/1/2018
Theater Latte Da
Minneapolis, MN

10/10/2017 – 11/19/2017
Geffen Playhouse
Los Angeles, CA

8/4/2017 – 8/7/2017
Theater Latte Da
Minneapolis, MN

3/30/2017 – 4/9/2017
Old Creamery Theatre
Amana, IA

12/8/2016 – 12/23/2016
Pure Theatre
Charleston, SC

6/23/2016 – 6/26/2016
Glenridge Performing Arts Center
Sarasota, FL


10/5/2024 – 10/6/2024
Wappingers Falls, NY

9/16/2023 – 9/16/2023
Eau Claire, WI

6/28/2023 – 7/2/2023
Honest Puck
ACT, Australia

4/21/2023 – 4/21/2023
Actors Repertory Theatre
Chatfield, MN

4/13/2023 – 4/13/2023
Actors Repertory Theatre
Brainerd, MN

2/11/2023 – 2/12/2023
, Chippewa Falls, WI

1/10/2023 – 1/14/2023
Gabe Smith, Starkville Community Theatre / Mississippi Theatre Association
Starkville, MS

11/19/2022 – 11/20/2022
Cjl Play
Princeton, NJ

11/17/2022 – 11/20/2022
Edward King House
Newport, RI

11/11/2022 – 11/13/2022
The Logan Theater
Chicago, IL

9/17/2022 – 9/17/2022
Empirically Theatre Group
Richmond, VA

5/1/2022 – 5/1/2022
Lathrop Community
Northampton, MA

4/22/2022 – 5/7/2022
The Road Less Traveled Community Theatre Company
Dubuque, IA

4/15/2022 – 4/16/2022
Emerson Theater Collaborative
Sedona, AZ

3/3/2022 – 3/20/2022
Ocala Civic Theatre
Ocala, FL

9/11/2021 – 9/11/2021
Criterion Theatre, Coventry
Coventry, United Kingdom

8/28/2021 – 9/4/2021
Criterion Theatre, Coventry
Coventry, United Kingdom

1/31/2020 – 2/14/2020
Grove, OK

8/15/2019 – 8/24/2019
By The Book Productions
Edmonton, AB, Canada

7/12/2019 – 7/28/2019
By The Book Productions
Winnipeg, MB, Canada

4/8/2019 – 4/8/2019
Family Means
stillwater, MN

2/1/2019 – 2/17/2019
Cinnabar Theater
Petaluma, CA

11/30/2018 – 12/9/2018
Tree Line Theater
Boulder, CO

9/22/2018 – 9/22/2018
St. Olaf College
Northfield, MN

9/13/2018 – 9/15/2018
Elgin Fringe Festival
Elgin, IL

8/10/2018 – 8/12/2018
Windsor Park
Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada

4/13/2018 – 4/28/2018
Midnight Sun Theatre
Anchorage, AK

3/23/2018 – 4/1/2018
North East Cultural Center
North East, PA

1/19/2018 – 1/21/2018
Daleko Arts
New Prague, MN

8/31/2017 – 9/9/2017
CCJP Meeting hall
Chicago, IL

6/24/2017 – 7/1/2017
Goeffrey Theatre
San Diego, CA

3/23/2017 – 3/23/2017
Neumann University
Aston, PA

9/10/2016 – 9/10/2016
Hyde Hall, Inc.
Cooperstown, NY

8/5/2016 – 8/7/2016
Jersey Fringe Festival
Hammonton, NJ

3/18/2016 – 3/27/2016
Titusville Playhouse, Inc
Titusville, FL