Cover art from Northlight Theater production

Unmerciful Good Fortune

Edwin Sánchez
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Arrogant young Puerto Rican Fatima, who works as a counter girl at a fast-food restaurant, has been arrested for the murder of 14 people, poisoned at her workplace. Young attorney Jeremy has been assigned to defend her and asks a Latina colleague, Maritza, to be his translator. But Fatima refuses to talk to anyone but Maritza, and she's enough of a manipulator to get her way. Fatima claims she has been blessed — or cursed — with psychic powers. By merely clasping the hand of an individual, she says, she can immediately grasp everything about him/her including past, future, and innermost secrets. She tells Maritza that her murders were mercy killings: She “read” each of her victims and killed them because they wanted to die. Maritza is first incredulous, then indignant at Fatima's playing God. She firmly resists letting Fatima clasp her hand, but Fatima is persuasive, constantly shifting from pugnacious, foul-mouthed street girl to wise and wily seductress to gentle, compassionate young woman. Maritza finally offers up her hand, yielding her secrets and placing her fate in Fatima's grasp.

Production Info

Cast: 6 total (3 female, 3 male)
Full Length Drama (about 90 minutes)
Multiple Sets
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“Since graduating from the Yale School of Drama in 1994, Edwin Sánchez has won more fellowships and foundation grants than most playwrights receive in a lifetime. Go see UNMERCIFUL GOOD FORTUNE and you will understand why. The drama’s premise is intriguing, and the action often riveting, but what really sets the play apart is the dialogue. Sánchez’s characters can change moods on a dime.” —Virginia Gerst, Pioneer Press

“Many years ago, playwright Tom Stoppard demonstrated the art of creating suspense to an audience … Playwright Edwin Sánchez probably did not attend that lecture, but he certainly knows how to create the same mood in his latest work, UNMERCIFUL GOOD FORTUNE … The audience is kept on the edge of their seats. While they cannot predict what will come next, each twist and turn of the plot seems exactly right as it unfolds. The play centers on two Latinas: Fatima, a clairvoyant, uneducated hourly wage earner-turned-murderer, and on a successful, highly educated assistant district attorney, a single parent caring for her dying mother. From this unlikely pairing, Sánchez builds a story that examines class, racial and gender conflicts, family and professional relationships, friendship, heterosexual and homosexual love, self-realization, personal worth, and the ethics of euthanasia …” —Beverly Friend, Lerner

About the Author


  • Edwin Sánchez

    Winner of the National Latino Playwriting Award for LA BELLA FAMILIA, recent productions include UNMERCIFUL GOOD FORTUNE and TRAFFICKING IN BROKEN HEARTS, both in Los Angeles as well as the world premiere of the romantic comedy I'LL TAKE ROMANCE at the Evolution Theatre in Ohio. Other productions include: DIOSA, produced by Hartford Stage after a successful workshop by New York Stage and Film, TRAFFICKING IN BROKEN HEARTS at the Bank Street Theater in New York, UNMERCIFUL GOOD FORTUNE at the Intar Theater in New York, for which he received the Princess Grace Playwriting Award in 1994, and BAREFOOT BOY WITH SHOES On at Primary Stages in New York. This play was selected by the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference to represent the National Playwrights Conference at the Schelykovo Playwrights Seminar in Russia; ICARUS produced by Fourth Unity, Actors Theater of Louisville as part of their Humana Festival, San Jose Rep and regionally throughout the U.S.; and TRAFFICKING IN BROKEN HEARTS, Atlantic Theater in New York, and productions in Brazil and Switzerland. He was also among the playwrights involved with Brave New World, an organization commemorating the events surrounding September 11th. Edwin is on the playwriting faculty at Primary Stages in New York City.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 2/1/2016
Pages 64
ISBN 9780881456455

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 co-produced by Victory Gardens Theater and Northlight Theater, Chicago

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


Upcoming and Recent Productions


11/6/2018 – 11/6/2018
Theatre Rhinoceros
San Francisco, CA

5/25/2017 – 5/28/2017
Teatro Nomada, Inc.
New York, NY