Cover art by Karen Berry

When Something Wonderful Ends

Sherry Kramer
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WHEN SOMETHING WONDERFUL ENDS explores the loss of one's mother, America's dependence on foreign oil, and Barbie dolls in an ingenious, whimsical, touching, funny, infuriating manner that only playwright Sherry Kramer could achieve. While packing up her parents' home following the death of her mother, Sherry uncovers the treasure trove of Barbies from her baby-boom childhood while embarking on the homework of a lifetime: discovering the roots of Islamic hatred of America and our dependence on the oil in the Middle East. As a Jewish girl growing up in the epicenter of the Bible belt, Sherry knows a thing or two about religious fervor and the passions it engenders.

Production Info

Cast: 1 total (1 female)
Full Length Drama (about 85 minutes)
Single Set
Contemporary Costumes
Category: Tag:

Press Quotes

“While she putters around putting Barbie paraphernalia into boxes, our hostess neatly ties together the personal and the political, yoking her own history to the mess of current global politics and a loss of faith in the American ideal. Quirky and informative.” —Christopher Isherwood, The New York Times

“As the actress telling Kramer’s story packs up the Barbie artifacts of a Baby Boomer youth, the playwright explores both childhood fantasy and grown-up loss, as well as offering a step-by-step theory of why so many in the Arab world have come to hate the United States … it is, bottom line, a moving and provocative piece.” —Christine Dolan, Miami Herald

“Recounting her quest for the moment our way of life began unraveling, playwright Sherry Kramer’s remarkable monologue moves between 1963 and now, between Tehran and Springfield, MO, between radicalized mullahs and vintage Barbies, to unearth truths about America’s pursuit of Middle Eastern oil and her personal history, before arriving at her mother’s grave and the intersection of geopolitical interests and individual responsibility. As timely as it was revealing and as witty as wise.” —Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle

“In her incisive one-woman, autobiographical play. Playwright Sherry Kramer recalls coming of age, the death of a beloved parent, Judaism, the Middle East crisis and a concise history of the durable Barbie doll … Making Barbie a pivotal character in her narrative, playwright Kramer writes with a fluid hand that balances grief, conflict and the innocence of youth.” —Robert Daniels, Variety

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 12/10/2008
Pages 56
ISBN 9780881458398

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:

Premiere at Actors Theatre of Louisville

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