Gloria (play)

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Written byBranden Jacobs-Jenkins
Date premieredMay 28, 2015 (2015-05-28)
Place premieredVineyard Theatre, New York City

Gloria is a dramatic comedy written by playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins focusing on the lives of working Americans and dynamics in the workplace. The play made its debut Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre in May 2015, after being developed by the same theatre.[1] It was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.


The play takes place in modern-day Manhattan. It starts on a normal work day for a group of aspiring writers who are growing tired of the monotony of their desk jobs. Dean stumbles in hungover from a party at the home of the 'office freak', Gloria, the night prior. As the day goes on, everyone goes about their business, though tensions are high with a dispute over who should be allowed to write a story on a deceased singer, and Gloria begins to act stranger than usual. In a sudden shift in tone, Gloria shoots and kills many workers, including Miles and Ani, leaving Dean, Kendra, Nan, and Lorin alive. The story then follows the fallout of each character's life as they try to cope with the stress of witnessing the events and feud over who deserves a book deal based on the events of the shooting. Questions on the reasoning behind going postal and workplace toxicity are posed during the play.

Production history[edit]

Gloria premiered Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre on May 28, 2015 in preview, officially on June 17, directed by Evan Cabnet. [2] The artistic directors were Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern, and the executive producer was Jennifer Garvey-Blackwell. Set design was created by Takeshi Kata, costumes were designed by Ilona Somogyi, lighting was designed by Marr Frey and the sound was designed by Matt Tierney.[3][4] The play closed on July 18, 2015.[5] A developmental workshop was held by the Vineyard Theatre in January 2013.[6]

The Goodman Theatre produced the play, running from January 14, 2017 to February 19, 2017, directed by Evan Cabnet.[7]

The play was performed at London's Hampstead Theatre 15 June to 29 July 2017

Gloria received its Australian premiere at the Melbourne Theatre Company's Southbank Theatre, opening on 21 June 2018, after six previews.[8]


Characters Original Off-Broadway Cast 2017 Hampstead Theatre Cast 2018 Melbourne Cast
Dean, Devin Ryan Spahn Colin Morgan Jordan Fraser-Trumble
Kendra, Jenna Jennifer Kim Kae Alexander Aileen Huynh
Ani, Sasha, Callie Catherine Combs Ellie Kendrick Jane Harber
Gloria, Nan Jeanine Serralles Sian Clifford Lisa McCune
Miles, Shawn, Rashaad Kyle Beltran Bayo Gbadamosi Callan Colley
Lorin Michael Crane Bo Poraj Peter Paltos


The New York Times pointed out how "whip-smart satire of fear and loathing in a beleaguered industry under siege," and, "the cannibal culture cycles that grip and warp Americans’ attention these days,"[9] are portrayed in the play. The "New York Theater" review also credits the play with "providing more illumination into the characters, and raising some intriguing questions, such as the ugliness of artistic ambition, the ways we individually and as a society process trauma, the exploitation and corruption inherent in our commercial culture."[10] The Hollywood Reporter also recognizes Jacob-Jenkins himself, as he "handles his serious themes in a thoughtful, provocative manner."[11]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Gloria was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[12]

The play received nominations for:[4]

  • 2016 Drama League Awards, Outstanding Production Of A Broadway Or Off-Broadway Play
  • 2016 Outer Critics Circle
    • Outstanding Director of a Play (The Lucille Lortel Award), Evan Cabnet
    • Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play


  1. ^ "Gloria | Productions | Vineyard Theatre". Vineyard Theatre. 2014-08-15. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  2. ^ Clement, Olivia. " 'In the Heights' and 'Fortress of Solitude' Star Heads Cast of 'Gloria', Opening Tonight" PLaybill, June 17, 2015
  3. ^ Jacobs-Jenkins, Branden (2015). Gloria. New York, NY 10016: Dramatists Play Service Inc. ISBN 978-0-8222-3433-3.CS1 maint: location (link)
  4. ^ a b Gloria, retrieved February 14, 2017
  5. ^ Gioia, Michael. "Last Chance: What's Closing This Week" Playbill, July 15, 2015
  6. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Vineyard Plans New-Play Readings and "Reunion" Presentations of Hits 'The Dying Gaul', 'Pterodactyls' and More" Playbill, September 14, 2012
  7. ^ "Gloria | Goodman Theatre". Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  8. ^ "Gloria".
  9. ^ Brantley, Ben (June 17, 2015). "Review: 'Gloria,' at the Vineyard Theater, Looks at a Toxic Workplace". The New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  10. ^ Jonathan, Mandell (June 17, 2015). "Gloria Review: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Play Of Warped Ambition and Trauma". New York Theater. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  11. ^ Scheck, Frank (June 17, 2015). "'Gloria': Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  12. ^ "Drama". The Pulitzer Prizes. 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.