Kimberly Akimbo

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Kimberly Akimbo
Written by David Lindsay-Abaire
Date premiered 2001
Place premiered Costa Mesa, California
Original language English
Setting New Jersey

Kimberly Akimbo is a play[1] written in 2000 by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire.[2] Its title character is a lonely teenage girl suffering from a disease a lot like progeria, that causes her to age four and a half times as fast as normal. Thus, Kimberly is trapped inside the frail physical body of an elderly woman. She meets another misfit (a teenage boy) and the two form an attachment to one another that borders on attraction. The situation is not helped by Kimberly's rapidly deteriorating health. Soon Kimberly's family gets mixed up in some crazy money schemes, and the family gets emotionally destroyed.


Act 1

The lights go up on Kimberly sitting and waiting for her father, who is late picking her up because of his drinking. He compensates by agreeing to take her to a burger joint for some food, where they meet Jeff, the nerdy kid behind the window, who asks if Kim can do an interview for his project. Buddy strongly refuses and drives away. The scene changes to Pattie, Kimberly's mom, talking to a sound recorder to her unborn child about her life and how she believes she's a 'good mother'. Later on, Kimberly calls Jeff and agrees to meet at the library later for the interview, as he is learning about progeria.


  • Kimberly, a teenage girl with an aging disease who struggles to find happiness in a chaotic family where nobody understands her
  • Buddy, her father, an alcoholic (becomes sober midway through the show) who only wants what's best for Kim
  • Jeff, a nerdy boy who is basically Kimberly's love interest, who is neglected by his father at home
  • Pattie, Kimberly's mother who thinks she is dying and is pregnant with her second child
  • Debra, Pattie's sister who causes the family some problems and lives with them on and off


The play was initially produced at the South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, California, from April 13 to May 13, 2001. Directed by David Petrarca the cast starred Marylouise Burke as Kimberly.[3] Lindsay-Abaire received the Kesselring Prize in November 2001 for this production.[4] The production received the LA Drama Critics Circle Award, Writing for 2001.[5]

Kimberly Akimbo premiered Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club New York City Center Stage 1 on February 4, 2003 and closed on April 6, 2003. Directed by David Petrarca, the cast featured Mary Louise Burke as Kimberly, John Gallagher, Jr. (Jeff), Ana Gasteyer (Debra), Jodie Markell (Pattie), Jake Weber (Buddy) and Daniel Zaitchik (Jeff). [6]


  1. ^ Leigh Morris, Steven (July 25, 2013). "Theater to See in L.A. This Week, Including a Solo Show About Polka. Yes, Polka". LA Weekly. 
  2. ^ Shirley, Don (April 16, 2001). "How a Teen Copes in a World Thrown 'Akimbo'". The Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ Ehren, Christine. "Lindsay-Abaire's 'Kimberly Akimbo' With Burke Exits South Coast Rep May 13" Playbill, May 13, 2001
  4. ^ Ehren, Christine. "Lindsay-Abaire Awarded 2001 Kesselring Prize Nov. 18 w/ 'Kimberly Akimbo' Reading" Playbill, November 18, 2001
  5. ^ "Awards, 2000-2002", accessed September 1, 2015
  6. ^ " 'Kimberly Akimbo' Listing", accessed September 1, 2015

External links[edit]