Same Time, Next Year (play)

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Same Time, Next Year
Written by Bernard Slade
Characters Doris, George
Date premiered March 14, 1975
Place premiered Brooks Atkinson Theatre
New York City
Original language English
Subject An extramarital affair conducted one day each year for 24 years
Genre Romantic comedy
Setting A California seaside cottage
One day in February 1951, 1956, 1961, 1965, 1970, and 1975

Same Time, Next Year is a 1975 romantic comedy play by Bernard Slade. The plot focuses on two people, married to others, who meet for a romantic tryst once a year for two dozen years.


New Jersey accountant George Peters and Oakland housewife Doris meet at a Northern California inn in February 1951. They have an affair, and agree to meet once a year, despite the fact both are married to others and have six children between them.

Over the course of the next 24 years, they develop an emotional intimacy deeper than what one would expect to find between two people meeting for a clandestine relationship just once a year. During the time they spend with each other, they discuss the births, deaths, and marital problems each is experiencing at home, while they adapt themselves to the social changes affecting their lives.


The Broadway production was directed by Gene Saks. After four previews, it opened on March 14, 1975 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre with Ellen Burstyn as Doris and Charles Grodin as George. It transferred to the Ambassador Theatre on May 16, 1978 and remained there until it closed on September 3 the same year. It played a total of 1,453 performances during its run.

Cast replacements over the years included Sandy Dennis, Hope Lange, Betsy Palmer, Loretta Swit, and Joyce Van Patten as Doris and Ted Bessell, Conrad Janis, Monte Markham, Charles Kimbrough, and Don Murray as George.

The original London production opened in 1976, starring Michael Crawford and Frances Cuka at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

Awards and nominations[edit]

The play was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New American Play. Ellen Burstyn won both the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play. Gene Saks was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play.

Film adaptations[edit]

A 1978 film adaptation directed by Robert Mulligan starred Ellen Burstyn and Alan Alda. The play also served as the basis for I Will Wait for You, a 1994 film directed by Hong Kong filmmaker Clifton Ko.

Further reading[edit]

  • Slade, Bernard (1975). Same Time, Next Year; A Romantic Comedy (First ed.). New York: Delacorte Press. OCLC 82055039. 

External links[edit]