Sons of the Prophet

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Sons of the Prophet
Sons of the Prophet Poster Roundabout Theatre 2011.jpg.png
Publicity poster for the Roundabout Theatre Company's New York premiere in 2011.
Written byStephen Karam
Date premieredApril 1, 2011 (2011-04-01)
Place premieredHuntington Theatre Company
Boston, Massachusetts
Original languageEnglish
SettingNazareth, Pennsylvania

Sons of the Prophet is a play by Stephen Karam. It is a comedy-drama about a Lebanese-American family and was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.


Sons of the Prophet premiered in a production by Huntington Theatre Company in Boston in April and May 2011.[1][2]

Sons of the Prophet opened Off-Broadway at the Laura Pels Theatre on October 20, 2011 (after previews from September 28) and closed on January 1, 2012.[1] This play was commissioned by the Roundabout Theatre Company.[1][3] The play was directed by Peter DuBois and starred Charles Socarides (Timothy), Yusef Bulos (Bill), Lizbeth MacKay (Mrs. McAndrew), Dee Nelson (Dr. Manor), Jonathan Louis Dent (Vin), Santino Fontana (Joseph), Chris Perfetti (Charles) and Joanna Gleason (Gloria).[3]

The play was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[4] and won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play,[5] the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play, 2011-12.[6]


Brothers Joseph Douaihy (29 years old) and Charles Douaihy (18 years old), who live in a run-down area of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, are left alone after their father dies of a heart attack two weeks after a car accident. That accident was caused by a prank by the local football star, Vin, who is sent to a juvenile detention center as punishment.

Their family has emigrated from Lebanon and is distantly related to Kahlil Gibran. The brothers are forced to not only take care of themselves but care for their aging uncle, Bill. Joseph, who has mysterious pains, goes to work for Gloria, a book-packager, to get health insurance. Gloria tries to convince Joseph to write a book about his family, thinking this will return her to success in the publishing world. Joseph, who is gay, starts a romance with a reporter.

The play uses the device of projections with "a title inspired by the chapter headings in Gibran’s The Prophet."[7]

Critical response[edit]

The Variety reviewer (in reviewing the Huntington production) wrote that the play was "wonderfully acted and sensitively helmed production .... Karam demonstrates an original comic voice for young characters, but here he expands generationally."[8]

The New York Times reviewer (of the Off-Broadway production ) wrote that the play is "...absolutely wonderful new comedy-drama ... Written with insight and compassion, not to mention biting wit, it shines a clarifying light into some of life’s darker passages, exploring how people endure the unendurable, and not only survive but also move forward through their blighted lives with sustaining measures of hope, love and good humor. The question of why we suffer is unanswerable, but how we suffer defines our character and shapes our lives more than we care to acknowledge."[9]


  1. ^ a b c Jones, Kenneth. "'Sons of the Prophet', Dark Comedy About Pain, Loss and Legacy, Ends Off-Broadway Run; Is Broadway Next?" Archived 2012-04-20 at the Wayback Machine, January 1, 2012
  2. ^ Scherer, Jenna. "Review: 'Sons of the Prophet'" Time Out Boston, 2011
  3. ^ a b Sons of the Prophet Listing", accessed May 14, 2012
  4. ^ "Pulitzer Prize, Drama", accessed May 14, 2012
  5. ^ Jones, Kenneth and Hetrick, Adam. Once, Sons of the Prophet, Sanaa Lathan, Sam Gold Among 2012 Lortel Award Winners" Archived 2012-05-12 at the Wayback Machine, May 7, 2012
  6. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Andrew Garfield, John Guare, Lin-Manuel Miranda Present NY Drama Critics' Circle Awards May 14", May 14, 2012
  7. ^ Lahr, John. "Bluebird of Unhappiness" The New Yorker, October 31, 2011, p.100
  8. ^ Rizzo, Frank."Regional Reviews. 'Sons of the Prophet'" Variety, April 16, 2011
  9. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Theater Review. Blighted Existences, Eased With Hope and Humor" The New York Times, October 20, 2011

External links[edit]