The Glory of Living

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The Glory of Living
Written by Rebecca Gilman
Date premiered December 5, 1996 (1996-12-05)
Place premiered Forest Park, Illinois
Original language English
Genre Drama
Setting Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama

The Glory of Living is a 1996 play by Rebecca Gilman. The play received its first production at the Circle Theatre in Forest Park, Illinois. The play has won several awards and was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.


The play opens with the main characters Lisa and Clint meeting for the first time. Clint has accompanied a friend to Lisa and her mother's mobile home to see Lisa's mother, a prostitute. Clint picks up on Lisa's unease about her mother's situation and begins charming her. The next scene opens a few years later and Clint and Lisa have married and have twins who are being cared for by Clint's mother. The couple has been living in a series of motel rooms and are plying a scam whereby Lisa lures young girls into the room where Clint rapes and abuses them. Afterwards, Lisa murders the girls and disposes of their bodies. Plagued with guilt, Lisa calls the police with anonymous tips on the location of the bodies. Act I concludes with the couple's arrest.

Act II deals primarily with the couple's punishments but focuses on Lisa and her motives for her actions. The audience is shown that Lisa has not been able to emotionally mature and that has led her to live the life she has lived.

Notable productions[edit]

  • The Circle Theatre, Illinois, December 1996 - world premiere. Directed by Robin Stanton.[1]
  • Dublin July 2005 produced by AboutFACE Theatre Company at Project Arts Centre and at the Civic Theatre, Tallaght. Directed by Erin Murray.[4]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 2002 Drama Desk Award:
    • Outstanding Actress (Play), Anna Paquin (nominee)
    • Outstanding Sound Design, David Van Tieghem (nominee)


  1. ^ Burbank, Carol."Victim of Innocence", December 5, 1996
  2. ^ Billington, Michael."Guardian Review. I rape, you kill " The Guardian, 19 January 1999
  3. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. "Hoffman-Helmed NYC Premiere of Gilman's 'Glory of Living' at MCC, Oct. 30-Dec. 2", October 30, 2001
  4. ^ " The Glory of Living Listing", accessed May 20, 2015
  5. ^ "Pulitzer Prizes Listing of Finalists and Winners", accessed May 20, 2015

External links[edit]