Cherry Smoke

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Fish is a ticking time bomb and a back alley fighter who has been in and out of jail his entire life. Cherry is a runaway fortune teller who has been on her own since age 10 and hopes for a more simple life where her and Fish can be together. Set on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, will Fish be able to harness his rage and make a life for him and Cherry?

Cast Requirements

2 men
2 women

Set Description



“Set in a barren wasteland of U.S. post-industrial urban fringe, a decaying world where the dreams are simple, yet unattainable, Cherry Smoke is an achingly human drama – often funny, ultimately tragic – where the love is passionate and primal. Reminiscent of Sam Shepard, Cherry Smoke is densely lyrical despite its marginalized, uneducated characters.”
Stage Whispers, Australia

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“In squalor and histories of betrayal and abuse four characters clash and co-mingle and at times provide the impetus for plowing through lives that could generously be defined as difficult. The beauty of McManus’ work is the universal theme of love and the courage and coping mechanisms that humans use to survive. Cherry Smoke is a brilliant play about two lost souls who come together and create something special for a brief time.”
—Laurie Lawson,

“Cherry Smoke explores what it is to want something from life and what it's like to have to settle without it. The story leaps back and forward in time, allowing some perspective on how the four characters came to be the way they are, with much weight placed on parental responsibility.”
—Time Out Sydney

“McManus is a contender.”
—Ron Cohen, Backstage

Production and Development History

Produced: Barebones Productions at Edinburgh Festival Fringe (2007); Glass Umbrella Creative, Sydney (2009); The Clockwork Theatre (2009); Gurnet Theatre Project, Boston (2010).