The Imperialists

Available in Library

In The Imperialist, an aggressively British tea shop in Brooklyn, the downside of gentrification comes home to roost. Rents are going up, displaced locals return with a grudge, and disgruntled employees and mysterious customers threaten to upend what is left of Kate’s family business. If only she could get the royal couple, who are visiting New York, to come by for a photo op, maybe she could get things under control and expand into a new neighborhood with The Imperialist, Too. Or...maybe not. The Imperialists is a farce for our times.

Read Sample

If you like lots of doors, lots of humour (British spelling intended) mixed with a tinge of political and social commentary, a holiday time feel, and also a cake made with old Colonial gunpowder... this play may be for you.

Cast Requirements

Kate Bristol, 30s-early 40s, Caucasian, American, runs The Imperialist, a merciless entrepreneur, intense, not a fan of having feelings, has hidden longings. She’d be a bitter melon tea.

Tom Bristol, 60s, British, Causasian, Kate’s overly doting father, working-class background, unlike Kate he’s very emotional, abandonment issues, unknowingly squeezing the life out of Kate. Hot water and lemon.

Harold Buckston III (Buck), 30s, British, any ethnicity, dashing, sophisticated (very James Bond) but there is an ease to his Bondness - he doesn't have to work hard, a master con man with a heart he didn’t know existed. An exotic chai tea.

Matt O. London (Mahum Ó Súilleabháin), 20s-30s, British (or IS he?), a waiter, always cheery (or IS he?). He’s really Irish and wants England to pay for The Troubles. His rage is always hiding in plain sight. Irish Breakfast tea (with the Irish tea-tag ripped off).

Manuel Sanchez, 20s, Mexican-American, immigrated here at age 16, chef and jack of all trades, he loves to cook, he’s got big plans, he's not a fan of most people but he loves Tom like a father and vice versa. Earthy green tea.

Nadine Lafontant, 20s, African-American, a restaurateur with a bone to pick with The Imperialist, if only she were better at speaking her mind. Ginger tea.

Sarah, Asian-American, middle-aged, a tourist, peppy but bruised from a recent divorce.
The same actress also plays:
Hipster, a Brooklyn hipster
Lady - sort of a sad case, maybe delusional, maybe needs meds
Inez - a con woman posing as a British woman
Inez 2 - a real British woman, high status
Sarah et al are an oolong tea that has many flavors and nuances.

Set Description

A sweet but rag-tag British tea shop in gentrifying Brooklyn, NY. Doors. A Christmas tree. A dangerous radiator. Colonial paraphernalia from the British Empire on the wall, including a gun, a net, a musket.


Yes please