BOB: A life in 5 Acts

Available in Library

From an early age, Bob dreams of becoming a great man. The ensuing rags-to-riches-to-fame-to-fall-to-legacy-to-the-love-of-living-life tale follows Bob on an epic journey in just five acts. A play that explores American Mythology and how hard it is to figure out what will make one happy.

Read Sample

It is said that Bob was born on Valentine's Day in the bathroom of a White Castle Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. It is said that Bob's birthmother, whose name was Helen, was feeling particularly lonely and depressed on this holiday and felt that only a certain greasy cuisine would soothe her ache.

It is said that Helen was unaware of the Valentine's Day tradition of the usually more subdued White Castle restaurant to adorn their tables with candles and cloths and other romantic miscellany and that the restaurant would be packed with couples flaunting their couplehood.

Nor was Helen aware of how severe her physiological reaction would be to witnessing this vast scene of public love until, after eating much faster than she intended, she rushed into the bathroom, pushed to urinate and her wombic fluids erupted onto the bathroom floor.

Nor was she aware how quickly labor could be sometimes until five minutes after her water broke, Bob would emerge quickly and fiercely from her magic chamber.

Cast Requirements

3M 2F
1 Actor plays BOB, a CHORUS of 4 play everybody else


2010 Barrie and Bernice Stavis Award from The National Theatre Conference


"The play's shockingly optimistic tone is downright subversive when you consider its subject: what it means to be a success in America. How are the new legends made? Slightly unsound of mind and decidedly stout of heart.

For those of us who have found the career ground completely shifted beneath our feet, with the old paths no longer applicable, this play is more than a silly, picaresque romp through the diners and monuments of Middle America (though it is also that). It asks us to reconsider the worth of tangible recognition in favor of a more elusive reward. Rather than an Arthur Miller-esque indictment of the American Dream, Nachtrieb proposes a more gentle - though no less emotional - revision." - Erin Keane, Lousville Courier-Journal


Production and Development History

2011 Humana Festival for New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville
directed by Sean Daniels
Originally Commissioned by South Coast Repertory
Developed at the Playwrights Foundation, San Francisco