The North Plan

After a ruthless faction seizes power in Washington, Carlton Berg, a bureaucrat for the State Department, runs off with the new regime's top secret enemies list. Unfortunately for Carlton, the chase has come to an end in a police station in the Ozarks town of Lodus. With a pair of DHS agents on the way, Carlton's last hope is in the people around him: an unsympathetic police chief, an ambivalent administrative assistant, and fellow prisoner Tanya Shepke, a motor-mouthed recidivist who's turned herself in for drunk driving and thinks Skynyrd should be on the new money.

The revolution starts now.

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"... Despite such serious thematic concerns as the legitimacy of political authority, the importance of dissent and the uses of torture, The North Plan is a threat to public order because it’s a laugh riot. ... building a headlong momentum until its sudden conclusion - which on opening night brought the crowd to a hooting, hollering standing ovation."
"... Sharp, dark political comedy ..."

"... Wells' dialog remains funny and chilling, sometimes by turns and sometimes all at once. He consistently supplies acid, dystopian laughs ..."
  • Chloe Hagerman, Be Oregon
"During intermission, flattering adjectives such as 'fabulous' and 'hysterical' were flung freely back and forth. And it’s absolutely justified."
"The dialogue that ensues is nothing short of uproarious. ... Tanya’s self-indulgent antics continue to rack the audience with irrepressible fits of laughter."
"I laughed through the whole show. All the characters were funny in their own way, all had this great mix of ridiculous and real. The writing was so smart, and the actors each were so good, there was such - again - pitch perfect timing."
"The North Plan is funny and deeply political."
  • Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune (2010)
"Wells (Men Of Tortuga) is a highly entertaining writer with a keen sense of how to fire up a pressure cooker on a stage and keep an audience feeling jumpy."
"... Fun, smart, involving and just disturbing enough for a Saturday night on the town."
"... One of the best things produced at Steppenwolf this year, in a year I've liked most everything on that stage. The North Plan is one of those rare plays that manages to combine a powerful message ... with a raucous sense of humor and deft stagecraft that plays with conventional notions of farce and manages to make them as funny as the first time you'd ever seen such things ... If I were an artistic director shopping for a play, I'd go all-in to pick this one up. As it is, I can only suggest that you see this production while you can."
"A powerful work of dystopian agitprop ... As disturbing as Jason Wells' play is, it's just as hilarious."

"The show crackles with wit and energy ..."
  • Taylor Ehlis, Chicago Maroon
"... As uproarious as it is unsettling ... As terrifically entertaining as it is thought-provoking."
"Jump-to-your-feet fantastic!"

"The plot is solid.  The characters are genuine.  The dialogue is smart.  The intrigue and absurdity is pure 'Pulp Fiction'  ...  At the show I saw, the audience literally jumped to their feet with thunderous applause and cheering."

"... Funny, scary and totally believable - which makes it funnier and scarier!"
"The North Plan is funny, scary ... a cautionary tale -and – it is wonderful theatre. That’s a winning combination."
  • Katherine Zien, Flavorpill
"... We found ourselves immersed in equal measures of armrest-gripping suspense and hilarity throughout The North Plan's macabre, rollicking ride ... The North Plan explores the strange and riotous relationships that unfold in a climate of democracy upended."
"The second act is comic dynamite ... The laughs didn't stop once."

"... Carries an unusual, apt resonance with all the laughs."
"... uproarious, outrageous, yet frighteningly plausible ... the funniest/edgiest show in town ..."

"... fiendishly clever ..."

"The North Plan is cutting-edge, edge-of-your-seat edgy, in addition to being a thrilling, laugh-packed roller-coaster ride (that just happens to be a thought-provoker as well)."

  • Steppenwolf Theatre Company, First Look Repertory of New Work (Chicago)
  • Portland Center Stage (Portland, OR)
  • Theater Wit (Chicago)
  • Theatre Exile (Philadelphia)
  • Capital Stage (Sacramento)
  • Elephant Stages (Los Angeles)
  • Over Our Heads Players (Racine, WI)
  • Street Corner Arts (Austin, TX)
  • STAGEStheatre (Fullerton, CA)
  • Renegade Theatre Experiment (San Jose, CA)
  • Main Stage West (Sebastopol, CA)
  • Upintheair Theatre (Vancouver, Canada)
  • OpenStage Theatre, Lincoln Center (Fort Collins, CO)
  • Ion Theatre (San Diego)
  • Springs Ensemble Theatre (Colorado Springs)

Development: JAW Festival, Portland Center Stage (Portland, OR)

Published: Samuel French, Inc. 2013.

The North Plan
at Steppenwolf:

Tom Hickey, Brian King, Timothy Edward Kane, Jennifer Engstrom
Directed by Kimberly Senior

The North Plan
at Portland Center Stage:
Kate Eastwood Norris, Ashley Everage
Directed by Rose Riordan

The North Plan at Theater Wit:
Kate Buddeke, Kevin Stark, Lucy Sandy
Directed by Kimberly Senior