Perfect Mendacity

Walter Kreutzer, a microbiologist for a defense contractor, is being investigated by his employers over an incriminating memo that was leaked to the media. Walter thinks his Moroccan wife may have done the whistleblowing, and to protect her - and himself - Walter needs to learn how to defeat a  lie detector, and fast. D'avore Peoples, a polygraph consultant, is happy to help - for a price, of course. But D'avore's technique will require Walter to look deep within himself, a terrifying prospect for a man hiding from his past.

With his best friend spying on him, his wife intent on opening old wounds, and D'avore uncovering dark secrets, Walter's desperate journey toward the perfect lie becomes a spiral into paranoia and bitter reckoning.

Winner, American Theatre Critics Association M. Elizabeth Osborn Award.

Contact Samuel French, Inc. for scripts and production licensing.

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  • Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times
"A sharp meditation on the nature of truth and lies in the post 9-11 world ... Jason Wells conjures the same sort of nerve-jangling menace found in his earlier play Men of Tortuga. But here he spins a story that bears a downright eerie prescience ... Wells' play is wired with a dazzling, tightly wound, steel-spring mechanism that keeps you riveted."
  • Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
"As he proved in his play Men of Tortuga, Jason Wells knows how to build suspense and tension with clever and intriguing dialogue that clips along."
  • Mark E. Leib, Creative Loafing
"I want to recommend Mendacity not just as a couple of entertaining hours of theater (which it certainly is,) but as a rare attempt to witness real political art, the sort that seldom turns up on the American scene ... Illuminating. I recommend it to lovers of the theater, and the truth."
  • American Theatre Critics' Association
"...This look at intrigue, duplicity, and self-deception in the corporate world resonates in every aspect of human endeavor."
"Wells ... (has) every right ... to take pride in this provocative, beautifully structured play."


  • Steppenwolf Theatre Company, First Look Repertory of New Work (Chicago)
  • Asolo Repertory Theatre (Sarasota)
  • Next Act Theatre (Milwaukee)
  • South Bend Civic Theatre (IN)
  • Street Corner Arts (Austin)

Reading: Manhattan Theatre Club

Finalist, ATCA Steinberg/New Play Award

Winner, ATCA M. Elizabeth Osborn Award

Published: Samuel French, Inc. 2010

Perfect Mendacity at Steppenwolf:

Tim Curtis, Matt DeCaro, Scott Aiello
Directed by David Cromer

Matt DeCaro, Aaron Todd Douglas

Liza Fernandez, Matt DeCaro

Perfect Mendacity at the Asolo:

DeMario McGrew, David Breitbarth, Diana Simonzadeh
Directed by Michael Donald Edwards