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April 9, 2018

I Will Never Leave You: Top 10 Plays & Musicals About Siblings

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On this year’s National Siblings Day, we must reflect on the valuable relationships we share with our siblings. They impact our lives in more ways than one, and learning from their triumphs and mistakes is something that we sometimes don’t remember to take the time to appreciate. We watch them grow as children and come into their own as adults, and seeing their development (as they see ours) is so important. It may be more often than not that we fight with our siblings (sometimes they can be more foes than friends), but no matter what, they are stuck with us forever. Below you’ll find a list of a few Samuel French titles all about siblings.


Peerless by Jiehae Park

A dark, comedic take on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, this story reflects the stress and cut-throat competition of the college application process. M and L, who are Asian-American twins, are desperate to get into The College. They have given up everything to get their respectful slots in order to move forward to the next step of their lives. When another student, D (who is one-sixteenth Native American) snags the slot that they needed, they come up with the one and only rational solution they can think of: killing him. (2m, 3f)

Yen by Anna Jordan

Hench and Bobbie are two siblings that live alone with their dog, Taliban. They are just trying to live their lives and survive as best they can. Once in a while, their chaotic mother Maggie comes to visit (she occasionally passes out on the front lawn). One not so ordinary day, however, Jenny knocks on the door. Their worlds are turned upside down, and the boys find love, possibility and danger. (2m, 2f)

Sundown, Yellow Moon by Rachel Bonds

Ray and Joey are twin sisters who have returned to their Southern home to help their father in a moment of crisis. He has recently divorced his wife, and is also having trouble with the administration at the school where he teaches. Joey is ready to take the next step in her life by going to Fullbright on scholarship in Berlin, and Ray has just left her job and her romantic relationship with her former boss. When they collide with ennui that they feel about their past lives, they struggle to move forward from where they were to where they will be. (4m, 3f)

House Rules by A. Rey Pamatmat

Rod thinks the game is fixed. Momo’s still learning the rules. Twee doesn’t think winning is enough. JJ hates his hand. And why the hell is Henry still playing? Two families (and some guy named Henry) panic with hilarious and heartbreaking results when they realize their parents won’t be around forever. Can anybody prepare for the inevitable moment when they’re the ones left holding all the cards? (4m, 3f)

For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday by Sarah Ruhl

When Ann thinks of her father, she immediately remembers playing Peter Pan in her hometown theater in Iowa, particularly when he used to bring her flowers after her performance. Her memory is jogged by the fact that she and her four siblings are in their father’s hospital room during his final moments. His death sparks a conversational wake that includes everything from arguments over politics to when each sibling realized that they grew up. A loving look at a family’s view of death, life, and the allure of never growing up. (4m, 2f)

Photo by Kevin Berne

Photo by Kevin Berne

Familiar by Danai Gurira

Marvelous and Donald, Zimbabwean emigrants in Minnesota, are preparing for the marriage of their eldest daughter, Tendi. They had gracefully blended Zimbabwean culture alongside their American culture, but the house is turned upside down when Marvelous’ sister comes from Zimbabwe to perform a very traditional wedding ceremony where the groom barters for the bride. Tensions flare and identities clash as the family’s fabric slowly unweaves and they are forced to take a hard look at who they truly are. (3m, 5f)

The Moors by Jen Silverman

Two sisters and a dog live out their lives on the bleak English moors, dreaming of love and power. The arrival of a hapless governess and a moor-hen set all three on a strange and dangerous path. The Moors is a dark comedy about love, desperation, and visibility. (1m, 5f)

Three Sisters by Sarah Ruhl

Transplanted from their beloved Moscow to a provincial Russian town, three sisters—school teacher Olga, unhappily married Masha, idealistic Irina—yearn for the city of their childhood, where they imagine their lives will be transformed and fulfilled. Three Sisters is the portrait of a family grappling with the bittersweet distance between reality and dreams. (9m, 5f)


Blood Brothers by Willy Russell

A haunting rags to riches tragedy of our times. A woman with numerous children to support surrenders one of her new born twins to the childless woman she cleans for. The boys grow up streets apart, never learning the truth but becoming firm friends and falling in love with the same girl. One prospers while the other falls on hard times. A narrator warns that a price must be paid for separating twins: the lives of the blood brothers, who die on the day they find out they are related. (5m, 3f)

Photo by Bill Kenwright

Photo by Bill Kenwright

Side Show by Bill Russell & Henry Krieger

Based on the true story of Siamese twins Violet and Daisy Hilton who became stars during the Depression, Side Show is a moving portrait of two women joined at the hip whose extraordinary bondage brings them fame but denies them love. Told almost entirely in song, the show follows their progression from England to America, around the vaudeville circuit and to Hollywood on the eve of their appearance in the 1932 movie Freaks. (14m, 7f)