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Adam & Steve and the Empty Sea


Artwork courtesy of Plan-B Theatre Company, SLC

A play by Matthew Greene

This is a play for any theatre and any season

Adam is Mormon. Steve is gay.  These childhood friends grapple with religion, sexuality, politics, relationships and the certain fact that both of them, on the cusp of adulthood, do not know where their uncertain future/friendship will lead them.

Following it’s 2013 sold out run in Salt Lake City at Plan-B Theatre Company it played successfully to the audiences of the 2013 FringeNYC.

The play does contain adult language and situations but it is highly recommended for any audience member age 14 and up. A bold and wonderful play that illuminates the anxieties of seeing yourself suddenly in the adult world, and what you may or may not be able to take with you once you enter.


  • Order#3101
  • Cast: 2M (or older Teen boys[18+])
  • I exterior setting
  • 90 minutes


From the review by Naomi Macdougall Graham“Adam & Steve and the Empty Sea is an outstandingly beautiful, smart, funny, profound, and heartbreaking play. Even in the FringeNYC, where you have 183 choices, go see this play. You won’t regret it…This is one of the smartest and most up-to-date portrayals of a modern “coming out” story I’ve seen. Steve’s coming out is, if anything, less of a big deal than Adam’s decision to commit to Mormonism. But the play wins because, while it reveals both subjects with a gentle, thorough touch, it isn’t ultimately “about” either of them. It’s about a deeper truth, one that every audience member will relate to: the confusion, pain, and bittersweet glory of leaving childhood behind and becoming who you will be.”

From the Salt Lake Tribune by Barbara M. Bannon “Adam & Steve and the Empty Sea” poignantly captures the divisions that result from conflicting principles and lifestyles, but it also affirms, in Greene’s words, “that faith is a basic human instinct, that love is a healing balm, and that it is often through each other that we glimpse divinity.””

From Eric Samuelsen’s blog — “The play essentially focuses on six main conflicts in their relationship:  1) Steve’s coming out to Adam as gay, 2) Adam’s struggles to accept his mother’s remarriage and his brother’s return from an LDS mission, 3) Adam’s decision to serve a full-time mission of his own, 4) Steve’s fury at Adam over the LDS Church’s Proposition 8 campaign, 5) their complete estrangement, Adam in Brazil and Steve at USC, then their tentative letters as they try to reconcile, and 6) Adam’s illness, requiring an early completion of his mission, and the subsequent renewal of their friendship when Adam helps Steve cope with a romantic break-up. This basic synopsis shows, I think, Greene’s growing sophistication as a playwright.  It’s in part a ‘coming out’ play, about the difficulties of a gay man telling his best straight friend of his orientation, compounded by their religious differences.  But that’s only one conflict in the play, and an early one.  It could be seen as a strongly political play, about Prop 8 and the damage it did to friendships between members of the gay and Mormon communities.  But that’s only one conflict in the play, and not the most important one. It could be a repentance play, about Adam’s melt-down after his mother’s re-marriage, and how his best friend (who happened also to be gay) helped him negotiate that complex and painful emotional terrain. In fact, though, the play can be defined all these ways, and more.  It’s a rich play, with dialogue of a kind of honest and poetic profanity, with two wonderfully realized characters, both of which have a complexity that resists the simple definitions we might give a ‘gay’ or a ‘Mormon’ character.”

From the utahtheatrebloggers by Dave Mortensen“Playwright Matthew Greene follows two friends (one Mormon, the other gay) transitioning from high school to college amidst the tension of California’s Proposition 8. Scenes echo back to their hide-and-seek days as we see a friendship reshaped through the trials of identity and belief to a still familiar, but uniquely and permanently changed form. Greene’s text seems at times to reach towards the quick and syncopated dialogue of Aaron Sorkin or Amy Sherman-Palladino. It gives the story quite a bit of momentum and helps the audience invest in the relationship and not get caught up in the plot points. It’s that focus that allows the political/religious themes to remain incredibly balanced. Potential audience members might fear a battle of beliefs between the socially-conscious Plan-B Theatre and its Mormon playwright Greene. The safety, however, lies in the fact that this isn’t the story about a political moment. It’s a story about the relationship between two, complete and honest individuals.”


  • The PERUSAL PAGES file for Adam & Steve is available by clicking A&SandtheEmptySeaPERUSAL. The PDF file is the first half of this 90 minute play and all other pertinent information about the play.
  • EMAIL us for rights and information. Be sure to give us anticipated performance dates and the address of your group and, if different, your theatre. Please also include a contact name and phone number.


(Any PDF purchased will be emailed to your email address — if you need to provide that to us (not the one on your PayPal account?), email us. CDs will be mailed to a snail mail address. Do not purchase rehearsal materials or pay for royalties until you have performance clearance.)

  • Script in PDF format — Order #3101a : $20.00 (from which you will be authorized to copy for your production)

  • First Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3101d : $75

  • Second Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3101e : $60

  • Professional Royalties will be quoted upon application
  • EMAIL us for rights and information. Be sure to give us anticipated performance dates and the address of your group and, if different, your theatre. Please also include a contact name and phone number.


  • FringeNYC — 2013
  • Premiere at Plan-B Theatre Company, Salt Lake City — 2013

ADAM & STEVE AND THE EMPTY SEA, by Matthew Greene, received its world premiere at Plan-B Theatre Company in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 31-March 10, 2013.  Designers: Cheryl Ann Cluff, Sound; Phil Lowe, Costumes; Jesse Portillo, Lighting; Randy Rasmussen, Set; Jerry Rapier, Props.  Stage Managed by Jennifer Freed.  Directed by Jason Bowcutt.  It was revived with the revised script at the New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) August 9-15, 2013.  That production was directed by Jerry Rapier.  Both productions featured Topher Rasmussen as Adam and Logan Tarantino as Steve.


The following is how the credits should read in all programs, posters, fliers, handbills and other promotional advertising for the show:

ADAM & STEVE and the Empty Sea
A New Play
Matthew Greene

NOTE: The names of the Playwright(s), Composer, Lyricist, and Bookwriter shall be equal in size, type, coloring, boldness, and prominence. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to the Authors except for the title of the play. (In a press release all type, will of course, be the same size.)


Adam & Steve and the Empty Sea is presented through special arrangement with Leicester Bay Theatricals.  All authorized materials are also supplied by LBT,”


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