Robert Clyman

Plays written by Robert Clyman



The Good Bet– (3M 1W) Mark is a philosophy professor whose specialty is altruism, or the notion that people don’t always act exclusively in their own self-interest. His friend Ben, a much more pragmatic fellow, sets out to prove that he can convince the most well-meaning person to give up their convictions and act from their most selfish motives.

Book of David – (2M 3W) What If? Are there interrupted moments in your life which determined the person you are today? What if those moments had evolved differently? Would you dare revisit them? One man’s attempt to revise a single pivotal choice in his past, creates an avalanche of effects on his present.

Council of Thirty – (2M 2W) John Burroughs, a recently divorced high school teacher has been awarded full custody of his four-year-old son, Jason, because of his ex-wife, Beth’s refusal to acknowledge her problem with alcohol. When Jason makes an ambiguous remark about something that happened when John was giving him a bath, it sets into motion a chain of events that threaten to cost him his relationship with his son, his job, his reputation and even his freedom. Fighting to disprove the charges against him, he finds himself becoming less and less certain of his own innocence.

The Exceptionals – (1M 3W) Set in the near future at the site of a prestigious donor insemination research program, mothers Gwen and Allie have been called to meet with Claire, the parent liaison for the program. Claire is about to offer their children a once in a lifetime opportunity to realize their full potential – but no choice is without sacrifice. Gwen and Allie must ask themselves how far they are willing to go to ensure their children have every possible opportunity to be truly exceptional. The Exceptionals is a smart and compelling exploration of parenthood in the new millennium.

Tranced – (2M 2W) A young, African graduate student in engineering undergoes hypnosis to address her recent inability to concentrate. When her psychiatrist induces a trance, she ‘recalls’ disturbing and previously unreported details about an incident that took place in her country while she was there assisting in the construction of a controversial, new dam. The play deals with the reliability of memory, the power of persuasion and what can happen when two powerful but opposing moral imperatives collide.


Bob Clyman’s plays have been performed Off-Broadway and in such theatres as the Laguna Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Colony Studio Theatre (Los Angeles), Missouri Rep and Mill Mountain Theatre (Roanoke, Virginia), in addition to touring in Scotland. National honors include the Eugene O’Neil Summer Conference Fellowship, New Jersey State Council on the Arts Award, Edward Albee Foundation Fellowship, and Shenandoah Valley Playwrights Fellowship. His play, Famous Ali, was commissioned by Playwrights Theatre for Rowing to America: The Immigrant Project. Two other plays by Dr. Clyman have also been developed by PTNJ; Where The Sun Never Sets, a staged reading in the fall of 1994, and Sigmund Freud: The Untold Story, which has since been presented in New York by the Abingdon Theatre Company under the title of Siggy. The Lower Cortex was presented in a workshop production at Playwrights Theatre in May of 1996, after first being developed at a lab production at the Circle Repertory Company in New York City. Dr. Clyman is also a clinical psychologist with a practice in Oldwick.

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