The Good Book

The Good Book

The Good Book

By Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson
Directed by Lisa Peterson
Main Season · Peet’s Theatre
April 25–June 9, 2019
West Coast premiere

Running time: 2 hours and 45 minutes, plus one 15-minute intermission

Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson (the team behind An Iliad) apply their formidable creative energy to unearth the all-too-human formation of the most influential book in Western history—the Bible.

This powerful play weaves together three distinct yet connected stories: a devout young man struggling to reconcile his belief with his identity; an atheist biblical scholar trying to find meaning as she faces her own mortality; and the creative journey of the Bible itself—from ancient Mesopotamia to medieval Ireland to suburban America—through the many hands, minds, hearts, and circumstances that molded this incredibly potent testament to the human spirit.

Creative team

Denis O’Hare · Playwright
Lisa Peterson · Playwright / Director
Rachel Hauck · Scenic Design
Lydia Tanji · Costume Design
Alexander V. Nichols · Lighting/Projection Design
Mark Bennett · Composer / Co-Sound Design
Charles Coes · Co-Sound Design
Amy Potozkin · Casting
Alaine Alldaffer · Casting
Madeleine Oldham · Dramaturg
Sarah Rose Leonard · Dramaturg
Leslie M. Radin · Stage Manager
Laura Humphrey · Assistant Director
Jessie Bonaventure · Assistant Scenic Designer
Susannah Hyde · Assistant Scenic Designer
Jessica Berman · Dialect Coach
Maggie Forti · Guitar Coach
Simon Kafka · Guitar Coach
Tait Adams · Production Assistant
Wayne Barker · Vocal Coach / Music Associate


Elijah Alexander · Man 3
Lance Gardner · Man 1
Denmo Ibrahim · Woman 1
Keith Nobbs · Connor
Annette O’Toole · Miriam
Shannon Tyo · Woman 2
Wayne Wilcox · Man 2

Leaping manThe Good Book is just heavenly. Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson’s play doesn’t only trace a rousing and risible survey of the Bible from piecemeal, often accidental oral history to codex to actual book you can hold in your hand. It also conjures two contemporary characters who are just as rich, complicated, imperfect and striving as the text they’re both obsessed with…Peterson summons and sustains with her stagecraft that feeling of awe before the eternal, but always leavened with the whimsy and wry humor that is distinctly of humans, not God…Peterson’s cast is phenomenal. [The Good Book] shows how we can both stay true to our beliefs and who we are while still being in conversation with the world.”

San Francisco Chronicle

The Good Book is a revelation. How Peterson and O’Hare go about answering the question of what the Bible really is takes nearly three hours and a play that careens all through time and space in a most entertaining manner. [The play] can feel scattershot, but that’s probably by design. It proves that from disparate parts, you can assemble something that, even though it seems unlikely, coalesces in a deeply meaningful, thought-provoking way.”

Theater Dogs

Funny, at times electrifying and always edifying, The Good Book is more entertaining than you might imagine. And the acting (by a multicultural seven-member cast that includes some locals), Peterson’s direction and the design (Rachel Hauck’s set; Mark Bennett’s sound), are all terrific.”

San Francisco Examiner

Watch now

Official trailer: The Good Book

Get a peek at Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson’s new play, The Good Book, in our official trailer.

Behind the scenes: Annette O’Toole and Keith Nobbs

Actors Annette O’Toole and Keith Nobbs discuss their characters’ journey in Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson’s new play, The Good Book.

Behind the scenes: Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson

The creators of The Good Book dive deeper into the play and share some scenes from rehearsals.

Listen up

REPISODES: The Berkeley Rep Podcast presents a series of conversations with artists and experts around the shows in our 50th anniversary season. Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud to keep up with the whole series.

See photos

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