The Caterers

The Caterers

Author: Jonathan Leaf

Description: Inspired by a real-life hostage drama which took place in 1977, the play is a politically incorrect thriller dealing with the issues of anti-semitism, the role of women in the Islamic world and the West and the present conflicts between Muslims and unbelievers.
Year Written/Copyrighted: 2005
Date Added: 3/7/2012
Content Advisory: There is adult content in the play. This includes marked violence, strong language and an attempted seduction
Keywords: Characters are Mostly Young Adults · Fight Sequences · Literature and Writing · Mostly Male Characters · Naturalism/Realism · Single Set · Small Cast Size
1 Act, 85 Minutes
1 Female, 3 Males
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NOTE: The Caterers is fully protected by copyright law and is subject to royalty. All inquiries concerning production, publication, reprinting or use of this play in any form should be addressed to

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Casting/Production Comments:

The Caterers is an exceptionally easy play to stage from a technical standpoint. The most important things to do in presenting it are simply to find good actors and to use realistic props and sets.

From the Author:

The Caterers was inspired by an actual incident. In 1977, a group of radical Muslims took 121 people and three buildings hostage in Washington, D.C. to prevent the showing of a movie which they wrongly believed showed the prophet Mohammed on screen. Full of hatred of Jews, they occupied the national headquarters of B'nai Brith and denounced the film as a Jewish plot against Islam.

My play re-sets the story in New York in the present day in an action-filled, very intense drama dealing with anti-Semitism, women's rights and the nature of religious faith.

Regrettably, the director of the first production changed the ending of the play—altering scenes during rehearsals that I was not present at. This greatly marred the play, and left it with an illogical conclusion. Yet, in spite of this, the production received a series of rave reviews, and it was nominated by the New York Innovative Theater Awards for Best Full-Length Script of the Year, Best Production and Best Actor (Brian Wallace). My hope is that making the play available in this form will lead to a future production which is faithful to the script I wrote.

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Original Production Information

The Caterers was first presented by The Immediate Theater Company at Altered Stages, New York City, in 2005, with the following cast and credits:

Brian Wallace - Mohammed
Judith Hawking - Nina
Ian Blackman - David
Peter Reznikoff - Sir Warren Heath

Director - Jose Zayas
Costumes - Mel Haley
Lighting - Aaron J. Mason
Sets - Ryan Kravetz
Music - Philip Quinaz
Stage Manager - Parys Lebron