Privilege – Paul Weitz


Orig­i­nally pro­duced by the Sec­ond Stage The­atre in New York City, April 25, 2005.

Orig­i­nal Cast:

Porter (16)                                       Harry Zit­tel
Char­lie (12)                                      Conor Dono­van
Anna (early 40s)                               Car­olyn McCormick
Erla (early 30s; Latina)                      Flo­ren­cia Lozano
Ted (mid 40s)                                    Bob Saget

Direc­tor:  Peter Askin
Scenic Design:  Thomas Lynch
Cos­tume Design:  Jeff Mahshie
Light­ing Design:  Jeff Croi­ter
Orig­i­nal Music and Sound Design:  Lewis Flinn
Stage Man­agers:  Ger­ald Cos­grove and Michael McGoff

Pub­li­ca­tion:  Weitz, Paul. Priv­i­lege. Drama­tists Play Ser­vice, 2006. Drama Library PS3573. E4314 P75 2006.

Set­ting:  An expen­sive Upper East side apart­ment, New York City, and a mod­est apart­ment on the Upper West Side, New York City, 1987.

Lan­guage:  Contemporary


It’s my room and I’ll fart if I want to. (Sings.) It’s my party and I’ll fart if I want to, fart if I want to, fart if I want to…

Genre/Style:  Comedy

Plot:  The lives of two teenagers on the Upper East Side change dra­mat­i­cally when their father is con­victed of insider trading.


Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mono­logues:  All of the mono­logues in the play are under one minute.  (Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.)

p. 15:  Porter ques­tions attend­ing Brown University.


What’s the big deal about Brown? What if I don’t want to go to Brown? What if I’d rather go to Apex Tech? What if I’d rather learn a valu­able trade, like wash­ing machine repair? [lines cut] Of course I’d have to change my name, you can’t have a door­man named “Porter.” I’d have to change it to “Joe”—or “Jimmy.”

p. 23:  Char­lie writes a let­ter to the Times.


So I think I should write a let­ter to the Times. You want to hear my first draft? (Char­lie takes out a piece of paper and reads.) “In this land, we are inno­cent until proven guilty. Our fore­fa­thers fought for var­i­ous rights, such as that of a man’s inno­cence until guilt is proven. [Lines cut] I guess I have to take out that last part. Well, what do you think?

p. 30:  Erla explains the real­ity of the boys’ new sit­u­a­tion to them.


No, Char­lie, we’re not a team. You two are a team. [Lines cut] You have com­puter games, you have water­skis, you have ser­vants. You have become accus­tomed to the idea of peo­ple serv­ing you.


Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Scenes:   The play is mostly made up of scenes between the two broth­ers so there are many scenes to choose from.

p. 5–6:  Char­lie and Porter are sup­posed to be pack­ing for Antigua and end the scene dis­cussing farts. Starts with


Oh God, I’m so bored.

and ends with


If I showed you a ten, you would die immediately.

p. 21–22:  Porter and Char­lie dis­cover the extent of their father’s crimes in the New York Times. Starts with


What? What about the Times?

and ends with


Yeah, it sort of does. “Assis­tant D.A. Theresa Novalis believes the gov­ern­ment case is strong. ‘It’s about time,” she says, ‘that the party ended.’ ”


Select Bib­li­og­ra­phy of Reviews and Crit­i­cism:  (Note:  arti­cle title links are to the online ver­sions, mostly UW-only restricted unless des­ig­nated as open access.)

Gluck, V. (2005). Priv­i­lege. Back Stage, 46(19), 40.

Ish­er­wood, C. (2005, Apr 26). Daddy’s rich (mama’s good look­ing) and trouble’s an insider trade away. New York Times (1923-Current File), pp. 2.

Ker­sh­ner, J. (2011, Feb 27). Review: Clunky at times, but a rich story is told in ‘priv­i­lege’. McClatchy — Tri­bune Busi­ness News.

Pincus-Roth, Z. (2005). Paul pushes play on ‘Priv­i­lege’. Daily Vari­ety, 287(19), 27.

Rizzo, F. (2005). Priv­i­lege. Vari­ety, 398(11), 74.

Stevens, A. (2005, May 06). Conor dono­van and harry zit­tel. New York Times, pp. 0–24.

Wolfe, A. (2005). Money changes every­thing. New York, 38(16), 73–74.

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