The Four of Us A Play

Itamar Moses

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

128 Pages



Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy

From the author of Bach at Leipzig comes a play about loyalty, integrity, and the price of success. When Benjamin's first novel vaults him into literary stardom, his friend David, a struggling playwright, is thrilled for his newfound success. Or, he wants to be. The two young men, who are "somewhere between the ages of seventeen and twenty-seven," find themselves re-evaluating their own goals and values as individuals and questioning their roles as friends and the role of their friendship as it fits into their lives. Should Benjamin help David by using his new connections? Can David even expect such favors from his friend? More importantly, who should pick up the tab at lunch? The Four of Us is an inventive exploration of the ever-shifting ground of friendship.

The play premiered at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California in February 2007. It was first produced in New York by the Manhattan Theatre Club in March 2008.


Praise for The Four of Us

"[Moses] makes the kinds of stylistic gambles that should be applauded."—Eric Grode, The New York Sun

"[Moses's] story goes where you expect it to and where you don't, along the way pondering the dilemmas of an artistic life and the ever-shifting nature of even the closest friendships."—Daryl H. Miller, Los Angeles Times

"Clever [and] smart . . . Moses seems as fascinated by the construction of dramatic action as he is by theme and character . . . And in good postmodern fashion, [he] both comments upon and reveals himself tinkering with his craft . . . The Four of Us deftly raises questions [such as] Who owns a story? Who has the right to tell it? And can the representation of shared experience become revenge for the teller? [It] suggests that Moses will be displaying a big range as his career unfolds."—Anne Marie Welsh, The San Diego Union-Tribune

"Not only funny and moving, it's surprising."—Toby Zinman, The Philadelphia Inquirer

"[Moses] cements his status as the most self-consciously clever among the current crop of young playwrights . . . The play turns in on itself . . . inviting the audience to reexamine everything that's come before from a new perspective."—Bob Verini, Variety

"The swaggering pulse of this play is the torrent of imagination and perception just beginning to hit full flow from an author with a hearty potential for a long and productive career."—Welton Jones,

"Itamar Moses' The Four of Us moves both backward and forward, but concludes . . . with a scene redolent of youthful hope and promise. It also shares a remarkably similar concern with how commercial success can wreck art and friendship. The 30-year-old Moses handles this shopworn material with sharp humor and nuance, upending expectations about where our sympathies should lie. For the New York premiere at the Manhattan Theatre Club's New York City Center (through May 11), the director, Pam MacKinnon, and the actors, Gideon Banner and the impeccable Michael Esper, have given this immensely clever and satisfying play a naturalistic burnish that makes its meta-theatrical turn all the more surprising. Unless, of course, you're familiar with Moses' dramaturgy, in which the notion of performance and the playwright's artfulness inevitably take center stage. A graduate of Yale University, with an M.F.A. from New York University, Moses has been heralded as a rising star by Tom Stoppard, whose penchant he shares for elegant wordplay and occasionally overstuffed plays of ideas . . . The Four of Us seems at first to be a much simpler work, but its simplicity is, in part, deceptive . . . In The Four of Us—a title that suggests changing personae—the friends' betrayals of each other are mirrored by the playwright's own trickery. The sleight of hand manages to stun us, forcing us to re-evaluate what we have just seen. But Moses' reflections on the art of storytelling are no longer a mere intellectual high-wire act. The real revelation of this engrossing production is just how skillfully the playwright has burrowed into his characters' hearts and minds."—Julia M. Klein, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Itamar Moses

  • Itamar Moses is the author of seven full-length plays, including Bach at Leipzig, and various short plays and one-acts. He was named Best Young Playright of the Year by The Wall Street Journal (2008). His work has been produced in the United States and Canada. He has taught playwriting at both Yale and New York University. A member of the Dramatists Guild, MCC Playwrights' Coalition, and the New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspects, Moses now lives in Brooklyn.