Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


A Short-Play Cycle

Neil LaBute; Introduction by the author

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

"Sitting in an automobile was where I first remember understanding how drama works...Hidden in the back seat of a sedan, I quickly realized how deep the chasm or intense the claustrophobia could be inside your average family car." --Neil LaBute

Be it the medium for clandestine couplings, arguments, shelter, or ultimately transportation, the automobile is perhaps the most authentically American of spaces. In Autobahn, Neil LaBute's provocative new collection of one-act plays set within the confines of the front seat, the playwright employs his signature plaintive insight to great effect, investigating the inchoate apprehension that surrounds the steering wheel. Each of these seven brief vignettes explore the ethos of perception and relationship--from a make-out session gone awry to a kidnapping thinly disguised as a road trip, a reconnaissance mission involving the rescue of a Nintendo 64 to a daughter's long ride home after her release from rehab. The result is an unsettling montage that gradually reveals the scabrous force of words left unsaid while illuminating the delicate interplay between intention and morality, capturing the essence of middle America and the myriad paths which cross its surface.



A YOUNG WOMAN sitting in the front seat of a car. An OLDER WOMAN seated next to her, driving.

YOUNG WOMAN ... it's all the same, you know? How it looks out...


Praise for Autobahn

“There is no playwright on the planet these days who is writing better than Neil LaBute.” —John Lahr, The New Yorker

“Neil LaBute is the first dramatist since David Mamet and Sam Shepard--since Edward Albee, actually to mix sympathy and savagery, pathos and power.” —Donald Lyons, New York Post

“LaBute [is] our American Aesop, a mad moral fabulist serving stiff tonic for our country's sin-sick souls.” —John Istel, American Theatre

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Neil LaBute; Introduction by the author

Neil LaBute is a critically acclaimed writer-director for both the stage and the screen. His recent plays include The Shape of Things (Faber 2001), and The Mercy Seat (Faber 2003).

Neil LaBute

Neil LaBute

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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