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The Comeuppance

The Comeuppance

By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Imprint: Theatre Communications Group
Paperback : 9781636702087, 120 pages, June 2024


A hauntingly surreal play that plumbs the depths of a group of close friends reuniting for the first time in decades.

wenty years after graduating from a Catholic academy in Washington, DC, a group of old friends gathers on a porch to pregame their high school reunion. Bonded by a shared sense of alienation and by the traumatic events of their high school years, including the Columbine massacre and 9/11, as well as their own self-proclaimed “Multi-Ethnic Reject” status, the friends are nonetheless surprised to find their memories of core teenage experiences no longer match up. What they do share is a sense that their lives have been continually put on hold by one tragedy or another, up to and including the still-lingering Covid-19 pandemic. Haunting the group is the specter of Death, who serially inhabits each character throughout the play to reveal the substance beneath their chatter. As the friends’ competing versions of their teenage years lead to an increasingly charged encounter, they find themselves facing the difficult reckoning that their past actions may have irrevocably sealed their present fates.


“Here’s a drama where Branden Jacobs-Jenkins both sums up and reconfigures the present moment.”

- Vulture

“A profound tragicomedy, or perhaps vice versa, about the reunion that awaits us all.”

- New York Times

“This reunion—depth-charged like most—unfolds in its own style (blessedly free of cliché) and at its own pace.”

- New York Stage Review

“A more up-to-date play than The Comeuppance does not exist. One of the great pleasures here, among many others, is how Jacobs-Jenkins takes us right up to June 2023 through the play’s many references to yesterday’s news.”

- The Wrap

“The anxiety of elder millennials as we peer over the hill is a rich source of drama, and Jacobs-Jenkins finds thrilling ways to exploit that.”

- TheaterMania