The Scarlet Letter — a play

The Scarlet Letter — a play

Adapted for the stage from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic American novel by Jenifer Nii

(For Professional, College/University, and Community theaters.)

Evil, sin, nature, a scarlet letter, a punishing scaffold. Adulteress Hester Prynne must wear a scarlet A on her chest as a constant reminder of her shame. Her illegitimate daughter is truly the Pearl purchased at great price. Her lover remains unidentified and is wracked with guilt.  Her husband seeks revenge. Highly theatrical, this play uses only four characters to completely capture the center of the story of inequality, prejudice, judgment.

Nominated for the 2012 American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg Award for Best New American Play Produced Outside New York.


  • 75 minutes
  • 2f 2m

Hester Prynne, late 20s. Wearer of the scarlet letter.
Arthur Dimmesdale, perhaps a bit older than Hester. The town man of God.
Roger Chillingworth, older than both Hester and Arthur. Hester’s former husband.
Pearl Prynne, age undetermined. Hester’s daughter. Described as an otherworldly “imp”, “nymph”, “demon”.

  • Simple setting
  • 1600s costuming.
  • ORDER #3215

Now Available


An insightful adaptation breathes new life into ‘The Scarlet Letter’.

By Barbara M. Bannon Special To The Salt Lake Tribune

Plan-B’s emotionally accessible production offers a new look at this classic. There is a difference between knowing the truth and speaking it,” Hester Prynne says to her daughter, Pearl, in Plan-B Theatre Company’s premiere production of Jenifer Nii’s insightful and incisive adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.Nii’s adaptation is a paradoxical combination: With the accuracy of a surgeon’s scalpel, she pares away Hawthorne’s external details to their stark essence and lays bare the secrets of the human heart; then she clothes the play in dense, poetic, and emotionally searing language that is, at times, breathtaking.”

A new and unflinching retelling of THE SCARLET LETTER
Posted by Melissa Leilani Larson | Apr 15, 2012 | Utah Theatre Bloggers

“Jennifer Nii‘s new adaptation of The Scarlet Letter is presently in its world premiere run at Plan-B Theatre Company. Nii’s script  is wonderfully taut; she has done an amazing job of paring the novel down to its most essential moments. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the script employs only four characters…I found that I didn’t miss any of the other residents of 1650’s Boston; rather, I was more invested in and intrigued by the four I needed to know. Nii’s language is simple and muscular; she doesn’t let scenes drag, nor is her text troubled by anachronysms. I understood and believed every line as true to the novel, the period, and the characters…If only my eleventh grade English class could experience this story in a way that they would—and should—appreciate.”

Breathing life into the classic text
By Rob Tennant (Salt Lake City Weekly) April 17, 2012

“Jenifer Nii has crafted a tight script that manages to explore the themes of sin, shame, guilt and redemption from the Nathaniel Hawthorne original with a mere 75-minute run time. The show walks a fine line of staying true to the original text while allowing some more contemporary tones to slip in, particularly when illustrating the affection and closeness between Hester and her illegitimate issue, Pearl.”


  • PERUSAL SCRIPT: The PDF of 1/2 of the script is available: ScarletLetterPERUSAL
  • See below for KINDLE PERUSAL


Any PDF purchased will be emailed to your email address — if you need to provide that to us (not the one on your PayPal account), EMAIL us. CDs will be mailed to a snail mail address. Before we ship any rehearsal material we will need your performance dates, the name of your organization and the theatre where you will perform.

Email us prior to your order so we have the info to give you a complete quote. EMAIL us for rights and information. Be sure to give us anticipated performance dates and the address of your group and, if different, your theatre. Please also include a contact name and phone number.

  • Script in PDF format — Order #3215a : $20.00 (will be sent to you by email, from which you will be authorized to print copies for your production)

  • PRINT BOOK   Order #3215ap : $10.95 (You may purchase a SINGLE copy for perusal purposes only.)

  • KINDLE Version $6.99 ORDER FROM AMAZON HERE   (It is NOT a legal rehearsal/production copy and may not be used to mount a production. It is for reading purposes only.)
  • Production Copies • 7 PRINT BOOKS $42.00Order #3215bulk It can be used as a rehearsal/performance copy if a minimum of 7 (SEVEN) copies are purchased  (4Actor 3Technical)

  • First Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3215d : $70.00


  • Second Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3215e : $60.00


  • Professional Royalties will be quoted upon application


  • PREMIERE: Plan-B Theatre C0mpany — 2012  | Photos are by Rick Pollack (Courtesy of Plan-B Theatre Company, Salt Lake City) 
  • As recognized by the Dramatists Guild of America, Plan-B Theatre Company is the only professional theatre company in the United States producing full seasons of new plays by local playwrights.

SLIDESHOW from the Plan-B Production:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The following is how the credits should read in all programs, posters, fliers, handbills and other promotional advertising for the show:
The Scarlet Letter

Adapted from the Hawthorne novel by
Jenifer Nii

A Plan-B Theatre Company Play

NOTE: The names of the Playwright(s), Composer, Lyricist, and Bookwriter shall be equal in size, type, coloring, boldness, and prominence. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to the Authors except for the title of the play.

The Scarlet Letter” is presented through special arrangement with Premiére Theatrical Licensing on behalf of Leicester Bay Theatricals.  All authorized materials are also supplied by LBT,”

from the catalog of