Shear Madness
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Written by Paul Portner
SHOW TIMES: Wednesday, September 18th
- Sunday, October 6th

Wed & Thurs 7:30pm / Fri & Sat 8:00pm
Wed & Sun 2:00pm

Shear Madness is one of the most popular productions in the world, delighting audiences night after night with its unique blend of madcap improvisation and spine-tickling mystery.

This unique comedy-whodunit takes place today in the Shear Madness hairstyling salon and is chock full of up-to-the-minute spontaneous humor. During the course of the action, a murder is committed and the audience gets to spot the clues, question the suspects, and solve the funniest mystery in the annals of crime. The outcome is never the same, which is why many audience members return again and again to the scene of the mayhem.

Voted “Best Comedy of the Year” seven times by the Boston Globe and recipient of the title “Best Play of the Year” by both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Philadelphia Enquirer, Shear Madness has also received the Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America and has been inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame, the first play ever to receive that accolade.





Stage Manager:  James Joseph Clark*

Scenic Designer:  Daniel Nischan

Lighting Designer:  Marcus Abbott

Sound Designer:  Tate R. Burmeister

Costume Designer:  Liz Saylor

* member of Actors Equity

Marilyn Abrams and Bruce Jordan

Marilyn Abrams (Original Co-Producer) and Bruce Jordan (Original Co-Producer, Director) are the owners and creators of Shear Madness, the longest-running nonmusical play in the american theater history.

These two New York actors anticipated the trend for interactive theater and acquired the world stage, film, and television rights to an obscure murder mystery originally titled Scherenschnitt, written by German playwright Paul Portner. In 1978, the play made its debut in the United States in a summer stock production in Lake George, New York. Mr. Jordan directed and created the role of Tony Whitcomb, salon proprietor, and Ms. Abrams created the role of Barbara DeMarco, the gum-chewing manicurist.

This exuberant duo oversees the Shear Madness companies across the USA and in diverse international cities such as Paris, London, Rome, Budapest, Athens, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Seoul, Barcelona and Madrid. While each occasionally takes time out to pursue other stage and film work, both make frequent visits to Shear Madness cities, where Mr. Jordan directs and maintains the artistic quality of the productions and Ms. Abrams handles sales and marketing.

The 38-year-old Boston company is the longest running play in American theatre history with the Washington, D.C. production at the John F. Kennedy Center running in second place. The play has been listed in The Guinness Book of World Records, and Boston’s Warrenton Street, location of the historic Charles Playhouse, is officially known as “Shear Madness Alley”. The Chicago company is the 3rd longest running play in the history of the American theatre, completing a Shear Madness Theatrical Triple Crown. Other honors include the Mystery Writers of America Raven Award, The Boston Globe’s Best Comedy of the Year, The Chicago Tribune’s Best Play of the Year, Boston’s Elliot Norton Award, The Los Angeles Dramalogue Award, the USO Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Theatrical Arts, and The Philadelphia Daily News’ Best Play of the Year.

In October of 1997, Ms. Abrams and Mr. Jordan were the recipients of the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Award, given by the National Comedy Hall of Fame, as the creators of Shear Madness, the first play ever to be so honored.

Join us for an opening night reception following the 8:00pm performance on Friday, September 20th. Light refreshments will be served.


Check back here for press releases, photos and video clips!


Looking for something to do? Ivoryton Playhouse has been voted best place to see live theatre by readers of The Shoreline Times for three years in a row. Come to Essex and visit our historic, professional theatre – a Connecticut treasure!

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Did You

Shear Madness is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running play in the history of the USA. The flagship Boston company has given birth to 50 productions in the U.S. and Shear Madness has been translated into 23 foreign languages, playing worldwide in a host of cities including Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Paris, Rejkavik, Rome, Tel Aviv, Melbourne, Johannesburg and Seoul. Over 12.5 million people worldwide have joined in the fun.