Life Sentences


by Richard Nelson


Life Sentences was first produced at The Second Stage, New York City (Carole Rothman, artistic director and Suzanne Schwartz-Davidson, producing director) on 9th November 1993.

Creative Team

Director – John Caird
Set Designer – Thomas Lynch
Costume Designer – Ann Roth
Lighting Designer – Richard Nelson (no relation)


Burke – Edward Herrmann
Mia – Michelle Joyner


Burke, a literature professor at a small upstate New York college, has invited a Polish emigré novelist to give a lecture, as well as spend the night at the house he shares with his girlfriend Mia, who is some twenty years younger than Burke.  The presence of this attractive foreigner exposes Burke’s and Mia’s hopes, dreams, delusions and regrets.  Ironic and very funny, Life Sentences is a tale about loneliness and the hopeless struggle to know where we belong.