Please Continue

Play title: Please Continue 

Author (s):  Frank Basloe

Publisher: Dramatists Play Service

Publication Date: March, 15th 2019

Funder: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Genre: Drama

Primary Discipline: Psychology 

Scientist (s) and Historical Figure (s): 

Stanley Milgram – Influenced by the the citation of ‘obedience’ as a defense of German soldiers during at the Nuremberg War Criminal Trials, Stanley Milgram is remembered through his controversial trials in obedience at Yale University in the 1960’s. Through these trials he gained notoriety as he examined how men reacted to authority.

William Sloane Coffin – Ordained in the Presbyterian Church, Coffin was and clergyman and civil rights activist who gained national recognition through his work and presence at Yale University. 

Source Texts:

Character Breakdown:

Dr. Stanley Milgram – Yale University Assistant Professor (27)

James Sanders – Yale College Class of 1961

Saul Dashoff – Yale College Class of 1961 

Harold Burden – Yale College Class of 1962

Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr. – Yale University Chaplain (36) 

Mitchell Halverson III – Yale College Class of 1962

Francis Dunleavey – Yale College Class of 1961

Margaret Hopson -Smith College Class of 1961

(Character Breakdown provided by play text)

Setting: Various locations in and around Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

(Setting provided by play text)

Time Period: 1960

Synopsis of Play: In the fall of 1960, as the Eisenhower era comes to a close, a Yale senior finds himself helping Stanley Milgram pilot his soon-to-be-controversial “obedience experiments.” Milgram gets the data he needs, but the lab assistant who conducts the experiment is left to grapple with his own responsibility. On the same campus, another Yale senior is forced to confront his role in a sexual assault scandal from the recent past. With the help of Yale Chaplain William Sloane Coffin, the student explores his actions and, mirroring the work that his classmate is undertaking for Professor Milgram, comes to understand the ways in which conformity can push us to act against our conscience.

(Synopsis provided by Dramatists Play Service)

First Performance Date: February 11th, 2014

First Producer: EST/Sloan Foundation

Performance History: This work is part of the EST (Ensemble Studio Theatre)/ Sloan technology initiative. First read at the 2013/2014 EST First Light Festival, this show later opened off-broadway at the EST Curt Dempster Theatre in February of 2014. Most recently this show has been produced and performed through L.A. Theatre Works ‘Relativity’ series, an audio theatre experience. This audio performance can be listened to for free through the L.A. Theatre Works Relativity site (


Interview: Ensemble Studio Theatre’s William Carden Directs “Please Continue”, a Play About the Milgram Experiment

Entered by: Anna Galanides 

Photo/Visual Research with citations

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