Nominated for the 2021 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. The Incels is a full-length play about three “involuntarily celibate” men, lonely, angry, stuck in Internet echo chambers, and creeping towards the edge of violence.
From a men’s shelter in Harlem, Tom immortalizes fruitless encounters with women on his vlog. From his hunter’s den in the hinterlands, Derrick streams his survivalist YouTube channel, losing followers as he obsesses about the new woman in town. From his man cave in suburban Pennsylvania, Pat broadcasts his weekly show, “Voice of Hope,” teaching men how to be happy in a life without women.
It seems like the perfect answer for Tom and Derrick, but the more they tune in, the more aggravated they become: Pat’s cold, detached philosophy lessons just aren’t working. The culminating scenes are an explosion of rage, despair, and frantic attempts to help, as Tom loads his Glock and Derrick sits alone on his basement floor with a Remington aimed at his own head.
At this desperate hour, will they be able to truly connect before crossing the line into violence?
The Incels asks us to look beyond the chat rooms and forums to the humanity that lurks within.