The Conscientious Objector


Michael Murphy

Published by Dramatists Play Service

1 Female

Political theatre at its best, bringing to life an issue that has perplexed this nation since its founding - dissent during a time of war

The play dramatizes a largely forgotten period in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

In 1965 and at the height of his power and influence, Dr King became the first person of his stature to publicly oppose the Vietnam War

This put him in direct conflict with President Lyndon Johnson, his most important ally in the Civil Rights Movement

Johnson viewed King as the one person who could galvanize the nation against the war (and his presidency) so he recruited the media, the FBI and even other Civil Rights leaders to try to stop King

Grounded in historical accounts and White House and FBI telephone transcripts, The Conscientious Objector voices the conflicting views of some of the most fascinating and charismatic figures of the twentieth century

The climax of the play - the last time King and Johnson would ever speak to each other - left New York audiences in tears

" ... fraught with contemporary resonance, as a charismatic black man takes a stand against a white president who is stubbornly continuing an unpopular war. The play's sharp yet nuanced dialogue shows how theater can be absorbing and also earn a place in today's political conversation" ~ NY Times

"Engrossing, heartbreaking ... The Conscientious Objector is America's answer to Greek tragedy, a tale full of larger-than-life characters in which irreconcilable interests and personal loyalties collide" ~ NY Magazine

The Conscientious Objector practices a whole string of virtues rarely seen in political theater. The unforgettable last scene between King and Johnson suggests two remorseful Oedipuses finding a moment's peace together in the sacred grove at Colonus" ~ Village Voice

Browse Library

About Stageplays

Stageplays offers you the largest collection of Plays & Musicals in the world.

Based in the UK and the USA, we’ve been serving the online theatre community since the last century. We’re primarily a family-run business and several of us also work in professional theatre.

But we’re all passionate about theatre and we all work hard to share that passion with you and the world’s online community.

Subscribe to our theatre newsletter

We'll email you regular details of new plays and half-price special offers on a broad range of theatre titles.


We can deliver any play in print to any country in the world - and we ship from both the US and the UK.

© 2010 - 2024 Stageplays, Inc.