The North Plan

After a ruthless faction seizes power in Washington, Carlton Berg, a bureaucrat for the State Department, runs off with the new regime’s top secret enemies list. Unfortunately for Carlton, the chase has come to an end in a police station in the Ozarks town of Lodus. With a pair of DHS agents on the way, Carlton’s last hope is in the people around him: an unsympathetic police chief, an ambivalent administrative assistant, and fellow prisoner Tanya Shepke, a motor-mouthed recidivist who’s turned herself in for drunk driving and thinks Skynyrd should be on the new money.

The revolution starts now.

The North Plan at Steppenwolf

Directed by Kimberly Senior
The play The North Plan performed at Steppenwolf Theatre
Tom Hickey, Brian King, Timothy Edward Kane, Jennifer Engstrom

The North Plan at Portland Center Stage

Directed by Rose Riordan
The play, The North Plan, at Portland Center Stage
Kate Eastwood Norris, Ashley Everage

The North Plan at Theater Wit

Directed by Kimberly Senior
The play The North Plan performed at Theater Wit
Kate Buddeke, Kevin Stark, Lucy Sandy


“… Despite such serious thematic concerns as the legitimacy of political authority, the importance of dissent and the uses of torture, The North Plan is a threat to public order because it’s a laugh riot. … building a headlong momentum until its sudden conclusion – which on opening night brought the crowd to a hooting, hollering standing ovation.”

—Marty Hughley, The Oregonian

“… Sharp, dark political comedy …”

“… Wells’ dialog remains funny and chilling, sometimes by turns and sometimes all at once. He consistently supplies acid, dystopian laughs …”

—Tony Adler, Chicago Reader

“During intermission, flattering adjectives such as ‘fabulous’ and ‘hysterical’ were flung freely back and forth. And it’s absolutely justified.”

—Chloe Hagerman, Be Oregon

“The dialogue that ensues is nothing short of uproarious. … Tanya’s self-indulgent antics continue to rack the audience with irrepressible fits of laughter.”

—Anne Adams, Portland Monthly

“I laughed through the whole show. All the characters were funny in their own way, all had this great mix of ridiculous and real. The writing was so smart, and the actors each were so good, there was such – again – pitch perfect timing.”

Gigi Little

The North Plan is funny and deeply political.”

—Barry Johnson, Oregon Arts Watch

“Wells (Men Of Tortuga) is a highly entertaining writer with a keen sense of how to fire up a pressure cooker on a stage and keep an audience feeling jumpy.”

—Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune (2010)

“… Fun, smart, involving and just disturbing enough for a Saturday night on the town.”

—Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune (2012)

“… One of the best things produced at Steppenwolf this year, in a year I’ve liked most everything on that stage. The North Plan is one of those rare plays that manages to combine a powerful message … with a raucous sense of humor and deft stagecraft that plays with conventional notions of farce and manages to make them as funny as the first time you’d ever seen such things … If I were an artistic director shopping for a play, I’d go all-in to pick this one up. As it is, I can only suggest that you see this production while you can.”

—Brian Hieggelke, New City (2010)

“A powerful work of dystopian agitprop … As disturbing as Jason Wells’ play is, it’s just as hilarious.”

“The show crackles with wit and energy …”

—Brian Hieggelke, New City (2012)

“… As uproarious as it is unsettling … As terrifically entertaining as it is thought-provoking.”

—Taylor Ehlis, Chicago Maroon

“Jump-to-your-feet fantastic!”

“The plot is solid.  The characters are genuine.  The dialogue is smart.  The intrigue and absurdity is pure ‘Pulp Fiction’  …  At the show I saw, the audience literally jumped to their feet with thunderous applause and cheering.”

“… Funny, scary and totally believable – which makes it funnier and scarier!”

—Katie Walsh, Chicago Theater Beat

The North Plan is funny, scary … a cautionary tale -and – it is wonderful theatre. That’s a winning combination.”

—Tom Williams, ChicagoCritic– Highly Recommended  

“… We found ourselves immersed in equal measures of armrest-gripping suspense and hilarity throughout The North Plan’s macabre, rollicking ride … The North Plan explores the strange and riotous relationships that unfold in a climate of democracy upended.”

—Katherine Zien, Flavorpill

“The second act is comic dynamite … The laughs didn’t stop once.”

“… Carries an unusual, apt resonance with all the laughs.”

—Hank Brunhoff, Splash Magazines

“… uproarious, outrageous, yet frighteningly plausible … the funniest/edgiest show in town …”

“… fiendishly clever …”

The North Plan is cutting-edge, edge-of-your-seat edgy, in addition to being a thrilling, laugh-packed roller-coaster ride (that just happens to be a thought-provoker as well).”

—Steven Stanley, StageSceneLA


  • Steppenwolf Theatre Company, First Look Repertory of New Work (Chicago)
  • Portland Center Stage (Portland, OR)
  • Theater Wit (Chicago)
  • Theatre Exile (Philadelphia)
  • Capital Stage (Sacramento)
  • Elephant Stages (Los Angeles)
  • Over Our Heads Players (Racine, WI)
  • Street Corner Arts (Austin, TX)
  • STAGEStheatre (Fullerton, CA)
  • Renegade Theatre Experiment (San Jose, CA)
  • Main Stage West (Sebastopol, CA)
  • Upintheair Theatre (Vancouver, Canada)
  • OpenStage Theatre, Lincoln Center (Fort Collins, CO)
  • Ion Theatre (San Diego)
  • Springs Ensemble Theatre (Colorado Springs)

Development: JAW Festival, Portland Center Stage (Portland, OR)