Scarcity Banner by Merian H.

Scarcity Promotional Poster

Playbill: Scarcity

Atlantic Theater Company logo


by Lucy Thurber
Directed by Jackson Gay
August 29 – October 21, 2007

Atlantic Theater Company
336 West 20th St., New York City
(212) 691-5919
Linda Gross Theater

Tues-Fri @ 8pm
Sat @ 2pm & 8pm
Sun mat @ 3pm

My Scarcity Ticket

Atlantic Theater Window showing Scarcity poster

Set in rural western Massachusetts, Scarcity tells the tale of two siblings whose aspirations to escape the confines of poverty and small town life come into direct conflict with their sense of family responsibility. When sixteen-year-old Billy is afforded an opportunity to change schools and move out of town by an unusually attentive young teacher, his family starts to unravel around him. In this raw, emotionally rich world premiere drama, up-and-coming playwright Lucy Thurber explores the stark reality of how class in America shapes our very image of ourselves. article: Scarcity, Thurber’s Laughter-Spiked Family Drama, Opens at Atlantic Theater Sept. 20 {Excerpt}
Without giving too much away, Thurber told, “Scarcity is about the pull between the loyalty you feel for your family and the loyalty you feel towards your own personal dreams.”

Stories about American family life are so often focused on the middle class, upper middle class or the rich. Did Thurber go into Scarcity specifically wanting to look at poverty and class, or did the family come first and their “situation” come second?

“I’m not sure how to separate the two,” Thurber said. “Scarcity is about a family that is living in poverty. I wanted to write a play about love, loyalty and the culture of poverty in rural America, the family and the scarcity model are intertwined.”

The complete article can be read here.

The play’s original title was Innocence is a Sin, “which was a horrible and heavy-handed title,” Thurber said, adding, “I changed the title to Scarcity because of this definition: In economics, scarcity is defined as ‘a condition of limited resources and unlimited wants and needs.’ In other words, society does not have sufficient resources to produce enough to fulfill subjective wants. Alternatively, scarcity implies that not all of society’s goals can be attained at the same time, so that trade-offs are made of one good against others.”