Skip to content

Concord Theatricals acquires licensing rights to several Mike Birbiglia plays

The catalog includes Birbiglia’s two Broadway titles, “The New One” and “The Old Man & the Pool.”

Mike Birbiglia in “The New One,” Broadway, 2018 (Credit: Joan Marcus)

Concord Theatricals has announced the acquisition of five theatrical pieces by Mike Birbiglia. The plays, all of which are solo works — “Sleepwalk with Me,” “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend” and “Thank God for Jokes” — are now a part of Samuel French, an imprint of Concord. Additionally, “The New One” and “The Old Man & the Pool,” both of which Birbiglia performed on the Main Stem, have been acquired and will be available for licensing.

“Occasionally, people have performed some of my solo shows at high schools and at theaters around the world,” explained Birbiglia in a statement. “It’s a surreal experience to have someone else perform something that is entirely personal to you. There’s that great James Joyce quote: ‘In the particular lies the universal.’ Which applies here because I’ve written five solo plays about my experiences in Dublin. No, they’re actually just about life and death and mortality and finding humor in the most unlikely of places. I can’t wait to see people perform them. I’m hoping they do it better than I do and I’m honored that Samuel French has included me in their legendary collection.”

Birbiglia’s autobiographical solo performances have been a part of the New York theater landscape for over 15 years. “Sleepwalk with Me,” his first play to be presented Off-Broadway, opened on Nov. 11, 2008, at the Bleecker Street Theatre. Ten years later to the day, Birbiglia made his Broadway debut in “The New One,” opening at the then-named Cort Theatre (now the James Earl Jones). For his comedic commentary on parenting, Birbiglia was awarded the 2019 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance. He was previously nominated in 2009 for “Sleepwalk,” as well as in 2011 for “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” which opened at the Barrow Street Theater on March 31, 2011. Birbiglia returned to Broadway in 2022 with “The Old Man & the Pool,” which opened on Nov. 18, 2022 at the Vivian Beaumont. Birbiglia served as one of the lead producers of the 2024 Special Tony recipient, Alex Edelman’s solo play “Just for Us,” which opened on June 26, 2023. 

“The team at Concord is honored to have Mike and his brilliant work join the Samuel French family of exceptional dramatists,” said Amy Rose Marsh, vice president of acquisitions and artistic development at Concord. “A masterful storyteller for this generation, his writing displays a humor and humanity that evokes the tradition of great artists like Spalding Grey, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, and Claudia Shear, among others. We can’t wait to see performers and producers put their own stamp on these stories and really make them their own.”

“Old Man & the Pool” joins several other productions seen on Broadway during the 2022-2023 season that were recently acquired by Concord: Amy Herzog’s 2023 Tony Award-nominated adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” James Ijames’ 2023 Best Play Tony nominee “Fat Ham” and the 2023 Best Musical nominee “Some Like it Hot.”

Concord’s licensing encompasses R&H Theatricals, Samuel French, Tams-Witmark and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection. As previously announced, the organization will be awarded the Dramatist Guild’s inaugural Konecky Award in May.