Blessed Event by Jim Hetrick


As a family holds vigil at the side of their passing Patriarch, each finds a time to reflect upon past times and the future of their lives with out him.


Cast of Characters

  • *BILL: Charlie’s oldest son. Insurance VP. Very impressed with himself. Drives a Lexus. Golfs with the Governor.

  • *JOCELYN: Bill’s wife. Always dressed in exquisite dresses. Heels. Fine jewelry. Never a hair out of place. Not really a snob, but definitely wants the rest of the world to know that she is upper crust. Favorite pastime is tennis “at the club.”

  • THOMAS: Middle brother. Mechanic. Down-to-earth fellow. Into sports, but not a fanatic. Enjoys a game of pool, and a night out with the guys. Beer drinker. Soft spoken. Gets along with most folks, but knows how to speak his mind and stands up for what he believes in. Can have a temper when somebody gets him riled.

  • CHERYL: Married to Tom. Sweet. Quiet. Kindergarten teacher. Athletic. Runs five miles every morning. Into women’s college basketball. Madly in love with husband. Has two young children. Out of all of “the kids”, she is Charlie’s favorite.

  • MICHELE: Two years younger than Tom. An old hippie. Can’t stand Bill’s lifestyle, and outwardly despises Jocelyn. Outspoken but not LOUD. Very intelligent. Very “liberated.” Always has a cause she is championing. She is currently a lactivist. Single. No children. A homeopathic healer.

  • PHILIP: Youngest sibling. Friendly. Quiet. Doesn’t want to make waves. Gay, but not effeminate. The actor will have to bring forth the character’s homosexuality with grace, subtlety and sensitivity. Very likable character. Large animal veterinarian.

  • **GERTRUDE: Mother to Bill, Thomas, Michele and Philip. Wife to Charlie. Completely and totally dedicated to her family. Spent the last fifty-five years of her life raising her family and loving and fighting with Charlie. She will defend her family to the death. Nobody can say a bad word about any of her children without a fight. Nobody can say a bad word about Charlie except for her.

  • T’AUNT SOPHIE: Charlie’s younger sister. A bit eccentric. Loud. Intelligent. A little dingy. Somewhere around eighty.

  • **CHARLIE: 80. Dying of lung cancer. Narrator. Easy-going and lovable. Fascinated with mechanical things. Loves his kids. Adores his wife. In the beginning, the actor playing Charlie lies in bed upstage of a dummy and under the covers, on a platform slightly below the dummy so he is blocked initially from the audience’s view.

*Notes: Bill and Cheryl should not be played as Thurston Howell, III and wife. They are a little snooty, but they both remember their more “common” roots.
They have compassion, it just doesn’t always show.  Although French Canadian, Charlie and Gert both speak without accents.

The Setting

A living room. All of the furniture is of the old, heavy style. It is in excellent shape, but obviously worn. A sofa is the centerpiece, surrounded by a recliner angled slightly toward the audience, another big, upholstered chair with wings, and a console television. There is a large coffee table with magazines and two large, full candy dishes in front of the sofa. There is a large table stage right for coffee service and food. There should be an indication of a bay window in the room, along with a doorways that leads to Charlie’s bedroom. Charlie’s bedroom contains a bed, a nightstand and a dummy in bed or an actor. In the living room, next to Charlie’s bedroom door is a breathing machine with tubes running into Charlie’s bedroom. This machine runs at the beginning and the end of each scene throughout to give the audience the impression that it is running continuously throughout the performance. Upstage right is another arched doorway leading to the kitchen and rest of the house. The walls of the living room are scattered with pictures of people, presumably relatives.


Also available from this Playwright

In the News

Windham Theatre Guild Presents World Premiere of Blessed Event (

Jim Hetrick's "Blessed Event" can now be viewed on the internet! The website is  Once there, click on the "watch" tab at the bottom of the screen, and then type in Blessed Event in the search field.  ENJOY!

Blessed Event by Jim Hetrick

ISBN 1-60513-101-6; JAC #2011-0006

$10.25/individual copy

Script package: 20% Discount

$35/performance royalty

This title is also available for

To license this play, please call (781) 272-2066


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A real tear-jerker by Spectralflare
I had the honor of being in the premiere production of this new play. It is such a poignant piece that everyone can relate to. The audience laughed (and cried) throughout and was in tears at the end. It makes you think about family, relationships, and love. After experiencing this play I have reevaluated what is truly important in life. One of my lines was, "If you love someone, you should let them know". How true is this! I highly recommend this play.

Absolutely wonderful by Oombutuon
Completely heartbreaking. Completely poignant. Not everyone may be related to someone suffering from cancer, but every knows SOMEONE related to someone... There are so many things people can identify with in this play. The oldest brother, feeling aloof and segregated from his family... The middle brother, feeling forgotten and never able to get the attention he wants... The sister who holds all men up to the standard her father set... And the loving wife, struggling with letting her husband go while praying he could still be with her. This story captures what it means for a strong family to deal with things they thought there would always be time for.

tugs at the heart strings by daydreambeliever
"Blessed Event" is a truly touching and heartfelt story. I had the honor of being in the audience at the world premier of the play. Previously, I had read the character of 'Jocelyn' at the staged reading of "Blessed Event". The play affected me to the same degree in both instances: it brought me to tears; it made me laugh out loud. A terrific ensemble piece for any theater company. This one's a gem.

Something for every family! by palaemon1on
The greatest part of this play is the fact that there is so much americana packed in here. It doesn't matter what walk of life you come from, you have had, or have heard of all the situations this play touches on. Lots of laughs, even through the tears of remembrance. I highly recommend at least considering this Poignant and Heartfelt play to any Community theatre group.

Heartwarming by Laurie
Jim Hetrick hit the nail on the head with this heartwarming story of losing a family patriarch. It was a pleasure witnessing the premier of this play and I would recommend anyone looking for a stop an think sort of production to consider this story. Well written and full of emotion.

Phenomenal by Kristy
I saw this play in Willamantic, CT and really loved it. It was funny and sad and thought provoking. I really hope this play is picked up in the DC area so I can see it again (locally) sometime in the not too distance future! Highly recommended!!!!

a gem by Ruth Voborilon
I too was priviledged to attend the premier performance of "Blessed Event" in Willimantic, Connecticut. There are so many layers to Jim Hetrick's play that speak to any individual who is part of a family. It is the sort of work that makes one pause and evaluate his own life and relationships. After I left the play I visited my aging mom, realizing all the more how terribly fortunate I am that I still have her. This play is a gem.

The Best Blessed Play I've Read in This Century by Ms Carolon
As a former Borders Inc, Children's Specialist, I have read my fair share of children's, young adult, and adult fiction. This play will warm your heart. It takes the taboo topic of death, makes waiting for death the backdrop, and adds comedy to remind us of life. Anyone who is ever lost a member of the family will roll on the floor with laughter and cry deep cleansing sobs as you relive with the carefully constructed multidimensional characters, the most important events in Charlie's life. I only wish I could see this play come to life on stage. Any college or advanced high school could bring this play to life and spread the love captured so poignantly in THE BLESSED EVENT.