This Is How It Goes


Writers: Neil LaBute


Show Information

Text And Format
Number of Acts
First Produced
Time & Place
present/small town in the midwest
Cast Size
Ideal for
community theatre, regional theatre, professional theatre, college/university theatre
Casting Notes

Includes adult, late teen, young adult characters


Our narrator, “The Man”, has just moved back to his hometown in the Midwest when he surreptitiously runs into his high school crush, Belinda Phipps. Belinda is, apparently, living the American dream: she lives in a luxurious house with her high school sweetheart, Cody, a rich African-American man who was an All-Star athlete back in high school. Nothing, however, is as it seems in this play that sharply examines marriage and race in Middle America. As our narrator, who bluntly admits to being an unreliable witness, grows closer to Belinda, the foundation of Cody and Belinda’s marriage is challenged and put into question. Staged on continually shifting moral ground that challenges our received notions about gender, ethnicity, and even love itself, This Is How It Goes unblinkingly explores the myriad ways in which the wildcard of race is played in America.

Lead Characters

This Is How It Goes guide sections