“What was I supposed to do, send him a telegram?”
- Jack Dempsey, on the knock-out punch that floored Jack Sharkey, as he turned to complain about Dempsey’s tactics.

Boxer Jack Dempsey takes center stage in this fast-paced satirical look at America’s peculiar obsession with celebrity.

In 1923, Loy Molumby, a lawyer and oil speculator from a small town in Montana, shocks the sports world when he lures heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey to fight a title bout against a far lesser challenger, decorated war hero Tommy Gibbons. Molumby plans to put his home town on the map and draw an easy million at the gate. For Dempsey, considered by some to be a dirty fighter and widely disparaged as a draft-dodger, the match is a chance to restore his good name–the American Legion is backing the fight–and poses an opportunity to make an easy three hundred grand. But when back-stage machinations by a jealous boxing promoter undermine Molumby and his inexperienced fellow organizers, Dempsey finds himself at the center of a media frenzy that paints him the villain in a modern day morality play.

  • Nominated for Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play, 2011, by Philadelphia Theatre Alliance.
  • Semi-finalist, Fulton Opera House Play Competition 2005
  • National New Play Network Development Grant 2004
  • Maryland State Arts Council Grant 2004
  • Finalist, Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference 2003
  • Finalist, New Harmony Project 2003

“Gregory’s account is muscular enough – she moves through the match from conception to the bitter end, in a fluid piece of playwriting.” – Philadelphia Inquirer

“Although it is based upon real life characters and an actual match, no prior knowledge of history (or boxing) is needed to enjoy Molumb’s Million; the script and performances do a fantastic job of driving the plot home.” – Philadelphia Stage Scene


“Even my most naturalistic plays are deceptively subversive, relying on a familiar frame to explore issues of misused power and unearned advantage, and ultimately, to challenge the cherished American myth of self-determination.” – DW Gregory

The action takes place in 1923, in various locations in Hollywood, New York, and Shelby, Montana



1 F, 6 M

Cast of Characters:

  • Jack Dempsey, 27, heavyweight champion of the world.
  • Jack “Doc” Kearns, 40, his manager, a man of oily charm.
  • Loy J. Molumby, mid-30s, Montana state commander, American Legion.
  • Jim Johnson, mid-30s to mid-40s, mayor of Shelby and proprietor of the Silver Grille Hotel.
  • Tex Rickard, 50ish, a boxing promoter.
  • Damon Runyon, mid-40s, famed sportswriter for the New York American.
  • Neysa McMein, early 30s, artist, writer, and free spirit.
  • George Stanton, 50ish, a Montana banker.
  • Josie Sedgwick, a silent film actress.
  • Maggie, a showgirl of indeterminate age.
  • Bill Wray, a sparring partner.
  • Daredevil Jack, a movie hero.
  • Fred, a movie bad guy.
  • An Innocent Girl, a movie victim played by Josie Sedgwick.
  • An Old Man, a movie victim.
  • A silent film director.
  • W.D. Rankin, attorney general of Montana.
  • George Hills, president of the Great Northern Railroad.
  • Other members of the public.

The cast consists of seven actors, one woman and six men, to play the principal parts as follows:

  • Actor One: Loy Molumby/vendor/Bill Wray
  • Actor Two: Jack Dempsey/Daredevil Jack/Muldoon
  • Actor Three: Doc Kearns/vendor/New York editor
  • Actor Four: Johnson/Hills/Movie Bad Guy/Tommy Gibbons
  • Actor Five: Neysa McMein/Maggie/Josie/Innocent Girl
  • Actor Six: Damon Runyon/film director/
  • Actor Seven: Rickard/Stanton/W.D. Rankin/The Old Man/
  • Originally produced by Iron Age Theatre Co., Philadelphia
  • Developed at the Playwrights Center, Minneapolis, New Jersey Repertory Co., Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, and Theater of the First Amendment.