It is 1934, and Charles Lang has invented an engine that runs solely on water. Attorneys Morton Gross and Lawrence Oberman see an opportunity to make themselves rich off the back of Lang’s ingenuity, blackmailing him into handing over the patent for his invention. When his sister Rita urges him not to give in to the bullies, Lang’s quest for justice ends in tragedy.
First produced as a radio drama for NPR, The Water Engine was first performed onstage by the St. Nicholas Theatre Company, Chicago, in 1977, before transferring to the Plymouth Theatre on Broadway the following year. It was produced at the Hampstead Theatre, London, in 1989.