Halley Feiffer and Hamish Linklater; photo by Joan Marcus


Vanessa Kai; photo by Joan Marcus


Halley Feiffer and Hamish Linklater; photo by Joan Marcus


Halley Feiffer; photo by Zack DeZon

The Pain of My Belligerence

Peter Jay Sharp Theater

Written by Halley Feiffer
Directed by Trip Cullman

Playwrights Horizons Commission
World premiere

I just wanted to see what it'd feel like to tell you to shut up.

Twenty-something and brilliant, Cat is a journalist at the top of her game: tack-sharp and ambitious, and rapidly establishing her place in the field. Until she meets Guy — magnetic, devilishly charming, and married — and the attrition begins. Charting their spiky relationship over eight years, following a rapidly changing America, Halley Feiffer’s harrowing comedy sheds light on how we perpetuate our roles within a patriarchal culture, and the promise of a new paradigm.

Halley Feiffer — Cat
Vanessa Kai — Yuki
Hamish Linklater — Guy
Keira Belle Young — Olive
Phoebe Young — Anzu (recorded voice)

Scenic Design: Mark Wendland
Costume Design: Paloma Young
Lighting Design: Ben Stanton
Original Music and Sound Design: Elisheba Ittoop
Production Stage Manager: Katie Ailinger
Assistant Stage Manager: Lisette Velez-Cross

Design Team Bios

Please note that this play features nudity and strong sexual content.

The Pain of My Belligerence is a Playwrights Horizons Commission with the support of the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.



Opening Night: The Pain of My Belligerence

Celebrate opening night with the starry company of ‘The Pain of My Belligerence,’ Halley Feiffer’s “perfectly cast, beautifully acted, fluidly directed, and astutely designed” new play! (NYT)

Playwrights' Perspectives

Playwright’s Perspective: The Pain of My Belligerence

This play aims to explore the corrosive effects of the patriarchy on women and men alike — to examine the culture that has created the phenomenon of toxic masculinity and its insidious effects, and to start imagining ways we can break free.


The American Voice: Hard Laughs

This aching world is penned by a writer who’s a connoisseur of the purest laugh, the highest joke, the laugh that can laugh at that which is unhappy. It makes the medicine go down. (Adam Greenfield, Associate Artistic Director)


Halley Feiffer: A Retrospective

As a writer and actor in theater, television, and film, Halley Feiffer has a reputation for excavating the darkest depths of the human condition. (Lizzie Stern, Literary Manager)