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Playwright Mashuq Mustaq Deen explores the difficulty of drawing lines between who is righteous and who are the sinners in this short play based on Psalm 107:33-38.

Psalms 107:33-38

The Second Meeting of the Betterment Society


Mashuq Mushtaq Deen


Curated by: 

Chris Cragin


One Act Play

Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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The psalms that are the inspiration for The Second Meeting of the Betterment Society were about fields of plenty and the barrenness of the land, the former given to the faithful, and the latter to the sinners. This coupled well with my ongoing interest in the divide between the rural and urban parts of America, each of the opinion that the other are either idiots or heathens, and the lack of understanding that seems to flow between the two. Given our globalization, modernization, and sadly chemical-ization, I was drawn to write a story about the difficulty of drawing lines between who is the righteous and who are the sinners based on the simplicity of who has the fertility of land, and who is losing their fertility (or giving up their fertility).

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

Mashuq Mushtaq Deen’s plays include The Shaking Earth, Draw the Circle, Tank & Horse, and Shut Up! Deen’s plays have been produced and/or developed by The Public Theater, NYTW, InterAct Theatre, Page73, Ma-Yi, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, Georgetown University, BEAT Festival, PACE University, Hampshire College, Dixon Place, Passage Theatre, Queens Theatre in the Park, Tofte Lake Center, Berkshire Fringe. Awards and fellowships include: New Dramatists Company Member, MacDowell Fellow, Bogliasco Foundation Residency (2016), Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Residency (2016), NYFA, NYTW 2050 Fellow, Public Theater EWG, Page73 Interstate writing group, Jerome New York Fellowship finalist, O’Neill Conference semifinalist, Weissberger Award nomination, James Baldwin Award, Dennis Johnston Playwriting Prize honorable mention.

He has been a teaching artist with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (SPARC Fellow), Community Voices Workshop with Second Generation Theatre, Mind the Gap (NYTW), and is currently on the Literary Committee of Queens Theatre. Member: NYTW Usual Suspect, Ma-Yi Writers Lab, Public Theater Alumni Writers Group, Dramatists Guild. Deen earned his MFA from the Actors Studio Drama School/New School for Drama.

​Mashuq Mushtaq Deen

About the Artist

​Mashuq Mushtaq Deen

Other Works By