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Selected Full-Length Plays
- All Be Damned 77 pages; 6F/8M (multiple casting possible)
- Armies of the Potomac 115 pages; 3F/9M (multiple casting indicated)
Selected Short Plays
- All Aboard 12 pages; 4F/3M (incl. two female who could be male)
- Arroz Es Arroz Es Arroz 7 pages; 1F/1M
- Beg Pardon 10 pages; 1F/2M (adapted from All Be Damned)
- Captain, May I? 10 pages; 2F
- Dry Spell 10 pages; 2F/4M (incl. one male and one female offstage voice)
- I Know 9 pages; 1F/1M (both teenagers)
- In His Place: 1867 10 pages (adapted from Armies of the Potomac)
- Missouri Loves Company 13 pages; 4F/M (incl. one teenage female)
- The Monkey Queen 13 pages; 9F (all young teenagers; six non-speaking parts could be male)
- Otto-da-fé 8 pages; 2F/1M (also serves as Act III of All Be Damned)
- Toilette of the Gods 10 pages; 2F/1M
- The View from Dunham’s Bluff 30 pages; 4F/4M
All Be Damned
A history of relations between women and men in four acts, from prehistoric times to the near future. Inspired by the plays of You-Know-Who. ACT I: Wolf Out the Door (28 pages; 2F/2M) in which two couples battle without mercy; ACT II: Beg Pardon (11 pages; 1F/3M) in which a pair of lovers get each other’s goat; ACT III: Otto-Da-Fé (9 pages; 2F/1M) in which rash impiety plays a pivotal role in a relationship; and ACT IV: Zeus Story (28 pages; 1F/2M) in which strangers take lives into their own hands. (The 10-minute play Beg Pardon is adapted from Act II of All Be Damned.)
* UNPRODUCED: World premier opportunity available. Operators are standing by.
Armies of the Potomac
It is 1867, late in the second term of the Lincoln administration. Having survived an assassination attempt, and weary from war and the demands of Reconstruction, Abraham Lincoln looks forward to retirement with his wife. He is forced to reconsider, however, when a demagogue threatens the nation’s fragile reunion. The constant and conflicting demands of constituents, allies, and enemies sorely tests Lincoln’s wisdom, compassion, and sense of civic duty. (The 10-minute play In His Place: 1867 is adapted from Armies of the Potomac.)
* RECOGNITION: One of eight finalists for the Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Playwriting Contest, New York, Ny. (2012)
* UNPRODUCED: Here’s your chance.
Arroz Es Arroz Es Arroz
A daughter, engaged to be married to a native Spanish speaker, wrangles with her father over their decision to raise any children in a bilingual home. The prospective grandfather resists until he faces the ultimate argument. Context and miming allow a non-Spanish-speaking audience to follow the basic terminology and reach the same conclusion that the future grandparent does.
Sally Hemings was the enslaved half sister of Thomas Jefferson’s wife, Martha. In more than three decades as the president’s “substitute wife” (after Martha died), Hemings gave birth to four children who survived to adulthood. Although few details are known about Hemings’ and Jefferson’s relationship, we can imagine what survival taught Hemings about leveraging whatever power she might have. (Beg Pardon is adapted from the full-length play All Be Damned.)
* PRODUCTION: Broom Street Theater, Madison, Wis. (2018)
Captain, May I?
Two adult daughters continue their relationship, forged under the pressure of their once-overbearing father, whose dementia leaves an opening for one of the sisters. (Several companies have passed on this play, but it always makes me verklempt. Should that be enough?)
A woman with a strange gift commands the attention–and more–of passengers in a subway car. (My “Twilight Zone” play.)
* PRODUCTION: Mercury Players Theatre, Madison, Wis. (2013)
In His Place: 1867
The time is 1867, late in President Abraham Lincoln’s second term, and two years after John Wilkes Booth’s failed assassination attempt. Reconstruction proceeds in fits and starts, partly due to unhealed hatred and the ill will of political scoundrels. Does the president have the wisdom and the wiles to survive hostile opposition? After you see how he handles a racist governor, do you have any doubts? (In His Place: 1867 is adapted from the full-length play Armies of the Potomac.)
* UNPRODUCED: What are you waiting for?
Missouri Loves Company
A chatty preteen introduces the denizens of a waiting room to her hyperactive and annoying alter ego, before letting slip the true motive behind her actions.
* PRODUCTION: Alley Stage, Mineral Point, Wis. (2007)
The Monkey Queen
Two sisters and their cousin share a tent on a family camping trip. With the help of the Monkey Queen, Barbie, and Two Hands, the girls speculate about the relationship between their single parents at the next campsite. The style of this do-it-yourself shadow play is suggestive of Southeast Asian shadow theater, with roles for as many as three mimes, three puppeteers, and three voices.
* PRODUCTION: Actor’s Factory, Stoughton, Wis. (2005)
Otto-da-fé depicts a complete shift in power from one character to another over the course of a brief encounter. After Otto’s infidelity is exposed at the play’s midpoint (at the palindromic “Noon”), his character “backs out of the scene.” Hannah and Elle are left to deliver each other’s original lines in reverse order with significantly different meaning and an uneasy conclusion. The play’s reversing structure is inspired by J.S. Bach’s Musical Offering, Canon in two voices, “Quaerendo Invenietis” (“Seek and you shall find”). It is commonly known as the Crab Canon for the sideways, back-and-forth motion it suggests. To begin, one pianist performs the canon forward on one instrument, followed by a second pianist performing the canon backward on a second instrument. At play’s end, the two pianists play their respective forward and backward versions simultaneously. For further information see https://bit.ly/381GFIB
Toilette of the Gods
Deities are at their most majestic when they fight dirty. For Zeus and Hera this means that an ordinary dressing room makes a serviceable field of battle in an eternal war.
* PRODUCTION: Mercury Players Theatre, Madison, Wis. (2004)
The View from Dunham’s Bluff
In the mainstay pub of a rapidly dying coastal town, long-time residents, lamenting the town’s dire future and looking for possible solutions, reflect on their only nearby attraction, a seaside bluff with its beautiful and mesmerizing vista. When a visiting tour group brings a reluctant bride-to-be, one local resident sees in the young woman’s tale the promise of a change in local fortunes. It’s a dark comedy that ends with an even darker twist. Also available in an extended two-act, 60-min. version, as yet unproduced.
* PUBLICATION: The Nantucket Short Play Anthologies, Volume 1: Stars. (2016)
* PRODUCTION: Pine Crest School, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (2010)
* AWARD/PRODUCTION: 1st place, Nantucket Short Play Festival, Nantucket, Mass. (2003)
* PRODUCTION: Madison Theatre Guild, Madison, Wis. (2002)