Selected Plays

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Selected Full-Length Plays

Selected Short Plays


All Be Damned
Complete script

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: Sally Who? (26 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.
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Armies of the Potomac
Complete script
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.
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All Aboard
Complete script
Unruly characters taunt each other while their creator suffers writer’s block. (Ideal to open or close a short-play festival.)
* UNPRODUCED
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Arroz Es Arroz Es Arroz
Complete script
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.
* UNPRODUCED
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Beg Pardon
Complete script
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)
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Captain, May I?
Complete script
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?)
* UNPRODUCED
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Dry Spell
Complete script
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)
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I Know
Complete script
Young strangers meet on a bridge at a critical moment for both of them.
* PRODUCTION: The Actors Training Center, Wilmette. Ill. (2013)
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In His Place: 1867
Complete script
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?
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Missouri Loves Company
Complete script
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)
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Monkey Queen and Barbie

The Monkey Queen holds court in her tent.
Photo courtesy of Actor’s Factory.

The Monkey Queen
Complete script
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)
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Otto-da-fé
Complete script
A wife and a mistress struggle for supremacy in their relationships with the philandering Otto. When he enters at the plays midpoint, the script reverses, forcing him to backtrack and the women to voice each other’s lines in reverse order, symbolizing the complete power shift between them. (This is my “high concept” play, inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach’s “crab canon,” a musical palindrome, as shown in the animated rendition at http://bit.ly/Nx5adW )
* UNPRODUCED
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Toilette of the Gods
Complete script
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)
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The View from Dunham's Bluff

Students perform The View from Dunham’s Bluff.
Photo courtesy of Pine Crest (Fla.) School.

The View from Dunham’s BluffComplete script
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)
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