Selected FULL LENGTH Plays

 Full list of plays and script samples available at the New Play Exchange

NPX


happy Family

Synopsis: 80 mins; family drama ; 2w, 2m

Garth, mid 50s, is CEO of a small foods company in downstate Illinois.  His wife, Karen, is prominent in the garden club. They have just come from dinner with their 35-year-old son, Kevin, who has told them he is gay, and then left the restaurant. The reverberations in each of their lives is by equal measure profound, funny, and quotidian. When Kevin returns to continue the conversation, taboo topics are both acknowledged and skated past. The next morning, Garth and Karen share their fears about the reaction to the news from local friends and acquaintances. Months later, they are visited by Kevin and his “friend” Michael, which brings more difficulties and reckonings. The play climaxes with with a wedding—that may or may not be on, or off.


JANE BURGOYNE

SYNOPSIS: 75 mins; intergenerational drama; 3w

Jane Burgoyne, her daughter Katherine, and granddaughter Allison are packing up the last of Jane’s belongings before she moves to an independent living facility. Jane's own past allows her a sympathetic and nuanced understanding of Allison’s illness and depression, an understanding that is viewed with suspicion and envy by Katherine, whose relationships with both women are both complex and adversarial. As Jane’s material life is dismantled, she begins to move toward an independent, clear-eyed decision about her future, about what kind of person she might be when everything else is removed.

Productions & Developments

**upcoming** Staged Reading, National New Play Network Fundraiser, 2018

**upcoming** Staged Reading, New Works Now 5.0, The Northern Stage, Vermont, 2018


HALF LIFE

SYNOPSIS: 90 mins, drama/tragedy; 2 acts, 3w, 2m

A summer of ever-increasing tension unfolds as Douglas, his wife Eleanor and daughter Denise attempt to secure a normal life in a community where the names of pedophiles are posted on houses and on the internet, where garbage on their lawn is an almost daily occurrence, and where a chance encounter at the supermarket turns can turn into a public shaming. Douglas's struggles to find work, reconnect with his wife, and maintain his version of events culminate on Halloween, at a long-postponed dinner party for old friends Bob and Phyllis, where the adults’ reaction to the young Trick-Or-Treating girl at the door ignites the fuse that leads to the play’s explosive climax.

Productions & Developments

Reading, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, 2016

Production, New York International Fringe Festival; with extended run at The Flea Theatre, 2005

Reading, Vital Theatre, 2001

Awards & Praise

Outstanding Playwriting Award, Robert Moulthrop, 2005 New York Fringe Festival.

“Brilliant. The best-written and acted show at the Fringe! A tense, tautly written new play . . . a singularly searing and realistic portrayal of a suddenly trendy taboo.” - New York Magazine
“What feels new . . . is that the play reveals how the superficially contrite husband and his mommy-wife are selfish, immature people underneath – that is to say real human beings." - The New York Times
“… (A) heart-breaking domestic drama.” - New York Daily News
“A thoughtful drama…‘Half Life’ deserves more life for making us confront the complicated grey areas of a subject that we’re used to processing only in black and white…it deserves nothing but our respect & support.” - nytheatre.com

Synopsis: 65 mins; dark comedy; 1 act; 1W

A one-woman, one set play that takes place within 24 hours. Evelyn, a nurse, is terrified that her son is leaving her to get married, and will do anything to keep him. Literally.

productions & Developments

New York International Fringe Festival, 2006

Awards & Praise

Margaret Daly, Outstanding Actress Award, 2006 New York Fringe Festival.

If tender loving care (aka TLC) is what you need, do not go knocking on Evelyn Coleman’s door. However, if you are like me and you love high-quality, suspense-filled live theatre now and then, head on down ... and watch Evelyn from the audience. - NYtheatre.com

Lecture, With Cello

Synopsis: 70 mins; Experimental drama/suspense; 1m

The lead role, a professor, delivers a strange, thrilling, and powerful lecture about the grand themes of music, life and art. Frazzled, he arrives, and it emerges that he may have just come from a possibly gruesome event. In language that escalates from lyrically playful to bizarrely baroque, the professor explores the connections between music, violence, beauty, madness and the human body. With sumptuous tension, the professor engages a suspicious, unseen man in the back of the room. As his visceral lecture comes to life in the telling, a deeper and more dangerous plot emerges. This 70-minute solo journey through history, discord, humor, and mystery also delves into the dark connection of Renaissance brigand-artist-murderer Benvenuto Cellini to the instrument whose name closely resembles his own—the cello.

productions & DEVELOPMENTS

New York International Fringe Festival, 2008

Spotlighters Theatre, One-Act Showcase, Baltimore, 2010

Awards & Praise

"A one-person drama with absurdist echoes; a skewed version of music history becomes the platform for an exploration of the conjunction of madness, violence & art."  - Broadway World

Who Cares

Synopsis: 90 mins; LGBTQ Dark Comedy; 2m, 1w

Three long-time friends—Sarah (a children’s book author), Phil (a lawyer), and Brian (a psychologist)—meet in a deceased friend’s apartment to discuss their role as co-executors of his ambiguously drafted will, and what to do with the ashes. Rivalries and resentments from the past abound, alliances are formed and border lines are crossed. Between burgeoning addictions, unhappy marriages, bad habits, and old flames that won't quite stay snuffed out, David's ashes are kept in a Buddha, an irony not lost on the three friends, who are anything but zen.  

productions & DEVELOPMENTS

Urban Stages First Look Series, 2007


Jack, The Prince of Ireland

Synopsis: 45 mins; adventure/Children's Theatre; 3M, 2W

Adapted from the Irish Folk Tale, "The Queen of the Golden Mines." Jack, cast out by his father, the King, encounters adventures and deals with his dastardly-comic brothers en route to the Golden Mines and the Queen's wealth and treasure. Magic buzzing bees (played by the audience) add excitement and danger to the journey. All cast double, except Jack.

productions & DEVELOPMENTS

Manhattan Children's Theatre (commission & production), 2008

"Equipped with enough dragons and leprechauns to pre-occupy even the antsiest little ones." - Tribeca Tribune

Sextet For Lovers

Synopsis: 105 mins; LGBT Romance Comedy; 4m, 2w

What happens after lust? Driven by dialogue and lively, fully realized characters, Sextet is a play for six actors who play three (almost separate) couples, and is constructed theatrically to expose the open and secret relationships occurring among them. Two straight couples and one gay couple explore the limits of friendship, sexuality, monogamy, and even professional conduct in a series of colliding scenes and vignettes. The six players bicker, charm, and flirt while deeper and more complicated emotional alliances move below the surface. 

productions & DEVELOPMENTS

Abingdon Theatre (Developmental Reading), 2014


Blind Spot

Synopsis: 70 mins, relationship drama; 1m, 1w, 1 Foley

Blind Spot is comprised of 31 vignette scenes that focus on the car-pool ride of a San Francisco man and woman who work at the same company, five days a week, back and forth across the Golden Gate Bridge. Henry is a quiet, somewhat “square” scientist with a young family; his new carpool buddy Susan is adventurous, single, and a recent transplant from the plains of Kansas. Over the course of this intimate drama, we see these two awkward, somewhat oppositional strangers form a relationship and discover in each other a genuine spark, a tingling sense of something new, perhaps even a possible escape.

productions & DEVELOPMENTS

Active Theatre (Developmental Reading), 2013


ricochet

Synopsis: 75 mins, family tragedy/ghost story; 3m, 2w

It’s the day before Valentine’s Day. Ben, a high school senior, is trying to avoid a few things: his homework, his stepfather, upsetting his mother, and the mysterious forces that are emerging in moments of quiet. This time of year brings a lot of baggage for Ben: it’s Valentines Day and his stepfather’s birthday, but it’s also the 10th anniversary of a terrible loss for the family. Ben’s mother and her housekeeper (who is also her friend) both want to put on a happy face and avoid the reality of the event, but Ben is struggling to keep a lid on his antisocial moods and his strange behavior. Meanwhile, Ben’s stepfather’s goal is to separate Ben from his mother altogether so she can forget the past and they can all get on with their lives, including his hedge fund’s new acquisition — about which he is keeping conveniently quiet.


patriotism

Synopsis: 70 mins; political interrogation drama/mystery; 1m, 2w

Patriotism is a three-hander that takes place in one room, where a teenage girl must answer a series of intense, probing questions about her private and social life. Her crimes, real or imagined, are laid out in front of her with remarkable clarity by her interrogator, who seems to know everything about her, her friends, and her habits as he leverages her life to get at his version of the truth. Parallel to these interrogations, in a separate room that is a mirror of the first, a mother tries to get information about her missing daughter (who may be the girl) from the same man, but is rebuffed at every turn. Patriotism provides a deeply relevant theatrical presentation of the forces searching for security and power arrayed against the vulnerable, perhaps even arrayed against truth itself. Today, as the state’s power over individuals increases, Patriotism renders a reality that absorbs and complicates these anxieties through intimate, dramatic conflict that pits power against powerlessness, and poses the question: what does it take to make us truly safe?


ever sweet

Synopsis: 85 mins; intergeneration period comedy/farce; 4w, 1m

It’s 1968 and change is coming to Central Florida’s Ever-Sweet orange groves and the Tannen family. John, recently divorced stockbroker, has moved back to live with his elderly aunts, Grace and Simonetta, who adore him completely. For them "he hung the moon," can do no wrong, and is the apple (or orange) of their eye. Every morning John’s ex-wife Susan drops off their daughter, 16-year-old Cassie, so John can live up to the agreement and drive her to and from school. John’s troubles center on his golf swing and how to get his dates up to his room. His current date (‘the cute one in accounting”) turns out to have troubles of her own. Ex-wife Susan’s troubles involve her real estate business (why are all the orange grove properties suddenly coming off the market?) and why she might want John back. Or not. Daughter Cassie’s troubles are her parents, and the new vibes she’s feeling from the feminist movement. Aunt Grace and Aunt Simonetta have no troubles as they bicker about last night’s Canasta game, dote on their nephew, fix meals, play cards, and pull strings.