Full-Length Plays

 

For more information about any of these plays, contact me here.

Necessary Sacrifices

3 M
1 Set; 95 min.
 

Originally commissioned and produced by Ford's Theatre.  In the summer of 1863, fed up with the second-class treatment of colored troops and the piecemeal struggle against slavery, Frederick Douglass walks into the White house to personally confront Abraham Lincoln--a man seemingly more interested in story-telling and compromise than progress.  A year later it is a changed Lincoln who summons "my friend Douglass" for help with a plan that even the radical abolitionist may find too radical....Dramatic, often funny, and very human, "Necessary Sacrifices" explores these two real-life encounters between leaders who challenge each other to make a country where "all men are created equal" is both real, and lasting.  "A breath-taking step back in history, to a time that is still politically poignant...A vibrant portrait of Lincoln and Douglass." (Maryland Theatre Guide.)

A Christmas Carol
Adapted from Charles Dickens
Music and lyrics by David De Berry
 
9 M, 5 F, 5 Children
Flexible set; 120 min.

One of the most successful recent adaptations of the Dickens classic.  With ensemble narration, and powerful songs newly written or adapted from traditional sources, this joyful--and moving--retelling of the redemptive journey of Ebenezer Scrooge has become a holiday tradition for audiences across the country.  Among the theatres where this "A Christmas Carol" has been a standard are the Denver Center Theatre Company, Dallas Theater Center, Geva Theatre, Sacramento Theatre Company, and Alabama Shakespeare Festival.  "We are treated in Richard Hellesen's adaptation to a stunning series of images of Victorian England, in all its inequities and pleasures...Mix this visual fluidity with David De Berry's evocative and rich score, and you have--a classic." (Denver Post)  "Dallas Theater's version of the Christmas ghost tale is magical must-see." (Ft. Worth Star- Telegram)  "A gem...Geva's new A Christmas Carol deserves its own place as a local classic." (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)

All She Wrote
 
3 M, 4 F
Simple set; 120 min.

Danny, a long-time story analyst for a film production company, hits middle age--and it hits back. Even as his nest finally empties, his wife pursues new opportunities , and his friends celebrate their successes, his own cinematic dreams--if not his life--are put in turnaround.  Hoping to find some creative project to jump-start his career, he buys a box of books at a garage sale--and finds a long-forgotten diary, written by a young woman whose story of coming to LA, finding love, and confronting an unwanted pregnancy and desertion, hooks him.  Until all she wrote spills over into his work, his friendships, and his marriage--and he discovers that no-one is quite who he thought they were.  Including the woman.  And himself.  Staged reading, PlayFest Santa Barbara.

Compelled
 
4 F
Simple set; 80  min.

When a young playwright is turned down for production by her local professional theatre, she senses more than just rejection--she sees discrimination.  With the help of a lawyer, she confronts the artistic leadership of the theatre--leading to a darkly comic journey through commerce, criticism, gender imbalance, the legal system, and the choices we may be compelled to make for art's sake....Staged reading, William Inge Center for the Arts; finalist, First Flight New Play Festival, Boomerang Theatre Company, New York City.

Moonshadow
 
2 M, 2 F, 1 Teen
Unit set; 120 min.

July 20, 1969.  While the world watches as two American astronauts make "one giant leap for mankind", a family in the Midwest deals with the last night home of their oldest son, about to leave for a foreign war--and must face the consequences of their own long-held beliefs about duty, patriotism, and heroism. Winner, Dennis McIntyre Playwriting Award, Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays; productions at South Coast Repertory, Stamford Theatre Works and Stage West (TX) among others.  "Frighteningly urgent, written with surpassing skill...A stirring and provocative play." (Los Angeles Times)  "A forceful, eloquent study of why men go to war.  Critic's Choice." (Orange County Register)  "A show that will work on audiences long after they leave the theatre." (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

Kingdom
 
7 M, 3 F, 1 Child
Flexible set; 120 min.

When a designer for a major entertanment company is brought on board to help redesign the company's signature Theme Park, his excitement is only exceeded by the imagination he can't wait to bring to the task.  Until he meets a single mother who lives in a run-down motel in the Park's periphery, and begins a ride through the corporate, and political, jungle that lies on the other side of the fantasy....Premiered at Denver Center Theatre Company.  Winner, Barrie & Bernice Stavis Playwriting Award, National Theatre Conference; Finalist, PEN USA-West Literary Awards.  "Blows the lid off what corporate morality is doing to the minds of our children, then demonstrates exactly how and why...Courageously written, with frequent use of humor--both sly and frightening...: (Boulder Daily Camera)

Once In Arden
 
5 M, 1 F
Multiple sets; 120 min.

In the fall of 1905, legendary Shakespearean actress Helena Modjeska has turned her back on the theatre--content to live out her days in her on her wooded estate, amid the artifacts of her triumphs.  Until her friend and fellow Polish expatriate, the renowned pianist Paderewski, demands that she make a proper farewell--hoping she'll be persuaded to continue her career.  Her "final" New York appearance--with the actor James O'Neill, who has his own artistic concerns--forces her to confront her own passions about the theatre, particularly when an agent of the new "art" of vaudeville arrives with an offer that may be too good to pass up...Originally produced by South Coast Repertory.  "An old-fashioned, romantic love story in the best definition of all three terms...Touches on artistic integrity and the need for uncensored creative expression, issues as crucial today as they've been throughout history." (Dramalogue)  "A fine two hours of stage work, blessed with cunning lines and a core of intelligent lament for the demise of serious theatre....Critic's Choice."  (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

The Octopus
Adapted from the novel by Frank Norris
 
In progress

Based on the 1900 western novel by progressive writer Frank Norris, The Octopus dramatizes the struggle between the wheat farmers of California's San Joaquin Valley, and the power of the Railroad determined first to control them, and then to crush them--legally and financially if possible, violently if necessary. But the farmers themselves are not without their own questionable motives--and the consequences of the struggle affect men and women, rich and poor, young and old.  Semi-finalist, National Playwrights Conference, Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center; reading, Antaeus Company, Los Angeles.

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