Below are synopses of my full length plays, along with links to excerpts.

Old and In The Way in the Good Ol' U.S. of A.

Ted Carson is a racist. Or at least, two of his three kids think he is. Blue collar, senior citizen, he's the old fart you'll see on the news clips, asking the inflammatory question that gets the aspiring candidate in hot water. So what's the story behind the hardliner? Just like America itself, its' citizens can be a mix of bluster and fear, tough talk and surprising empathy, never providing the simple answers so many wish for.

3M/2W, simple flexible set

Throwing Rice

Synopsis

Set in an upscale country club, Throwing Rice is takes place during the 12 hour period of the wedding day of the "1%." Issues of class, wealth, entitlement, and race are explored amidst the donning of finery, toasts, dancing, and celebration.

6W/3M, single set with two additional flexible playing areas.

Another Piece of Cake

A comedy about life in the "last" lane When Diane visits her great-aunt Clara, Clara realizes Diane is reaching an age at which she can actually begin to see the bigger picture of life. So she starts telling Diane what she really thinks. About humanity. Youth. Life. Aging. Rage. Family. This is not what Diane expected from the afternoon. With the arrival of Edward, the UPS delivery guy, the dialogue and memories shift to marriage, sensuality, passion, sexual violence and desire.

The final frontier of life, the distant galaxy of aging, is not for the faint of heart.

  • Two Acts (A one act version, A Piece of Cake, is also available)
  • 6 women, 1 man
  • Set: One location, retirement facility community room
  • Produced at Citadel Theatre, spring, 2008
  • The one act version, A Piece of Cake, was presented at
  • Libertyville Senior Center, fall 2008

Conversations about an Empty Suit

When Abby, a fifty-year-old artistic director of a small professional theatre company in Chicago, discovers the Tony Award-winning department head of her alma mater has died, she is thrown into a tailspin. She seeks out Seth Kennedy, once just another student and now a highly successful Hollywood show runner. Conversations about an Empty Suit explores questions of what defines success, why paths aren't taken, and how factors of advantage, race, age, and class influence choices made and opportunity available.

  • Two acts
  • 2 men, 2 women, 1 character either male or female, only
  • heard from the SM booth
  • Simple set

The Party in the Kitchen

"Some people say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. I say it's the mouth of the home!" – Lil in The Party in the Kitchen 

Beginning on an idyllic early fall day in September 2001, a group of friends gather, unsuspecting of the upheaval to follow. From business tycoon Guy and Ava's tumultuous marriage, just-getting-started Danny and his pregnant wife Mary, and middle management Phil and Lily's happy home, all will be changed by events already launched in faraway lands and the deals made in distant corporate headquarters.

Read excerpt.

  • Two acts
  • 4 men, 4 women
  • Set: Kitchen in an upscale suburban home
  • Produced at Clockwise Theatre, spring 2013

Special Needs

An Atypical Play about an Atypical Kid

A brilliant, creative teenager with autism and his family are all in the special needs trenches as Pierce fights to balance his fascinating inner reality with getting over the hurdles of daily life.

Read excerpt.

  • Two acts
  • 4 men, 4 women
  • Set: Family living room and dining room
  • Produced at Clockwise Theatre, winter, 2011

Totally Okay, Right Now

"Between everyone demanding that I know what I am going to do with my entire life right now, parents full of way-too-much loving, supportive and very irritating advice, friends with their own set of problems that somehow keep ending up in my in-box, I have to tell you, it's not exactly easy being a teenage girl these days!"- Lizzie in Totally Okay, Right Now

Read excerpt.

  • Two acts
  • Simple set
  • 6 women, 2 men
  • LIZZIE, KATH, MEGAN, ALISHA: Teenagers
  • GUY: Teenager
  • MOM & other roles, DAD & other roles, OTHER MOM & other roles: Adults but can be played by teens

TALK

As the three couples eat, socialize, play cards, sunbathe and talk, their inner selves reveal the vast difference between what people say and how they act, as opposed to what they really think and truly desire. The costs of ignoring your inner voice or listening too closely to your inner demons are played out against the backdrop of friends enjoying the last weekend of a Midwestern summer.

Read excerpt.

  • Two acts
  • Set: Living room of a summer cabin with four different playing areas
  • 6 men, 6 women, no doubling
  • Staged readings at American Theatre Company, Chicago
  • Dramatists, and Gurnee Theatre Company

Six Fights on a Summer's Night

An exploration of aging, beauty, death, mental illness, and the power of sisterhood

Six women gather one evening on the back porch of their family summer home. As the sun slowly sets, relationships and conflicts are revealed both through dialogue and different forms of stage combat.

Read more: One Acts

Dear actors,

Here is a selection of monologues. Feel free to use them for your auditions. All I ask is:

  • You credit me, giving my name and the name of the play whenever you audition with it.
  • If asked for more information, please send them to this website. If you know my name (see #1) you can tell them the website address! www.madelynsergel.com

Thank you and break a leg!

Click here for monologues.

MS