I want somehow to contribute to the survival of theatre companies during this pandemic. So, I am offering this one act free of charge to any existing theatre company to use as a fundraising, production, or educational program. The offer is good from today, August 10th, 2020, to September 1st, 2021.
I wrote this using the need for masks and social distancing protocols as a writing prompt. As it began taking shape, I realized it was a comedic one-act. (My first comedy. And it only took a global pandemic and democracy in flames to motivate me). It speaks to our current experience with a healthy dose of magic realism to make things fun. It requires simple costumes, few props, and has extremely flexible casting options.
My hope is that this will be both a vehicle for actors to practice their craft and a production/fundraising option for theatres, but one which will also check health and safety boxes for everyone involved.
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. 2W/2M
“Conversations About an Empty Suit” received its mainstage world premiere production March 2020 at Three Brothers Theatre
On doctor’s orders to get in better shape, Fancy joins a gym.
At her first indoor cycling class, as she begins spinning her legs, her thoughts
start spinning as well. Past and current interactions are played out as spin
instructor Angel becomes her combative and distant mother Gwen, her sister,
and, eventually even Fancy herself, while another student morphs into her son, her
father, and Spencer, a student she counsels at her job at a therapeutic day
school. As her mind unspools these
complex relationships, her body working harder and harder, Fancy confronts the
biggest question of her life, “Can you love someone but not like them?” Making
peace with her body sends her down the road of making peace with her past, and
eventually, peace with herself. 2W/1M
SPIN will receive a public play reading 7:30PM Saturday, May 16th 2020, as a part of Three Brothers Theatre Fresh Scripts play reading series. Directed by Zack Peercy, featuring Tom Mizell, Zoe Sjogerman, and Allyson Voller.
Taking Turns starts with a simple action, an adult son telling his elderly father that it’s his turn to speak at the city council meeting. This leads to the unveiling of the story about three generations of the Parson family. Moving back and forth between the present and the past, we see the moments that have defined each of these people as they attempt to find out who’s turn is it to be the caregiver or cared-for. Taking Turns is for any adult suddenly finding themselves parenting a parent…or suddenly finding themselves being parented by their child. 3M/3W, simple set.
“There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.”
One fact about the past can change everything about the present. Preparing to sell their family home, adult sisters Jenny and Ellen, with their mother Patty, are unpacking and sorting out five decades of living. With a single sentence from her mother, Jenny’s understanding of who her father was is reinvented. War, PTSD, homophobia, and sexual assault take their toll not just on one person but also on the generations which follow. As Jennifer opens the Pandora’s Box of her father’s past, she finds that act of keeping memories in a box is just as damaging as the contents.
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. 4W/4M Set is a family living room and dining room
Produced at Clockwise Theatre and Magnetic Theatre
Finalist Christopher Brian Wolk Award
Semi-finalist in the Dorothy Silver Playwriting Competition
Set in an upscale country club, Throwing Rice 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.
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. 6W/6M, set is a living room of a summer cabin with four different playing areas. Readings at American Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, Gurnee Theatre Company
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
6W/1M One location, retirement facility community room. Produced, Citadel Theatre, 2009
Featured Selection Her Rah New Plays Festival
Finalist in the Moondance International Film Festival, play division
“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. 4W/4/M, set is a kitchen in an upscale suburban home. Produced, Clockwise Theatre, 2015