Carissa Casbon, Fire & Nice

Lake County Board member Carissa Casbon first really popped up on my radar because of her Facebook page. Why? Because she shared useful stuff! Job fairs & local events, her page was always active with the nuts & bolts of serving her constituents. Heck, I still go to her website for connecting to a state agency because it is the easiest link to find!

I slowly began noticing this tenacious advocate everywhere. Boasting a head of bright ginger hair and a wide grin, one could underestimate her. I have learned that would be unwise. Because beyond her warmth, there is a steely-eyed warrior.

Carissa feels like Lake County’s Katie Porter. She’s focused on kitchen table issues. She hammers away to provide pragmatic results to real problems. Her website is filled with specifics. What she has done. What she believes. When I research a candidate, I don’t want buzz words and generalities. I want specific plans and concrete accomplishments around topics like fiscal responsibility, healthcare, community services, veteran’s services, schools & education, safety and security, infrastructure, zoning, floodplain, environment. I want to see a long list of endorsements from established public servants and reputable organizations. She’s got all that.

I don’t see anyone outworking her either. If she’s not going door-to-door, talking to constituents (check out her animal-centric canvassing posts. They are a delight!), then she’s showing up at local events, organizations’ fundraisers, supporting other candidates, and promoting exposure and support for Lake County constituents and businesses.

Is she perfect? Of course not! But “perfect” doesn’t exist. We are all human, flawed and messy. For example, I think Carissa may occasionally piss people off. She has the ability of telling truth to power (more notes of Katie Porter!) Sometimes that can cause waves. But we need truth tellers. Especially in this political climate. The stakes are too high for fluffing and prevaricating. In the rough and tumble world of politics, I want a representative who advocates loudly. Who nudges and pushes, who stands up for her constituents, for our community. To defend democracy at every level of government I believe we need honorable, ethical public servants. But these days, those same people need to be scrappy fighters as well. Tough and tenacious advocates for all of us. Like I said: Fire & Nice!

The Air, The Water, and The Space In Between

Zoe and Alexander meet every year, on the exact same day, at the exact same lakefront spot, to celebrate each other’s survival. Their friendship began in a physical rehabilitation hospital as they recovered from traumatic injuries, and has endured as they returned to their lives. Upending the tradition, Zoe has moved this year’s meeting up one week. Alexander suspects that meeting will be different. 1W/1M or 2/W


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/2M

SPIN has been selected as a finalist in First Run Theatre‘s Reading Festival, and will receive an on-line Zoom reading April 25th, 2021. SPIN also received a virtual reading as a part of Mad Cow Theatre’s Women’s Voices Mini-Festival September, 2020

The Before Times and The After Times: A Socially Distant Minor Comedic Odyssey

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.

I’m Right Here

Lenny has no sh*ts left to give. Casting off the cloak of invisibility Western culture shrouds women over sixty with, she begins saying what she thinks, when she thinks it.  Part stand-up comedy set, part stage play, I’m Right Here may offend you, it may not, but it certainly won’t bore you.
59-page one act. Simple set 3W/4M
Warning: I’m Right Here contains foul language, references to sexual assault, and explores topics of war, race, misogyny, and discrimination