Full Length Plays – ready for staged readings and development:
EMBERS OF TENT CITY
Set in February 2009 when President Obama has just been inaugurated and banks are evicting millions of Americans because of the September financial crash and mortgage crisis – and just before the first meeting of the Tea Party on February 16, the story asks how can two life-long enemies - an African American WWII veteran/voting rights leader from the sixties and the Irish American sheriff who almost killed him – move past rage and racism to connect with their common humanity?
A story of transformative revenge and reconciliation. Fiction, but inspired by actual people and events in Tennessee, South Carolina and Alabama.
Cast: 7 actors (5 men – 2 black, 3 white; 2 women – 1 black, 1 white)
One Set: a field where tents are being raised to shelter people evicted at the start of the mortgage crisis and the outside of the sheriff’s farmhouse.
Development to date:
Revised after workshops with playwrights Jackie Sibblies Drury at NY Theatre Workshop and Rogelio Martinez at Primary Stages ESPA then revised again after an unrehearsed table reading by actors Arthur French, Eli Gelb, Michael A. Jones, John Long, Hamilton Meadows, Miranda Noelle Wilson, Connie Winston and John Nelson reading stage directions.
Awards/Placements 2016: Winner, Writers Digest Drama Contest; Semi-Finalist, Bridge Initiative.
The story of a rebellion in 1787 that terrified the 13 new nations of American to unite under one constitution... a rebellion used to today to justify carrying guns to government meetings by gun rights groups, private militias and even Timothy McVeigh on the day he bombed a federal government building in Oklahoma.
Only five years after the American colonies’ War of Independence against the British Empire, armed and indebted veterans and farmers hold the judges and courts of their new nation of Massachusetts at gunpoint. Their friend and leader before the war, Samuel Adams sends out the army of Massachusetts to shoot or arrest and hang them. Has Sam Adams, man of the people before the war, become the new oppressor?
Cast: 11 actors. (7 men - one African American, one Native America, 4 women - one mixed African-European American)
One Set. When covered wagons are circled for the night near a ramshackle tavern on their way into Indian Country, a worn but voluptuous tavern owner’s widow tells the story to the audience, as settlers gathered round a campfire. Settlers put on bits of costume to create character and bring out a few props and painted canvas to indicate location of each scene.
Development to date:
Developed in table readings and in several workshops with playwrights: Winter Miller (online at Playwrights Center, Minneapolis), Rogelio Martinez (Primary Stages ESPA), Arthur Giron(Ensemble Studio Theatre) and director Travis Preston and dramaturg Collette Brooks (Playwrights Horizons.)
An American man accuses a young Afghan of raping and robbing him at knifepoint. The prosecutor finds out the accused was raised by the Taliban and son of a Saudi fighter with bin Laden against Russians in Afghanistan. This Muslim man's fate depends on two women - his Jewish lawyer and, unexpectedly, his accuser’s wife. Guilty or not, can the defendant get a fair trial less than ten years after 9/11?
Fiction, but based on interviews with all the main people involved in an actual trial and reading transcripts of the 10-day trial. With lies, rumors and possible honor killing attempts circling around him, the defendant asked me to write what really happened.
Cast: 6 actors (3 men – one from the Middle East, 3 women)
One Set: Actors tell their story to the audience members as witnesses and jury, bringing out a few props to set each scene.
Development to date: Many first drafts written with the support of about 20 friends in the theater and other arts who were willing to slog through first drafts and give suggestions from word-smithing to dramatic structure. Revised several times after unrehearsed table readings with Maryann Plunkett, Antonio Minino, Bill Kozy, Patricia Lynn and other talented generous actors. Then revised again in a workshop led by playwright Rogelio Martinez at Primary Stages ESPA - and again during two years of online courses designed by dramaturge Hal Croasman.
*Some earlier drafts titled "Closets", "Somebody's Son"
The play brings to life people who take a rough journey through fear and prejudice. Some reach profound empathy by the end of the trial; some cannot.
Also available: FEAR AND LONGING, a screenplay version that opens with a secret gay club in Dubai, moves to NYC, through the trial, attempted honor killings, then follows the defendant, with his defense lawyer, back to the Middle East where news of the trial has shamed his family and enraged the religious police.
BELLY UP - Screenplay
Profits vs. People? Jackie, using her ghetto street smarts, turned a bankrupt fast food chain into a money-maker and herself into a wealthy corporate president, but when a crisis hits, she must choose between investors' demand for profits and the needs of her employees and consumers - or blaze a new and unexpected trail.
Developed with Hal Croasmun in his ProSeries50.
One-Acts and 5-10 Minute Plays
Action/Reaction– 3 plays, 2 characters, 1 set, 30 min, including: 105-One (when the planes hit on 9/11); Surge (Iraqi worker meets her former American boss just outside the Green Zone in Baghdad in 2006); Zeroes (Mortgage brokers prepare for audit in 2008 before the financial crisis)
AfterMath, a 10-minute play. Finalist, American Science Theatre’s contest for 9/11 plays
Guantanamo Brief. An authorized Code Pink street theater adaptation of “Honor Bound" about Guantanamo”
Thanks, Now Please Go Home. An Iraqi woman re-enacts a visit to the U.S. (Mt. Holyoke)
Yin-Yang. Merging of yin/yang into strait jacketed child (produced at Sarah Lawrence College)
A Just Piece. A street theater piece against war (published in Liberator magazine)
‘Astronut’ Meets a Space Monster! – interactive show written and performed for my company Puppet People’s Parties (now closed) at parties, schools, street fairs, fund-raisers, children's medical and psychiatric hospitals.
MammalTalk, including “Millions of Me’s”, 2nd Prize, Mystic in the City