These 23 plays are what I call “grey comedies.” Several (like the full-length Jurgen) are meant to be performed with full sets and costumes. The rest (short) are meant to be performed as rehearsed and directed staged readings. Many of the plays have been grouped into two Folios (marked Fol-1 and Fol-2) and they are available in the Folios or as single plays. Some (marked with an asterisk) have been performed in local theaters.
Contact me personally to get prices for the plays.
1. A Bee in Her Bonnet
10 min; 2 Roles (F + F)
A (female) worker bee rebels against the hive system in which the gals do all the work—building and cleaning the cells, helping with the kids, bringing in the food, protecting the hive—while the only job of the male drones is to mate with the queen and to flap their wings to keep the hive warm when it gets cold. Reading the works of Susan Bee Anthony, a woman suffragette, gives her some bold new ideas.
2. A Priest, a Rabbi and a Horse* (Fol-1)
15 min; 4 Roles (2M + 2F)
Did you ever try to tell a joke and you kept getting interrupted? You probably were able to shrug it off. Not everyone can. See what happens when Vito tries to tell a joke to three friends during dinner at a fancy restaurant.
14 min; 2 Roles (F + M child)
When his West-Point grad Mom is about to leave on a date with her new boyfriend, a precocious 5-yr-old tries to prevent her from leaving by using delaying tactics. His Mom catches on and tells her son that he is Bugle-ing, a technique used by West-Pointers when they were not prepared to recite.
4. Come Here Often?* (Fol-2)
24 min; 8 Roles (5M + 3F)
Poor Walter just wants to have a little fling but he gets caught in age-old rivalries between Heaven and Hell.
17 min; 4 Roles (3M + F)
Two friends and the bartender are having a friendly drink on Christmas Eve when an ancient, scraggly-looking reindeer with one good antler and one broken one walks into the bar and limps forward on his four legs. He stands up on two legs as he nears the counter and puts his front hooves on it. One thing’s for sure—he’s bitter about Rudolph.
6. Date-2-Mate* (Fol-2)
30 min; 2 Roles (F+F)
The joys and perils of online dating services complicate the lives of two lifelong friends.
7. Diabolus Ex Machina* (Fol 1)
55 min; 4 Roles (2M + F + F child)
It has long been known that authors are not always in control of their characters, who often go off on wild tangents completely unpredictably. This was true when authors wielded scratchy quill pens and it may be even more true in this day of the computer, as children’s-story author Silvy Grayson and his wife, Sybil, find out.
8. Dog Stars? Get Sirius
13 min; 4 Roles (3M +F)
Four movie dogs, descendants of famous movie dogs of the past reminisce about their illustrious forbears and talk about what it’s like being a movie dog today.
9. Hemlock* (Fol 1)
45 min; 6 Roles (4M + 2F)
Euthanasia (mercy killing) has become a hot topic lately as several states have passed laws making physician-assisted suicide legal. New laws sometimes have unintended consequences, however, with interesting complications for all parties concerned. This is especially true for brothers Bryce and Neville Bennington who take over a funeral parlor in Portland, Oregon after the death of their father.
14 min; 2 Roles (M + F girl)
The story of Rapunzel is challenged by a precocious 6-year-old girl.
18 min; 4 Roles (3M + F)
Originally titled "Interview with a Confederate General." Is it possible for people on opposite sides of very contentious and bloody issues to keep their cool and reach out to each other by engaging in civil discourse?
12. Jurgen the Pawnbroker (F-1)
75 min; 17 Roles (5M + F)
Based upon the novel, Jurgen, a Comedy of Justice written by James Branch Cabell in 1919. The setting is the fictional European area of Poictesme; the time is the mid 1200’s. Jurgen feels that he has been unjustly cheated out of happiness, ending up a pawnbroker instead of a duke or cardinal and married to a plain and shrewish wife instead of to his beloved Dorothy. He has the opportunity for a do-over by way of a retrospective journey through mystical medieval regions filled with strange people, beautiful women and magical creatures.
13. Madam, I’m Adam
13 min; 2 Roles (M+ F)
Five-hundred years after they have been kicked out of the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve talk about their lives.
14. Mixed Marriage*
18 min; 3 Roles (M + F + F child)
The play is based upon a nonsense poem written in 1871 by the Victorian poet, Edward Lear, involving an unlikely romance between an owl and a pussycat. “How would that work?” I asked myself. Cats and owls are not only physically much different, but birds and cats in general are natural enemies. Talk about diversity. . .
15 min; 3 Roles (2M +F)
Things are not going well for Cindy Rella and George Charming a year after their marriage. They own the Silver Slipper in Manitou Springs, but that’s not doing too well either. Sam the piano player tries hard to patch them up. Rabid movie buffs, Cindy and George speak only in one-liners from famous movies. A score sheet can be handed out to the audience members to record where the quotes came from, both the name of the movie and the name of the character (or actor) who said them. A prize can be given to the winner.
16. Safe Zone
19 min; 2 Roles (M + M)
Can Political Correctness really be taken this far? Some of it already has.
17. Say What?
9 min; 2 Roles (M + F)
A young woman suffering with aphasia (loss of ability to understand or express speech, caused by brain damage) tries to rob a young man at night, at gunpoint, on a deserted street. Her affliction manifests itself by “Spoonerism,” the transposition of initial or other sounds of words, usually by accident, as in a blushing crow for a crushing blow.
18. Something Like a Star* (Fol 1)
22 min; 5 Roles (3M + 2F)
After hearing their school glee club sing "Choose Something Like a Star", a poem by Robert Frost set to music by Randall Thompson, an advanced-placement high school English class wrestles with the poem’s several interpretations.
19. Speak of the Devil*
20 min; 4 Roles (2M + 2F)
A young married lawyer really wants to be a great pianist. But would he be willing to sell his soul to the Devil to do it?
20. Storytime* (Fol 2)
19 min; 4 Roles (M+M child + F + F child)
A young man tries to read a bedtime story to his sister’s 5-year-old twins, but learns inadvertently that his sister has a real problem that is going to require a family effort to assuage.
21. Three Wishes (Fol 2)
15 min; 3 Roles (2M + F)
Just what you always wanted—a Genie appears and offers you three wishes, right? Well, maybe.
22. Three Witches
20 min; 4 Roles (4F)
Three women of advanced maturity play the three witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Learning that one of their husbands—also in the play—is carrying on with the director, a much younger woman, they decide to use witchcraft to break them apart. After all, Wikihow, on the internet, tells them step-by-step how to lay on the appropriate curse. Oh my: “Double, double, toil and trouble.”
23. Where’s Charlie?
18 min; 4 Roles (2M + 2F)
Charlie’s body is in a coffin. But where is Charlie’s essence: Heaven? Hell? Scattered throughout the universe? In a state of suspension? Charlie’s friends discuss the issue on the way to bury him.