AT THE BEACH HOUSE—A foiled intervention with the thirty-something daughter in the extended family of a movie star illuminates the fate of three generations of American women. A play in two acts.
To read the first act, click here.
POLLEN COUNT—Three couples in millennial Los Angeles as they close in on the big 5- 0. A play in sixteen scenes.
LANDSLIDE—A long-term marriage has come unraveled in a household in the Hollywood hills on election day. A play in two acts.
To read the first act, click here.
HOLLYWOOD NIGHT—Two actors, a man and a woman, go to the latter's Hollywood apartment after an audition. A romantic comedy in three scenes.
THE LAWS OF LIGHT—The fate of Pasternak, the Mandelstams and Akhmatova in Russia during and after Stalin. In three scenes and four monologues.
THE EVENING HOUR—In the London of the mod & rocker sixties, an aging father does late-inning parenting with his hippie son and daughter. In the second act the fiftysomething son repeats the process with his own daughter. A play in two acts.
To read the first act, click here.
9 Solo Performance Plays
In each of these solo-performance plays, an actor portraying a prominent twentieth century figure directly addresses the audience. In theatrical adaptations of the speaker's own words, we see each at the height of his or her powers. The eight writers and one musician, probing and illuminating issues we face today, are Sherwood Anderson, Randolph Bourne, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mary McCarthy, Artie Shaw, George Bernard Shaw, Gertrude Stein, Lew Welch, and Virginia Woolf. Each play is suitable for both theatrical production and the university or secondary school platform.
A TENDER MIND—The Life and Times of Lew Welch, Beat Poet
The Beat Generation poet Lew Welch, born in Phoenix in 1926, disappeared with his pistol into the foothills of the Sierras in California in May of 1971. His body was never found.
With minor exceptions, these are his own words-gleaned from interviews, recorded talks, poems and prose pieces, including his correspondence. His last poem, "Song of the Turkey Buzzard," heard in the play's final moments, is understood today to have perhaps foreshadowed his disappearance and the manner of his death.
To download A TENDER MIND in pdf format, click here
To download A TENDER MIND in doc format, click here
ARTIE SHAW TALKING—A Solo Performance Play, Artie Shaw
The order of the monologues may be modified or otherwise changed as the performer and/or director see fit.
The music of Artie Shaw might be featured between the monologues or otherwise utilized. There might also be visual documentation of various people mentioned in the monologues, gleaned from recorded conversations Shaw made with the playwright.
To download ARTIE SHAW TALKING in pdf format, click here
To download ARTIE SHAW TALKING in doc format, click here
G.B.S. TONIGHT!—The Real Saint Joan, George Bernard Shaw
Saint Joan of Arc or The Maid of Orleans (1412-1431) is considered a national heroine of France and a Catholic saint. A peasant girl born in eastern France who claimed Divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII. She was captured by the Burgundians, sold to the English, tried by an ecclesiastical court, and burned at the stake when she was nineteen years old.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) had long considered writing about Joan of Arc, and her canonization in 1920 supplied a strong incentive to writing Saint Joan (1923). The play was an international success, and is believed to have led to his Nobel Prize in Literature.
G. B. S. TONIGHT! The Real Saint Joan is an adaptation of Shaw's preface to Saint Joan.
To download G.B.S. TONIGHT! in pdf format, click here
To download G.B.S. TONIGHT! in doc format, click here
GERTRUDE STEIN LECTURES IN AMERICA, Gertrude Stein
In 1903, when she was twenty-nine, Gertrude Stein left America to settle in Paris. She returned to her native land only once, in 1934, when the publication of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas had made her, for the first time in her life, a celebrity. Crowds greeted her wherever she went as she traveled across the country, giving lectures to overflow audiences, lectures in which she discusses the perceptions that provided the basis for her writing. Gertrude Stein Lectures in America is an adaptation of one of these lectures.
To download GERTRUDE STEIN LECTURES IN AMERICA in pdf format, click here
To download GERTRUDE STEIN LECTURES IN AMERICA in doc format, click here
MR. BENNETT AND MRS. BROWN, Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was an English novelist, essayist, and short-story writer regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century. "Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown" was originally given as a talk by Woolf in Cambridge in 1924 and later that year published as a pamphlet by Hogarth Press, which she ran with her husband, Leonard Woolf.
To download MR. BENNETT AND MRS. BROWN in pdf format, click here
To download MR. BENNETT AND MRS. BROWN in doc format, click here
MY CONFESSION—An Evening with Mary McCarthy, Mary McCarthy
Mary McCarthy (1912-1989) was an American author, critic, and political activist. In New York she moved in "fellow-traveling" Communist circles early in the 1930s, but by the latter half of the decade repudiated Soviet-style Communism, expressing solidarity with Leon Trotsky after the Moscow Trials. During the 1940s and 1950s she became a liberal critic of both McCarthyism and Communism. After building a reputation as a satirist and critic, McCarthy enjoyed popular success when her 1963 novel The Group remained on the New York Times Best Seller list for almost two years.
Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist theorist. After leading a failed struggle against the policies and rise of Joseph Stalin in the 1920s, Trotsky was successively removed from power, expelled from the Communist Party, deported from the Soviet Union and assassinated on Stalin's orders.
To download MY CONFESSION in pdf format, click here
To download MY CONFESSION in doc format, click here
THE CRACK-UP—An Evening with F. Scott Fitzgerald, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Darkness. The sound of a lamp's pull-chain as a standing lamp turns on. On an otherwise bare stage a man is sitting in a comfortable reading chair, flanked by a small table on which a book or magazine rests along with a drink. He wears an expensive tailored suit that is slightly threadbare.
F. Scott Fitzgerald at 39 is still an attractive, magnetic figure but there are telltale signs of the wear and tear he speaks of here. Still, he sustains something of the bright figure of youth that came to symbolize the 1920s, the young man his Princeton classmate, the poet John Peale Bishop, recalled as looking like a jonquil. He will die of a heart-attack less than five years after making these confessions, which appeared in three issues of Esquire magazine in 1936 and ironically anticipate an AA speaker meeting. Conspicuously, there is little mention of alcohol here and the speaker will from time to time sip at his drink. The chair may be used in various ways and from a variety of different positions as Fitzgerald tells his story: sitting, standing, leaning, etc.
He looks out at the audience, smiles briefly and begins speaking.
To download THE CRACK-UP in pdf format, click here
To download THE CRACK-UP in doc format, click here
THE EGG, Sherwood Anderson
Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941) was an American novelist and short story writer. "The Egg" was published in his short story collection The Triumph of the Egg in 1921.
To download THE EGG in pdf format, click here
To download THE EGG in doc format, click here
TRANSNATIONAL AMERICA, Randolph Bourne
Randolph Silliman Bourne (1886-1918) was a progressive writer and public intellectual born in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and a graduate of Columbia University. He opposed America's participation in World War I and died in the Spanish flu epidemic shortly after the Armistice. Often regarded as a lone American voice of conscience during the war, Bourne's influence helped to shape the postmodern ideas of cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism.
TRANSNATIONAL AMERICA: An Evening with Randolph Bourne is an adaptation of Bourne's eponymous essay, published in 1916.
To download TRANSNATIONAL AMERICA in pdf format, click here
To download TRANSNATIONAL AMERICA in doc format, click here