“Klaus” to have staged reading in New York City in December

My full-length script that imagines an origin story for Santa Claus — KLAUS — will have a staged reading in New York on December 2, exact venue and such still TBA.

This is through the auspices of Gi60 — the annual “Gone in 60 Seconds” Festival of one-minute plays that takes place each summer in New York, with a counterpart in Great Britain. I’ve been fortunate to have had my short work done there for several years. Now, the Gi60 folks are using their “off-season” to feature longer scripts by some of the Gi60 writers.

KLAUS: How it all began
Where did Santa Claus come from? There is no particular origin myth, until now. This story begins in the 1740s with an eccentric German professor of what we now call physics. He invents time travel, and when he becomes the target of the wrath of a mob who wants to burn him as a witch, he uses it to escape. Involves science fiction, treason against the king, a love story, and some cooking. Cast: Seven – six male, one female.

This will be the second staged reading for KLAUS. The first was in 2012 in Roanoke, Virginia, through Hollins University.

Here’s video from that reading and also some other links:

* Background on the show
* Photos from first day of rehearsal
* Photos from second day of rehearsal
* Photos from third day of rehearsal
* Photos from the staged reading of “Klaus”

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Two one-acts to be produced in Missouri and North Dakota

The fall high school theatre season is soon upon us, and that means I have two new productions to announce:

* HIT THE BOOKS, by Lafayette County High School, Higginsville, Missouri on November 9. This script is published by Eldridge Plays and Musicals; this is the 16th production of this script.

* JENNA AND HER PRIZE-WINNING PIG CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY, by the Lewis and Clark School District, Minot, North Dakota on November 12. This script is published through Playscripts; this is the third production of this script.

I’ve got one-acts published through five different publishers (the list is in the right-hand column). Some report productions as they get booked; some not until after the fact, so it’s possible I have others out there and just don’t know about it yet.

Here are synopses of these two scripts:

HIT THE BOOKS
A slapstick farce set in a college dorm. A student studying for exams becomes so frustrated she hits herself in the head with her art history textbook. Suddenly, she thinks she’s the Mona Lisa. Her roommate becomes frantic. A suitemate arrives who thinks the logical thing to do is to hit the woman on the head with another book. Throughout, each time someone gets hit in the head with a book, they instantly acquire command of the subject matter. The scene becomes increasingly more chaotic as the students search for a solution. You’ll need some soft books, because everyone gets hit on the head at least once, and usually more. Cast: Five — four female, one male. Running time: Twenty five minutes.

JENNA AND HER PRIZE-WINNING PIG CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY
A bored teen-ager with a vivid imagination creates havoc at the county fair, involving a TV crew and two glad-handing politicians, when she gets them arguing over a non-existent bill before Congress. Cast: Ten — three female, three male and four of either gender. Set requirements: Minimal, although it would help to have a television camera and microphone.

So, here’s the latest list of my upcoming productions:

* November 7, 8, 14, 15, 22, and 23: DEMOTING PLUTO, one-act, Short Science Play Showcase at the Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
* November 9: HIT THE BOOKS, Lafayette County High School, Higginsville, Missouri.
* November 12: JENNA AND HER PRIZE-WINNING PIG CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY, Lewis and Clark School District, Minot, North Dakota.
* December 6-7: THE BEAUTIFUL OGRE AND OTHER FAIRY TALES, CAN I?, CHEF PIERRE DOES NOT DO SIMPLE, and GOD AND THE DEVIL MEET FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH, by the Jeonju Players, Joenju, South Korea.
* December 19-20: LET THERE BE LIGHTS! by Mockingbird Players, Columbia City, Indiana.

And here’s a partial list of productions this year:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Four short scripts to be produced in South Korea in December

I’ve just scored my first production in South Korea.

The Jeonju Players, an English-language company in Joenju, are producing two nights worth of short comic pieces on December 6 and 7.

Among the 14 pieces are four of mine, all of which have been previously produced:

CAN I?
A lesson in both grammar and assertiveness. A restaurant customer asks: “can I have the daily special?” A bossy waiter or waitress says “no.” Cast: Two, non-gender. Running time: Five minutes.
* Produced by Flush Ink Productions in Asphalt Jungle Shorts Festival in Kitchener, Ontario, September 2014. (Photos from that production here.)

GOD AND THE DEVIL MEET FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH
God and the devil meet in an out-of-the-way lunch spot to discuss a
business proposition: The devil thinks the Almighty should reimburse him for
punishing the wicked. Comes in two versions, one 5 minutes, one 10
minutes. Cast: Three — 2 males, 1 female. Running time: Five
minutes or ten minutes.
* Five-minute version performed at No Shame Theatre, Roanoke, Va., August 2004 and October 2004 as part of The Best of No Shame.
* Produced by Homespun Productions, broadcast on Channel 18, Sacramento, California, October 2005. Here’s video of.
* Classroom presentation, Averett College, Danville, Va., Dec. 3, 2007.
* Radio play by Falcon Radio Theatre, Seattle, 2013. Here’s audio.
* Staged reading by Lake Players, Smith Mountain Lake, Va., April 2014. (Photos from that reading here.)

THE BEAUTIFUL OGRE AND OTHER FAIRY TALES
A father reads his daughter a fairy tale as a bedtime story — which the characters begin to act out. The girl doesn’t like how the story is going — no strong female role models, for instance — so she changes it all around. This is the result. Cast: Five — three males, two females. Running time: Eight minutes.
• Produced by the Paw Paw Village Players, Paw Paw, Michigan, Feb. 15-16, 22-23, 2008.
• Produced by Youth Education on Stage Summer Shorts, Williston, North Dakota, June 24-26, 2008.
• Produced by Subversive Theatre, Buffalo, N.Y., various nights between May 2-17, 2009.
• Produced by Play’n’Well Players, Plainview, Michigan, last weekend of May 2009.

CHEF PIERRE DOES NOT DO SIMPLE
A television producer explains to a TV chef that he need to simplify some of his language because many younger viewers do not understand them. He reacts badly and winds up creating a mess with broken eggs and flour. Cast: Four — One male, three non-gender. Running time: Ten minutes.
• Produced by Newburgh Free Academy, Newburgh, N.Y., May 2009. (Photos here.)

So, here’s the latest list of my upcoming productions:

* November 7, 8, 14, 15, 22, and 23: DEMOTING PLUTO, one-act, Short Science Play Showcase at the Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
* December 6-7: THE BEAUTIFUL OGRE AND OTHER FAIRY TALES, CAN I?, CHEF PIERRE DOES NOT DO SIMPLE, and GOD AND THE DEVIL MEET FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH, by the Jeonju Players, Joenju, South Korea.
* December 19-20: LET THERE BE LIGHTS! by Mockingbird Players, Columbia City, Indiana.

And here’s a partial list of productions this year:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Photos from “Can I?” in Ontario festival

My short script CAN I? was produced recently in the Asphalt Jungle Shorts Festival in Kitchener, Ontario. This is a site-specific walking-tour festival, where patrons buy a ticket and then are escorted as a group around downtown Kitchener and, at various spots, live theatre breaks out.

CAN I? is set in a restaurant between a surly waitress and a sheepish customer. He asks “can I have . . .” a certain menu item, and the waitress lectures him on his grammar.

Arlene Thomas and John Fielding in CAN I?

Arlene Thomas and John Fielding in CAN I?

Here's the kick-butt poster for the show.

Here’s the kick-butt poster for the show.

Here's another kick-butt poster for the show.

Here’s another kick-butt poster for the show.

Here's the crowd at one point in the proceedings.

Here’s the crowd at one point in the proceedings.

Arlene Thomas starts to let John Fielding have it.

Arlene Thomas starts to let John Fielding have it.

Poor John Fielding. All his character wanted was something to eat. Instead he got a lecture on grammar.

Poor John Fielding. All his character wanted was something to eat. Instead he got a lecture on grammar.

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“Let There Be Lights!” to be produced in Indiana in December

Joy to the world! I got word today that the Mockingbird Players in Columbia City, Indiana will produce my Christmas one-act LET THERE BE LIGHTS! on December 19 and 20, 2014.

This will be the first production of that script:

LET THERE BE LIGHTS!
Two neighbors plot to see who can put on the biggest display of Christmas lights, with comical, and catastrophic, results. Cast: Eight — two adult males, two adult females, two teen-age males, two teen-age females. Running time: 30 minutes.

Like all of my unpublished work, it is available royalty-free, for reasons I explain here. I have a list of other Christmas plays here.

And here’s a list of upcoming productions:

* September 18, 19,20, 25, 26, 27: CAN I?, five-minute script in Asphalt Jungle Shorts XI, Kitchener, Ontario.
* September 22-24: SOMETIMES ELEPHANTS DIE STANDING UP, ten-minute play, Ghost Dog Productions, The Horse and Stables, London, UK.
* November 7, 8, 14, 15, 22, and 23: DEMOTING PLUTO, one-act, Short Science Play Showcase at the Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

And here’s a partial list of productions this year:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Photos from “The Face on Mars” in Connecticut

Two Martians discuss a political scandal -- and climate change.

Two Martians discuss a political scandal — and climate change.


Here is a photo from a production of my 10-minute script THE FACE ON MARS, which was staged August 16 in Suffield, Connecticut by the Suffield Players.

It was part of a festival of short plays. Below is the photo of the entire cast for the evening.

The whole cast.

The whole cast.

Here’s the synopsis of my script:

THE FACE ON MARS

The supposed face on Mars? It was commissioned by a politician who knew the truth — that Mars was running out of water. But he told the public something else entirely. Cast: Two, non-gender.

Here’s the show poster.

And here’s a list of upcoming productions:

* September 6: THE SKY IS FALLING, ten-minute play, Piano Fight Productions, Lagunitas (Marin County), California.
* September 18, 19,20, 25, 26, 27: CAN I?, five-minute script in Asphalt Jungle Shorts XI, Kitchener, Ontario.
* September 22-24: SOMETIMES ELEPHANTS DIE STANDING UP, ten-minute play, Ghost Dog Productions, The Horse and Stables, London, UK.
* November 7, 8, 14, 15, 22, and 23: A MARTIAN WESTERN and DEMOTING PLUTO, one-acts, Short Science Play Showcase at the Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

And here’s a partial list of productions this year:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Show poster from “The Face on Mars” in Connecticut

Top billing!

Top billing!

Here’s some of the publicity for my ten-minute script THE FACE ON MARS, which plays August 19 in Suffield, Connecticut as part of the Suffield Players’ festival of short plays.

Here’s the present line-up of productions I have for the rest of the year.

And here’s the synopsis:

THE FACE ON MARS
The supposed face on Mars? It was commissioned by a politician who knew the truth — that Mars was running out of water. But he told the public something else entirely. Cast: Two, non-gender.

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