I have two new productions to report — both of one-acts.
Michigan State University will produce CATCH OF THE DAY Nov. 3-6. That script has been done as a radio play before but this will be the first stage production.
Meanwhile, a high school in Millard County, Utah will produce JOY TO OTHER WORLDS. That script has been produced once before, but I’ve written a new ending, so this will be the first production of the revised version.
CATCH OF THE DAY
A nervous mother is preparing to entertain her daughter and the daughter’s new boyfriend. She’s eager for the match to succeed. She’s instructed her husband to pick up some fish on the way home for dinner; he mistakenly acquires a fugu, a type of fish prized as a delicacy in Japan — but which is also highly poisonous, if improperly prepared. Naturally, the woman succeeds in poisoning the daughter and her boyfriend — sending them into a trance. Comedy ensues, while the pair are frozen in position through part of the play. Cast: Two males, two females. Running time: 30 minutes.
* Staged reading as a radio play by Falcon Radio Theatre, Seattle, Washington, April 23, 2013.
JOY TO OTHER WORLDS
A man’s display of Christmas lights flashing to the tune of “Joy to The World” attracts the attention of an alien race, which struggles to interpret the transmission. Cast: Nine — Four male, three female, two non-gender or one male, six females, two non-gender. Running time: 30 minutes.
* Produced by Backyard Theatre Company, Steinbach, Manitoba, December 2014.
Victorian Players in Youngstown, Ohio will produced three of my Christmas scripts starting December 2. They will produced the one-acts A ZOMBIE CHRISTMAS, SVETLANA’S FIRST CHRISTMAS AWAY FROM HOME and an abbreviated version of my full-length JOSE AND MARIA: AN OLD STORY FOR NEW TIMES.
Interesting back story: I had sent Sam Luptak a bunch of scripts, which he liked but what he really needed was a large-cast show with parts for a lot of kids. I didn’t really have one, so I wrote him one . . . that’s SVETLANA’S FIRST CHRISTMAS AWAY FROM HOME, which made the cut.
SVETLANA’S FIRST CHRISTMAS AWAY FROM HOME
A last-minute substitute attempts to preside over a Christmas pageant, which has devolved into chaos – unruly kids, a pushy parent, a church busybody, a kitchen on fire. And then there’s the foreign exchange student, who’s supposed to be the angel, who is in the restroom in tears because it’s her first Christmas away from home. Then something unexpected happens. Cast: 21 – 6 adults (four female, one male, one non-gender), 7 teenagers (five female, two male), 8 early teens or pre-teens (one female, seven non-gender.)
A ZOMBIE CHRISTMAS
A grandfather and grandmother dress up as a zombie and a vampire to try to connect their their teen-age granddaughter. Miscommunication ensues. Cast: Four – one senior male, one senior female, one adult female, one teen female. Running time: Fifteen minutes.
* Staged reading, Princeton Theatre Group, Princeton, Illinois, July 2016.
JOSE AND MARIA: An old story for new times
The birth of Jesus, in a modern setting. On the one hand, this is based on the New Testament accounts. On the other, it’s thoroughly updated: Joseph and Mary are Jose and Maria, two Mexican immigrants on the road to the courthouse to get their paperwork straightened out. The three wise men are three astronomy professors arguing over the nature of the star. The angel of the Lord is a pizza delivery girl named, well, Angel. And there’s a radio talk show host who talks a succession of calls from callers named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Humorous, but with a point. Cast: 20 — 18 adults and 2 children. Gender breakdown: For the 18 adults, 7 male, 8 female, 3 non-gender; the two children may be of either gender.
• One of 18 semi-finalists in the 2003 Barter Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights, Barter Theatre, Abingdon, Va.
• Produced by Attic Productions, Fincastle, Va., November 2004.
My short piece LITTLE SUGAR was included in this year’s Asphalt Jungle Shorts festival in Kitchener, Ontario.
This year I had two pieces in the Gone in 60 Seconds festival of one-minute plays in New York.
THE BIGFOOT SIGHTING:
A MOMENT OF SILENCE:
I’m about to get produced in Ireland for the first time. My very short play A CHALKBOARD SCRIBBLED IN BLOOD has been selected for a festival there in November.
The festival is run by Rabbit’s Riot Theatre Company. The theme is “Our Generation,” and features 15 “tiny plays” on that theme. Sadly, mine fits because it’s about a school shooting. I wrote it the night of the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012.
The productions will be November 6-8 in Sligo and November 9 in Manorhamilton. Both locations are in northwest Ireland.
Just got word that my five-minute play THE RECRUITER will be produced in Houston in the 2016 Five Minute Mile Play Festival at the Obsidian Theatre. The show dates are November 9-19.
A scene about gender discrimination in college sports. A college recruiter shows up at a rural school asking about a particular football player; oblivious to the softball player banging home runs in batting practice. Cast: Two adult males, one teenage girl.
This is also one of the short scenes in PLAY BALL!, a full-length collection of short baseball scenes.
My ten-minute play THE PICTURE WINDOW will be produced in San Diego at the annual North Park Playwright Festival. Show dates are Sept. 30, Oct. 1, October 2.
This will be the second time I’ve had my work featured in that festival.
THE PICTURE WINDOW
An old woman’s front window is shattered by a baseball. For her, it’s time to go get the instructions her late husband left her. There’s something special waiting for the kid who could hit a baseball that far. A poignant story about old age and regrets – and baseball. Cast: Three – one male, two females.