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My short play THE CELLPHONES OF THE DEAD has been included in a collection of 20 short plays about school shootings in the United States. Oregon playwright Rachael Carnes put out a call recently for short plays memorializing the victims of specific shootings; I contributed THE CELLPHONES OF THE DEAD, which was written in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 that killed 32 people plus the shooter. Rachael pulled all the pieces together and organized them so they can be presented in a single reading — or organizers can pick and choose the pieces.
So far, PLAYWRIGHTS SAY NEVER AGAIN TO SCHOOL SHOOTINGS has had readings in Eugene, Oregon; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Montclair, New Jersey.
For more information about how to put on a royalty-free reading of PLAYWRIGHTS SAY NEVER AGAIN TO SCHOOL SHOOTINGS, email email@example.com.
Meanwhile, THE CELLPHONES OF THE DEAD has been included in a separate program — a staged reading in Washington, D.C. on March 24 to coincide with “March for Our Lives.” That reading, organized by Nu Sass Productions, featured 17 short plays to coincide with the number of victims in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Nu Sass found my play listed through Protest Plays and the New Play Exchange.
Here’s some of what people have said about THE CELLPHONES OF THE DEAD:
“Your piece is stunning.” –– producer
“I had multiple people approach me after and say how moved they were by your play.” –– producer
“It’s one of the more moving pieces for me” — actor.
About the piece:
THE CELLPHONES OF THE DEAD
A police officer’s somber monologue: He was at the scene of a mass shooting, and could literally hear the awful news start to spread — as the cellphones of the victims started to ring with desperate messages from their frantic friends.
Police officer (M)
Multiple bodies on the floor
Running time: Five minutes.
Here’s a new and very amazing poster for my show THIS ROSE HAS THORNS, which opens April 5 in Melbourne, Australia.
THIS ROSE HAS THORNS
A parody of some common Shakespeare themes, with good stage combat roles for women and girls. The daughters of a lord receive letters from their boyfriends, informing them that they have been imprisoned in the Tower of London and expect to be executed. The two girls do what seems only natural to them; they dress up as men and set off to London to rescue them – not realizing that the boyfriends intended these as break-up letters. Comedy ensues. Cast: 13 – 7 females, 6 males.
More on THIS ROSE HAS THORNS:
More photos below: Read the rest of this entry »
Somewhere in this video is my five-minute piece PUTTING THE FAIR IN THE TOOTH FAIR, produced by Cone Man Running in Houston, Texas in November 2017.
You can find still photos from the production here.
Here are some posters from my upcoming show in Melbourne, Australia: THIS ROSE HAS THORNS will be produced by the Burwood Student Theatre Company at Deakin University.
Updated Jan. 25, 2018 to reflect a publisher who just reported in, adding a new production I didn’t know about.
Counting up the year: I had at least 58 productions and 17 readings in 2017. I say “at least” because some publishers won’t report final tallies for months yet. I had shows in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, India and, of course, the United States. Most of these were short scripts, which inflate the numbers but they were done nonetheless. Best places for productions were Maryland 8, Florida 6, Texas 6, Minnesota 5, Washington 5, UK 4, Illinois 4, India 3, Michigan 3 New Jersey 2, Ohio 2, Ontario 2, Virginia 2, West Virginia 2, Australia 1, Nebraska 1, North Dakota 1, Utah 1. For readings it was Virginia 8, California 5, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Oklahoma 1 apiece.
The list could have been 60 productions — because one theatre in Ontario started rehearsing one script then had scheduling difficulties and never did the show, and a high school in West Virginia planned a production but couldn’t perform it for some reason.
You can find the full list here.
Here’s the running list for 2018. It’s still short yet but already includes productions in three countries — Australia, Canada and the United States, as well has two full-length scripts (with hope for a third that’s tentatively scheduled but not yet listed.
Echo Theatre in Tulsa, Oklahoma held a staged reading of my one-act VERONICA’S DOLLS on April 23, 2017. I’ve finally got a video of the reading.
A teenage girl’s old dolls come to life to try to save her life when she attempts to commit suicide by swallowing an overdose of sleeping pills. Cast: Four, plus an off-stage voice to make five. Three female, two non-gender. Running time: Fifteen or so minutes.
Not only did my Christmas one-act DEATH BY POINSETTIA get produced in Hollywood this Christmas season, it also had a staged reading Roanoke at Mill Mountain Theatre, through the Hollins Playwright’s Lab. Sadly, I missed the show because I was in Orlando for the staged reading of MISS MITCHELL’S COMET. Michael and Amanda Mansfield were the actors; Lauren Brooke Ellis directed.
MORE ABOUT DEATH BY POINSETTIA:
* Photos from Actors Workout Studio in Hollywood, 2017.
* Show poster in Hollywood, 2017
* Show poster for staged reading in Roanoke
* “Death By Poinsettia” wins awards in Maryland
* Photos from “Death by Poinsettia” in Maryland
* Photos from “Death by Poinsettia” at Studio C in Hollywood, 2015.
* After-party photos from Hollywood, 2015.
* Rehearsal photos from Hollywood, 2015.