Dwayne Yancey

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Photos from ‘Peaked in High School’ in Colorado

Kassidy as Brandi, a former homecoming queen who is feeling despondent.

Hailey as Chloe, the former nerd who is now a geologist.

Katherine as Jimmy, the former homecoming king and star quarterback.

My 10-minute play PEAKED IN HIGH SCHOOL was produced December 10 at Adams State University in Colorado. In fact, I had two short plays produced at the school on that date as part of the same festival. Director Courtney Behil reports she had to make a casting change and wound up casting a woman in the role of Jimmy, the former homecoming king. Good for her. I love cross-gender casting.

PEAKED IN HIGH SCHOOL
Eleven years to the night after a high school homecoming, three former classmates meet by chance on a local Lover’s Leap. The homecoming queen is depressed and planning to kill herself. Poignant drama ensues. Cast: Three: Two female, one male.

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Photos from ‘Letters From the Mona Lisa’ in Colorado

Rehearsal. You can probably figure out who’s who.

My 10-minute play LETTERS FROM THE MONA LISA was produced December 10 at Adams State University in Colorado. Director Shawnea Giles shares these rehearsal photos.

LETTERS FROM THE MONA LISA
The woman in the famous painting comes to life and speaks to a security guard at the Louvre museum. He persuades her to write a letter to one of her fans. Cast: Two to four, depending on which ending you choose. The basic cast is 1 male, 1 female, with the male envisioned as older and the female capable of portraying the Mona Lisa. Some of the optional endings add 1 female and 1 boy. Running time: 10 minutes.
* Produced by Jewel Box Theatre, Poulsbo, Washington, May 2016.
* Produced by Donna Scott Productions, Charlotte, North Carolina, August 2018.
* Produced by Adams State University, Alamosa, Colorado, December 2018.

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Review for ‘Moon Over Manitoba’

Here’s a review posted on the New Play Exchange about my play MOON OVER MANITOBA:

“A lovely, lively adventure between two strong young women, one from Honduras, one from Canada, who make their way out of Texas north to avoid ICE and seek shelter in Winnipeg. Yancey, always so good in everything he writes, here does a masterful job of telling a full, epic story with just two performers and a hockey stick. Veronica and Isabella are characters we root for, want to protect and will follow no matter where or how far they go. In Yancey’s capable hands, they’re strong, smart … and still just teenagers fumbling their way to safety. Spectacularly well done.”
— Matthew Weaver

MOON OVER MANITOBA
A play about immigration, with a cast of two teen-age girls. Veronica is a teenager from Canada, whose father’s job has taken the family to Texas. She’s homesick for Manitoba. She meets Isabella, who turns out to have arrived recently, and illegally, from Honduras after a harrowing trip from Central America. The two girls know no one else and strike up a tentative friendship. When Isabella’s cousin, with whom she’s living, is arrested by immigration agents, Isabella flees to Veronica’s house. Veronica impetuously decides they should run away to Canada, which Veronica is sure will accept Isabella. That’s Act 1. Act 2 is their trip north, which is full of danger and unexpected developments. Cast: Two teenage girls, one Latina.

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Review for ‘The One-Word Odyssey’

Here’s a review posted on the New Play Exchange about my play THE ONE-WORD ODYSSEY:

“A truly epic feat, slimming THE ODYSSEY down so that each line of dialogue is a single word. A marvelous read, a good way to convey the story and an interesting adventure, told with style and natural humor which embraces the conceit and delivery. A pleasure to read, would be a joy to watch unfold on stage. I particularly liked the members of the Greek Chorus electing to skip Aeolus’ island because it’s boring, but still have the secret bag on Ulysses’ ship. Thoroughly enjoyable.”
— Matthew Weaver

THE ONE-WORD ODYSSEY
The story of the Odyssey, more or less, in which each line consists of just a single word. Ideal for a class project. Includes monsters and a talking hamburger. Cast: As few as 18 — 9 males, 3 females, 6 non-gender — or as many as 33 — 17 males, 7 females, 9 non-gender. Running time: One hour.

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Review for ’57 Hours in the House of Culture’

Here’s a nice review of my play 57 HOURS ON THE HOUSE OF CULTURE that’s been posted on the New Play Exchange:

“This is probably my favorite Yancey play. High stakes, rich characters, an immersive theatre environment — what’s not to like? You certainly don’t need to know recent Russian history to appreciate this effort. Be sure to give it a look.”
— Kenley Smith

57 HOURS IN THE HOUSE OF CULTURE
An audience once died simply for its love of theatre. This is a dark play that re-imagines the 2002 Moscow theatre siege, where Chechen terrorists seized a theatre and held hundreds hostage until Russian authorities gassed everyone. Audience members are held in the lobby, while “soldiers” guard the doors. At showtime, the doors open and patrons enter to find the theatre swirling with poison gas (presumably, you’ll use dry ice), seats overturned, and dead bodies strewn about, while a broadcast announcement plays about the end of the hostage drama. When everyone is seated, the dead bodies come to life, as theatre ghosts, re-telling the tale. Cast: This has been done with as few as nine. Eight main cast members — two male, four female, two non-gender — plus two male soldiers – plus five to seven audience members who are enlisted. And some voices, which can be recorded. Running time: One and a half, no intermission.
* Produced by Studio Roanoke, Roanoke, Va., May 16-27, 2012.
* Staged reading at Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, Virginia, March 19, 2016.

More, lots more, about 57 HOURS IN THE HOUSE OF CULTURE: Read the rest of this entry »

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Reviews for ‘The Cellphones of the Dead’

Here are four reviews posted on the New Play Exchange about my short play THE CELLPHONES OF THE DEAD, based on a school shooting:

“I was there for the first performance (actually, I was in it), just days after the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech. Based on actual circumstances, this short play retains its power and poignancy even a decade later. Highly recommended.”
— Kenley Smith


“I first encountered this play a month ago and was grateful to include it in a reading of gun reform plays I produced. I can only imagine the impact this heart-wrenching monologue play would have with a full production. A snapshot, one facet of the impact of gun violence. It has stayed with me since the moment I read it; it will stay with you, too. ”

— Jordan Elizabeth Henry

“Yancey’s unsettling images of a scene after a shooting, that time for a police officer to count and recount the dead, the sounds of ringing cellphones and the calls from love ones..it’s a heartbreaking read. As a fully-produced solo show, the officer’s narration of the crime scene that’s haunting his memory, with the victims of that memory strewn across the stage, will be a heart-wrenching experience for the audience. Highly recommended short play for your festival on gun control.”
— Asher Wyndham

“Effective and heartwrenching, Yancey takes one of the most chilling details from reports of gun violence (he cites a particular incident, I heard about it in another, which just goes to show how sadly commonplace such events have become) and brings it to life in a piece that speaks for itself … and for the victims of such murders and the helpers who come along and have to face the aftermath. Simple stage directions underline the tragedy of such events. Yancey’s words here are both a moment of silence for victims and a call to arms for we who remain.”
— Matthew Weaver

About the script: Read the rest of this entry »

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Photos from ‘Just Another Day At the Office’ at Michigan State

For the third year in a row, Michigan State University’s Roial Players produced one of my one-acts. JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE ran Oct. 18-21. Here are some awesome photos.

Jenny is stuck at the lowest rung of the corporate ladder. Then she’s sent to raid another office for supplies and things start to happen.

Back in April, a staged reading of this script won a prize in Virginia. More on that here.

JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE
A young woman is sent on a mission to raid another department for supplies. She comes back as the CEO. A play about sexism in the workplace. Cast: 18 — 12 male, 6 female.
* Staged reading at Shakespeare in the Burg, Middleburg, Virginia, April 2018.
* Produced by Roial Players, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, October 2018.

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