Posts Tagged royalty-free plays

Photos from “Famous People Killed by Animals” at Michigan State

Here’s an odd little script of mine: FAMOUS PEOPLE KILLED BY ANIMALS. It’s an one-act about a suburban costume party in which each person comes dressed as, well, um, a famous person killed by an animal.

The characters:
* Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen and the host of the party.
* Jezebel, the Biblical harlot queen.
* Gallito, a famous Spanish bullfighter and the husband of Jezebel at this party.
* Aeschylus, the Greek playwright and the husband of Cleopatra at this party. He finds the whole thing ridiculous; he just wants to sit and watch football on TV.

Michigan State University produced the script in October 2017 and these photos from director Brandon Niemi look spectacular:

The party.

Gallito and Cleopatra.

Check out the snakes.

Oh, yeah, bad things happen.

You can find the full gallery of photos here.


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Photos from “The Math Lesson” in Chicago

My 10-minute script THE MATH LESSON was one of two scripts of mine included in the Paragon festival by Otherworld Theatre in Chicago. Here are some photos.


A math teacher at a Martian school for girls teaches a forbidden subject – how to compute the rate of evaporation of the planet’s last, dying ocean. Cast: Five – one adult female, two non-gender adults, two teen-age girls.

From left to right, Helen (Elpis), Kathleen (chancellor), Jonathan (vice chancellor), Sara (Demi) and Laura (Phoebe).

Martian school girls.

More drama on Mars.

I also have a photo from my other script in the show, the one-act JOY TO OTHER WORLDS.

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Video: “The Beautiful Ogre and Other Fairy Tales” in Minnesota

The troupe Play With Your Food produced my ten-minute piece THE BEAUTIFUL OGRE AND OTHER FAIRY TALES in Mankato, Minnesota in May 2017.


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Video: “Damsel Not in Distress” in Minnesota

The troupe Play With Your Food produced my five-minute piece DAMSEL NOT IN DISTRESS in Mankato, Minnesota on Nov. 1, 2017. The script runs about five minutes, although this video runs longer.


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“Miss Mitchell’s Comet” one of three finalists in Orlando

I am one of three finalists in an annual competition run by a major theatre in Orlando. My full-length script MISS MITCHELL’S COMET will have a staged reading sometime in December; based on the feedback there, one of those three plays will then get a full production in April 2018 by the Playwrights’ Round Table at the Orlando Shakespeare Center. Sharp-eyed fans will notice that April 2018 is also when I have another full-length play making an international debut in Melbourne, Australia. MISS MITCHELL’S COMET is based on the true story of Maria Mitchell, America’s first female astronomer — and the first American of any gender to discover a comet. Her discovery in the 1840s sparked an international controversy. At the time, there was a competition sponsored by the King of Denmark that would give a prize to the first astronomer to discover a comet with a telescope — as opposed to the naked eye. All the big observatories of Europe were keen to claim the honor. No one envisioned that instead it would be an American — and not just any American, but an amateur at that who wasn’t affiliated with any observatory. And a woman! This was news that some in Europe simply could not believe.

The 29-year-old Mitchell was the daughter of a Nantucket Island merchant who grew up in a sailing and whaling community where keeping an eye on the stars was part of business. In time, the unknown Mitchell was awarded the prize . . . and went on to become a major figure in American astronomy and the women’s rights movement. This play is set many years later, when she’s in her 50s and 60s and is teaching at Vassar College. I am indebted to Todd William Ristau of Hollins University. Some years ago, he gave me advice on how to write a one-person script. At the time, I had two sprawling, multi-character scripts about science figures. I took RED MOON RISING IN THE EAST, about the father of the Soviet space program, and re-wrote it into a one-man play. It’s gone on to become my most-frequently produced full-length script — produced in Virginia, Wisconsin and Minnesota (and might be produced again in May 2018, awaiting details). I took MISS MITCHELL’S COMET and re-wrote it as a two-person script, although the Mitchell character has 95 percent of the lines, so I think of it as a one-woman play with some incidental parts for a man. It’s come close several things before in other competitions, but now will at least get a stage reading an a 1-in-3 chance of a full production.

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My first international production of a full-length script

Some of the artwork that will promote the show.

I’ve had seven full-length scripts produced in the United States. And I’ve had many shorter scripts produced around the world — Australia, Canada, Great Britain, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea. But I’ve never had a full-length script produced outside the United States. Until now. Or, more accurately, April 2018. That’s when the Burwood Student Theatre Company of Deakin University of Melbourne, Australia will produced THIS ROSE HAS THORNS — which, incidentally, will be the world premiere of that particular script.

I’m still waiting the exact production dates, but the show is a go. It will be directed by John Jennings, who is also the artistic director of Pop Culture Theatre, the Melbourne theatre that has produced two of my one-acts in the annual Victorian Drama League competition — THE ONE-WORD MACBETH in 2015 and THE RULES ARE THE RULES ARE THE RULES in 2017. (Video of the former show here. Photos from the latter here.)

John has some great ideas for the show — which he calls a “comedic masterpiece.” He says of this show: “Think Shakespeare meets The Play The Goes Wrong meets Black Adder meets Game of Thrones!”

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 promotional artwork.

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Photos from “The Rules Are The Rules Are The Rules” in Australia

The cast.

Here are some photos from the Australian production of THE RULES ARE THE RULES ARE THE RULES, the one-act that Pop Culture Theatre of Melbourne produced this summer (winter to them) as an entry in the Victorian Drama League competition.

Here’s the poster.

This is the second time that Pop Culture has produced one of my shows. In 2015, the group produced THE ONE-WORD MACBETH. (Video of that show here.)

A farce set on an airplane. A male passenger has apparently died, and the flight attendants carry him up to first class, telling other passengers he’s simply drunk. The chief flight attendant, though, insists they go by the book and perform CPR and mouth-to-mouth on the hapless victim until the plane lands. The other flight attendants devise ways to skirt those rules, with increasing hilarity. That hilarity hits its peak when it turns out the man isn’t dead, after all. Cast: Five — four female, one male. Running time: Thirty minutes.
* Produced by the Castle Players, Lytchett Matravers Village Hall, near Poole, England. Feb. 18-29, 2011.
* Produced by Pop Culture Theatre, Melbourne, Australia, July-September, 2017.

More of the cast.


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