Last updated 20 May 2011
FULL LENGTH PLAYS
A postmodernist take on The Arabian Nights, by way of Edward Said, Azar Nafisi, Borges, Hitchcock, Calvino, and Monty Python, among many others. Premiered at Denver Center Theater, New York Premiere with Page 73 (both 2007), and fifteen subsequent productions around the US from 2007-11 . As of May 2011, the piece has won a Bay Area Critics’ Circle Award for best play; is being revived by Collaboraction for Chicago’s Theater on the Lake, and for an extended run; will have its New England premiere with Company One in Boston; and is being adapted into a musical, Scheherazade (see below). 1001 has received an Ovation Award from The Denver Post and has been included critics’ “best of” lists in The Huffington Post, Time Out NY, Time Out Chicago, L.A. Weekly, Westword, The Boulder Daily Camera, and The Rocky Mountain News. It was developed at Soho Rep, The O’Neill, and New York Theater Workshop. 2F, 4M, 1hr 45 min.
A commission from The Working Theater, this play is a surreal vision of the Wal-Martization America. Inspired by the largest class-action suit in history (a sex discrimination suit against Wal-Mart), this play follows a group of hapless American women and their encounters with the Ghost of Sam Walton (who seems to be channeling Jean Baudrillard). Developed at The Lark, The Playwrights’ Foundation’s “In The Rough” Series, Portland Center Stage’s JAW/West Festival, and The O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference, 2006-08; staged readings at Playwrights’ Horizons and Woolly Mammoth Theater, 2008. 3F, 3M. 90 minutes.
The Children of Kings (a text for HABIT)
A commission from David Levine for his HABIT installation: a naturalistic play about young people in trouble in keeping with the conventions of the genre: there are two brothers, one a bully and a coke dealer, the other a depressive songwriter, living in a squalid post-industrial town somewhere east of the Mississippi. Their life is upended when Viv, a brilliant but dysfunctional love interest to both brothers, gets kicked out of college and comes back into their lives. If you’re wondering why this sounds so different from my other plays, here’s the kicker: the play is written to be performed in a fully-functioning house (water, electricity, cable TV, food) in a gallery space, on an eight-hour daily loop. The play is written in such a way that the actors can interpret the lines and stage directions in a wide variety of ways, and they get to choose a different ending each time. Developed at The Watermill Center and Mass MoCA, 2010-11, to premiere at Toronto’s Luminato Festival in May 2011. 2M, 1F, 90 minutes, or eight hours if you perform it over and over again.
Civilization (all you can eat)
In progress; a commission from Clubbed Thumb. Conceived as a Joint-Stock style play about food, this play follows a group of hapless people living through upheaval of the 2008 election and economic crash. Features a director and cast of a racist Twix commercial, a failed academic peddling chaos theory to middle managers, a waitress and her retail worker daughter who turns to porn to avoid a foreclosure, and a factory farm hog who wants to be feral, then eventually civilized. Kind of like a Robert Altman movie with a Mac Wellman character running around in it. Set for production at Clubbed Thumb’s 2011 Summerworks and Woolly Mammoth’s 2011-12 season. In addition to Clubbed Thumb, developed at Sundance and The Denver Center’s Colorado New Play Summit, and presented in translation at the Voices of Change Festival, Bielefeld, Germany, 2009-11. 4F, 2M, 80 minutes.
A broad farce in which the young Charles Darwin winds up on a 21st-century reality show, said show based on a total mangling of Darwinism. A Sloan Commission from Ensemble Studio Theatre, developed at The Lark and The Playwrights’ Foundation, 2008-11. 3F, 3M, running time 90 minutes.
Based on a true story, this play chronicles my own history with murder, resurrection, and environmental catastrophe in suburban New Jersey. guest-starring the Jersey Devil, or someone a lot like him. Premiered at Salvage Vanguard in 2008, named Best Performance by The Austin Chronicle. Developed in Soho Rep Writer/Director and Phase 2 Labs, 2006-07. 2F, 2M. 70 minutes.
I adapted Friedrich Schiller’s Maria Stuart without actually reading it, sort of (I eventually read it). Contains elements of Kaufman & Hart, Chekhov, and nuts or traces of nuts (i.e., my family. Though any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental, gramma!). Premiered at Woolly Mammoth, 2008; subsequent productions at Theater Schmeater and REDEYE, 2009-10; named Best of Fringe by The Seattle Times. Published by Samuel French. Developed in Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and read at Dog & Pony in Chicago, 2007-09. 5F, 1M, 110 minutes.
Moloch and Other Demons
A totally insane thing I wrote that had a really terrible production (no offense, actors, it wasn’t your fault). It’s about an invasion of hell by heaven, and it turns out pretty much like the Iraq War did. Heavily inspired by the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Francis Bacon. I’m thinking of rewriting it with act one as a Beijing Opera and act two as a tight one-act about war. Developed with HERE, Salvage Vanguard, The Brick, and Circle X, 2002-04. Cast and length flexible, not too many if you use a lot of puppets.
The New Jersey Book of the Dead
A labor drama in an office park in Jersey City. Contains surveillance and mystical elements. Kind of a piece of juvenilia. Premiered in Indiana at the Bloomington Playwrights Project in 2004, produced in Austin, TX, with The Vestige Group, 2007.
Safe in Heaven Dead
A spoken word play about the Beat writers responding to the 21st century. Commissioned by The Denver Center, developed in The Civilians’ R&D Lab, 2008-11.
This Storm is what we Call Progress
My Jewish identity play, about heresy, the Kabbalah, the price of power, and schizophrenia. Also featuring the historically inaccurate Yiddishized ghosts of Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin. Premiered with Rorschach Theater, 2008. Developed with Soho Rep, The Lark, Theater J, and P73, 2003-06. 3F, 2M, 2 hours.
A musical adaptation of 1001 with composer Marisa Michelson. Like 1001 toggles between various literary and theatrical styles, Scheherazade uses various musical styles, ranging from contemporary music-theatre to spoken word to Meredith Monk. Developed in Montclair State University’s New Works Initiative, New Dramatists’ PlayTime and Creativity Fund programs, and TheatreWorks’ Writers’ Retreat, 2010-11.
Staff writer for NBC/Dreamworks hour drama, premiering mid-season 2012.
An original pilot, an hour comedy-drama about the publishing industry. Currently in progress.
30 Rock: Hugging and Learning
My 30 Rock spec
Modern Family: Heroes and Villains
My Modern Family spec
A dark comedy. Antigone is charged with the crime of burying her brothers — even though the war left no bodies for her to bury. Haemon could take over the kingdom if he ever stops playing video games and trying to kill his father. And airline pretzels and huge corporate deals cannot satisfy Erisycthon’s hunger. In this postmodern take on Antigone, daily life becomes mythic in the urban non-landscape of malls, highways, and airports. 2 females, 2 males, 2 either (5-22 actors possible: 2-10 females, 3-12 males). Staged reading at The Williamstown Theater Festival, 2005, to be read at Lights Out Theatre in Chicago, 2011. Published in Three Classics, from Playscripts Inc.
In His Bold Gaze My Ruin Is Writ Large
A wacky short take on Racine’s Phaedra, using found text from martial arts message boards, some puppets, and lots of cheap red wine. Developed at the Orchard Project with members of Radiohole, The Production Company, and Drama of Works, 2007, and published in KNOCK, and in Three Classics, from Playscripts Inc. Cast flexible. 20 minutes.
The Island of Never Giving Way on Your Desire
A site-specific play about the secret origin of Roosevelt Island, inspired by the writings of Anne Carson and Antonin Artaud, and I don’t know, Brigadoon? Performed site-specifically with Sanctuary Playwrights Theatre, 2004. Published in KNOCK. 1F, 3M, 15 minutes.
Kawaisoo (The Pity of Things)
A one-woman show about consumerism and loss post 9/11, published in The Back Stage Book of New American Short Plays 2005 and performed all over the place, 2002-11. Next production upcoming at Motherlodge in Louisville, KY, 2011. 1F, 20 minutes.
A creation myth of the sun and moon, as told by a cokehead. Premiered at Theatre of NOTE, 2007. A very short piece for three actors.
Basically Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, using the officially sanctioned torture techniques used at Guantanamo Bay. Fun for the whole family! Written for Theaters Against War, where it was directed by HERE’s Kristin Marting, 2007. Published in Three Classics, from Playscripts Inc. 1M, 3 any, 15 minutes.
The Southridge High Forensics Team Presents Assorted Tales of Robin Hood
A YA comedy commissioned and produced by The Keen Company and Playscripts Inc.’s “Keen Teens” program, 2009. A high school forensics team tries to do Robin Hood and it goes off the rails. Hilarity ensues! 30 minutes, large cast, for kids, published by Playscripts Inc.
A goofy take on the story of Exodus, meant to be performed with a flexible cast making puppets out of whatever can be found at a dinner table, including the food. Originally written for The Foundry Theater’s Thanksgiving Dinner, fully produced at Collaboraction’s Sketchbook X Festival, 2009-10.
1001 and Maria/Stuart are available on Amazon
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