Joseph Papp once said that every playwright writes the same play over and over again; Mr. Papp wasn't entirely wrong, but at the very least I'm doing my damndest to write that same play in different ways every single time, from romance to dystopia to blank verse to absurdism. I'm trying here, Joe, I really am.
Brief summaries of my fourteen full-length plays below; excerpts and full scripts available on request.
Over the course of a bizarre and hotly contested election, Democratic operative Mark Walker has his hands full keeping The Candidate, a Connecticut senator with the force of the party but the indifference of the people, on target, as her very real despair over the very nature of what Democracy requires, as well as the tiny matter of money missing from her charity, begins to build.
The Republican candidate may do nothing but spout and stomp, but under the thoroughly ethically unbound former governor Dominic Fortunato, he does, somehow, have a chance, and his fourth press secretary, journeywoman Sarah Jane Tyler, he might even have the appearance of a cohesive message. But will Sarah Jane, or what goodness there is in her, survive the unwanted attentions of Dominic, and a campaign designed to win at any cost?
It's August in Bridgeport, NY, a cute, not terribly expensive town in Long Island's North Fork. Over 24 hours in a curious rented house with bright walls and no locks on the door, six 30-something friends and one special guest, a 17-year-old townie picked up near the town carousel, will drink too much, take too much of too many drugs, and go through a collective, premature mid-life crisis.
--Produced as a workshop as part of American Renaissance Theater Company's WinterWorks 2016, at CAP21, New York, NY, January 2016; dir. Kathleen Swan
At 35, Magda might not quite be where she hoped to be, spending her days in a Carpal Tunnel-inducing temp job and her nights sorta seeing an idiot drummer, eleven years her junior. But when her Greenpoint apartment is invaded by a mysterious, constant, piercing beeping, something all the 311 calls in the world won't get rid of, her ramshackle life, and her sanity, are shaken.
(Recommended for pairing with the curtain-raiser Miranda, Under the Volcano)
Roxy hasn't left her apartment in two and half years, ever since the day her girlfriend died in a plane crash.
D is dying of an autoimmune disorder just as the most amazing beats of his career are spilling out of his mind, and he can't let anyone, even his ex-wife or his son, get in the way.
And as for the Lost, he's already in the shadowland, forgetting how to forget, and hoping for a way out.
A triptych play, After is a magical realistic meditation on the many in-between spaces between life and death.
--Produced by Sanguine Theater Company at the Chain Theater, Queens, NY, May 2015; dir. Logan Reed
--Winner of Sanguine Theater Company's Project Playwright 2015
Two 16-year-olds meet at an artsy pre-college program, where they flirt, fight, but are ultimately unable to handle the love they stumble into. 16 years and three Facebook messages later, they're face-to-face again, drinking bourbon in a hotel suite, and innocent nostalgia is turning into something far more difficult.
A divorced hedge fund manager, facing the emptiness of his own life and the marriage of his rock star best friend to the only woman he almost loved, will make deception an art as he tears their love and their lives apart. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello, and written in modern blank verse.
Set in the autocratic Independent Republic of Soteria (West Soteria), Aura is the story of the Telifan family: two parents, two children (down from three, due to the middle child taking “happy fire” during military service), living in a prefab box with doors that lock at curfew, and a console broadcasting state news that can never be turned off; as the need for survival and the need for something more drives them all, neither the family nor Soteria will survive.
Three college friends and Red Sox fans, three years removed from school and golden boys no more, find (and sometimes lose) genuine love, employment, artistic inspiration, exceedingly cheap whiskey, marriage counseling, and something close to enough to maturity, over the backdrop of the 2007 championship season.
Tuesday, a troubled poet, and Sky Baker, a recovering alcoholic, are brother and sister survivors of the brutal commune known as The Meadow, forced together again after Tuesday nearly overdoses on Ambien after 13 nights without sleep; ultimately, Sky cannot save Tuesday from the darkness of their past, but will Tuesday bring Sky back to The Meadow, and out of his own mind?
Dan “Cannon” Samuels is ranked but un-reputed heavyweight, with a second-rate manager and a marriage collapsed into open infidelity, but a surprise shot at the title, and a new, unorthodox trainer will give him the chance to be the fighter he was always meant to be; however, is winning the title the hard part, or is not losing everything else in the process far, far harder?
The fears, jealousies, sexual confusions, mushroom-induced delusions, and problems (substance abuse-related and otherwise) of a group of Yale graduates explode as they party hard and hold tightly to their last summer in New Haven, in a modern Chekhovian comedy where every act is a different party, ticking closer to that much-delayed time: the time to let go.
--Produced as part of Manhattan Repertory Theatre's WinterFest, February 2007, New York, NY; dir. Constance Thackaberry
Amelia, a self-serious grad student, and Jack, a painter incapable of keeping a day job, are deeply in love, but when Jack loses his apartment and moves in with Amelia, one way or another the young couple’s relationship must change, and young love makes young mistakes.
--Produced by Love Creek Productions at the Directors' Club, August 2006, New York, NY; dir. Erin Smiley
Bob is the most brilliant songwriter alive, and his hit song, a 30-second piece that brings listeners to near-orgasm, is everywhere, but there are problems: his lead guitarist and bassist won’t end their destructive on-again, off-again relationship, sure, but even more pressing than that, or Bob’s addiction to dust (the substance itself, not a drug by another name) is that Bob is a robot, and “robot rock” is considered the most dangerous substance of all.
On December 11, 2001, two months after the attacks, three men wait at 8th Street for a subway train, and with the help of an interloper—a homeless kid named Wonderboy who has the ability to read minds—they one by one all go insane. An absurdist tragicomedy beyond politics.