Atomic Field by Kenneth Robbins

Drama/ 4 characters, 2 Men, 2 Women/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis:
Howard is an irascible and stubborn WWII veteran. He’s also dying. When his college-professor son, Winston, returns home for a visit, the truth about his wartime service begins to emerge. Is it really smoking that’s caused Howard’s lung cancer? Or does it have something to do with his company’s visit to Nagasaki just weeks after it was devastated by an atomic bomb?

And why did Howard remain in the military for so long after the war ended — years that, even now, he won’t talk about? With searing theatricality and emotion, Atomic Field explores the lingering effects of war on one family.

Character and production notes

Winner of the 1996 Charles Getchell New Play Award presented by the Southeastern Theatre Conference.

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Contact information:Amateur and professional rights:
Lettie Lee
Ann Elmo Agency, Inc.
60 E. 42nd Street, Suite 437
New York, NY 10165
Telephone: (212) 661-2880; fax: (212) 661-2883.

About the Playwright: Kenneth Robbins is the author of four published novels and 21 published plays, as well as four collections of literary works. His work has received the Toni Morrison Prize for Fiction, the Associated Writing Programs Novel Award, the Charles Getchell Award, and a Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award, among others.His works for the stage have been produced by the New Works Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Nashville Academy Theatre, Theatre Atlanta Off Peachtree, and the Project Arts Center, Dublin, Ireland. His radio play, Dynamite Hill, was aired over National Public Radio and BBC Radio 3.

Atomic Field was first produced by World Premiere Theatre in Eureka, California. It has also been produced by KSEC (Kensai Seinen Engeki Centre) in Tokyo, Japan, in a Japanese translation by Akira Wakabayashi.

Babes In America by Carole Clement

Comedy-drama/ 7 Characters, 3 Women, 3 Men, 1 either gender/ Full Length, Two acts

Synopsis: (From NewYorkTheatre.com): “Babes in America is a new play by Carole Clement about a woman named Liz Small who is suffering from information overload. An obedient wife and mother of two, Liz finds herself confronting the absurdities of the Information Age — ‘information overload and experiential underload.’ Struggling against the inertia of her own values, she must move beyond the expectations of others while avoiding the ‘Siren Song’ of new technology.”

(From www.offoffoff.com): “We’re in a perfect little suburban housing complex where the husbands go out to work and the wives stay home and scan stacks of newspapers into their computers, so their children will never be information-deprived for the rest of their lives. Liz Small (Kate Lunsford) — who’s slightly out of her mind as a mom, forcing her two kids (Alexandra Leeper, Ryan Paulson) to continue their babyhood well into their teens — is the first to crack. She starts to spiral down to reality and wonder whether scanning all day long is really the way to educate the family.

“She has another idea — go outside the cookie-cutter house and see what’s out there.

“‘I think I could learn from experience!’ she imagines.

“‘Even if you could, says her skeptical hubby, who hopes to achieve a totally electronic existence, ‘do you realize how long it would take? Your whole life!'”

Character and production notes

“An often-inspired comedy about a gated-community family on the edge between going totally digital and pulling the plug on their technological rat race . . . .

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Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Carole Clement
8371 Villa Marina Court
Mentor, Ohio
USA 44060-2039
(440) 209-0634
clement@ncweb.com
About the Playwright: Carole Clement lives in the Cleveland area and is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Cleveland Playwright’s Salon, and past President and Director of Development for the International Centre for Women Playwrights.Among the competitions that have recognized her works are the Sundance Film Festival, Jane Chambers Competition, Last Frontier (Edward Albee) Competition and the Eugene O’Neill Competition.When not writing, Clement is probably gardening, pumping iron, ballroom dancing, or digging on archaeological expeditions.Babes in America was premiered by the Breakaway Theatre Company at Theatre for the New City, New York City in September, 2001.

Babes In America gets off plenty of clever lines, poking fun at gated communities, homeowners’ associations and the bright electronic future . . . . It takes on [its] big subject with wit, imagination and a strong sense of purpose.”
– www.offoffoff.com

Belles of the Mill — Book by Rachel Rubin Ladutke, Music & Lyrics by Jill Marshall-Work

Musical Drama/ 14 Characters, 7 Women, 6 Men, 1 Boy, plus chorus of 3 to 6 Women/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: (From The Off-Off-Broadway Review [oobr.com]): “Out of the dark rises the rhythmic sound of machines at work. The lights fade up on a slow-motion tableau of women miming working in a mill. They start to sing, inaudible over the machines until with a collective stamp of the foot the machines stop and we are treated to the opening number, ‘Pennies in our Pay,’ leading into the defiant ‘We Strike.’

“It’s a strong, effective opening to a show with a strong, serious subject. The musical is an adaptation by Rachel Rubin Ladutke of her own play; this in turn is based on the real-life events of 1912 when immigrant female workers in the mill-town of Lawrence, Massachusetts decided to strike for decent pay in the face of police brutality, the National Guard, and town officials. Ultimately successful, their victory came at a great personal cost to the families involved.

“Ladutke’s musical tells this story through the experiences of a few individual characters, although a handful of smaller roles and the chorus of mill-workers help to suggest the wider community. The story follows two main families — first that of Sarah, the midwife whose license is revoked due to her support of women’s suffrage, her shopkeeper brother-in-law Hiram, and her nephew Jacob. Into their life comes Irish teenager Bridget.

“In a sense, her journey is that of the show: first introduced as the sexual victim of her boss Albert, she seeks help from Sarah; confronts the entrenched ideas of her uncle Father Paul; talks back to the unsympathetic chief of police; confronts her romantic feelings for Sean, the Irish policeman; and ends up as a spokesperson for downtrodden workers through the encouragement of union organizer Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.”

The first act of Belles of the Mill may be read by clicking on the “Read It Now” button above. To obtain a complete reading copy, please see the Contact Information.

“If you’re familiar with The Pajama Game, you’re probably aware that a musical comedy about labor relations can be entertaining. But you might not be aware of how much entertainment can be wrung from what is otherwise a musical drama . . . . Ladutke has highlighted many of the subject’s strong dramatic possibilities, and brought the conflicting emotions of all the characters to the forefront. The book is swift and compact, covering an amazing amount of ground in two hours . . . . the strike numbers are particularly strong and explosive.”
– Talkin’Broadway.com

A “Best of the ‘Fest” selection at the 2002 Midtown International Theatre Festival

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Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Rachel Rubin Ladutke
Tel.: 212-875-7785
Email: rachel@rachelwrites.com
www.rachelwrites.com
or
Jill Marshall-Work
MusicalMakers@yahoo.com
http://www.musicalmakers.org/
jillmarshallwork.html

About the Playwright: Rachel Rubin Ladutke is a playwright based in New York City. Grace Notes, her first full-length drama, has been widely excerpted in various monologue and scene anthologies. As one of four winners of the Pittsburgh New Plays Competition, it premiered at Pittsburgh’s Gemini Theatre in February 2000. Later that same year, it was staged at The Looking Glass Theatre in NYC.

The Belles of the Mill, a fact-based historical epic, was a stageplay Finalist in the 2001 Moondance Film Festival, and Runner-Up in the Coe College Playwriting Symposia and in America’s Best Writing Competition. It has been excerpted in three anthologies. Her latest full-length play, Clary’s Exodus, was awarded Honorable Mention in the prestigious Jane Chambers competition.

Rachel is a member of the Looking Glass Theatre Playwrights’ Lab, Membership Director of the International Centre for Women Playwrights, and an Associate Member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and of the Dramatists’ Guild.

Belles of the Mill was first produced at the RAW Space as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival in July, 2002. It was directed by Arlene Schulman.

Betterland by David Lohrey

Drama/ 6 Characters, 3 Women, 3 Men/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: (from Absolutearts.com): “In Betterland, a veteran schoolteacher, faced with dismissal, discovers that her principles are no longer valued by the institution she serves. Her enlightenment is triggered by the arrival of the first genuine student she’s had in years. The other high schoolers, catching the subversive scent of curiosity, set into motion events that compel the teacher’s final act of defiance. Finally, defeated, she is nonetheless set free by her realization that neither she nor the student is welcome in a system devoted to the unexceptional.”

From Show Business: “As the play opens, Miss Vanderhoff is being pressured into transfer or early retirement by school administrator Stiles due to a single ‘incident’ marking an otherwise officially acceptable career . . . . The story of an intimate relationship that develops between Miss Vanderhoff and Lafayette, a transfer student placed in her High School English class, is renacted as Vanderhoff relates it to Stiles.

“Lafayette epitomizes everything popular culture has led us to believe characterizes ‘inner city youth.’ He’s black, he’s hostile, he’s done time in juvenile detention for car theft. But much more than a menace to society, Lafayette turns out to be the first ‘real student’ Vanderhoff has ever had. He begins to show a personalized enthusiasm for critical thinking that contrasts the years of resistance or passionless, grade-focused ambition she has come to expect from her students.

“In spite of her continual claim not to ‘love children,’ which she sees as a prevailingly sentimental and unrealistic reason to pursue the needed job of teaching, Vanderhoff develops a concern and interest in Lafayette’s well-being that eventually alienates her other students — especially Billy. Out of resentment for the new teacher’s pet and a fear of summer school, Billy pushes both student and teacher to points of no return through manipulation of Lafayette’s insecurities and a brutal attack upon Miss Vanderhoff’s already harried defenses. Supported by a cabal of students, administrators, and parents, Billy then engineers the downfall of both.”

“Raises a host of difficult questions about education in general, and shows the precarious balance between politics, ethics and practicality . . . . When the cast came out for their final bow, it took me a long moment to remember that I had not been again sitting in a classroom, led by the type of teacher whose commitment I’d remember gratefully for the rest of my life.”
– Show Business

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Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
David Lohrey
411 Walnut Street #7829
Green Cove Springs, Florida
USA 32043
E-mail: lohr_burgh@hotmail.com

About the Playwright: David Lohrey completed his undergraduate degree at UC, Berkeley. Later, he studied creative writing at San Francisco State University, UCLA, and California State University, Los Angeles where he completed his MA. David now teaches at the college level in New Jersey, and is Literary Manager at Theatre-Studio, Inc. in New York City.David’s plays have received productions and staged readings across the country, including Group Rep and FirstStage in Los Angeles, The Long Beach Playhouse, the Dayton Playhouse, the Turnip Company, ArtGroup, and TRU’s 2nd Annual NYC Play Festival.

His work has received awards in competitions such as New Century Writers’ Competition, Riverside Stage Company’s Founder’s Award Competition, Harvest Festival of New Plays at the Sonoma County Rep, the 1998 Writers’ Digest Writing Competition, the 1999 Writer’s DigestWriting Competition, and the Generic Theater Company’s Dog Days Festival. For three years, David has been a voting member for TheatreLA’s annual Ovation Awards. He has been a member of the Dramatists Guild since 1982, and recently joined the Play Selection Committee at the Long Beach Playhouse.

Betterland was first produced by the Long Beach Playhouse, Long Beach, California in 1999.

Black Widow by Paul Thain

Drama/ 12 Characters, 6 men, 6 women/ Full Length, Two Acts

Act One of “Black Widow” may be read by clicking on the “Read It Now” button above. To buy the complete text in its Samuel French print version, click here.

Synopsis: Murder, madness, ghosts, and retribution are all themes of this complex and compelling drama.

Lord Arlington is dead, apparently from food poisoning. Obsessed by Hamlet, his daughter Emily becomes convinced her mother Cressida and family friend Richard Harker are responsible for her father’s death, and so resolves to exact revenge

Set in the Edwardian era, but with a very modern sensibility, this intensely theatrical work offers 12 strong roles, and can be performed on a virtually empty stage

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Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur rights:
Samuel French UK, Ltd.
Professional rights:
Casarotto-Ramsay Ltd.
National House
60-66 Wardour Street
London W1V 3HP
Tel : +44 20 7287-4450
Fax : +44 20 7287-9128
agents@casarotto.co.uk
Playwright’s website: www.stageplays.com/today.htm

About the Playwright: Paul Thain was born in South Shields, UK. Inspired by his acting experience with the National Youth Theatre, he gave up life as a bus conductor, studied A-levels, and then read Drama & Theatre Arts at Birmingham University. When his first child was born he left teaching to become primary parent and playwright. His second radio play, The Biggest Sandcastle in the World, won a BBC Giles Cooper Award as one of the Best Radio Plays of 1981, and he has subsequently written many more including The Paradise Machine, for which the BBC’s production won the 1995 European Broadcasting Union Award for Best European Radio Drama.

Other work includes four commissioned screenplays, as yet unproduced, and five stage plays. His plays have been published and performed throughout the world, particularly the UK, Germany, Italy, Russia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Black Widow premiered at The Library Theatre, Sheffield, UK in April 1998.

Book of Days by John Chambers

Drama/ 6 Characters, 3 Men, 3 Women/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: In late 18th-century England, Thomas Day, a disciple of Rousseau, decides the way to nuptial felicity is to mould a female into the perfect wife. He selects two pre-pubescent girls from charitable institutions and determines to marry one of them — with results that turn his well-ordered world on its head. Based on a true story.

 

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Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
John Chambers
Email: artistan38@tiscali.co.uk

About the Playwright: John’s stage plays include: Stiff Stuff; Shouting at the Radio; Raw Material; Albert Finney Doesn’t Live Here Any More; Robin Hood – The Raven’s Revenge – all at the Library Theatre Company where he was Arts Council Resident Dramatist; Two Wheel Tricycle (Contact Theatre); Silver Lining (Oldham Coliseum); Yoiks Oiks (Bolton Octagon); The Marigold Trilogy(Real Life Theatre. M.E.N. Best Fringe Award); Balling the Blues (One Step);City of Gold (Arden).

John has written three epics for Lancaster Dukes Promenade Seasons – Tales of King Arthur, Jungle Book and The Three Musketeers, and several pieces for/with young people at Manchester Youth Theatre and M6 where he was also Resident Writer.

Co-written theatre work includes: Scandals – The Life & Liver of Frank Randlewith Keith Clifford (which John also directed); Crazy People with Marvin Close (LTC); I’m Marrying Ryan Giggs (Robbie Fowler in Liverpool!) with Dave Simpson (Liverpool Playhouse & national tour); Koff with Brian Morgan (One Step).

He has written around 100 hours of television including: The Bill (Thames);Emmerdale (Granada-YTV). Working on it during BAFTA Best Soap year 2001); Eastenders; Runaway Bay (YTV / Lifetime); 14 episodes of Children’s Ward (Granada. Including RTS Best Children’s Drama Series); 3 fifteen minute films for BBC Education’s Turning Points, (which won BAFTA and RTS awards, 1999); Away From Home and Grease Lightning – 30 minute plays for BBC2 (Northwest); Dramarama (ITV).

Book of Days awaits its first production.

 

Cafe Hollywood by Ron Grant

Drama/ 10 characters, 5 Women, 5 Men/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis:
Delilah, owner of a seedy but decent Hollywood coffee shop, is a one time actress who manages to retain the elegance of her salad days as she fantasizes over her youth in Broadway theater. Claude, an aging writer, plugs away at his craft, taking heart in the thought that Shaw wrote until he was 91, so that his day may yet come.

Then there is the prostitute, Carrie, struggling to break away from her past but bounded by the thugs who will not allow her to slip out of their clutches. Delilah sees in Carrie “the daughter I never had,” while Claude is ready to risk his life to keep her from harm

The characters cling to each other to ward off a fate they choose not to recognize as inevitable, until the arrival on the scene of another down-and-outer, who seems to fit into their pattern and wins Delilah’s easily aroused protective instints.

Disarming as he may appear, however, Gene does not share the other’ hapless vulnerability. Possessed by a psychopathic hatred of prostitutes, he is a fugitive from justice, wanted in New York for murder, and anyone who recognizes him becomes his victim. As the story races to its tragic climax, three more are sacificed to his crazed motives.

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Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Bloomin Desert Productions
2165 East Rochelle Avenue #17
Las Vegas, Nevada
USA 89119
e-mail: goldthroat2003@netzero.com
Ph: (702) 735-9568
(702) 349-0298

About the Playwright: Ron Grant is a writer, actor, producer, and musician living in Las Vegas. His other plays include Elvis Did It, which has been staged in Holland and the Dominican Republic, and The Cuckoo’s Nest Casino.

Cafe Hollywood was first produced at the International Student Centre, Los Angeles in 2004 and subsequently at the Finally-A-Unicorn Emporium, Huntington Beach, California.

 

Claire by C.E. Gatchalian

Drama/ 4 Characters, 2 Women, 2 Men/ One Act

Synopsis:
(from The Georgia Straight): “Claire explores our relationships to masculinity which, in this play, is a relentlessly abusive force. A character called 1 is the mean, beautiful daddy figure who wields a none-too-subtle phallic symbol: a baseball bat . . . . 1 tells us how his father used to beat up his mom with the bat in consensual erotic encounters until 1 decided to off his old man, at which point his mother begged him to take over his father’s role. ‘So I did what I was told,’ he explains. ‘I beat the shit out of the old cunt.’

“He eventually murdered his mother, too, and has gone on to relationships with 2 and 3. He calls 2 ‘Cunt’ and 3 ‘Faggot.'”. . . The play asks how, as adults, we can find a satisfying expression for love that has been imprinted by abuse . . . . A character named Claire, a sexualized 10-year-old — in the play’s overlapping realities, she is 1’s daughter — embodies the origins of the conundrum . . . . Gatchalian does some subtle things with the reversals of power in abusive relationships; both 2 and 3 become sadistic for awhile. He explores his characters’ fruitless attempts to escape into anonymous, blindfolded sensuality, and their inevitable return to a desire for more personal intimate connections.”

 

“Gatchalian creates a one-act play so sexual, so violent and so sexually violent that it could encompass the decades-long traumas of an octogenarian . . . . Claire is evidence of greater, and no doubt even more disturbing, things to come from the writer.”
The Vancouver Sun

“I applaud Gatchalian’s willingness to go to dark places . . . . He questions the possibility of [intimate] connections in a sexual culture in which masculinity is, by definition, dehumanized.”
Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

“Gatchalian is well on his way to making his mark in contemporary drama.”
CBC Radio

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Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Zero Summer Theatre and Literary Arts
Attention: C.E. Gatchalian
1710 Cotton Drive (Main Floor)
Vancouver, B.C.
CANADA
V5N 3V2
Ph.: (604) 254-2124, ext. 1
E-mail: zerosummer2002@yahoo.ca

About the Playwright: C. E. Gatchalian is a writer based in Vancouver. He studied Creative Writing and Theatre at the University of British Columbia (BFA, 1996; MFA, 2002). His first play, Motifs & Repetitions, aired on Canada’s Bravo! channel in 1997. His next play, Claire, was produced in Vancouver in 1999. His writings on the arts have appeared in numerous publications, including Xtra! West, The Vancouver Sun, and The Georgia Straight. His first book, Motifs & Repetitions & Other Plays, is forthcoming.

Claire was first produced at The Blinding Light!! Theatre, Vancouver, British Columbia in 1999.

Close to Home by Eric G. Westerlund

Close to Home

Drama/ 2 Characters, 2 Women/ One Act

Synopsis: Freshly unemployed, Cheryl finds her troubles multiplying when her ailing and stressed-out mother accuses Marcy, Cheryl’s younger sister, of taking some family heirlooms. Lying to protect Marcy and to spare her worn-out Mom, Cheryl claims to have the jewelry. When Marcy arrives, Cheryl confronts her. They begin a dance of avoidance and attack, revealing secrets along the way, culminating in Cheryl’s confession of helplessness in the face of their mother’s illness.

Close to Home examines the secrets and tensions that both preserve and undermine family harmony.

Playwright’s Notes

“Entertaining, thought-provoking theater.”
– NoHoArtsDistrict.com

“Well written . . . a thought-provoking, touching view of relationships and self-image.”
-The Tolucan Times

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Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information: Amateur and professional rights:
Eric G. Westerlund
Ph.: 323-414-3348
E-mail: gulliblequahog@gmail.com

About the Playwright: Eric Westerlund began his professional life working at Arby’s to insure an upward career trajectory. He played in several rock bands and wrote some scripts. In January 2002, his first short film, Call Now! . . . Girls Are Waiting, picked up an Audience Award at the L.A. Film School’s Friday Night Shorts program. The film has since played numerous festivals. Close to Home is his first stage work. Eric has also published essays and short fiction, and holds a B.A. in English, Summa Cum Laude, from Williams College.

Close to Home premiered at the Actors Workout Studio, Los Angeles, California, 2002.

Confetti by Broken Gopher Ink

Comedy-Drama/ 7 characters, 5 Men, 2 Women/ Full Length, 35 scenes

Synopsis: Gary lives with his middle-aged mother, Geg, and is “in a relationship” with Lindahl, but his real love is his drums. Maybe you’d prefer making loud sounds to growing-up, too, if your Mother was having sex with your cousin (her nephew, that’s right) and your girlfriend wants to bring her “emotional heart into harmonious balance.”

But in 35 punchy, sardonic scenes punctuated with original songs, this smart and unsentimental comedy manages to suggest that even someone as messed-up as Gary can manage to achieve, if not harmonious balance, a degree less mess-uppedness.

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Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Broken Gopher Ink,
1521 9th Ave,
Greeley, Colorado,
USA, 80631.
Ph.: 970-356-4893
Email: brokengopher@hotmail.com
Playwrights Website: www.brokengopher.com

About the Playwright:Broken Gopher Ink are a pair of humble westerners whose delightfully crude and vicious plays have been produced all over the USA and small parts of Europe, but especially in New York City off-Broadway theatres, where Broken Gopher Ink acquired their bogus literary credibility. No one is sure who they are or what they want, but their deliciously low cholesterol mega-monologue play, My Heart and the Real World, has received eight separate off-Broadway productions (including two UK shows) thus cementing Broken Gopher Ink‘s reputation as cult failures.

Confetti was premiered at The American Theatre of Actors, in New York City, October, 1995.

Also by Broken Gopher Ink:
My Heart and the Real World