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.

Guns, Shackles & Wintercoats by M. Stefan Strozier

Drama/ 8 characters, 6 Men, 2 Women/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis (from The Compulsive Reader): “Sergeant John Brown has returned to the States from his tour in Iraq with a wife he met in Germany. His traumatic experiences as a soldier have left him with serious psychological problems; he is unable to keep a job, and he and his wife are experiencing marital difficulties. He feels he has post traumatic stress syndrome, but the Veterans administration doctors disagree.”

From NewYorkTheatre.com: “He can’t seem to hold a job. His whole world is falling apart. Strozier shows us the various pitfalls he encounters while trying to adjust to civilian life, and, via well-written flashbacks, takes us back to the battlegrounds.”

“If Strozier’s purpose is to get people to talk and think about our veterans, he has succeeded . . . . this play will find its way deeper into our hearts, where there is definitely room for it.”
NewYorkTheatre.com

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Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information: Amateur and professional rights:
M. Stefan Strozier
303 Park Avenue South
Suite 1440
New York, NY 10010-3657
Email: mstefanstrozier@gmail.com
Playwright’s website: www.mstefanstrozier.org

About the Playwright: M. Stefan Strozier has been published in Gallery, War Heroes; the Taj Mahal Review; Entropic Desires (online); the op-ed pages of the Chicago Sun Times; in several poetry collections; and in a self-published collection of short stories, Sickness of the Young. His other plays include The Whales and The Tragedy of Abraham Lincoln, both produced by La Muse Venale Acting Troupe on New York City. He has also produced and directed numerous play off-off-Broadway, and is founder and president of the ezine Audience.Guns, Shackles & Wintercoats was first performed at The Workshop Theater Company, New York City, in August, 2004, and produced by La Muse Venale Acting Troupe at Where Eagles Dare Theatre as part of the 2005 Midtown International Theatre Festival.
If you prefer, click here to buy a printed copy.

Perfect World by Linda Stockham

Drama/ 11 Characters, 7 Women, 4 Men / Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: An accomplished New York stage actress is appointed to head the “Commission on the Enhancement of Family Values through the Arts.” But when her disaffected younger brother shows up unexpectedly at a New Years’ dinner, resurrecting memories long buried, Rosalind’s perfect world as “wife, mother and career woman” is called into question, with shocking results.

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Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information: Amateur and professional rights:
Linda Stockham
CSU San Bernardino
Department of Anthropology
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino, CA
USA 92407
Playwright’s e-mail: lindastockham@netzero.net
Alternative e-mail: stockham813@hotmail.com

About the Playwright: Linda Stockham is a cultural anthropologist/playwright. She received a B.A. in Anthropology from California State College San Bernardino and her Interdisciplinary M.A. in Anthropological Studies from California State University San Bernardino. She has had plays produced in New York City and Los Angeles, in various festivals and on the radio. She lives and works in San Bernardino, California.

Perfect World was premiered by The Orison Group Entertainment Division, in conjunction with the Professional Actors Counsel, A Repertory Theatre, Hollywood, California in December, 1999.

Excavations by Eugene Stickland

Comedy-Drama/ 4 Characters, 3 Men, 1 Woman, 1 Pianist/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: Imagine if David Lynch or Franz Kafka travelled deep into the coulees of Saskatchewan and gave us their warped insight into modern day palaeontology. A palaeontologist, a landowner, a defrocked minister, and his sister are linked through the discovery and subsequent excavation of a T-Rex dinosaur.

This new play by Eugene Stickland (A Guide to Mourning and Midlife) is a bold prairie gothic exploring the virtues of science vs. religion, procreation vs. extinction, and our search for meaningful relationships.

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Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information: Amateur and professional rights:
Eugene Stickland
Calgary, AB
Canada
T2T 0M8
Ph.: (403) 244-8941
E-mail: eugenius@telusplanet.net
Website: http://eugenestickland.com/

About the Playwright: Eugene Stickland began writing plays following the completion of his M.F.A. at York University in 1984. Ten years later, at Alberta Theatre Projects playRites ’94, his play Some Assembly Required received its premiere production. Since then, the play has had 15 productions around Canada and the US. It was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Drama in 1995. During his tenure as Playwright-in-Residence at ATP, Eugene went on to write Sitting on Paradise (1996), A Guide to Mourning (1998), Appetite (2000) and Midlife (2002).

Excavations was first produced by Theatre Network at The Roxy Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta, opening October 2, 2002.

All Clear by Eugene Stickland

Drama/ 5 characters, 3 Men, 2 Women/ Full Length, 90 mins.

Synopsis (from Fast Forward Weekly): “Delaney and his family are trapped in their suburban home in the orange-alert aftermath of some devastating attack — perhaps nuclear, perhaps germ warfare — waiting for the ‘all clear’ that will let them re-emerge. The doors and windows are sealed with plastic sheeting and duct tape, the power has been cut, they have no way of communicating with the outside world, and all they can see of it through the living-room window is a shroud of orange fog.

“While Delaney sits sullenly at a table, trying to write poetry but mainly polishing off the last of the Scotch, the other family members wander in and out of the room aimlessly, seemingly wanting to connect with one another but unable to.

“Maddie, Delaney’s bitter wife, wants a divorce. Billie, their spoiled-brat adult daughter, wants her cell phone, CNN, and her boyfriend. Bobby, their teenage son, has been damaged mentally by exposure to the fog, his brain stuck absurdly on the last things he saw while standing in a 7-Eleven ogling a copy of Maxim when the attack hit. ‘Big Gulp,’ he says, over and over. And ‘orange.’ Complicating matters . . . is the presence of German architect Braun, whose affair with Maddie many years ago drove the wedge between her and Delaney . . . .”

At its best, the play functions as a dark satire of the North American nuclear family at its lowest ebb, a sort ofEndgame in suburbia. Everyone is self-absorbed and no one knows how to reach out — in one sadly telling scene, Billie tells her father she is scared. ‘Yeah. Me too,’ says Delaney and then, instead of hugging his frightened daughter, he merely pats her shoulder and walks away. And no one has a clue how to survive in these dire conditions — the kind in which the other half of the world too often finds itself. ‘I think we were in the Age of Certainty,’ says Delaney, and the phrase, stuffed with smug Western complacency, has a terrible ring to it.”

“Offers a stark and unforgettably moving requiem for the end of the world as we know it . . . . Simply one of the most honest, courageous, tightly written, best acted, and emotionally gripping plays to have graced Alberta Theatre Projects’ playRites Festival in recent years.”
– The Calgary Herald

“Perhaps [Stickland’s] darkest play yet. . . . . On the one hand, the play continues the theme that has run through most of Stickland’s playRites plays — contemporary people (usually adult families), in a world of eroding values and traditions, trying to deal with change. On the other hand, the playwright has refused to sugar the bitterness with comedy — unless it’s the bleak kind found in the likes of Samuel Beckett.”
– Fast Forward Weekly

“Bleakly funny.”
– Vue Weekly

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information: Amateur and professional rights:
Eugene Stickland
1517 21st Avenue S.W.
Calgary, AB
Canada
T2T 0M8.
Ph.: (403) 244-8941
Email: eugenius@telusplanet.net

About the Playwright: Eugene Stickland began writing plays following the completion of his M.F.A. at York University in 1984. Ten years later, at Alberta Theatre Projects playRites ’94, his play Some Assembly Required received its premiere production. Since then, the play has had 15 productions around Canada and the US. It was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Drama in 1995. During his tenure as Playwright-in-Residence at ATP, Eugene went on to write Sitting on Paradise (1996), A Guide to Mourning (1998), Appetite (2000) and Midlife (2002).All Clear was first produced by Alberta Theatre Projects, Calgary, in January 2004.
If you prefer, click here to buy a printed copy.

What Comes Around… by Tom Smith

Drama/ 1-4 males, 2-8 females (3-9 performers possible)/ One Act

Synopsis: In the style of La Ronde, a group of high school students meet at a local coffee house to gossip, confess and confront each other about everything from relationships to addictions and longings to suicide. Included among those who come and go are Karly, who needs to do anything it takes to get her father’s approval and the high grades he expects; Josh, the tennis player who is desperate to seek out a new identity; Joseph, whose reliance on pills is pulling him away from the people who care about him the most; and Mandy, the school outcast, who has had enough of the taunting from her classmates and intends to do something about it.

A portion of What Comes Around… may be read by clicking on the “Read It Now” button above. To obtain a complete perusal copy, please see the Contact Information on this page.

Presented by special arrangement with YouthPLAYS.

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Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information: Amateur and professional rights:
YouthPLAYS
7119 W Sunset Blvd #390
Los Angeles, CA
USA 90046
E-mail: info@youthplays.com
Website: www.youthplays.com

About the Playwright: Tom Smith’s published plays include The Wild and Wacky Rhyming Stories of Miss Henrietta Humpledowning, ESL, What Comes Around, A Christmas Caroland Johnny and Sally Ann… (YouthPLAYS); Marguerita’s Secret Diary (Baker’s Plays);Gray (Original Works Online); and The Pathmaker, Comedy of Errors (editor), Much Ado About Nothing (editor), Two Gentlemen of Verona (editor), and Love’s Labour’s Lost (editor) for Encore Performance Publishing as well as Dangerous, The Odyssey and Drinking Habits, published by Playscripts. His other plays have received productions both nationally and internationally. Tom is the recipient of the Robert J. Pickering Award for Excellence in Playwriting, the ATHE Playworks Award, the Orlin R. Corey Outstanding Regional Playwright Award, the Richard Odlin Award, a Seattle Footlights Award, and has been a selected participant in numerous playwriting festivals across the country. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. Feel free to check out his website at www.tomsmithplaywright.com.

What Comes Around… was first professionally produced by Crooked Mirror Theatre Company (Seattle, WA).

ESL by Tom Smith

Drama/ 4 characters, 2 males, 2 females/ One Act

Synopsis: Trey has been doing poorly in his Spanish class, so his father has hired Ofelia to be his tutor. Throughout the course of many weeks, Trey slowly finds himself becoming attracted to Ofelia, despite his recent and rocky relationship with his girlfriend, Jackie. But when Trey confronts Ofelia about her cousin Jesús’s lack of English, they must grapple with the issues of multiculturalism, Americanism, and language. And when a hate crime is committed against Jesús at school, everyone must examine their own feelings of racism in this bilingual drama.

A portion of ESL may be read by clicking on the “Read It Now” button above. To obtain a complete reading copy, please see the Contact Information on this page.

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:Amateur and professional rights:
YouthPLAYS
7119 W Sunset Blvd #390
Los Angeles, CA
USA 90046
E-mail: info@youthplays.com
Website: www.youthplays.com

About the Playwright: Tom Smith’s published plays include The Wild and Wacky Rhyming Stories of Miss Henrietta Humpledowning, ESL, What Comes Around, A Christmas Caroland Johnny and Sally Ann… (YouthPLAYS), Marguerita’s Secret Diary (Baker’s Plays);Gray (Original Works Online); and The Pathmaker, Comedy of Errors (editor), Much Ado About Nothing (editor), Two Gentlemen of Verona (editor), and Love’s Labour’s Lost (editor) for Encore Performance Publishing as well as Dangerous, The Odyssey and Drinking Habits, published by Playscripts. His other plays have received productions both nationally and internationally. Tom is the recipient of the Robert J. Pickering Award for Excellence in Playwriting, the ATHE Playworks Award, the Orlin R. Corey Outstanding Regional Playwright Award, the Richard Odlin Award, a Seattle Footlights Award, and has been a selected participant in numerous playwriting festivals across the country. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. Website: www.tomsmithplaywright.com.

ESL was frst produced by Creede Repertory Theatre (Creede, CO), 2005.

A Stranger on the Bus by Ed Shockley

Drama/ Flexible cast of 12-50, 7-25 males, 5-25 females/ Full Length, about 120 minutes

Synopsis:
A young African-American girl takes an epic fantasy journey set against the backdrop of the busing movement, as two families, one on each side of the racial divide, grow to discover their love for each other.

The audience experiences the landmark Swann v. Board of Education case that completed the integration of American schools through her dream. With Jim Crow appearing in the guise of a giant trickster bird to battle the forces of progress, this award-winning epic begins at World War II and journeys to the moment when two innocent children can sit side by side en route to a new era in our nation’s history.

A portion of A Stranger on the Bus may be read by clicking on the “Read It Now” button above. To obtain a complete reading copy, please see the Contact Information on this page.

Published by arrangement with YouthPLAYS

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:Amateur and professional rights:
YouthPLAYS
7119 W Sunset Blvd #390
Los Angeles, CA
USA 90046
E-mail: info@youthplays.com
Website: www.youthplays.com

About the Playwright: Ed Shockley, MFA is author of more than 80 plays. His works have set five box office records and been honored with numerous awards, including the Stephen Sondheim Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Musical Theatre, a Pew Fellowship in the Arts and PA State Arts Council Playwrights Fellowship. He has received commissions for youth theatre plays from Seattle Children’s Theatre, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Dallas Children’s Theatre, Black Spectrum Theatre and the Harlem Renaissance Theatre. His historical short film, Stone Mansion, aired on Showtime television.

A Stranger on the Bus was commissioned and produced by Charlotte Children’s Theatre (Charlotte, NC), 1997.

Nobody’s Listening by Ed Shockley

Comedy-Drama/ Multiple characters, 3 male, 3 female, plus flexible extras / One Act, 50-60 minutes/

Synopsis: A film sets up to broadcast a live performance of a new pilot show, The Adventures of Mech-Boy. As the audience files in, there is panic onstage because the actor playing the Robot star of the anti-violence show has gotten caught in his trailer. The frantic director recruits a kid from the audience to replace the star seconds before the broadcast begins, but the impromptu actor becomes increasingly uncooperative and comically inventive as he struggles to make the hokey show reflect the real challenges that youth face in the difficult environment of a public school.

A portion of Nobody’s Listening may be read by clicking on the “Read It Now” button above. To obtain a complete reading copy, please see the Contact Information on this page.

Published by arrangement with YouthPLAYS

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information: Amateur and professional rights:
YouthPLAYS
7119 W Sunset Blvd #390
Los Angeles, CA
USA 90046
E-mail: mailto:info@youthplays.com
Website: www.youthplays.com

About the Playwright: Ed Shockley, MFA is author of more than eighty plays. His works have set five box office records and been honored with numerous awards, including the Stephen Sondheim Award for Outstanding Contributions to American Musical Theatre, a Pew Fellowship in the Arts and PA State Arts Council Playwrights Fellowship. He has received commissions for youth theatre plays from Seattle Children’s Theatre, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Dallas Children’s Theatre, Black Spectrum Theatre and the Harlem Renaissance Theatre. His historical short film, Stone Mansion, aired on Showtime television.

Nobody’s Listening was commissioned and first produced by Charlotte Children’s Theatre, Charlotte, NC.

 

Girl At Her Mirror by Alan Rossett

Comedy-Drama/ 1 Character, played by 2 Women/ Full Length, 80 minutes

Synopsis:
Who hasn’t dreamed of looking in a mirror and seeing the person one once was . . . or the one who’s waiting ahead.

Two actresses, one young, one old, trace the journey of Olivia, from her conventional beginnings in the French provinces, through her tumultous collisions with the art world . . . her first affair with a macho cubist . . . her marriage to a portraitist specialising in beautiful women . . . the Paradise that turns into Hell for both of them.

Adorable? Deplorable? Scheming? Generous? At the age of 70, she’s lost nothing of her cutting edge. On a live TV show, she reveals all her truths, all her secrets . . . and those of everybody else!

“A very moving evening in the theatre, a must-see.”
– Théâtreauteur

“Light, funny and utterly charming . . . the essence of Alan Rossett.”
– FR 3

“A lovely comedy . . . The author humorously traces two faces of the same woman to which two actresses lend moving reflections.”
– Dumas Theatre

“Tenderly but sardonically the author gets to the roots of one woman’s destiny, from the 1950’s to the present.”
– Direct Matin

“A gripping play bristling with truth.”
– Théâtre contemoprain.tv

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Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:Amateur and professional rights:Alan Rossett
91, rue Nollet
75017 Paris
France
Ph.: (33) (0) 1 42 63 98 14
E-mail: rossdoal@aol.com

About the Playwright: “Cocteau meets Woody Allen” was film-director Jean Delannoy’s comment on Alan Rossett, the only American to have French language plays produced regularly in France . . . and to receive awards from the Centre National des Lettres. Born in Detroit, he began his career as an actor in New York, where he appeared for a season with the Living Theatre and also as James Earl Jones’ first Iago. Relocating in Paris, he wrote and directed an evocation of Montmartre Light and Shade with Charles Boyer. Then his comedy High Time went from London to Sydney to New York (at the Actors Studio) and wound up, translated, in a Parisian cafe theatre before transferring to La Bruyere, a Broadway category house.

Rossett made the language cross-over into French with two plays set in restaurants which he staged in the midst of diners at a show biz hang-out, running 200 performances. Many other productions followed of his French-language plays, including How It Happened, Cat As Cat Can, Love On Ice, Calamity Jane. Au Pair Girls premiered in Paris and was revived successfully at the Avignon Festival where it was nominated for a PIAF as comedy of the year.

His French plays are published by Avant-Scene Theatre, Editions des quatre-vents, Editions Art et Comedie et Librairie Theatrale. He has adapted into English many of his own works as well as a series of plays by colleagues that have received grants from the Beaumarchais Association of the French Author’s Society. Rossett has done English versions as well of Alain Decaux’s historical pagaents (Chateau Blois Comes To Life and De Gaulle: the Man Who Said NO. As an actor, he has appeared in films of Marcel Carné, Woody Allen, and over 50 others.

Girl at her Mirror was first produced at the Comédie Nation, Paris, France in 2009, prior to an extensive tour.