McLuhan: The Musical — Book by Frank Moher, Music & Lyrics by Gerald Reid

McLuhan: The Musical

Musical Comedy-Drama/ Multiple Characters, 5 actors minimum (gender-blind casting encouraged)/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis (from the Globe and Mail [Toronto]): “McLuhan: The Musical is nothing less than an attempt to dramatize the ideas of the late media theorist who was briefly the toast of the Western world (remember his cameo appearance in the film Annie Hall?) before his notions fell into obscurity in the Eighties.

“Moher, like media heavyweights such as Lewis Lapham, believes McLuhan’s time has come again simply because the world he predicted has come to pass . . . . Rummaging in his playwright’s toolbox, Moher decides to recount this hyperspace narrative as a medieval morality play. Herbert Marshall McLuhan is born, about the same time as radio, on a farm near Edmonton. He endures the torment of being a colonial hayseed at Oxford, and makes his way to a teaching post in America, where he becomes fascinated by advertising’s grip on the human mind. He returns to Canada just in time for the invention of TV.

“Bright, childlike theatrical trickery attends the tale. Teenage Marshall twists a radio dial. Suddenly the stage blacks-out and two puppets — little Marshall and a sort of radio spirit — are hovering in an electronic void . . . . Here he learns about Electronic Space, with its wonderful promise of being everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

“McLuhan panics as his ideas take on a life of their own, and his warning about the future — because, in truth, he hates and fears the new electronic world — is twisted into a celebration . . . . The play ends with McLuhan longing for the dense, sun-baked real-ness of his childhood prairie soil.”

“All the senses were gleefully aggressed and we were in for a night of razzle-dazzle . . . A very entertaining, lively, and intelligent show.”
– CBC Radio (Ottawa)

“A revelatory experience . . . . A good review of McLuhan: The Musical is almost redundant: the word of mouth is doing it all.”
– The Ottawa Express

McLuhan succeeds because it never loses its sense of fun . . . . [it] conveys the life story of Marshall McLuhan, but more important, it compares the utopian aspirations of a generation which saw the introduction of the electronic mass media to the complex reality of a wired society.”
– The University of Ottawa Charlatan

“Combines fantasy, humour, and great musical numbers for an evening of enjoyable intellectual stimulation . . . . Whether you’re a communication theory buff, or a musical theatre patron, McLuhan: The Musical is sure to please.”
– The Fulcrum (Ottawa)

“McLuhan would probably be amused. And, in one or two transcendent moments, perhaps even a little honored.”
– The Ottawa Citizen

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Single Lane Entertainment,
650 Little Blvd.,
Gabriola Island, B.C.,
Canada,
V0R 1X3.
Ph.: (in North America) 1-855-757-9216 or 250-247-9216
Email: info@singlelane.com
Playwright’s website: FrankMoher.com

About the Playwright: Frank Moher’s plays have been produced internationally, at theatres including South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, Calif.), Detroit Repertory Theatre, Round House Theatre (Silver Spring, Maryland), the Canadian Stage Company (Toronto), the Wellington Repertory Theatre (Wellington, New Zealand), Workshop West Theatre (Edmonton, Alta.), the Asolo Theater (Sarasota, Fla.), Alberta Theatre Projects (Calgary), Dodona Theatre (Prishtina, Kosova), The Mingei Theatre (Tokyo), and OmaDa Theatre (Athens, Greece). He has won a Los Angeles Drama-Logue Award for Writing (for Odd Jobs), the Edmonton Sterling Award for Outstanding New Play (for both The Third Ascent and Prairie Report,), and is published by both ProPlay and the Playwrights Guild of Canada. Frank has taught at the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta (where he was a Distinguished Visiting Artist), and is currently an instructor in scriptwriting and journalism at Vancouver Island University. He has also worked professionally as a literary manager and dramaturg, and written for publications including The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Saturday Night magazine, The Georgia Straight, backofthebook.ca and salon.com.

McLuhan: The Musical was premiered by The Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa, in October, 1994.

Also by Frank Moher on ProPlay:

 

Moonbound! — Book and Lyrics by Frank Moher, Music by Antonio Gradanti and Frank Moher

Moonbound!

Musical/ Multiple Characters, doubling and tripling possible/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis:
An out-of-this-world new musical, loosely based on a novel by H.G. Wells. Dr. Cavor, an eccentric Victorian scientist, has invented anti-gravity paint (“Cavorite!”). He intends to use it to travel the universe, but when the sphere he’s built for the purpose unexpectedly malfunctions, he and Miss Dawson, a hard-nosed London businesswoman, must set off prematurely, with Cavor’s untrustworthy assistant Gibbs on-board. Destination: Moon.

There they discover a race of insect-like beings, including Wizlip, a young moon girl, and her grandmother, Shrinklie. Gibbs flees at the first sight of the aliens, but Wizlip and Cavor are excited to make each other’s acquaintance. Cavor and Dawson are jailed, only to be sprung by their new-found moon friends. Pursued by soldiers, the four arrive at the lip of a gigantic cavern leading to the centre of the moon. Dawson wants to turn back, but Cavor convinces her that in the spirit of exploration they must “Carry On.” They jump.

Down There, they discover an even more extraordinary civilization of beings raised from birth to perform just one function, and ruled by The Grand Lunar, who was Shrinklie’s first love. He is, however, a reluctant boss (“I Used to be Me”). Gibbs returns, having discovered that the moon is littered with gold, and proposes a plan to try to get back to Earth and return with an invading army, which Miss Dawson gleefully accepts. She and Gibbs depart, and Cavor realizes how much Dawson has come to mean to him.

When The Grand Lunar learns that the Earth is rife with conflict and that Cavor’s invention might allow more Earthlings to travel to the moon, were the Doctor ever allowed to get home, he orders the visitors’ “evacuation” — essentially, their death. All looks lost, although Cavor insists that he would do it all again (“Somewhere on the Moon”). However, an alarming incident back on the surface convinces Miss Dawson to return to Cavor and the others. But will she get there in time? And can Shrinklie convince The Grand Lunar to spare Cavor’s life?

A combination adventure story, love story, and comic look at imperial folly, Moonbound! brings the fun of both sci-fi and musicals to the stage.

Original production credits

Listen to music from Moonbound! below. The complete original cast recording, as well backing tracks for use in productions, are available from Single Lane Entertainment (see contact info on this page).

“The Earth!” (Antonio Gradanti and Company). Includes dance break.


“Somewhere on the Moon” (Antonio Gradanti)


“Enough” (Cody Scott, Kathy McIntyre)

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Single Lane Entertainment,
650 Little Blvd.,
Gabriola Island, B.C.,
Canada,
V0R 1X3.
Ph.: (in North America) 1-855-757-9216 or 250-247-9216
Email: info@singlelane.com
Playwright’s website: FrankMoher.com

 


About the Playwright:

About the Playwright: Frank Moher’s plays have been produced internationally, at theatres including South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, Calif.), Detroit Repertory Theatre, Round House Theatre (Silver Spring, Maryland), the Canadian Stage Company (Toronto), the Wellington Repertory Theatre (Wellington, New Zealand), Workshop West Theatre (Edmonton, Alta.), the Asolo Theater (Sarasota, Fla.), Alberta Theatre Projects (Calgary), Dodona Theatre (Prishtina, Kosova), The Mingei Theatre (Tokyo), and OmaDa Theatre (Athens, Greece). He has won a Los Angeles Drama-Logue Award for Writing (for Odd Jobs), the Edmonton Sterling Award for Outstanding New Play (for both The Third Ascent and Prairie Report,), and is published by both ProPlay and the Playwrights Guild of Canada. Frank has taught at the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta (where he was a Distinguished Visiting Artist), and is currently an instructor in scriptwriting and journalism at Vancouver Island University. He has also worked professionally as a literary manager and dramaturg, and written for publications including The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Saturday Night magazine, The Georgia Straight, backofthebook.ca and salon.com.

Moonbound! was first presented by Over the Moon Theatricals on Gabriola Island and Vancouver Island, BC, Canada in April-May, 2014.

Also by Frank Moher on ProPlay:

North Atlantic — Book & Lyrics by Michael Colby, Music & Lyrics by James Fradrich

North Atlantic

Musical Comedy/ 7 Characters, 4 Women, 3 Men, Chorus/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: North Atlantic is an affectionate multi-level spoof of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals — set in Eskimo land. With South Pacific as its closest touchstone, this family musical features elements reminiscent of the entire Rodgers and Hammerstein catalogue. Set somewhere in the mysterious North Atlantic, it takes place sometime after World War II. It tells how Honey Snodgrass and Melanie Fong, members of the Iowa branch of the Teaching Corps, find romance, bigotry, and a dream ballet in this exotic region.

“Not only the best of the three musicals I saw last week. It was the best of the year.”
– Henry Hewes, former President, New York Drama Critics Circle

Winner of the Show Business Award for “Outstanding Production of the Year.”

The first act of North Atlantic may be read by clicking on the “Read It Now” button. For a complete reading copy, please see the Contact Information elsewhere on this page.

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Michael Colby
12 Woodside Avenue
Metuchen, N.J.
USA 08840
Ph.: 732-494-2659
email: Ludlow29@aol.com
Playwright’s website:
http://www.michaelcolby.com

About the playwright: Michael Colby is the librettist/lyricist of such musicals as Charlotte Sweet (Drama Desk Award nomination), Tales of Tinseltown (Coconut Grove Playhouse), North Atlantic (Show Business Award), Mrs. McThing (Goodspeed), and Ludlow Ladd (New American Theatre). He was chief writer for the Drama Desk Award-winning New Amsterdam Theatre Company, and has written special material for numerous celebrities and Theatre by the Blind. He is a member of the BMI and The Dramatists Guild.

About the composer: James Fradrich assisted the orchestrator of the Broadway productions of Miss Saigon, The Secret Garden, and the first national tour of Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. He has played engagements with several symphony orchestras, and was arranger and musical director for the hit off-Broadway musical Boy Meets Boy. Other off-Broadway productions as musical director and/or arranger have included Carnival (Equity Library Theatre), Gift of the Magi (Players Theatre), Babes in Arms (Playwrights Horizons), From Brooks with Love (Harold Clurman), and Man With a Load of Mischief (The Production Company). He has served in the same capacity on several regional productions and toured as pianist/arranger on I Am an American (for USO) and as pianist for Columbia Artists Management with The First Gilbert & Sullivan Quartet. He is a graduate of Lawrence University and was Archivist/Concert Librarian/General Musical Consultant for Rodgers and Hammerstein.

North Atlantic was first produced by the Gene Frankel Theatre, New York City.

Slay It With Music — Book & Lyrics by Michael Colby, Music by Paul Katz

slay.jpg - 15.29 kb

Musical Comedy/ 10 Characters, 4 Women, 4 Men/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: Slay It With Music is an original, six-character musical in the tradition of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Sunset Boulevard, and The Bad Seed. It tells the saga of Edna Beaucoup, a fading, forgotten Hollywood star of the 40s. Cooped up in her spooky California home — attended by Zachary, her compulsive retainer — she has been approached to make a film comeback. However, given Edna’s past, in which she was implicated in the murder of her coiffeur/lover, Zachary isn’t sure Edna should make this film: a slasher movie, Chop, Chop.

Adding to the complications, Edna’s sister Marcy, a TV star, arrives for a visit. Marcy’s soap opera Poughkeepsie has just been axed by the network, so Marcy can no longer afford to help maintain Edna’s home. Marcy also demands that Edna not make the slasher movie, because it could remind the public of past scandal. Thereupon, Edna “accidentally” breaks her sister’s leg. Marcy is forced to stay in the house, where Edna and Zachary can care for her and where Marcy reluctantly helps Edna rehearse for the slasher movie. Meanwhile, Marcy’s scoundrel ex-husband, Chad Walker, tracks her down. Desperate for money, he barges into the house and gets in a tiff with Edna. She kills him in self-defense. Marcy discovers the body, whereupon Edna locks Marcy up to keep her quiet. As Marcy vainly tries to escape, Edna marches off to start her first day of filming Chop Chop. More bedlam occurs, as Rosemarie Clinger, a movie fan, sneaks into the house. Rosemarie is viciously murdered, her screams heard by Marcy. Hours later, Edna — fired after one day’s shooting — confronts Marcy. Surprise revelations follow, resulting in the sisters’ reconciliation — but only momentarily. At curtain, the sisters are back fighting as vociferously as ever.

The first act of Slay It With Music may be read by clicking on the “Read It Now” button. For a complete reading copy, please see the Contact Information elsewhere on this page.

Slay It With Music will kill you with laughs!” – Rex Reed, The Observer“New musical should slay them in the aisles! . . . Delightfully nutty musical. Engagingly witty score. Strong plot. Echoes movies like The Bad Seed, Psycho, and Sunset Boulevard, along with more distinct reverberations, in terms of style, of Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company. The acting and singing are uniformly engaging.” – Don Nelsen, Daily News

“Merrily madcap, murderous mini-musical! . . . Reminiscent of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, Sweeney Todd, and Little Shop of Horrors. Deliciously campy, gory musical romp.” – Jeanne Lieberman, N.Y. Law Journal

“Lighthearted…amusing…charming. . . . Deft, witty pastiches of 1940’s Hollywood production numbers.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times

“Great show! . . . After seeing Slay It With Music, I can only hope that the team of Michael Colby and Paul Katz get their long due recognition and we see this production either on Broadway or in a major off-Broadway house very soon.” – Jeffrey Goodman, Parlee “Molti applausi!” – Mario Fratti, Oggi Magazine

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Michael Colby
12 Woodside Avenue
Metuchen, N.J.
USA 08840
Ph.: 732-494-2659
email: Ludlow29@aol.com
Playwright’s website:
http://www.michaelcolby.com
Slay It With Music website:
http://hometown.aol.com/
ludlow29/slayitwithmusic.html

About the playwright: Michael Colby is the librettist/lyricist of such musicals as Charlotte Sweet (Drama Desk Award nomination), Tales of Tinseltown (Coconut Grove Playhouse), North Atlantic (Show Business Award), Mrs. McThing (Goodspeed), and Ludlow Ladd (New American Theatre). He was chief writer for the Drama Desk Award-winning New Amsterdam Theatre Company, and has written special material for numerous celebrities and Theatre by the Blind. He is a member of the BMI and The Dramatists Guild.

About the composer: About the composer: Paul Katz has written music and lyrics heard on television, stage, and radio. He is the composer of Dirty Dreams of a Clean Cut Kid, which won San Francisco’s prestigious Cable Car Award (1991) for “Outstanding Achievement in Theatre,” as well as Chicago’s After Dark Award. His other musicals include the acclaimed Seduction and The American Beat Nightclub. In collaboration with Michael Colby, he wrote the musical scores to Slay It With Music and Tinseltown. Tinseltown was showcased off-off Broadway, then presented in a revised version at the George Street Playhouse, the Gaslamp Theatre (San Diego), and, most recently, the Coconut Grove Playhouse (Miami) to great success. Accompanist to such stars as Andrea Marcovicci, Marilyn Michaels, and Vicki Stuart, he was musical director/arranger for Forbidden Broadway Presents Mr. President and This Life: A Tribute to Portia Nelson, winning the prestigious Bistro Award.

Slay It With Music was first produced by Broadway Tomorrow at The Actors Outlet, New York City, in October, 1989.

Supreme Dream by Frank Moher and Rhonda Trodd, featuring the music of The Supremes

Supreme Dream, Theatre Network, Edmonton, Alberta

Musical comedy/ 1 Characters, 1 Woman, 1 Female Voice/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis (From The Globe and Mail [Toronto]): “Somewhere in Calgary, some time in the mid-1960s, a little girl tuned into ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ and was transported by the glamour of Motown Records’ premiere female stars, The Supremes. Twenty years later, this same girl — a white girl — became a Supreme, singing backup for Mary Wilson as the former Supreme played dives, cruise ships, and lounges across Canada and the United States.

“That, in brief, is Rhonda Trodd’s story as told in Supreme Dream.”

(From The Daily News [Halifax]): “The first half details Trodd’s rather average childhood and adolescence, cleverly planting the seed that she, like all other girls who saw The Supremes on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ in the ‘6Os, secretly wanted to be part of the most glamorous female singing group in history. She even auditions for acting school by performing a hilarious rendition of “Stop! In the Name of Love, accompanied by a torturously out-out-tune piano. A series of coincidences lead to a dinner theatre gig in a play about the music of the 1960s. Mary Wilson, the last remaining Supreme has been brought in to beef up the star power. The two hit it off and Trodd convinces Wilson to take her on as a backup singer for her Supremes revival show. It’s as simple as that: Trodd realizes her lifelong dream of becoming a Supreme … sort of, anyway.

“The second half of the play is a sobering tale of disillusion. Mary Wilson’s career has been in slow decay since the early 1970s, an endless circuit of cheap hotels, cruise ships, and lousy clubs. The majority of her musicians are black, except, ironically, for her two white back-up singers. Her manager is an exploitive creep. Welcome to the music business.

“Worse, the black musicians are openly discriminated against, especially on the cruise ships, much to the horror of the naive Calgary actress. Hard lessons are learned, but nothing can take away the one true fact that, for a the period of almost one year, Rhonda Trodd could call herself a Supreme.”

“Hilarious . . . Glinting with insights . . . beautifully written.”
– The Edmonton Journal

“A sure-fire hit . . . Funny, engrossing, and completely entertaining . . . It stays with you long after you’ve left the theatre.”
– The Daily News(Halifax)

“A fascinating picture of the joys, absurdities, and indignities of life on the fringes of fame.”
– The Globe and Mail(Toronto)

“Engrossing and highly entertaining.”
– CBC Radio

“Entirely disarming . . . magic.”
– Winnipeg Free Press

“A supreme hit.”
– The Edmonton Sun

“It’s easy to understand why Supreme Dream strikes a chord in so many of us.”
– Winnipeg Sun

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Single Lane Entertainment,
650 Little Blvd.,
Gabriola Island, B.C.,
Canada,
V0R 1X3.
Ph.: (in North America) 1-855-757-9216 or 250-247-9216
Email: info@singlelane.com
Playwright’s website: FrankMoher.com

About the Playwright: Frank Moher’s plays have been produced internationally, at theatres including South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, Calif.), Detroit Repertory Theatre, Round House Theatre (Silver Spring, Maryland), the Canadian Stage Company (Toronto), the Wellington Repertory Theatre (Wellington, New Zealand), Workshop West Theatre (Edmonton, Alta.), the Asolo Theater (Sarasota, Fla.), Alberta Theatre Projects (Calgary), Dodona Theatre (Prishtina, Kosova), The Mingei Theatre (Tokyo), and OmaDa Theatre (Athens, Greece). He has won a Los Angeles Drama-Logue Award for Writing (for Odd Jobs), the Edmonton Sterling Award for Outstanding New Play (for both The Third Ascent and Prairie Report,), and is published by both ProPlay and the Playwrights Guild of Canada. Frank has taught at the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta (where he was a Distinguished Visiting Artist), and is currently an instructor in scriptwriting and journalism at Vancouver Island University. He has also worked professionally as a literary manager and dramaturg, and written for publications including The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Saturday Night magazine, The Georgia Straight, backofthebook.ca and salon.com.

Supreme Dream was premiered by Theatre Network, Edmonton, in April, 1996.

Also by Frank Moher on ProPlay:

Tales of Tinseltown — Book & Lyrics by Michael Colby, Music by Paul Katz

Stephen Van Dorn, Robert Marra, Suzanne Friedline, Diana Georger, Gus Corrado, Gina D’Acciaro in

Musical/ 8 Characters, 4 Men, 4 Women/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: It’s Singin’ in the Rain meets Hollywood Babylon. On a farm in Walnut, Iowa, the abused but ambitious Ellie Ash aspires to screen immortality. Elmo Green, a scenarist from NYC, bicycles by. He’s immediately smitten by Ellie, who jumps on his bike — Hollywood bound. Soon they work with characters reminiscent of Ethel Merman (brassy Bertha Powell), Gene Kelly (fleet Danny Burke), Mario Lanza (lumpy Tony Toscanni), Edward Von Stroheim (producer-director Norman G. Neinstein), & Joan Crawford (vamp Lulu Beauveen). Ultimately, Ellie triumphs at N.G.N. Productions — the “Girl of a Thousand Sounds” — until columnist Adele DeRale exposes unseemly events. Separately, Ellie & Elmo climb up to the Hollywoodland Sign — about to jump — but instead decide to try Broadway.

The first act of Tales of Tinseltown may be read by clicking the Read It Now button. For a complete reading copy, please see the contact information on this page.

“DAMN NEAR PERFECT! Attention Messrs. Shubert, Azenberg, Schoenfeld, et al. While Broadway bemoans the fact that ‘there just aren’t any new musicals will run forever and make millions for everyone involved,’ composer Paul Katz and librettist Michael Colby have come up with what could be the new Fantasticks, Dames at Sea or other long-running, money-making, mega-hit. A musical extravaganza.” — Ron Mullen, Backstage (NY)

“DELICIOUS SATIRE! An ambitious pure Hollywood musical. Numbers that are laughter from the first syllable to the last.” — D.R.J. Bruckner, New York Times

“WATCH FOR IT! This is a crowd-pleaser packed with talent. Paul Katz’s music captures the schmaltzy and plunkety-plunk early movie tempo, never falsifying the clever libretto of every false value Michael Colby could conceive of. You will leave the theatre wreathed in smiles.” — Marjorie Gunner (President, NY Outer Critics Circle), On and Off-Broadway

“WACKY FUN! Suggests Dames at Sea crossed with Carol Burnett’s entire oeuvre. Delicious, tuneful, winning.” — David C. Nichols, Los Angeles Times

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Steele Spring Theatrical Licensing
3845 Cazador St.
Los Angeles, CA 90065
(323) 739-0413 / fax (818) 232-9158
http://www.steelespring.com

About the playwright: Michael Colby is the librettist/lyricist of such musicals as Charlotte Sweet (Drama Desk Award nomination), Tales of Tinseltown (Coconut Grove Playhouse), North Atlantic (Show Business Award), Mrs. McThing (Goodspeed), and Ludlow Ladd (New American Theatre). He was chief writer for the Drama Desk Award-winning New Amsterdam Theatre Company, and has written special material for numerous celebrities and Theatre by the Blind. He is a member of the BMI and The Dramatists Guild.

About the composer: About the composer: Paul Katz has written music and lyrics heard on television, stage, and radio. He is the composer of Dirty Dreams of a Clean Cut Kid, which won San Francisco’s prestigious Cable Car Award (1991) for “Outstanding Achievement in Theatre,” as well as Chicago’s After Dark Award. His other musicals include the acclaimed Seduction and The American Beat Nightclub. In collaboration with Michael Colby, he wrote the musical scores to Slay It With Music and Tinseltown. Tinseltown was showcased off-off Broadway, then presented in a revised version at the George Street Playhouse, the Gaslamp Theatre (San Diego), and, most recently, the Coconut Grove Playhouse (Miami) to great success. Accompanist to such stars as Andrea Marcovicci, Marilyn Michaels, and Vicki Stuart, he was musical director/arranger for Forbidden Broadway Presents Mr. President and This Life: A Tribute to Portia Nelson, winning the prestigious Bistro Award.

Tales Of Tinseltown was first produced by The Directors Company at Musical Theatre Works (New York, NY): August, 1985.

 

The Balkan Women by Jules Tasca

Musical / Multiple Characters, 2 Female, 2 Male, other characters can be played by males or females / One Act

Synopsis (From The Philadelphia Inquirer): “Tasca’s play is narrated by Lt. Jovan Vlaco, a Serbian officer in the women’s camp run by Col. Branislav Herak, who’s recovering from a shrapnel wound before being returned to the front. The camp, Vlaco reports, is located in ‘what they call Southern Bosnia and we call Greater Serbia — all wars begin with the changing of words and phrases.’ As the action begins, we meet the camp’s newest inmates — Amina and Samira Jusic, a Bosnian mother and daughter suspected of igniting a fuel-depot explosion that killed 16 Serbs.

“The explosion, we soon learn, was in fact perpetrated by Samira, working for a Bosnian guerrilla force. A bitter, hate-filled young woman, she’s egged on by the play’s fifth main character, a camp firebrand named Jela, and refuses to confess even when tortured. Fearful for her daughter’s life, Amina intercedes with Herak, with whom she was friendly back when Bosnians and Serbians lived together in peace, and arranges for Samira to work days as the commandant’s housekeeper.

“Although Samira assumes her new role reluctantly, she slowly begins to recognize this complex soldier-philosopher as a human being as well as a Serb. But old hatreds die hard, and wars assume an unstoppable momentum all their own.”

“Theatrically bold and politically moving.”
– Variety

“The title obviously evokes Euripides’ The Trojan Women. . . . It takes guts to challenge the all-time champions of hugely-scaled drama on their home court, but Tasca not only does so but pulls the feat off. . . . The remarkable thing about The Balkan Women is that although it’s written and staged in a deliberate, even formal style, its four principals emerge as people of substantial depth, their innate decency evident beneath the rote viciousness of their antagonisms. We’re kept in suspense by their dilemmas and ultimately touched by their fates.”
– The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Thought provoking and extremely powerful. . . . the characters are crafted with wonderful complexity.”
– Bristol Pilot

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information: Amateur and professional rights:
Jules Tasca
1029 Sunset
Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
USA 19422
E-mail: tasca.j@gmc.edu

About the Playwright: Jules Tasca has taught playwriting at Oxford University in England and he has performed with a Commedia dell’arte group in Central Italy. He is the author of 105 (13 full length, 92 one act) published plays that have been produced in numerous national theaters from the Mark Taper Forum to the Bucks County Playhouse, as well as abroad.He has also written for radio and television. He scripted “The Hal Linden T.V. Special.” His La Llorona and Maria were produced on National Public Radio. Other one-act pieces were broadcast in Los Angeles and abroad in Germany.

He was the national winner in New York’s Performing Arts Repertory Theater playwriting contest for his libretto, The Amazing Einstein, which toured the country and played at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. His libretto for C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe had its world premiere in California and played in London and New York and is currently touring nationwide.

For his play, Theater Trip, he was the recipient of a Thespie Award for Best New Play, and Old Goat Song won a drama critic’s award in Los Angeles. His play, The Spelling of Coynes, has been included in The Best American Short Plays Anthology. His tragic piece, The Balkan Women, won the prestigious Barrymore Award for Best Play. His play The Grand Christmas History of the Andy Landy Clanwas broadcast on 47 National Public Radio stations.

Most recently, his tragedy, Judah’s Daughter, received the Dorothy Silver International playwrighting award. The author is a member of New York’s Dramatist Guild.

The Balkan Women was first produced at The Bristol Riverside Theatre, Bristol, Pennsylvania in 1998.

The Billabong Circus by Jean Mann & Sean Dawes

The Billabong Circus

Children’s play with music/ 6 Characters (can be played by men or women)/ One Act

Synopsis:
(From the Brisbane Telegraph): “Fancy yourself at the circus? And a different sort of circus at that?

“Well, what could be more different than a circus where every performer is an animal, and there’s a touch of skullduggery and intrigue thrown in, as well?

“Wallaby and Possum want to join the circus as an acrobat and a ballet dancer. However, they meet Rabbit, the pop star, who has run away from the circus because Ringmaster Fox is so cruel to him. They all decide to return to the circus and trick Fox into changing his ways.

“Two Kookaburras watch the events with delight, and cannot resist making comments and poking fun at the others.”

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Tracy Mann
c/o info@singlelane.com
Music available


About the Playwright
: Early career managing a touring office in Alice Springs, Melbourne, and Sydney, Australia. Many years later, after two daughters had grown up, turned to playwriting for children. Her plays have been performed in theatres and schools in Adelaide and Brisbane and U.S.A. A non-fiction book came next, recording the 77 year history of a South Australian Croquet Club.

Jean gently passed away in January 2014, aged 94, after a fulfilling and productive life.

The Billabong Circus was premiered by the Arts Theatre, Brisbane, Australia in June, 1981.

The Brementown Musicians — Libretto by Marcy Telles, Music by Douglas Bowes

Children’s Musical/ 4 Characters, 2 Men, 2 Women/ One Act

Synopsis:
Four animals meet on the road to Bremen. Each tells how they worked hard all their lives for ungrateful masters, and now that they are old and tired, they have run from certain death to make their own way in the world.

The adventurers discover that they have a common interest in music, so they decide to become troubadors (traveling musicians). Their plans are soon interrupted, however, when they run into a band of robbers. A nasty fight begins, in which each group thinks the other is a terrible monster.

In the end, the four friends are victorious over the selfish and cowardly robbers, and realize that they would prefer to stay in their new-won home, content to sing for each other.

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and Professional Rights:
Marcy Telles
754 Bamboo Terrace
San Rafael, CA 94903
Ph. 415-472-7639
E-mail: c/o mtelles@sbcglobal.net

About the Playwright:
Composer and lyricist Marcy Telles has created scores for the musicals The Toymaker and the Elves (Das Puppenspeil, 1974) and The Three Golden Hairs(Morning Glory Theater, 1981). She has provided lyrics and librettos for two children’s operas Jack and the Beanstalk and Brementown Musicians (Cinnabar Theater, 1990 and 1997), and several children’s musicals: The Snow Queen, It’s a Wonderful Life (Cinnabar Theater, 1992 and 2001), Remote Control, Plants, and Princess Goodenough (1998, 2001, and 2002, various). In addition to her theatrical work, Marcy has provided compositions and lyrics for the Occidental Community Choir, Viva! Musica (a Japanese musical circus), and recording artists and groups such as A Few Good Friends, Biaja, Blake Derby, Michael Smolens, Randal Collen, and others. Marcy makes her home in Northern California and is always interested in new projects.

About the Composer: Douglas Bowes, born in Ontario Canada, is the director of the Occidental Community Choir and teaches guitar and composition. Several of his choral compositions have been published and performed all over the United States.

The Brementown Musicians was first produced by the Cinnabar Opera Theatre, Petaluma, California.

The Clean Airy Fairy by Jean Mann

Children’s play with music/ 8 Characters (can be played by men or women)/ One Act

Synopsis: What do we do with a world that’s polluted? Call in the experts of course!

Our hero is a fairy who comes to save the world from Pollution Pixies who defile the earth. The baddies are fought, in the nicest possible way, with the help of Tramp, Ray, and Wallaby.

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:

Tracy Mann
c/o info@singlelane.com
Music available

About the Playwright: Early career managing a touring office in Alice Springs, Melbourne, and Sydney, Australia. Many years later, after two daughters had grown up, turned to playwriting for children. Her plays have been performed in theatres and schools in Adelaide and Brisbane. A non-fiction book came next, recording the 77 year history of a South Australian Croquet Club.

Jean gently passed away in January 2014, aged 94, after a fulfilling and productive life.

The Clean Airy Fairy was first performed by five, six and seven year olds for the Come Out Festival at Crafers (Adelaide) in 1991. It received its professional premiere at the Arts Theatre, Brisbane, Australia in June, 1998.