JERICHO (3F, 3M) Drama

Several years after tragedy impacted their lives, a family comes together once again for Thanksgiving dinner. While family members struggle to come to terms with residual anger, grief and guilt, Jack Canfora’s thought-provoking play explores how people cope with personal and collective catastrophe. Displaying surprising humor and biting wit, this Jericho, Long Island clan exposes their desperate strategies for resolution and redemption.

 

POETIC LICENSE (2F, 2M) Drama

John Greer has a charmed life: he is a professor at a renowned university, a beloved father, and he is about to be named Poet Laureate. He owes much of his success to his wife, Diane, who aggressively shepherds his career. But when their daughter and her new boyfriend return home for the weekend, hidden secrets emerge that threaten to destroy the image he has cultivated in both his public and private lives. POETIC LICENSE is a biting drama set against the cutthroat “publish or perish” world of academia and explores how one person’s past can shape his art, his family, and in this case his future.

 

 

THE SOURCE (1F, 2M) Drama

Based loosely on the phone hacking scandal that briefly rocked Rupert Murdoch’s media empire in the early 2000s, this Edgerton Award-winning play explores the interpersonal dynamics between three people at the top of the global media ecosystem. An ecosystem that rewards ruthlessness and cynicism. However, for two of the characters at least, these traits take a punishing toll on both their psyches and their ability to feel truly connected to anyone, including themselves. This is a drama pitting three remarkably savvy thinkers in a three-way, three-dimensional chess game. And in order to win they must first ascertain who, if anyone, is on their side, and just how much moral compromise they can each live with.

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FELLOW TRAVELERS (1F, 4M) Drama

Elia Kazan and Arthur Miller had one of the most successful artistic partnerships of the 20th century. But they were more than collaborators, they became like brothers. When Elia starts a casual affair with a young starlet named Marilyn Monroe, he quickly sees his friend has fallen in love and gladly steps aside, encouraging the cautious and self-reproaching Miller to follow his heart. But when the Red Scare and McCarthyism grab America by the throat, Kazan faces a horrible choice: Go to jail and have his art taken from him defending a system he now openly loathes OR cooperate with the congressional committee and break faith with his friends. His choice would not only come to define him forever but would also cause a deep rupture in the love these two men had for each other. It also inspired some of their finest work. FELLOW TRAVELERS tells the true story of their journey together with the nuance and moral complexity that the traditional narrative of these events leaves out.

A feature-length screenplay adaptation of the play is also available.

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BATTLEGROUND STATES (4F) Drama

One of America's most politically powerful families gathers with mixed feelings at the hospital room of its dying patriarch. Two daughters, a recovering addict and a US Presidential nominee, try to manage the fresh grief of their domineering mother and their very complicated histories with the woman who is both a long time family friend and a trusted campaign adviser. Oh, and the election is 10 days out. BATTLEGROUND STATES explores the tangled family dynamics that afflict even the most rich and powerful families.

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A VICIOUS CIRCLE (1F, 1M) Dramedy

The famed Algonquin Roundtable was where some of the greatest comedic and literary minds of the 20th century held court, and atop that court sat its unrivaled Queen: Dorothy Parker, sporting a deep well of despair hidden beneath a lacerating wit. Of all the notable figures at the Roundtable, Parker’s closest friend and confidant was Robert Benchley, as affable as Parker was acerbic. Equally adept at sparring to mask their feelings – even from themselves – “Park Bench” are drawn to each other with a force both irresistible and mortifying in its power, transforming their bond into a source of profound insecurity and disappointment. A VICIOUS CIRCLE is a humorous, heart-breaking dramedy about the ambitions, pride, and loneliness that sharpened the tongues of two of history’s greatest wits. 

THE ROAD DOWN THE MOUNTAIN (2F, 2M) Drama

Five years after Adam Sheffler, one of rock’s greatest songwriters, disappeared suddenly from public view, rumors continue to multiply about the sudden absence of both Adam and his controversial wife, Julie. Hoping to quell the public’s ceaseless hounding of them, Julie reaches out to the only journalist she trusts, her ex-partner Tom. Tom agrees to fly out to the Shefflers’ isolated home in Wyoming, his desperation for a scoop edging out his fear of facing Julie once more. But Julie’s young assistant, Corey, makes this awkward reunion unexpectedly challenging, and presents Tom with the greatest ethical dilemma of his life. With humor and pathos, THE ROAD DOWN THE MOUNTAIN examines the value of art, the obligations of love, and the possibility of moving forward with life after you realize it will never be the one you’d hoped for.

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THE ANARCHIST'S DAUGHTER (2F, 2M) Drama

Anna is at the top of her profession. She is a popular professor, best-selling author, and a leading historian. Her home life seems ideal as well, married to a fellow professor at the prestigious Wellington College in Massachusetts. However, this contentment is threatened when her estranged father, the former leader of America’s foremost band of anarchists, a man who served five years in prison for a botched bombing, reemerges in the public eye with a best-selling memoir. Over the course of a dinner party at which Anna reluctantly hosts her father and his much younger editor-slash-girlfriend, she and her husband do their best to avoid any drama. Not only do they fail, but what is revealed will change every relationship in that room forever.

A SUDDEN GLORY (2F, 2M) Dramedy

Mark and Keri, two gifted but troubled standup comedians, share a common psychologist, the witty and insightful Daniel Geary.  But while Dr. Geary helps them, he is unable to shake the grief of his wife’s suicide. After he loses faith in both himself and his life's work, he announces that he's retiring. With his colleague, the brilliant and biting British analyst Jordan Robbins as his only confidant, Daniel finds that retirement does nothing to ease his unrelenting pain. Meanwhile, Mark and Keri decide to stage a highly unorthodox intervention on his behalf, with unexpected and profound consequences. A SUDDEN GLORY is a play about the need to forgive those who’ve wounded us, the necessity and danger of emotional honesty, and the redemptive powers of humor and genuine connection.

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STEP 9 (4F, 2M) Drama

Over 30 years have passed since Emily was raped at a frat party, and she has since built a life as a professor and minor poet. The day after her 50th birthday, she receives a letter of apology from her rapist, Rob - one of the steps he must take in Alcoholics Anonymous. It soon becomes clear to her that Rob doesn’t view what happened between them as rape. After reluctantly sharing this news with her fiercely opinionated mother Ann, Emily learns there is no statute of limitations for rape in her state. Meanwhile, Rob is desperate to win back the trust of his estranged wife, Chloe and become a regular part of his young daughter’s life. Emily vacillates about what to do, and feels pressure from not only her mother, but also from her daughter, who has discovered left-wing political activism on her college campus. Emily’s decision ultimately sets off a chain of events that sweeps two families into the center of a national debate. A debate that Emily had no interest in starting, let alone playing the leading role in.

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SEVERANCE (1F, 3M) Drama

In a midwestern factory on the eve of the 2016 election, three middle-aged workers, Carol, Roy and Mike, share varying degrees of worry about the new management team led by the boyish Nick.  When Nick announces the company’s intent to shut down the factory and move its production to Mexico, the community is distraught and does everything they can to fight the decision. It's not looking good until Roy's social media protest is re-tweeted in late November by the President-Elect. Soon, hope rises that the POTUS in waiting may visit the factory to shame its owners into remaining where they are. SEVERANCE takes us inside the lives of the men and women whose hometowns have become hollowed out by addiction and lack of opportunity and shows how this lingering decay traps them in an ever-tightening vice. 

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WAY BEYOND COMPARE (1F, 7M) Dramedy

August 1964: The Beatles, at the peak of the worldwide hysteria of Beatlemania, return after a show to their Manhattan hotel suite eager to meet Bob Dylan, who arrives with his friend Erica, a well-regarded investigative reporter. Meanwhile, the Beatles’ manager, the anxious Brian Epstein, desperately tries to a manage an increasingly ungovernable night, especially after Dylan introduces the Fab Four to marijuana. Brian’s chief worry in this regard is the lightning-witted but casually cruel John Lennon, capable of turning from charming to brutal on a dime. Brian’s asphyxiating love for him, which he pretends isn’t common knowledge among their circle, exacts a crushing emotional toll on his fragile psyche. As the night wears on, Erica forces the men in the room – especially Lennon - to rethink their antiquated and demeaning views of women. Based in part on the true story, this was the night that the 60s truly began. WAY BEYOND COMPARE tackles the perils and perks of fame and genius. It also examines the hard work of challenging your own prejudices, and the impact that the seismic cultural shifts the people in this room helped spearhead had on everyone – including themselves. 

MOZART/BEETHOVEN (1F, 2M) Drama

We know that when Beethoven visited Vienna at the age of 16, he met the 31-year-old Mozart. But this is all we know for certain. This play explores what may have happened had Mozart agreed to tutor the young Beethoven. Beethoven, straitlaced, serious, and old beyond his years, shows early flashes of genius, but it is a genius he must coax along with agonizing effort. Mozart, in contrast, appears to be everything his pupil is not. Scathingly witty, ironic, and happily reveling in his adolescent obsessions with drink and sex. Moreover, he is under constant danger of being drowned by his gifts. Music pours out of him endlessly; at times he literally cannot stop, even though he sometimes wishes he could. It is Mozart’s shrewd wife, Stanzi, who first sees how much the two have to teach one another, even if she feels jealousy at the unique bond these two musicians have with one another: a bone-deep mutual understanding that perhaps only genius can confer. 

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IN SEPTEMBER (4F, 2M) Drama

Sara Adler, a senior at a comfortable Long Island high school, is a remarkable success story already. Witty, smart, a high-achiever, and universally admired by her peers and elders, she has overcome a traumatic childhood with the longtime support of school counselor Anna.  Alarm bells go off when Sara calmly reveals to Anna that she is pregnant and that she believes the father of this child is God. When Sara announces this on social media, several unexplained phenomena become attributed to her as miracles, making her the object of national attention. The lives of all those connected to Sara are upended, causing those closest to her to question their deepest held beliefs about themselves and the world.

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ONE ACTS & MONOLOGUES

ZOE (1F, 1M) Drama

In the early days of Covid, a woman reluctantly agrees to have a Zoom meeting with her distraught and bitter ex-husband because he has news about their once shared cat, Zoe. As she suspected and feared, discussing Zoe brings up far more than just how to care for the aging feline.

BARROOM SONATA (1W, 2M) Occult

On Christmas Eve, a polite stranger strikes up a wide-ranging conversation in a dingy bar with an initially young bartender who feels the loneliness of her life with special intensity that night. The brief conversation, and the man, will leave an indelible mark on her psyche.

 

Published in the 2017 Theatre Brut Festival Play Anthology
 

ADLAI STEVENSON WAS NOMINATED FOR PRESIDENT, TWICE (1W) 

MONOLOGUE: A woman searches for hope and meaning while helping with Covid patients while also caring for her parents.

HISTORY HAS BEEN UNFAIR TO BILLY JOEL (1M)

MONOLOGUE: An intense young man savors a cheeseburger while thinking aloud, as his mind strays from one thought to another, including his thoughtful and passionate belief that Billy Joel’s reputation as an artist has suffered unfairly in recent years. His increasing intensity on the topic – and his growing joy in devouring the burger begins to seem disproportionately intense, until we discover why he might be feeling so passionately in the moment.

TV SCRIPTS & SCREENPLAYS

THE BOOTHS (Three Season Arc, Eleven One-Hour Episodes Per Season) 

John Wilkes Booth: perhaps the most infamous name in American history. Yet little is known of the true motivations behind his horrific crime. To fathom John Wilkes Booth’s mind, one needs to understand his family, which was touched by genius, cursed by madness, haunted by betrayal, and driven by passion.  

The Booths are a family who feel surprisingly modern: exploding in bitter arguments over politics and espousing views of what America should look like.  The series will span nearly 50 years and travel the world, from Brussels to London, from New York to San Francisco, from Sydney to Washington, D.C.  The viewer will come to truly know the Booths, men and women of such brilliance, charisma, and talent, that they were bound, as one character says, to “make a dent in history.”

This is the story of a family’s destiny, and a nation’s fate.
 

ROBBY (First Season: Eight One-Hour Episodes)

The gruesome murder of a destitute sex worker has all of London talking – in part because this woman was the daughter of one of Britain’s most successful barristers and budding politicians. When the police struggle to find the killer, the man heading the investigation, John Edmunds, tries to enlist the aid of his long-retired friend, Peter “Robby” Robinson, the best detective he’d ever known. But Robby, living alone at 70 and haunted by the unsolved murder of his own daughter 15 years earlier, refuses. Only when passionate young police officer Vanessa Patel shows him that the case is being deliberately mismanaged, does Robby find himself drawn into the case.

They soon realize there are many powerful people - from the Deputy Prime Minister to the U.S. Ambassador - who want Robby off the case by whatever means necessary, eventually hiring the mysterious and brilliant Eva, a shadowy, sharp-tongued, and charismatic world-class killer, to eliminate both Robby and Vanessa. As the body count mounts and London plunges into panic, Eva and Robby race to outwit each other, even as they both begin to question who exactly is benefitting from all of this blood.
 

THE ALTERNATIVE (Screenplay)

Set in the early 2000’s, the film tells the story of Amy and Michelle, who live in New York and are married with a young daughter, as they struggle with the end of their relationship. When Michelle takes their daughter (whom she birthed) to visit relatives in Florida over a long weekend, she decides not to return. An outraged Amy soon discovers that, as Florida doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage and Amy never finished the legal adoption process, she has no claim to her daughter. She seeks out a famed-but-retired civil rights lawyer, Noah Hastings, to argue on her behalf. As Florida and New York’s courts and politicians square off against each other, Amy finds her case has drawn national attention, and she finds herself torn between protecting her daughter and taking a stand against a gross injustice.

BLUE MIST (Screenplay)

Susan and Jack struggle with navigating the choppy new waters of their marriage after her depression leads him to call the police from his office and have her taken against her will to a psychiatric hospital for observation. It is the story of how the distance between two people can become a chasm if they are incapable – or unwilling – to understand the lens their partner sees the world through.