Artistic Director and others:

These play scripts might especially interest community theatre companies because they were developed  in community (and university) theatres. All five issue-play scripts were never before commercially produced and are therefore “new.” All are available now for readings and/or full production. All are traditional (linear) theatre, with sustained scenes--not quick-scene-change TV sit-coms--and not ordinary!

    Statistics from the Club of Rome  indicate that the world food shortage is intentionally prolonged for profit. This is not a surprise, given the identification of the One Percent and corporate control of wealth.
    Plot: A fictitious island republic opts out of this world via non-violent 'implosion' (demonstrated by strobe flash re: object) in order to create a moral pressure on us who will remain. The 'Have' nations respond with stunning practicality: bombs! The play’s concluding action was considered far-fetched until after the Gulf War’s similar limited-war response. Prescient, powerful. Fully produced as a Chicago community's consciousness- and fund-raiser.

    Nine characters, including one non-speaking 'janitor'; one set capable of simulating performance 'damage.' Slides are available for one character’s topical speech plus an available air-raid siren SFX tape; multiple strobe lights are needed for major 'implosion' visual effect, both interim and final; longer full length–130 min average. Valid concept; statistics change annually, via the UN/Club of Rome; change to quote current stats in one character's speech.

“The Court at Elsinore”:
    A replay on the classic "Hamlet" theme, copyrighted before Stoppard's "Rosenkrantz" appeared on Broadway but considered 'Son of,' ever after. Not imitation-old, like the movie treatment; decades ahead of John Updike’s novel ("Gertrude and Claudius"). Termed “coy and precious” by a publisher back then–but people eventually catch on to a good thing. I believe that "Elsinore" is more like Will than Tom was; and most of all, nearer Tennessee for strong-willed characters.
    Plot: Three contemporary adult main characters (a living 'ghost') force their lives into the classical mold for lack of self-knowledge. The two younger rebel. 'Gertrude' appears to drive the action, but she is a fish on the hook–and that sets up the conflict.
    A psychologist who said that he doesn’t know theatre apart from human character called the play consistent, with believable characters. The result is a strong play-within-a-play-within-a-play. It’s complex and highly theatrical, with heightened dialog and characters who jump (often mismatched) among the three levels of their ‘reality,’ via mentally-permeable walls.  Challenging and disturbing, but stimulating and engrossing. Then (‘89) judged to be “the most significant new play to-date” at Playwright’s Center, Chicago.
    Six characters; one main LR set and one simple side-set bar (or two fore-curtain scenes); longer full length–-135 min average. The 'Court' is a non-character who is visible throughout, comments occasionally, and denies the father-son 'bar' scene, already seen.
    A chalk-on-velvet drawing of the Act III, Scene 2  “dumb show” (third level) is available for your advertising/promotion logo, if wanted. The drawing was presented to the playwright by the first production’s cast and crew. Fully produced as a Playwright’s Center presentation, in Chicago. (Playwright’s favorite play.)

“Running”: A multi-ethnic take on the problem of mismatched societies–and what might or might not be done about the mismatch. (Staged reading for the public.)
    Plot: Three not-quite-buddies fight about running to, running from, and running drugs–with on-stage conflict of commitments and wills. The underlying theme is not as heavy as in Triage, above, but the action of the play is riveting and very contemporary as a crisis topic.
    Three characters; one LR set with doorbell and SFX music as trigger for one brief, choreographed fight scene; full length play–90 min.

“Wild Rice”: Especially appropriate as a social-interpreter if Native-American actors and audiences are available. (Rehearsed reading for the public.)
    Plot: Tentative but long-term friends (including a Native American) fight over who (between the societies and persons) owes what to whom–with a gun, snarls, beer, and laughs for props. An arresting take on the current social-unrest scene.
    Two characters, written in the immediate-nature of Tennessee’s "Two Character Play" rather than the Marsh memory-adaptation into "The Four Poster" (Cronin & Tandy). Two characters, one cabin-kitchen/patio, set in the woods; plus gunshots and minor car-arrival SFX. Shorter full length (80+ min), depending on direction.

“Speaking of Charlie”:
    Fully produced as a UNI university drama contest winner, in Chicago. Again in suburban Los Angeles at another university.
    Plot: A couple with a snippy, twenty-ish daughter and her fiancé clash over the bisexuality of the guys, which the wife had tried to ignore, but the daughter freaks out over. Intelligent and realistic handling of the last social taboo: bisexuality in the family. Copyrighted before AIDS had a name, it fingered bisexuality as the likely route of the dreaded 'gay disease' from the gay into the straight community.
     Why? Didn't AIDS spread too fast from the gay into the 'straight' communities to blame needles and prostitutes as the unquestioned 'sources'? This 'Family' situation is valid and needed information for our society, which remains in denial. This is not to say that the topic will be popular. But "Charlie" does approach its audience on an emotional level, which might sidestep some of the denial of facts.
     Four characters; one LR/DR open set; longer full length–125 min average. Fully produced as a Playwright’s Center public presentation, in Chicago. Produced (Oct-Dec, '05) by a second university (in suburban Los Angeles) as an AIDS-education presentation.
    It's not directly AIDS related but is a terrific Trojan Horse for taking mouth swabs in exchange for free tickets. Only $1.00 token royalty per performance if sponsored by a credentialed N-F-P in a 'neutral' venue, such as school or community auditorium or rented space.
    Caveat: Bisexuality (much less, within the family) is not a topic that's well-received in any general community--even if true! If your theatre group is not willing to take criticism for daring to produce or  even to mention the family connection to bisexuality, then, please, don't touch "Charlie". . . .


  Might your group  be interested in reading one or more of the MS’s listed? If so, just e-mail and ask for a printed copy of specific works(s): contact: A disk/flash for scripts can be furnished, but only for making cast copies after contract. Please include your submission policies and proper mailing address. And thanks for the consideration!
Northeastern Illinois University Charles R. Drew University

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