A Late Supper is the story of two sisters, Diane and Debbie, who have chosen markedly different life paths. As the play opens, Diane is excitedly preparing a dinner in anticipation of the arrival of her beloved sister, much to the dismay of Diane's husband, Mark. Tensions flare when Debbie arrives with a surprise date – Mark’s high school idol, Greg, an accomplished pro golfer. When a smoldering unresolved conflict between Mark and Debbie becomes uncontainable, dinner ends up on the floor. They order pizza and hope it will arrive before this quartet’s intricate web of lies and betrayals fully unravels.
DIANE SHEFFIELD 30's/40's housewife married to Mark.
MARK SHEFFIELD, 40 year old advertising executive.
DEBBIE STAR, a 30-something rock and roll singer, sister of Diane.
GREG WILCOX, a 40 year old ex-professional golfer.
A Late Supper ran as a limited engagement from November 30th thru December 22nd, 2002, at the Maverick Theatre in New York City. The production was directed by Julie Boyd and starred Karthryn Leask (DIANE), Peter Bradbury (MARK), Cindy Katz (DEBBIE), and Michael McKenzie (GREG).
(co-written with FLORA DOONE)
A Wayward Safari is the story of two friends who embark on a Safari to Tanzania. It was Tilly’s lifelong dream to go see Africa, but after planning her elaborate trip, Tilly, who just turned sixty, is detoured by a divorce from her wife. Gaby, her childhood best friend stands in. The play takes place in a luxury camp in the middle of Serengeti National Park where the two women join their celebrated camp coordinator, Nelson and their amiable but troubled guide, Mosi, along with their fellow safari mates.
It’s the morning after they’ve arrived and Tilly is less than enthusiastic about being there. Her grumpiness goes beyond jet lag and a long jeep ride -- Tilly didn’t want to go on this trip with Gaby, she wanted it to be with her wife. And to make matters worse, the discomfort of using a compost toilet is closer to the bush then she anticipated! Fortunately Gaby knows just what buttons to push, to pull Tilly out of her funk and into the splendor of the Serengeti plains.
A revived Tilly hops in the jeep with Gaby and they are met by contrary seventy year old Richard and his clueless twenty two year old grandson Jason. The day is spent exploring wonders of wildlife in the park and adjusting to surviving the close quarters of the jeep. At the end of a full day there is wine, conversation and an impromptu performance by Jason, an aspiring and hopeless actor. Further entertainment is provided by Tilly’s inability to navigate the make shift shower and her obsession with washing that dust right out of her hair. At lights out the girls pop a Xanax and settle in for a good night’s sleep when suddenly the sound of a lions roar sets them upright in terror. Remembering the law of the jungle, don’t run, don’t scream, they thrust their faces deep into their pillows and shriek until the lion goes away. They learn the next day that it was only his mighty roar, the lion was miles away and they were never in danger.
Morning comes and it’s back in the jeep. In contrast to the first day of grazing herds and playful monkeys, this day quickly takes a darker turn. Two giraffes battle it out over who is the dominant male, a dead zebra is found on the side of the road, and a curly tail bouncing in the grass becomes a lion’s dinner. The alternate view of life in the wild effects each of the travelers very differently, some momentously. This sets in motion personal upheaval, deep rooted confrontations and ultimately, transformation.
MATILDA (TILLY) - A 60 year old LGBTQ woman, any ethnicity, safari guest.
GABRIELLA (GABY) - A 60 year old woman, any ethnicity, safari guest.
MOSI - A 30 something Tanzanian man, safari guide.
NELSON - A 50 year old Tanzanian man, safari camp coordinator.
RICHARD - A 70 year old Caucasian man, safari guest.
JAYSON - A 22 year old Chinese man, safari guest.
(co-written with FLORA DOONE)
It’s 1952, thirteen year old Alex Martin follows his beloved Uncle Bobby to the Jacksonville train yard and hops a freight train. The boxcar is filled with Hobos all making their way to Britt, IA, for the annual Hobo Convention and the crowning of the Hobo King (a real event since 1900). Uncle Bobby is less than thrilled to have Alex tag along, but Alex is determined to have a summer adventure and will not be dissuaded. Although Uncle Bobby is a hero in Alex’s eyes, having been the star basketball player in his home town, in truth he is nothing more than a lying, cheating bum. Fortunately a kindly old Hobo named John Rich witnesses Alex’s hero worship and Bobby’s true self. He makes a point of keeping a close watch on Alex. It only takes a short while before Alex is forced to see his Uncle for the person he really is. The problem is Uncle Bobby is running for Hobo King, charming all the Hobos with his good looks and cool basketball skills. If he wins, the gentle Hobo culture will be threatened by Bobby’s inevitable bad behavior.
Alex knows his Uncle must be defeated, and there’s only one Hobo who can defeat him…John Rich, the man who saw through Bobby right from the start. It takes a lot of persuading but Alex finally convinces John Rich to run for Hobo King. Alex's summer adventure takes off as John Rich introduces Alex to the cool Hobo culture, and along the way he meets a beautiful teenage Hobo girl named JoJo. Campaigning is hard work and they narrowly avoid confrontations with Bobby. Finally Alex and John Rich arrive in Iowa, but the election for Hobo King brings alarming consequences, an experience that shocks Alex, and shapes his life forever.
A Boxcar and some grass
(This play can be performed with 9 actors with roles described and assigned below):
ALEX MARTIN - a 13 year old Caucasian boy who looks 16
JOHN RICH - a 62 year old Caucasian man
BOBBY CUFF - a 25 year old Caucasian man, Alex's Uncle
SWINGING SAMMY BROWN - a 30's-40's, African American man
GRAINCAR GEORGE - a 50 something Caucasian man
SUSIE MAE- an 18 year old Caucasian girl who looks younger
PREACHER - a 30's-40's, African American man
MAISY - a 40-50-60's African American woman
STINKY MAHONE - a 50 something Caucasian man
JOJO - a 13 year old Caucasian girl who looks 16
MISS OLIVE - a 40 year old Caucasian woman
HATTIE - a 40-50-60's African American woman
CINDY CHEN - a 20 something Asian woman
TESS - a 40 year old Caucasian woman
JIN-YOUNG KIM - a 20 something Asian woman
MAYOR - a 50 something Caucasian man
OLDER ALEX - a 23 year old Caucasian man
BEATNIKS/HOBOS/POLICE/BOXER - various men and women
This play can be performed with 9 actors with roles assigned as follows:
BOBBY CUFF/OLDER ALEX
SWINGING SAMMY BROWN/BOXER/PREACHER/BEATNIK
GRAINCAR GEORGE/POLICEMAN/STINKY MAHONE/BEATNIK/MAYOR
CINDY CHEN/JIN-YOUNG KIM
If Wishes Were Horses takes place in late summer 2006. Tiger Woods is the world’s best golfer, with Phil Mickelson closing the gap until his disastrous loss at the US Open at Winged Foot. Our hero, Doug, is a downsized Human Resources exec who needs a job. His wife Karen has been supporting him – for too long. His father-in-law Bill needs a place to live after the assisted living facility catches fire. Doug really needs a job. Add to this explosive mixture his obsession with Phil Mickelson’s collapse, a remarkable green thumb and a dog who shows him that being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be miraculous. If Wishes Were Horses wonders whether three people can get out of the rough and on with their lives…without killing each other.
KAREN MONROE - High school physical education teacher, forty/fifty year old wife of Doug
DOUG MONROE - Downsized Human Resources executive, fifty year old husband of Karen
BILL STEPHENS - Retired appliance repairman, Sixty/seventy year old Father of Karen
GOLF ANNOUNCER - Man or Woman.
If Wishes Were Horses ran as a limited engagement from June 7th thru June 30th, 2007, at Altered Stages in New York City. The production was directed by Julia Gibson and starred Michael McKenzie (DOUG), Suzanne Grodner (KAREN), Robertson Carricart (BILL).
If Wishes Were Horses received a staged reading in 2016 in NYC, produced by Nomad Theatrical. The play was given significant updates and modifications including the addition of a new character, the Golf Announcer.
(co-written with FLORA DOONE)
It’s Magic! - is the story of Grace Valentine, a beautiful 29 year old woman who grew up idolizing the romance of her parents, two kooky sweethearts since the Golden Age of the forties. It’s November 1999, Grace has just been dumped by her fiancé and kicked out his apartment. The new millennium is just around the corner and Grace is more unhappy than ever. With little romance in sight, Grace fantasizes about living in that bygone era, which she always believed was when people truly came together and fell into everlasting love.
Her lifelong friend, Keesha, an upcoming fashion designer tries to move Grace forward and out the rut that she is stuck in. Picking her battles and starting with baby steps, Keesha demands Grace rent a movie other than Casablanca, mandating it be made within the last decade. Grace trudges off to the local video store where she meets Sonny, a wanna-be film director stuck managing his family’s video store – it’s no blockbuster. He’s immediately impressed with Grace’s Casablanca trivia, and more than a little be smitten with her. Grace however finds him…odd. A desperate Sonny creates a ruse, switching videos in order to bring the correct rental to her, hoping to show her who he is; a funny, Rick & Ilsa loving all around nice guy. The ploy works, its popcorn and Casablanca until Sonny bursts Grace’s bubble about the forties not being the be-all-end-all. Grace will hear none of it and sends Sonny packing. Not wanting to see him again she insists he take the videos back but he refuses and storms out. Supremely irritated, Grace braves the night and goes to return the videos herself. Along the way a mugger attempts to steal her purse but all he gets are the video rentals.
An angry and shaken Grace vows this is the “last straw”. Finding herself in front of a rundown church, seeking comfort Grace steps inside. Although appearing abandoned, the magic begins at the threshold of the church where Father Kevin is there to greet her. After listening to her plight that she is living in the wrong time, Father Kevin hands Grace an old subway token. As if by magic she is transported to year 1944. Grace is ecstatic, she’s thrilled, life couldn’t be better - or could it? She finds deep rooted prejudices; she befriends a closeted gay neighbor longing to “come out” with no avenue to do so; and is made responsible for a very sick abandoned baby in desperate need of modern medicine. Grace has a choice; stay and the baby will die or return to 1999. And so, for Grace Valentine, delayed adolescent, daydreamer, late bloomer, life finally gets on track. Grace is on her way to discover that happiness is created in the now, the past is your ally, not your prison.
(diverse casting except where noted)
GRACE - a 30 year old woman
ENRICO - a building superintendent
KEESHA - 30's, African-American fashion designer
SONNY - 30's, Grace's love interest
LUIZ - 20's, co-worker of Grace
BETTY - Grace's Mom
WALTER - Grace's Dad
CUSTOMER - a man
MAN IN BASEBALL CAP - a thug
FATHER KEVIN - a homeless man
DR. LANGMOORE - 1944 Physician
RAYMOND DARBY- 50's, Grace's friend in 1944
OLD WOMAN - a woman in 1944
*This play can be performed with 7 actors, with roles assigned and described below.
ENRICO/LUIZ/MAN IN BASEBALL CAP
CUSTOMER/FATHER KEVIN/RAYMOND DARBY
Revisiting Wildfire is a funny and moving two character play that tests the friendship of former college roommates Theresa and Pam, who met in the early years of punk and the Reagan Administration. Now 52, both women are facing personal crises: When Theresa loses her job and falls out of touch, Pam leaves Ohio and arrives unannounced at Theresa’s NYC apartment. Theresa has recently discovered spiritual guidance and her new life purpose in a 70’s pop ballad, which Pam finds more than a little insane. But, in a volatile afternoon, Pam makes her own startling revelation and they find their lives are at a crossroads. They each have to answer the question, “How are you, my lifelong friend, going to be a part of my new life?” Is their shared history an obstruction or a guide to their future? To move forward and save their friendship, the two women must find in each other a neglected and vital part of themselves.
THERESA - A Fifty Two year old Woman, urban, stylish, gorgeous after all these years.
PAM - A Fifty Two year old Woman, suburban, funny, taking the aging process in stride.
Revisiting Wildfire ran as a limited engagement from June 1st thru June 24th, 2012, at the Arclight Theatre in New York City. The production was directed by Eve Brandstein and starred Nancy Johnston (PAM) and Lynne Wintersteller (THERESA).
Revisiting Wildfire ran as a workshop production from July 8th thru July 31st, 2011, as a guest artist production at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. The production was directed by Eve Brandstein and starred Denise Crosby (PAM) and Jamie Rose (THERESA).
(co-written with FLORA DOONE)
That Gorgon Girl is the comedic story of two teenage girls in 2018 New York City, one of whom happens to be Medusa, the Gorgon from ancient Greece. She has been restored to her original youth and beauty and sent down by Zeus to help one of her descendants, Phoebe, who is in danger of following in her footsteps. Zeus, believing Medusa has learned her lesson, hopes that she can prevent history from repeating itself. Instead, it backfires.
With the help of Phoebe’s Mom, Medusa poses as an exchange student. She hopes that by spending day and night with Phoebe, she can guide her away from her awful behavior. Zeus stays close by, taking on various disguises to monitor Medusa’s efforts.
Like Medusa was, Phoebe is beautiful with gorgeous flowing curls and is obnoxiously self-centered. Every boy has thrown themselves at her feet except Spiro, the one she wants. This snub has brought out the worst in Phoebe, and threatens to bring out the curse she’s inherited from Medusa.
Medusa has good intentions – she really tries, really really really tries. But Phoebe brings out the monster in her, rekindling her old jealousies, envy and vanity, which led to her being cursed in the first place. It all comes to a boil when Spiro falls head over heels for Medusa. Phoebe’s rage engages the curse, her skin tone changes, her hair thickens and her dark glare turns Spiro to stone.
Medusa is horrified! Zeus is furious! Phoebe is green! But Medusa won’t let Phoebe fall to the peril of Gorgonhood, the life she had -- and hated. She convinces Phoebe to trust the beauty within, overcome her insecurities and free herself from the curse forever. (approximate running time 60 minutes)
MOM - A forty-something woman, mother of Phoebe.
MEDUSA - A fifteen year old girl.
ZEUS - A fifty/sixty/seventy year old man.
PHOEBE - A fifteen year old girl.
THADDEUS - A fifteen year old boy.
SPIRO - A fifteen year old boy.
(co-written with FLORA DOONE)
Two foster brothers grow together, but ultimately apart in THE PAGE TURNER. Alternating between the past and present, a metronome continues throughout to signify time. Brandon, Caucasian and Cody, African American were raised by single mother, Ellen, who they have markedly different relationships with. Despite growing up in the same home since grade school, in Kingston, NY, the boys couldn’t be more unalike.
The past shows how the bond the two foster brothers develops and how their contrasting relationship with Ellen is formed. The present shows their differences -- one achieving his rightful place in the world as a classical pianist, the other returning from the war in Iraq a broken man.
As the play moves rhythmically from present day to scenes from the past, it explores relationships, race and what it means to be a family
BRANDON MCNEAL - A 23 year old Caucasian man. Physically imposing, secretive, emotionally scarred.
CODY JOHNSON - A 21 year old African American man. Sensitive, disciplined, eager to please.
ELLEN TURNER - A 45 year old Caucasian woman. Caring, stoic, forced to make hard decisions.
The Porch is the story of four desperate souls all looking for a place to stop running. On one not-so-ordinary summer afternoon three guests show up at the same bed & breakfast that the innkeeper eagerly wants to shutter. Just short of being physically coerced into staying open, he allows them to stay while leaving them to their own devices. None of the group, including the innkeeper, is entirely stable, making it only a matter of time before the porch becomes a battleground. Out of the darkness, however, a new day emerges, bringing hope and courage to unlikely allies.
JEAN WALLACE - A stylish Bohemian woman in her forties/early fifties. She quickly jumps to the aid of anyone in need, anything to avoid dealing with her own problems.
ZIAD - A man in his late twenties, a classical dancer. He is sweet and impish, wouldn't hurt a fly...but oh how he loves to stir things up!
LEE STILLMAN - A man in his forties/fifties. Had big plans for himself but couldn't get out of his own way, now he doesn't care to.
RAMONA BORRAZA - A successful Latina woman in her late thirties. She is strong and confident in business, clueless and insecure in love.
The Porch ran as a limited engagement from June 1st thru June 25th , 2006, at Altered Stages in New York City. The production was directed by Michael Berry and starred Lauren Mufson (JEAN), Don Harvey (LEE), Javier Munoz (ZIAD) and Shirley Roeca (RAMONA).
In Voices of Swords, a comedic drama, Alexis, a personal organizer is hired by the son of a woman facing heart surgery to minister to his lonely yet indomitable mother. However the organizer is completely disorganized and her clients turn out to be a veritable force of nature. The strain of balancing the headstrong, prodigal son against his formidable mother forces Alexis to reveal an aching, explosive truth of her own, one that has caused the deadly virtual swordfight in her mind.
ALEXIS - A woman in her forties
OLIVIA - A Caucasian woman in her sixties/seventies.
TEDDY - A man in his sixties/seventies, Alexis' father.
MAVE - A woman in her sixties/seventies, Alexis' mother.
MATTHEW - A man in his forties/fifties, ex-husband of Alexis.
KOSEY - A man of color in his thirties/forties, Olivia's son.
Voices of Swords ran as a limited engagement from August 15th thru September 7, 2014, at Walkerspace in New York City. The production was directed by Eve Brandstein and starred Loni Ackerman (OLIVIA), Bob Ari (TEDDY), Phillip Christian (KOSEY), Gillien Goll (MAVE), Michael Mckenzie (MATTHEW) and Celia Schaefer (ALEXIS).
Voices of Swords (workshop production) ran June 18 - June 22, 2008 at Urban Stages in New York City. The production was directed by Spider Duncan Christopher and starred Rosemary Prinz (OLIVIA),, Lauren Mufson (ALEXIS), Robert M. Jimenez (KOSEY), Michael McKenzie (MATTHEW), Mary Elaine Monti (MAVE) and Gordon Joseph Weiss (TEDDY).