dreams of the penny gods
Bug is just your average 13-year-old girl who happens to have been born into a criminal family that's hiding out a storage facility. So naturally, she's transformed herself into a high priestess who's trying to raise the dead. On this particular summer day, her incantations seem to work, setting off an acceleration of events ending in a rough Armageddon that launches her into the world.
Winner of the 2012 Rita and Burton Goldberg Playwriting Award at Hunter College. Selected for Playwrights Week at the Lark Play Development Center, 2013.
Alligator Road Hardware in central Florida has seen better days. Kathy, widow of the recently deceased owner, has yarn-bombed knit cozies over all the hammers, saws, and paint cans. It's her whimsical farewell to the store she's always hated before she hands the keys over to Chantay, a complete stranger. But Kathy's daughter Candace shows up and she'll do anything to stop her mother from giving away the family store. A play that unravels ideas about entitlement, reparations, and family responsibility.
Beth, a rather unremarkable dentist, hires Juanita, a laid-off paralegal and aspiring opera singer, to care for her deaf pre-schooler. The women square off in a strange ballet of power grabs, deceit, and manipulation with higher and higher stakes, but is this a game anyone can really win?
Italian Renaissance painter Sofonisba Anguissola arrives at the Spanish Court the same time as King Philip II's 14-year-old bride, Isabel. Sofonisba is quickly taken into the young queen's confidence, and navigates the tricky waters of court politics as an unmarried woman.
Written with a grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation. Reading at the Kennedy Center 9/08. Reading at National Museum of Women in the Arts 5/09.
A voyeuristic peek at dating 1,000 years from now. Louisa's your average, brainy, slightly mousy single gal in the city. Sure, she's got twelve clones and a decent job at the Center for Proteonomics, but she's also got a genetic trait of not feeling pain that makes her, well...different. Louisa's predictable world is turned upside down when she meets romantic renegade Sam online at the Ninja Diner. Sam offers Louisa everything she wants, and a few things she hadn't bargained for.
Produced at Capital Fringe Festival 2006 and 2009. Part of Alcyone Festival 2013.
An imaginative romp through two years in the life of Lulu. Helping her find her way are 54 characters, including her grandmother's doting cousins, her two pet fighting fish, and the Zen friends she meets at a yoga retreat in the Berkshires.
Commissioned and produced by Phoenix Theatre 5/05.
Set in the Yukon in 1899. I call this one "Deadwood" meets "Memento." With women.
Winner of the 2011 Rita and Burton Goldberg Playwriting Award at Hunter College.
Clare, a telecommunications consultant with a troubled past and a mother who lives in a box, is sent with a coworker on assignment on a submarine. She quickly discovers they are on an illegal treasure hunt and have to fear attacks by pirates. But going down to the bottom of the ocean brings her closer to something even more terrifying--her mother.
Part of the Road Theatre's Road Signs Reading Series.
comedy of errors
Adapted and condensed for young actors.
A newly translated adaptation of Mozart's operetta THE IMPRESARIO.
Commissioned and produced by The In Series 1/08. Produced 2012 in Trinidad and Tobago.
This stage adaptation of "The Rape of Lucrece" lends a fresh perspective to the centuries-old story of Lucretia, a noblewoman who killed herself after she was raped. Based on Shakespeare's poem.
Commissioned and produced by Washington Shakespeare Company 2/07.
Click here to read a scholarly article Krystyna Kujawinska of the University of Lodz published about my play.
hyena and other short plays
PLAY GRAVEYARD 2006-2008
These six plays had short, brutish lives, and played a significant role in my early development as a writer. When I started out, I wanted to learn as quickly as possible, so I kept writing (and often self-producing) during these years. They were either written in a time- or site-specific way and are now retired, or were just complete (and very useful) failures.
A Tennessee landowner rides a hot-air balloon to Mount Olympus to persuade Peace to return to earth. She will, but at a price. A wickedly subversive play based on Aristophanes' original. Was written for the 2008 Presidential election.
Commissioned and produced by Washington Shakespeare Company 9/08.
A non-profit association devoted to saving elephants is sending a couple of hotshots into Africa to help combat the problem of poaching for ivory. Meanwhile, the elephants are making their own preparations. Inspired by "The Waste Land," "Hamlet," and white liberal guilt. The events take place in April 2007 in Washington DC, and featured a Woolly Mammoth company member playing herself. It was performed by a cast of 21 (mostly playing animals) at the Capital Fringe Festival on the Woolly Mammoth mainstage.
Longing. Guilt. Forgiveness. Grace. A mysterious package of letters. Devoutly religious Brenda, once a widow with two sons, is now on her second marriage; she's in counseling, her husband's in trouble with a dominatrix, and her son's cooking crystal meth in the basement. And 17-year-old Ruby emerges as a startling figure in a play that explores the unconventional ways people search for emotional, mental, and physical release. A semifinalist at the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference in 2006, "Safeword" asks why is it so much easier to get what we need from strangers. The play takes place between September 10-12, 2004. It had a reading at the Kennedy Center in September 2006.
Family Breeds Contempt. A chiropractor, a baked snowboarder, two sets of sisters, and a guy named after a planet gather in an upper Northwest DC home to celebrate Mary's "40-10th" birthday. A choice made 34 years ago changed their lives; on New Year's Day, this family of functioning alcoholics has no idea that the birthday surprise they have in store will be the catalyst that exposes everything. Takes place December 30, 2005-January 2, 2006. Produced by DC Dollies & The Rocket Bitch Revue.
the tragedy of mary lou skatonda
A fairy tale about murder, genocide, and mother-daughter angst. Mary Lou Skatonda, a top commander in a militaristic organization seeking to establish a genetically more liberal world, falls into the hands of a seductive demon and his beastly minion, a lovesick parakeet. In the year 2067, the fate of the free world will be decided by a jacked-up video game. How far would you go to save your job, your daughter, and even the planet? A few people walked out of a reading of the play at the Kennedy Center in September 2007. RAWK.
Paul's plans to propose marriage over Thanksgiving break are thwarted by a last-minute breakup voice mail from his girlfriend. Bewildered and with no place to go, he heads to rural SW Virginia with his dorm-mate. In Danny's family, conversation revolves around 9/11 conspiracy theories, Henry David Thoreau, and which big-screen TV to grab at the Wal-Mart. Written in 2006 and had a reading at Woolly Mammoth's Melton Rehearsal Hall. Aside from the title and a monologue I ended up using in another play, not much there.