I've been fortunate to have my work published by Brooklyn Publishers for quite a few years now. They specialize in plays for use by high school students, for use in class, production and in competition. For me, they've provided additional life to many of my ten-minute plays which I originally wrote to be performed by adults (and have been) and now are used as duets in competition by hundreds of students every year. If I've learned one thing from my Brooklyn experience, it's that you don't have to dumb down your work for it to appeal to students. As actors, they want challenges.
The new catalog just came in the mail a little while ago. I get a surge of positive energy from thought of this catalog arriving in the mailboxes of tens of thousands of high schools across the country, and directors and students paging through in hopes of finding a script that will excite them.
This year's catalog has a few new entries from me that I hope students will find (In the online catalog, they can read excerpts from the play.) (The short plays have been mentioned on this blog before, but they've only just been added to the printed catalog. Collected Obsessions is only newly available.)
Collected Obsessions. Full-length collection. 3-16 women, 1-3 men (4-20 total). This is a collection of eight of my most popular plays, all of which feature characters dealing with a variety of obsessions. This is a great ensemble piece, giving an audience an evening of comedy and drama. (The plays include Insomnia, Crowded Heart, The Sky is Falling, Quiet, Den of Iniquity, The Invisible Husband, Confirmed Sighting, and Measuring Matthew.)
Confirmed Sighting. Ten-minute duet. 2 women. Fiona and Kelly have spotted an ivory-billed woodpecker, once thought extinct, in the swamps of Arkansas. Fiona is an ornithologist and this sighting will make her career, but Kelly owns the photographic evidence that Fiona desperately needs. This comedy has been extremely popular with audiences in theatres in New York, Boston, and Baltimore.
Recognition. Ten-minute duet. 2 women. Drama. A chance encounter between an adoptive mother, Allison, and the birth mother of her child reopens old wounds. How far will Allison push Tanya for information? This is another of my "adoption" plays, and in some ways is a companion piece to Stop, Rain. I developed this play with Mill 6, as part of their T Plays festival, of plays set and written on Boston's subways.
Stick Up for Mars: Fiona and Kelly are halfway to Mars, but after a year in space their personalities are wearing on each other. One little Post-It note might be the last straw. A zero-gravity comedy. (Originally produced in 10x10 in North Carolina. Think "Odd Couple" in space.)
Schedule-Meisters: Schedule-Meisters promises to help ease any mother’s busy schedule, but Mary might be their most challenging customer yet. (This was my first play produced in Australia.) (It's a hoot. A dark comedy that harried parents will appreciate.)
Here's a photo from Schedule-Meisters in Minnesota:
If you're a student or teacher and have production photos from any of these plays, please send it to me. I'd love to feature it on my web site and blog, and put it on the Brooklyn site.