Dramatic Writing

Full Length Plays

BECOMING BRONTË

2 hrs. 3 W, 1 M. Full length, two-act poetic drama. Based on the poetry and early lives of the authors of Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and the Tenant of Wildfell Hall. One summer, a young man named William Weightman comes to study with their father, Reverend Brontë, at their isolated Yorkshire parsonage home. Weightman’s intoxicating presence inspires their burning passions and forever changes Anne, Charlotte, and particularly Emily.

Winner of the 1995 Austin Critics Table Award, the Live Oak Award for New Play Development, and the Richard and Betty Burdick National Playwight’s Festival. Produced at Capitol City Playouse, McNeese University, and staged reading at Florida Studio Theatre.

Buy on Lulu ButtonAdobe Acrobat File Read the script online or buy a copy

MAYS & TERESE

2 hrs. 2 W. Mother Teresa of Calcutta was easily one of the most beloved figures of our times: TIME dubbed Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of American Atheists, as “the most hated woman in America.” These two women were on a mission to make the world a better place, but with radically different means. This play is a fantasy based in a plausibility: what if “Mays” and “Terese” had known and influenced each other? (mature language)

Developed at the New Harmony Project, with the assistance of the City of Austin Arts Commission, and produced at Bloomington Playwright’s Project.

Read the script online

THE GOOD LADIES’ BOOK

2 hrs., w/music. 4 W, 5 M, 1 Boy. The play celebrates the life and struggles of the little known “mother of Thanksgiving,” Sarah Josepha Hale. As the editress of one of the first ladies’ magazines, Godey’s Ladies Book, Hale influences the reading, learning, economic and political consciousness of women across America. As The Civil War begins, Hale campaigns for Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Hale’s flaw of conservatism is revealed: but she is nonetheless applauded for her contributions.

Staged Reading by The Pollyanna Theatre Company.

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SAY YES!

2 M 2 F. 1 ½ hour without optional intermission. Cantankerous Northern Michigan roadside motel owner Lara Lonigan gets courted by big city Realtor Caroline Cooper with a proposition she CAN resist. Living in a world filled with missing persons and unsolved mysteries reruns, the pair inexplicably shack up together as winter approaches. The local deputy keeps an eye on them and begs Lara to keep out of trouble. Just as Caroline is cooling off, in walks Frank, a mysterious high tech stranger who digs holes at night and tells stories that don’t add up. The clues and accusations escalate, until everything falls in place with the unlikely truth being far stranger than fiction. A fast-paced comedy with a heart of hope, where financial and emotional trust cross the boundaries of time and space to reveal a beautiful if unexpected maturity. Selected for the Harvest Festival of New Plays, State Theatre Company, Austin Texas.

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Read the script or buy a copy

 


Plays for Young Audiences

Anthology:  Four Plays for Young Audiences

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A CHRISTMAS ROSE

55 min., w/music.* 2 W, 2 M. It is Christmas Eve, 1944, in Normandy, France. After an air raid, studious Jacques and brave Jeanette are separated from their mother, and take refuge in an abandoned Cathedral. As the lonely night wears on, they are visited by a saint, a gargoyle, and mysterious others. With a little help, they find new hope for the future and a perfect gift on Christmas Morning.

Nominated for B. Iden Payne for Best Original Script, with traditional French songs and carols. Commissioned and produced by The Pollyanna Theatre Company.

A DRAGON’S HAPPY DAY

55 min. 2 W, 2 M; with audio recordings. Tomboy Princess Middle is in a terribledilemma. She’s been sent away to a tower until she can learn to act like a normal princess. But just what is normal, anyway? The tower is guarded by a rather unusual Dragon, and together with some mixed-up helpers, the Metachromafly and Pegaunicorn, they beat The System, and learn that sometimes “normal” isn’t normal.

Commissioned and produced by The Pollyanna Theatre Company.

EDWARD, THE OWL, AND THE CALICO CAT

1 hr., w/music.* 1 W, 2 M, 1 Either. Edward is a bossy little boy who likes to make up funny words. Come along as he crosses the Fish in the Sea, the Land Where the Bong Tree Grows, and Turkey Who Lives on the Hill, to find his lost cat Gracie and a discover a hard truth about love. Based on the life and work of poet Edward Lear, with Victorian folk songs.

For script and performance information, contact Dramatic Publishing.

Commissioned and produced by The Pollyanna Theatre Company. Winner of the B. Iden Payne Award for Best Original Script.

DUCKIE SEES THE WORLD

1 hr. 3 W, 2 M. In 1992, a cargo shipment of plastic bath toys from Hong Kong was lost in the Pacific Ocean. For the next eleven years, the ducks and frogs floated around the world’s oceans, washing up on unexpected shores. This real event comes to life through the story of one special duckie on a search across the Arctic to find a kid to love, and one lonely oceanographer’s daughter, looking for a true friend.

Commissioned and produced by The Pollyanna Theatre Company. Recognized by the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America’s Aurand Harris award.

THE FUNNYBUN FAMILY PICNIC

1 hr. 2 W, 2 M. It’s a fine summer Saturday and the Funnybuns are preparing to go off on their annual family picnic. But, being a clown family, nothing goes as planned. Papa Willie tries hard to keep the kids laughing, while Mama Lindy keeps putting on band-aids. Brother Happy likes to rope, roughhouse and goof off. But sister Buffy wants none of it. She’s embarrassed by her clown family, and wants to be different. Willie has a sad but true secret, one that threatens to pull the family apart. Can Buffy find a way to follow her dreams? Will the family stick together?

Commissioned and produced by The Pollyanna Theatre Company.

IN THE MIDDLE OF IT ALL

2 hr. 10 W, 9 M. Inspired by oral and written history, this play with music follows five generations of the fictious Bauer family beginning in 1856 as a young German immigrant starts a family to the conflicted and fast paced life of a modern day high school student. Heartwarming and challenging.

Commissioned to celebrate the 150th anniversary the hometown of the American Girl franchize, by Lynda Sharpe of Middleton High School, Wisconsin.

RUMPELSTILTSKIN’S DAUGHTER

55 min. 1 W, 4 M. What happens when the famous little man’s daughter gets captured (like her mother) to spin gold? See how girl power outwits King King and saves the people in this fast-paced adaptation of Diane Stanley’s lovely picture book.

Finalist for the Jackie White Memorial National Children’s Play Writing Contest. Commissioned and produced by Zachary Scott Theatre’s Project InterAct.

PATTERNS, MORE PATTERNS, and PATTERN NATION

50 min. 4 Either. Imagine a world where four very special young children are made of pure color: Blue, Green, Yellow, and that extra-wild Red. Together, they explore and learn to recognize the patterns found all around us in nature, music, mathematics, language, science, and human behavior.

See the DVD produced by The Pollyanna Theatre Company!

VALENTINA HELPS OUT

50 min., w/music.* 2 W, 1 M. After her Momma forgets to kiss her goodbye, Valentina misses her bus and gets lost in the big city. With a Police Officer’s help, her Abulita, a taxi driver, comes to pick her up, and Valentina goes along on errands and meets many community helpers – on wheels! This interactive play contains songs and activities about safety and community, building to a serious call for help and a pandemonious rescue. With Spanish and early childhood folk songs.

Commissioned and produced by The Pollyanna Theatre Company as COMMUNITY HELPERS ON WHEELS.

 


Short Plays

ART BEAT

30 min. 1 W 2 M. A smart-assed play about a wealthy Southwestern couple’s differing opinions about contributed funding for the arts. (mature language)

Winner, Best of the Fest, FronteraFest, Austin Texas.

Read the script online or download a pdf

LIKE A METAPHOR

35 min. 4 W. 3 M. Written for middle school audiences and students to perform, this simple setting drama explores difference and identity girl named Scout who uses a wheelchair who loves to dance and a boy named Jazz who follows the beat of his own drum.

Winner of the Boston Public Schools Dramatic Development Award and the Everyday Heroes award, produced by Northwestern Missouri State University. 

Published by YouthPLAYS.

THE RICH FAMILY AND THE POOR FAMILY

20 min. 6 W, 4 M. The Castillos and Gonzales Families live in totally different worlds, but the Gonzales’ daughter Christina travels between the two. When the Gingerbread Man comes to make things right, old feuds are forgiven, and happiness is found in both homes. For 3rd grade students (Approx 8 years old) to perform.

Written with the Brooke Elementary Theatre Company.


 

Feature Length Screenplays

LOVING DAVID MAMET

An unknown young actress sleeps her way from London to Hollywood – but is she a fool for love? Romantic comedy with an edge.

After the death of her mother and father, charming 20-year-old Cherry Green flirts with her acting coach and does plays. Against the warnings of her radical feminist best friend, she begins a series of misguided but hilarious affairs with actors and stage managers, books a show in London, and finally gets her big film break. When the truth comes out about Cherry’s past, she goes into a tailspin. Will Cherry find the love of her life and save her stalled career? Can she really have it all?

A sexy, funny, smart commentary on the roles women play, on stage, screen, and in life.

ELIZA’S FERRY

A drama/romance/western about a Mormon wife who falls for a Navajo who isn’t what he appears to be.

In the desert Southwest of the 1880’s, an “other” wife overcomes abandonment, predators, and the Colorado River only to be devastated by a tragic personal loss. A nearby Navajo clan is more aware of her situation than she realizes, while an outcast brave secretly offers aid. Once discovered, she distrusts him and he provokes her, but ultimately his influence enables her to find happiness and fulfillment on her own terms.

This visually epic yet character-driven story was inspired by historic Lee’s Ferry, Arizona. It’s loosely based on the history of the area. ELIZA’S FERRY celebrates a journey filled with courage, hope, and the power and mystery of unconventional love.

Quarter and Semi Finalist in the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting

Finalist in the Cinestory Competition.

THE OTHER MOTHER

A drama about a teenage violinist who survives competition and her troubled mother to find the truth that sets her free.

Set in the early 1980’s, a high strung mother wants her daughter to be first chair in their affluent high school orchestra. Her misfit daughter tries to please her mom, but her chief competition is her best friend, and daughter of the Orchestra teacher. When the other girl wins, jealousy and illness come to the fore, and the daughter’s dreams and premonitions come true.

Salon reading through Austin Script Works.