Royalty fees waived for groups using performances to raise awareness (and/or money) for local organizations addressing the issues raised in the scripts. Sample song and monologue from each play below. Contact me for PDFs of the full scripts.
Voices of Economic Hardship from Generations Past and Present
WWI Vet’s Wife:
Eugene and I got married the year the Great War started. I found out I was in a family way the day after he shipped out. Helen was born while he was fighting in France. We planned to have lots of babies, I came from a family of 12. Eugene was the a big man, born and raised on his granddaddy’s dairy farm. Before he came back from the war he used to be able to scoop me up in his arms, picnic basket and all, and carry me from Duncan’s crossing up the hill to Friar’s Oak where he proposed. That’s why it was so hard to recognize him when he came back, they said it was the mustard gas. He never got strong enough to go back to the dairy, but Mr. Towns at the variety store gave him a job working the cash register. There were no more children either, they said that was on account of the mustard gas too. Not long after The Depression started Mr. Towns had to let Eugene go. We were able to hold on with a little savings and I did extra sewing just to try and pay the rent, but eventually there was barely enough money for food. So when Helen read about Sargent Water’s Bonus Marchers in Washington, asking to redeem those certificates all the veterans had been awarded by Congress, we decided to join them. By the time we arrived at the city of tents in early July they say there were over 40,000 veterans and their families. We were supposed to wait 12 more years to get the bonus, but people were hungry then, even if we didn’t get the full amount it would mean we could hang on for a little longer. I couldn’t believe it when President Hoover sent the army to drive us off. We barely managed to get our things and out of the way before the tanks destroyed everything. Congress finally gave out those bonuses in 1936, but by then Eugene was gone. They say that was on account of the mustard gas too, that his lungs finally just gave out.
art by Mike Burton
Stories Seldom Told
A feminist retelling of some familiar and not so familiar Biblical Stories.
Painful and funny, with a sense of connection and hope.
In this readers' theater production, sixteen women characters of different ages have the opportunity to speak, and sometimes sing, their own version of the story and share their own experience. The stories echo through into this century for anyone who has ever been betrayed, searched for meaning, been maligned, spoken up to injustice, or simply struggled with family.
Memory Runs Through My Veins: Eve and Lilith sing a duet based on Genesis 1-3
(based on Esther 1)
Vashti is an older woman working on an art project - either a painting or three dimensional woman’s figure in clay. The words are spoken in almost a distracted way as she focuses on her art.
It’s not that I hated being beautiful exactly – I just hated how it seemed to make other people act toward me. The women who thought they were beautiful tended to treat me as if I was an automatic rival. The women who perhaps did not see themselves as beautiful tended to assume I was cold and vain. There was an odd sort of loneliness about it that I couldn’t quite identify – a kind of amorphous vacuum of relationships with other women I never quite understood until much later in my life.
And then there were the men. Most of them begin their lives completely in love with the woman who gave them birth – and the rest of their lives trying to distance themselves from that kind of attachment to any other woman. And so if you are perceived as a beautiful woman you become a tapestry – a two dimensional piece of art hung on the wall for other men to admire. And whether we are hung in a King’s hall or a slave’s hovel, we are to them, still a piece of decoration that can be changed if they decide they want to look at something else.
The evening my husband, King Xerxes called me into the banquet hall where he and his guests were already drunk with too much wine and their own stories of war, was really not much different than hundreds of other such occasions. Except, except that somehow that night, I was different. I knew what my husband had not yet noticed, that this tapestry was beginning to fray a bit at the edges. Perhaps from years of too much careless handling. That the color was fading just ever so slightly from over exposure to the bright glare of too many sets of leering eyes. That the fabric itself was becoming stretched and misshapen from being hung up, and then packed away, and then hung up again too many times. I was simply tired and wanted to be left alone.
And so when he called me into the banquet hall that night to display my famous beauty to his honored guests I said no for the first time in my life. Do I regret it? Do I regret that to make an example for all disobedient wives the King’s advisors bullied him into holding a national beauty contest and replacing me with a new tapestry for his wall?
Sometimes painful, sometimes silly,
Breastify! is based on, yes, breast stories from women (and men) from all over the country. Through a series of monologues and a few surprises, the show celebrates and struggles with all the important breasts in our lives.
(lights up center stage, a middle aged man in a baseball cap enter and begins speaking - two Breastifiers stand slightly behind to his right and left)
It was on my mind that morning in the shower. My wife’s cousin, Lorna, had just died of it. I stood under the water soaping up, glad that my daughter, Sharon, had survived it. Two years in remission come spring, knock on wood. I thought how different our lives would be if Sharon, the single mom of our two grandkids, hadn’t survived.
That’s when I felt it. I wonder if I’d have even noticed it if I hadn’t been thinking of Lorna and Sharon. It was small, smaller than a lug nut. When I first touched it I thought maybe it was just my imagination, but it was definitely there, just to the left of where I hold my hat during the National Anthem at ball games. I washed off the soap and looked down, trying to see it through the hair. When I pushed on my chest around it, I could see it bulge out slightly.
I finished my shower and got dressed to take my wife to our grandson’s school band concert. I was scheduled for my annual check up the next day, so why worry about it. At the doctor’s office it was the usual drill. After I turned my head and coughed, and he listened to my heart and lungs, he said, for a guy my age, I was in pretty good shape, but maybe I oughtta lay off the cheeseburgers and eat more salad. I laughed, he’d been sayin’ that to me for years. He was just about done when I mentioned it.
“I know it’s silly, Doc,” I said, “but would you just take a look at this.” I felt more than a little foolish, you know, even saying it. I thought he was joking when he told me I needed to get a mammogram. Who knew? Turns out men can get it too.
You wouldn’t believe the funny looks I got in the waiting room - and after that first mammogram, I had a new respect for every woman in my life. When I got the results I thought, “It’s over, how am I gonna tell my wife?”
But she took it like a champ and started doing all kinds of research on the Internet. Turns out I was lucky, lots of doctors don’t even know men can get it, and just like mother’s and daughters, it can go from father to son.
They told me I had three options and to go home and think about it. Hell what was there to think about? The surgery destroyed my chest, they took out 24 nodes. They suggested I take tomaxofin, but I decided one of us in the house with hot flashes was enough!
My son thinks I should get a tattooed nipple, and my four year old granddaughter asked, “Grandpa, is your boob gonna grow back?”
My wife was amazed that I just had it cut off and moved on. But both of us now tell every man we know to check.