3 Character Plays

Reading from a makeshift room in an abandoned warehouse, homeless Ruthie is startled when Flavors, drunk and also homeless, suddenly intrudes. He soon becomes fascinated by Ruthie’s stacks of books and  her refined ways, as she reads him poetry and tells stories about her once upon a time life. A friendship evolves and he softens, as she introduces him to a kinder, more gentle way of life. However, disappointments are on the horizon for both, when Ruthie’s longtime friend Moe, exposes the painful truth to Flavors about her and what she really is. Feeling betrayed, Flavors returns to Ruthie enraged where he unleashes his anger. It is during this powerful scene, that she admits, her stories were all dreams and then asks the question, “ Is it wrong to share a dream? After all without dreams, we are but empty shells.”  

It is then made clear, her fantasy life was the only thing that kept her from falling into her own madness. 

  • Cast Size: 2M 1W
  • Running Time: Under an Hour
  • $50 per performance

On a summer night in 1979, a man picks up a male street hustler at a bus station in Houston, Texas, and they go to a motel that caters to the prostitutes that work in the area.  As the evening wears on, the hustler learns that he may be a pawn in a very dangerous game.  A game orchestrated by a man named Jeffery Dahmer.  After completing basic training in the US Army, Dahmer completed his Advanced Individual Training in San Antonio, Texas.  While no known killings happened during Dahmer’s stint in The Lone Star State, this edgy docudrama depicts a possible chance meeting of the man known as the “Milwaukee Monster” and a male prostitute bearing a resemblance to Dahmer’s first murder victim.

  • Cast Size: 3M
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Becca, a 40-something married woman, has to creatively adapt to her condition of infertility due to “old eggs.” As an adopted woman who has no biological ties to her past, and as an infertile woman, she wrestles with her condition: she is, she say, in “eggs-isle.” Becca dubs herself a “genetic island” as she is adopted and her eggs are “mature” – a fertility euphemism for old. Joined by her alter egos, Estrogen and Lucky, two live puppets, who serve as the chorus, wise fools, and comic relief, the play is full of stories, tragic and funny, about motherhood, fate, the transmission of identity, nature vs. nurture and God. 

  • Cast Size: 1W 2 Gender Neutral
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

BOYS FROM HOUSTON HEIGHTS by Bradley Nies

Cast Size: 2M 1M/F Various male voices
Running Time: 2hrs
Royalty: $60 per performance

While searching for your dreams, be wary of the nightmares. Based on the Houston Mass Murders, a series of homicides that took place in Houston, Texas between 1970 and 1973, this biodrama depicts the fictitious relationship between a male prostitute and a sadistic “lust” killer. As the story unfolds, the play explores the possibility that real-life serial killer Dean Corll may have been raping and murdering teenage boys from a part of Houston known as The Heights from as early as the mid-1960s. In doing so, the play also depicts a young man’s struggle to remove himself from the influence of one of America’s “monsters.”

BROKEN BIRDS by Sean O’Connor

Cast Size: 3M
Running Time: 1 hour
Royalty: $40 per performance

In Sean O’Connor’s hysterical and dark one-act, birds, thousands of them, gather one morning along the Jersey turnpike, all the way up to New York City, unable to move. And Alex Bennet, a huge TV star, local boy made good (whose life is spinning a bit out of control) has returned to his N.J. hometown, to Somerset, for the first time in years. One evening, at his motel near the turnpike, he receives a surprise visit from a guy he grew up with, “McCarts” (Dave McCarthy), an odd, simple working- class guy who never left the area. Little does Alex know that the seemingly naive McCarts, who has been watching Alex obsessively for years on TV, is not here for a sweet, nostalgic stroll down Memory Lane. He’s here to seek retribution for a horrible wrong committed upon him by Alex way, way back when they were kids – a retribution that will alter the course of both of their lives…forever. 

Buchenwald explores man’s hunger for power and the fight for something greater than the individual. Set in 1946, the show discloses the continued use of Nazi concentration camps as Soviet extermination camps for the Germans. Imprisoned by the Soviets, Nazi SS Colonel Max Richter reaches out to save the future of his young Soviet guard, Sasha Novsky. Buchenwald was inspired by playwright Cristina A. Bejan’s visit to the concentration camp in 2001 when she was a college student studying abroad in Germany. When she toured the camp, she saw the single prison cell “chalk chamber,” learned of the post-WWII Soviet use of the Nazi camps, and was shocked to learn that many Weimar residents lived in denial of the mass murder in their backyard. This new knowledge haunted her and one night back at Northwestern University Richter and Novsky’s story seized her, and the script for Buchenwald was born. Her senior year of college she produced and directed the play as a joint project within the university’s German and Theatre Departments. Fascism and Russian aggression are again at the forefront on the world stage. This play is a reminder of what is ultimately at risk for us all.

  • Cast Size: 3M
  • Running Time: Under an Hour
  • Royalty Rate: $40 per performance

CONFESSIONS OF A HIT MAN by Hank Kimmel

  • Cast Size: 3M
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes 
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Entering the next phase of his life with his teenage son, a paralyzed ex-football player attempts to make peace with the past when his tormentor returns with an offer that will either uplift or destroy them all.

When Jasmina, a political refugee seeking asylum in the U.S., suddenly disappears, her tough, wheelchair-using lawyer must track her down. Who is the dog? Who is the wolf? A psychological and political play of intrigue, identity, and pursuit.

  • Cast Size: 1M 2W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance
  • FERNANDO by Steven Haworth (Available Feb 1)
  • Cast Size: 2M 1W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Fernando is a farce about tragic people set in Madrid. Zachariah Smythe, assistant professor of art, has come to Madrid to study a painting by Fernando De La Cruz. Zach considers the painting a masterpiece and the painter one of the greatest Spanish artists of the last one hundred years. He is entirely alone in this. Still, Zach is willing to bet everything on an article about this enormous painting. Unfortunately, he has run out of professional chances, the memory of his wife’s suicide preys on him, his time in Madrid is limited, and his sobriety is tenuous. Enter Teresa, a brilliant and beautiful Spanish woman full of secrets and rage. The play explores the conflict between love and art, devotion and submission, and the danger in making men into gods.

FORGOTTEN FIRE by T. James Belich

Cast Size: 1M 2W
Running Time: 45 minutes
Royalty: $40 per performance

In the land of Edelsha three traveling players come to tell the Tale of the Burning Sword… An ancient weapon from a forgotten time, the Burning Sword offers great power to whoever wields it.  After it fades into legend, bound by a mysterious prophecy, the Burning Sword becomes key to Edelsha’s survival when a young magician seeks to conquer the kingdom.  To rescue her land, Phenron Sirrin, the magician’s old friend, sets out to retrieve the sword.  However, when confronted by the magician, Phenron is torn between loyalty to her friend and loyalty to her king.  In the end, only one can reclaim the sword, either to destroy Edelsha or to save it.

GRAY PEOPLE by Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm

  1. Cast Size: 2M 1W
  2. Running Time: 90+ minutes
  3. Royalty Rate: $75 per performance
  4. Trust fades, loyalties shift, and tensions rise as James, Jenny and Adam await a late-night delivery in the woods. They don’t know what to believe about each other – and are increasingly uncertain of their fates. GRAY PEOPLE is a darkly comic three-hander following gravediggers who don’t ask any questions about the nameless corpses they’re sent to bury. After all, the bodies are already dead…what difference would it make?

A House by the Side of the Road: Clyde and his sons Steve and Dan sit on the back porch on a summer evening listening to the Detroit Tigers play baseball on the radio and learn that you don’t have to play the game to be in it.

Blind No. 7: Clyde, Dan and Steve spend a morning duck-hunting, telling dad-jokes, and being together.

And the Wisdom to Know the Difference: Clyde stops by to see Dan on visiting day at the treatment center.

A Moment of Clarity: Clyde and Dan share memories and truths.

Favorite Son: Dan and Steve are waiting to visit their father who is in hospice care. As they sort through the arrangements, they sort through their relationship, bracing themselves for what’s coming next.

I’ll Be Here: Clyde and Dan spend some time together in the woods where they used to go birdwatching.

Good Grief: Dan stops by the forest to visit Clyde and meets his new lifelong companion. He’s an attractive young man named Grief, and he and Dan are going to get to know each other very well.

  • Cast Size: 3M
  • Running Time 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

LAST CALL AT THE AARDVARK by Paul Stroili

  • Cast Size: 2M 1W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

The Bronx, 1935. The end of prohibition turned all the speakeasies into legitimate nightclubs, if you want to call The Aardvark Club legitimate. Honey has worn nearly every hat you can wear; slinging drinks, cooking the books, but at the end of the day, she’s a stripper. Most people come and go like ghosts, but it’s hard to miss Zack, an aspiring comic who performs at the club.  Zack’s got some talent. He might even amount to something. So why did he have to tell that joke? One bad joke, about Frankie’s girl, no less – and club owner Frankie is not known for his sense of humor. Now Frankie has given Honey one more job to juggle. She’s got to help Zack build a whole new act for an audience of one. And as they say in comedy; “You either kill, or you just die up there.”

Alex and Erik live in Battery Park, just minutes from the World Trade Center and the impact of history. In this terrible time, the tensions and challenges humanity grappled with are played out in the microcosm of one, small apartment. They don’t agree on most things … except their devotion to each other. At all costs.  
What do you hold onto? What does it take to let go?

  • Cast Size: 2M, 1GN, 11Voice Only Roles 
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Sometimes we lose sight of what matters most.

Barry, an acclaimed artist, races the clock to finish his last painting before a progressive illness takes his sight. Haunted by the ghost of his grandfather (Nolan) and forced to rely on the help of a woman he jilted in high school (Amy), Barry must confront the lost and damaged relationships of his past before he can face his future. Will Barry be able to do this before he loses his sight?

  • Cast Size: 2M 1W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

MINOR INCONVENIENCES by Bradley Nies

Cast Size: 2M 1F
Running Time: 40 minutes
Royalty Rate: $40 per performance

Ever have trouble getting the lid off the mayonnaise jar? Ever not be able to find the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle you’ve been working on for a month? Ever wondered why life is full of things that inconvenience us? After hitchhiking along Houston’s busy FM 1960, a young waitress comes face to face with an unlikely duo who claim to be responsible for the minor inconveniences in our lives

MONESSEN FALLS by Greg Burdick

Cicadas chatter feverishly outside as a middle-aged architect startlingly awakes from a crippling night-terror. Returning to his childhood home for the first time in seventeen years when his mother dies, Kip must grapple with the ghosts of his past, his hostile and jobless brother who never managed to move out, and the financially crushing debts now left behind by his parents. Set in an aging, former steel town in southwestern Pennsylvania, Kip is joined by his noticeably younger girlfriend, Phoebe. She has come to assist with the funeral arrangements but discovers quickly that she’s in for much more than she bargained for. Kip’s brother, Ethan, won’t enter the bedroom where their mother died; and tensions rise when the sanctity of that space is abruptly invaded. Secrets buried deep are exposed. Old wounds are made fresh. And sibling rivalries scale new heights with potentially frightening consequences. Just as the town of Monessen has found a way to reinvent itself beyond the long-gone glory days of its Steel City heritage, so must two brothers… whose relationship has rusted, after years of neglect.

  • Cast Size: 2M 1W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

PAPER THIN by T.K. Lee

  1. Cast Size: 2M 1W
  2. Running Time: 90+ minutes
  3. Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Lucrece wanted a good man for a husband. She found one in Gerald. She wanted a sweet boy, a good son; she got one in Charlie. She wanted a picture-perfect little family; she’s had one. Now, she wants one last thing, a promise Gerald made her on her wedding night — all those years ago — that when the time had come, she could get a divorce. The time has come, in her opinion, and come today. Which is why we find Lucrece on her roof — on an otherwise average, run-of-the-mill Tuesday — having herself a very big day putting her foot all the way down, as she stands ready and willing to show Gerald and Charlie, that sometimes the only way to keep a family together is to tear them apart.

PAST CURFEW by Arthur M. Jolly

Cast Size: 1M 2W
Running Time: 90 minutes
Royalty: $60 per performance

In Arthur M. Jolly’s fellowship winning play Past Curfew, the dysfunctional relationship between a single mother and her teenage daughter erupts on the night 17 year-old Kirstie sneaks home late after a disastrous first date, and is caught by her mother, Sarah. During the course of one night, years of bitter conflicts gradually erupt as Sarah and Kirstie finally confront the unspoken issues between them through a vicious series of head games, where lies are buried under lies, and the truth is brought out only as the ultimate weapon. The arrival of Kirstie’s would-be boyfriend Michael only compounds the issues – but as dawn approaches, all the lies are stripped away; the core of their relationship is finally exposed – and can be rebuilt. Arthur M. Jolly -an academy recognized screen-writer and award winning playwright -explores some of his darkest territory yet in this harrowing drama. 

POISONED by J. Boyett

Cast Size: 1M 2W
Running Time: 1 hr 45 min
Royalty: $60 per performance

Sam has flown to Colorado from New York to visit her brother Tom, and to meet his much younger fiancée, Dee-Dee. But it turns out she has other reasons as well-she tells Tom she’s learned something specific about Dee-Dee, something he should know. He’s not interested in digging through her past, though, and instead turns the spotlight on Sam and her own hang-ups. Sam, impatient with being examined herself, tells Tom that what she flew out to tell him is that Dee-Dee used to star in pornographic videos. Tom decides to take the high road and not to let Dee-Dee’s youthful indiscretions poison his view of her. But Dee-Dee’s surprising reaction when he confronts her sends him over the edge, and the situation quickly becomes dangerous.

Granny hasn’t been visited by her red-hooded grandson in a while, and with Dementia being the only one keeping her company, she can’t remember how long it’s been or who he is when he waltzes through her door. In this contemporary twist on Little Red Riding Hood, what Wesley thought would be a simple trip to Granny’s house, turns into a battle against Dementia to remind her who he is…long enough to reveal the reason behind his spontaneous visit. 

  • Cast Size: 1M 2W
  • Running Time: Under an Hour
  • Royalty Rate: $40 per performance

REMAINING IN ORBIT by Scott Gibson

Cast Size: 1M 2W
Running Time: 2hrs
Royalty: $60 per performance

“Hen” Loudin, a self-absorbed middle-aged man has shut himself off from the distractions and annoyances of the outside world, aided by his opinionated assistant Ginnie who runs errands-and interference–on his behalf. One day, Hen’s neighbor, the free-spirited Lissie bursts into his life, creating havoc with his well-ordered existence. Exasperated and enchanted by this distraction, Hen begins to recognize his self-imposed limitations and to yearn for something more. At the same time, Ginnie grows jealous of Lissie’s influence on Hen. “If you’re waiting for him to notice you, you could be waiting a long time,” Lissie cautions. “Just remaining in someone’s orbit is not enough. Not when it’s some-one like Hen.” Angered, Ginnie makes a desperate and impulsive move that causes Hen to see both of them in a new light. “Orbit” is a seriocomic examination of co-dependence between three slightly dysfunctional people each seeking a chance at happily-ever-after.

RETURN TO ROSWELL by Page Petrucka

Cast Size: 3W
Running Time: 60 minutes
Royalty Rate: $40 per performance

Three sisters journey back to the place that has been their biggest source of contention – Roswell, New Mexico. To the oldest, it is a place of wonder. But to the others, it brings only frustration. Perhaps, though, this trip will be different. Perhaps this time they will find something truly out of this world.

THE SINLESS by Judah Skoff

  • Cast Size: 1M 2W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

THE SINLESS portrays the conflict between faith and desire. Annabelle and Tuvia are a married Orthodox Jewish couple living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Tuvia is a rabbinical student and a man of deep faith, whereas Annabelle got swept up in the religious life due to its readily available community, a balm for the loneliness of being young and single. However, she is ambivalent about her marriage and the constricting religious world she finds herself in. When Tuvia leaves for the weekend to go to his brother’s bachelor party in Atlantic City, Annabelle embarks on a rebellious journey of exploration to indulge her deepest, unspoken desires. When Tuvia unexpectedly returns early, they must both confront the uneasy state of their marriage and the fictions which bind their lives.

SOUTH STAR by Rebecca Gorman O’Neill

Cast Size: 1M 1W 1MorW

Running Time: Under an hour

Royalty Rate: $40 per performance

Set seven years in the future, during the second American Civil War, South Star is the story of a survivor, an inspiration, a reluctant hero who wishes she could just stop running.  Stelfinds herself in the company of two men – one an apparent victim, and one an apparent predator.  What commences is a figurative game of three-card-Monty; the stakes are Stel’s life.

STRANGE LIGHT by Cynthia L. Cooper

  • Cast Size: 3W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

A woman lawyer, Bayley, and her girlfriend, Shue, a struggling classical musician, see their relationship teeter as Bayley’s mother falls to Alzheimer’s and the looming memories of her own unloving marriage to a lighting scientist. In stylized storytelling with the World’s Fair in the background and the WNBA in the foreground, Bayley seeks to recharge her life and chart a new path.

THE SWEET ABYSS by Jon Tuttle

Cast Size: 1M 2W
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Royalty: $60 per performance

Cassandra has only one functional, fulfilling relationship in her life, and that’s with Izzy – her cat. When he dies in her arms, she is plunged into debilitating grief and sets out to find him. What follows is a rumination on morality and personal journey through sorrow and back, ultimately, to a newly negotiated comfort. 

SWEET SAND by Susan Cinoman

Cast Size: 1M 2W
Running Time: 90 minutes
Royalty: $60 per performance

Sandy and Morgan, both attractive and seventeen, are set for a fun night at their beach house in New Jersey. Morgan is a great student, Sandy is a little prettier, but they have been best friends forever. Jimmy, a motorcycle riding bad boy who Sandy has secretly met ,comes over to pick up Sandy for a date that Morgan knows nothing about. Morgan is at first jealous and abandoned, and then tries to steal Jimmy for herself.

  • THE WAY STATION by Rebecca Gorman O’Neill
  • Cast Size: 2M 1W
  • Running Time: 45 minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $40 per performance

“The Way Station” is the story of three strangers from different places and times, each pulled out of their travels and dropped off at a mysterious way station. 

As they search for a way to escape and move on, Daisy, Thomas, and Jack pull and push each other to admitting their transgressions.  At this surreal crossroads, no excuse, lie, or self-delusion holds up to the scrutiny of the others, and each person must find the strength to see themselves truly and honestly.  Only then may they move on. 

In a crumbling chain hotel, two estranged daughters, come together to care for their dying, demented mother. Each of their traumatic pasts and shaky futures converge in one night of surreal, burlesque devastation. Together, this prickly family of three, find their deepest love, longing, and losses as they attempt to escape an ancestry of demons as well as the rented room they seem unable to leave.

  • Cast Size: 3W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

After an unspeakable tragedy strikes, siblings Bianca and Evan are left to try and pick up the pieces. Both siblings attempt to cope in their own ways, Evan choosing to self-medicate while Bianca starts to seek help from an unconventional outside source. What both might not realize is that they could be getting much more than either of them bargained for, and this realization threatens to ruin all the progress they’ve made. With both parties keeping secrets along the journey to cope with what they’ve lost, the revelation of the truth might be more than either of them can bear. 

  • Cast Size: 2M 1W
  • Running Time: About an Hour
  • Royalty Rate: $50 per performance
  • WOUNDED by Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm (Available Feb 1)
  • Cast Size: 2M 1W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

WOUNDED tells the story of a woman in the role of caregiver to her husband after he has been severely mentally and physically injured in the Iraq war. The show starts when she, for the first time, is considering having a real relationship with someone new while still taking care of her husband. It explores the question of what loyalty you owe your spouse when they stop being the person you married. 

Review 3 Character Plays.

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