by Craig Houk
Carly Weekes and her sisters, Lolly and Shirley, are witches. Determined to find Carly a mate, the three cast a circle to summon a popular recording artist from Colorado. However, Shirley casts what appears to be a dubious and deadly spell. Worried that Carly and her new family might now be cursed, Lolly endeavors to reverse the hex, but fails, resulting in her expulsion to an alternate world. Years later, twin sisters Tina and Rose Pacheco mysteriously drown. The case goes cold, but many believe Carly’s oldest son, Johnny, is responsible. Cold Rain is an account of a family bound by black magic, a dark and comical tale of ill-conceived machinations, misdirected resentment, and repressed desire.
- Cast Size: 4M 5W
- Running Time: 120+ minutes
- Royalty Rate: $75 per performance
Order Script Copies (Aug 1)
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About the Playwright
Craig Houk is a D.C. based Playwright, Producer, Actor & Director. His original full-length play, COLD RAIN, was awarded Best Drama and named one of Best of Festival at Capital Fringe 2018. Craig’s other plays include SYD, BRUTE FARCE, RADIATOR, THE RELUCTANT HEN, ONE OF THEM, and three play anthologies: TETHERED, LOST IN PLACE, and SOLITAIRE SIX PACK. As a general rule, Craig writes to entertain. And in the process, he does his best to write strong characters with compelling stories to tell; characters that actors might yearn to play and stories that audiences might yearn to see and hear. Craig is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
“Cold Rain” is full of magic, but the most impressive is Craig Houk’s ability to make the supernatural seem perfectly natural. Unlike Shakespeare’s howling wilderness crones, Houk’s three weird sisters are literally the witches next door. They are neither evil nor benign, but when they cast a love spell it has tragic and generational consequences for every person and relationship around them. Houk cunningly constructs the play to reveal each secret, motivation, and detail drip by inexorable drip. The strong characters, story, and atmosphere of “Cold Rain” should provide audiences with a memorable theatrical experience.
This is a story that is a mystery wrapped in magic, connections made through incantations, family rivalries and vengeance, along with the dysfunction that comes when people who think they know each other are casting spells, both magic and very, very real. This story moves back and forth through time leaving seeds and crumbs to pick up in much the same manner as all good mysteries built on fear, reminding me of “The Rimers of Eldritch” by Lanford Wilson. Read this play and absorb the sense of foreboding and inevitable power that comes from knowing there’s more here than magic.
Epic, sprawling, structurally ambitious, at times wildly funny, at times wildly horrifying, Craig Houk’s COLD RAIN grabs one’s attention from its first lines and keeps it through every twist and turn of its haunting, dark magic-tinged plot. There’s a lot to unpack here, but it stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page (or, I imagine, after you’ve left the theatre), mainly because the characters are so compelling one gets swept up in their individual, interweaving stories.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a play that’s gripped me so tight and threw me into a space devoid of time, watching, waiting, and caught. COLD RAIN is going to stay with me for a long time. Eventually, I’ll come back to learn from it, but for now, I can simply sit in this show in awe. If this show is any indication, then, much like this tantalizing family mystery, Craig Houk is a force to be reckoned with.
Oh my goodness! This play is epic! It jumps around in time, telling the story of a spell gone awry (because it’s also about WITCHES!) There are mysteries surrounding kids who drowned and a woman who disappeared, and everything slowly gets pieced together as we jump backwards and forwards in time. The characters are all well developed, and each of them, in their own way, is a person who doesn’t belong. This play is hard work that looks effortless. So good!
“Cold Rain” is a beast. Hulking, encompassing, evocative of that special feeling you find in vintage Stephen King, where every word and scene drips world-building of historical proportions. The years long mystery that Houk slowly reveals is tantalizing and sucks you in until the final pages, and propels us through a cavalcade of family relations that remind us of the timeless truth…we don’t get to choose our family, and they may not always be good people. So can we make better choices than them? Or not?
“Cold Rain” is a beast. Hulking, encompassing, evocative of that special feeling you find in vintage Stephen King, where every word and scene drips world-building of historical proportions. The years long mystery that Houk slowly reveals is tantalizing and sucks you in until the final pages, and propels us through a cavalcade of family relations that remind us of the timeless truth, we don’t get to choose our family, and they may not always be good people. So can we make better choices than them? Or not?