by Tom Cavanaugh

INLAND EMPRESS is a full-length play set in California’s High Desert or Inland Empire that deals with many contemporary themes and issues. Louise is a career criminal who finishes her seven year stretch in Chowchilla Women’s Prison and comes home to find that her position as head of the family and the family business has been filled by her niece. The family believes that Louise has come back to take her place, but Louise reveals to them that in prison she had a spiritual enlightenment, and her life has changed. Louise explains that she has converted to the Muslim religion and at the same time reveals the answers to many, deep, family secrets. Louise tries to make amends and help the girls through their personal problems, but must confront the eldest girl, Sierra, who believes that Louise is trying to dethrone Sierra and take away the power that she has held over the last seven years.

  • Cast Size: 1M 5W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

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About the Playwright

Tom Cavanaugh received his MFA in playwriting from the Actors Studio Drama School in 2000. Tom’s full-length play, BEHOLD, was a 2010 finalist for the New American Playwrights Program at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and won a 2011 Pickering Award for Excellence in Playwriting. ADAM & YOSHI was a finalist in the McKinney Repertory Play Competition, TX, and a finalist in the 2013 New American Playwrights Program Utah Shakespeare Festival 2014. INLAND EMPRESS, another full-length play, world premiered in Los Angeles. THE FIELD, a short play by Cavanaugh, premiered at The CTI Theatre Festival in Independence, MO. In 2018, the Theatre of Action in Los Angeles’s Plays About Immigration listed Tom’s short play, COYOTE. Tom won the Artists & Playwright Festival at The KNOW Theatre in Binghamton, NY, in 2018 with his short play, ROCKS ON THE PLAYA. Tom’s screenplay version of BEHOLD won Best Feature Screenplay at the 2020 Bowery Film Festival in NY. In 2021, during the Pandemic Lockdown, Tom wrote, produced, and directed the Zoom show, NOW, NOW, NOW…, which performed in more than five Fringe Festivals, winning Best National Show at the Pittsburgh Fringe, Best Live-Stream Show at the Big Sky Fringe, an Ovation Award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, and recently was nominated for a Maverick Movie Award at the Maverick Movie Festival in London. NOW, NOW, NOW… combines the acting of 19 actors from New York City to Los Angeles from within their Covid-safe homes in one Zoom show. In 2022, Tom’s short film, SERVICE ME, won Best North American Short Film at the New York Independent Cinema Awards, Best Short Short at the New York Long Island Film Festival, and Best Relationship Short Film at the Silicon Beach Film Festival in Hollywood, California. Tom’s play ADAM & YOSHI made its World Premiere in Hong Kong, China, on December 1st, 2022, with the Wedraman Theater Company. Tom’s short screenplay AMERICAN ONRYO, a Horror Short, is a Finalist for Best Short Screenplay at the International Filmmaker Festival in New York and won Best Short Screenplay at the 2023 Night of Drama Film Festival in Milan, Italy. Tom is a member of We Make Movies, The Actors Gym, Naked Angels, and The New Ambassadors Theater Company. Tom has been a member of the Dramatists Guild of America since 1998

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