the devil smokes American Spirits:

a play in ten cigarettes

by Melissa Toomey

After fleeing an abusive religious cult, a mysterious young woman teams up with a mandolin-playing drifter who believes himself to be the devil, as they seek to navigate the underworld of the American Mother Road in search of a place to call home. The lines of belief, delusion, and religion are blurred—as are the definitions of good and evil—as a new, disturbing power emerges in this young vagrant woman who has nowhere to call home and nothing to lose.

  • Cast Size: 4M 1W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

Sample Coming Soon

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About the Playwright

mel toomey is an emerging playwright, comics writer, and member of the Dramatists Guild, based in New York.

She has recently developed plays with Premiere Stages, The Tank, Fresh Ground Pepper, INKubator @ Art House Productions, Luna Stage Company, NJ Play Lab, Theatre for the New City, Emerging Artists Theatre, and more. Her work was recently published by Smith & Kraus. She is a recent alum of the INKubator New Play Program at Art House Productions, current member of The Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit, and BRB Artist-in-Residence with Fresh Ground Pepper’s Eco Theatre program. Alum of the 2021 Kennedy Center Playwriting Residency with Gary Garrison and Mark Bly.

She has recently been a Semi Finalist for the Premiere Stages Play Festival (2022), Pipeline Play Lab @ Pipeline Theatre Company (2021, 2023), Valdez Theatre Conference (2022), NJ Play Lab Residency (2022), and the Women’s Playwrights Circle @ Speranza Theatre Company (2021).

She creates outdoor theatre whenever possible, most recently with her group, Leave No Trace Theatre (www.leavenotracetheatre.org). She was once a full time traveler. She once lived at the Grand Canyon.

BFA, Acting: SUNY Purchase.

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