I typically describe this piece as an outtake from Oscar Wilde or W.S. Gilbert. This is total fluff, a play mostly about language to the extent it’s about anything. A man calls a woman by the wrong name and the journey begins. Excellent curtain raiser for an evening of one-acts.
A somewhat odd salesman tries to sell a woman a broom that he claims has unusual qualities.
I wrote this play for Robin Anne, my remarkable wife, when we were first courting. Her previous boyfriend was still in the picture and this was my not so subtle message to her. One of my earliest plays, the writing lacks the economy and sharpness of my later stuff, but whenever I’ve produced it the audiences seem to really enjoy it so I’ve left it as is. This was the first original play of mine that I brought to the TANYS Festival. I produced it again almost 20 years later and it fared better and made it to ESTA. The play came to me when one day I was musing on the phrase “swept off one’s feet.”
A young woman visits her grandmother, and in alternating flashback scenes we see their difficult relationship as the grandmother paints a portrait of her granddaughter. Certainly a challenge to produce. The young actor must play guitar and sing and even dance a little. The older actor must speak some Yiddish and sing a Yiddish song (Dona Dona, but in the original Yiddish). There are several quick set and costume changes as well. The play loosely borrows from when I, as a teenager, was sitting for a portrait that my grandfather painted.
My crown jewel. Winner of several playwriting contests, produced many times including several times in England, and the one play of mine that I love to act in. A man seeks out his wife in Heaven to ask her forgiveness for the terrible thing he did to her. I entered the play in a contest in Connecticut where it was read by Daniel Gerroll and his wife Patricia Kalember. After they performed, I went up to Daniel backstage to introduce myself. He immediately called out to his wife: “Pat, there really is an Albi Gorn,” and explained to me that they were convinced that the show had been ghost-written by a professional. Certainly one of my best theater moments.
Zach is visited by his ex-girlfriend, Betsy, and the two of them go through a photo album and revisit episodes from their past leading to her leaving him. The play is based on what I thought Jackson Browne’s Fountain of Sorrow was about. But after writing the play and doing some idle surfing, I found out I had it all wrong: Fountain of Sorrow is not about his ex-wife but about Joni Mitchell. But the play is very much about an ex of mine, Rosalind (for whom my song Letting Go was written), although the end of our relationship was quite different from the end of Zack and Betsy’s. The play uses projections of the photographs.
Alex visits her estranged brother Toby after the death of their mother, and he tries to get her to remember the TV show they had starred in as kids, and to convince her that it wasn’t a show, that it really happened to them. The story first occurred to me when I was watching Dragon Tales on PBS sometime around 2000 but it was another dozen or so years before I attempted to write the play.
Franklyn meets Jesse at a concert at which he resuscitated a member of the audience. They hit it off until they learn that they come from very different worlds. They try to make it work until…
After not writing a play for ten years, for some inexplicable reason (although I have postulated quite a few quasi-explicable ones) I met a couple of actors who blew me away and I decided I wanted to write for them. This is the first of three two-character plays that followed.
My first play. Written in 1991 for the woman I was seeing at the time, Sally Mechlem. I was dissatisfied with her level of commitment so I bombarded her with letters of all description in all sorts of different formats. I finally thought I’d write one letter in the form of a skit about us, and once I started writing I couldn’t stop.
A couple is awakened in the middle of the night when their downstairs buzzer rings. They each start to bare their guilty consciences when they suspect the worst about their unidentified visitor. Ah, if only the play were as clever as the title. But there are a few good laughs and it plays well.
When I interact with people, I always try to read them, to understand them and do a lot of questioning. Can’t do that with a therapist so I have to fill in the blanks. And the one thing that I wonder about the most is how guilty they might feel if they fail their patients; or worse yet, if one of their patients acts on something the therapist says with a bad result and, in the case of this play, collateral damage. A man, whose wife has apparently just left him, walks into her therapists office and asks to take her session, but what he really wants is to understand why she left him. The show has had a few productions and eventually I was able to get a tight script. This latest version seems to work well.
Two office workers discover that they had the same dream. A play about the pitfalls of falling in love too quickly, and of investing too heavily in one’s expectations. A nice twist at the end wraps the play up neatly until another twist leaves things up in the air. This play made it (with another play, Verbatim) to the AACT Finals in Tacoma in 2009. We didn’t win anything, but the director of the winning production asked me for copies of my two plays, which for me is a more important mark of success.
While waiting at a restaurant for my longtime theater buddy Laura, this play came to me. A man and woman meet at a restaurant; he doesn’t recognize her and she has his name wrong, but they clearly know each other. The play is meant to reflect my notion that people frequently relate to others via their expectations and impressions of them rather than who they are.