A couple enjoying a marathon night in bed become convinced that it’s all just a dream but can’t agree on whose dream it is. I love the logic of the arguments that the two put forward, particularly Lucy.
A woman makes her boyfriend go through past life regression analysis to check out what kind of husband he’s been in previous incarnations. I had a friend who tried regression analysis and it put the idea in my mind.
An elderly woman, unresponsive in advanced dementia with complications, relives some warm memories of her children as the two of them discuss whether or not to pull the plug. When my own mother drifted off into this state, I would visit her and wonder what was going on in her mind. Written originally for the children to be brother and sister but changed to sisters because, let’s face it, there are way more women actors around than men.
A father is coerced into reading to his daughter and they are interrupted by an unlikely visitor, the title character from the book. I think the plays ends up in a very sweet place. I list the girl’s age as 8-10, probably can be a tad older.
A couple of misfits on a blind date hire a counselor to help them negotiate the relationship. I have no recollection of what prompted me to write this. My favorite part of the show is the language the “Date Dinger” employs.
Oliver wants Delia to move in with him, but before she does she wants to know about his ex-wife Sylvia. As he describes her and their relationship (in flashbacks) Delia is astonished that he could have ever gone out with such a coarse and uncultured woman. He can’t explain it so Delia decides she needs to meet Sylvia for herself.
Inspired, I guess, by the many times in my life I’ve met the ex-boyfriends of women I went out with and had a similar reaction.
When my wife was in cantorial school, she had to do a semester of chaplaincy rounds at a local hospital. One patient she visited said he was an atheist, she asked him what God was it that he didn’t believe in, and they had a long chat. That story inspired this play. The play has a couple of nice perks. One, it was a show that Robin and I could perform (which we did); and second, I could do the whole play lying in a hospital bed, which relieved me of having to limp around stage on my cane, which I (and I suspect the audience) find really distracting. This is a pretty Jewish play which helped it win a national playwriting contest geared toward Jewish plays. In fact, the people who ran the contest, part of a theater outside Cleveland, liked the show so much they staged a really lovely production of it, the only time in the history of the contest that they actually did a production of a winning show. The story is really schmaltzy, but I think the dialogue is up there with the best I’ve ever written, smart and funny (with a lot of allusions to classic cinema, the thing that binds the two main characters). I’m not sure that listening to two people talk about this and that makes for the most exciting evening of theater, but when I start cashing in on everything I set up in the first act, and when the father finally appears, I think the play works really well.
A woman, frustrated at how her husband says provocative things to her and then denies having said them, hires a court reporter to make a record of what they actually say when they’re having a fight. One of my most popular shows, winner of a couple of national playwriting contests, and of personal meaning to me since court reporting has been my day job for 50 years. The plays always generates lots of laughs and the surprise at the end works beautifully.
A 13 year old girl takes her parents to a hilltop to view a comet, but really to try to salvage their faltering marriage. I knew a family who was going through something similar to this, and so I wrote the play for them (since they all acted) but we never had the chance to do it.
A middle-aged man is given three wishes and he and his wife disagree on how to use the final wish. Nice roles for a couple of older actors. The play was inspired by a joke that was part of the funky dialogue in the computer game Planescape: Torment. The wish-giver can be either gender.