»»Comedy

A Name by any Other Name

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 Name by any Other Name2018-10-28T14:13:46+00:00

Back to the Garden

This is essentially a midrash (an interpolation of a biblical story) on the story of Adam and Eve. I tagged it as a comedy although it contains one scene of rather gruesome violence. But this is meant to be a play about the beginning of civilization, and I couldn’t see doing it without including human barbarity. Produced at the Fringe, directed by my wife, the show played extremely well. The show is meant to use Motown incidental music and as such has a pretty upbeat feel.

Back to the Garden2018-10-28T14:13:46+00:00

Coming Out Party

Two women try to convince their recently divorced friend, Sally, to come out of the room with the coats at a fancy party and flirt with an eligible bachelor. The play has a twist at the end which confuses some audience members and occasionally infuriates others (notably my friend Cherie Vogelstein). This show has had numerous local productions.

Coming Out Party2018-10-28T14:13:46+00:00

Dearth of a Salesman

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.”

Dearth of a Salesman2018-10-28T14:13:46+00:00

Double Date

One of my most popular plays, one that’s had many productions and won a couple of festivals. A man meets a woman on a blind date but she’s brought with her an unusual companion. When I brought this show in to Aural Stage, the reading did not go well. Because this play derives so much of its humor from the physical, it is difficult to do a reading of it and get any sense of the impact. I lost faith in it. But when it was selected for inclusion in a local festival I asked my wife if she wanted to try to breath life into it. She did a terrific job with the show which played like gangbusters and got me several inquiries from folks wanting to produce it elsewhere.

Double Date2018-10-28T14:13:45+00:00

Dream Lover

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.

Dream Lover2018-10-28T14:13:45+00:00

Hello, I Must Be Going

In 1997 my father suffered a stroke that so diminished him that his experience of life was just a fraction of what it had been before. Six weeks later his first grandchild, Kobe, was born, and his second grandchild, Kobe’s twin brother Sam, was stillborn. I didn’t know how to manage the flood of images, thoughts, feelings and phrases that this confluence of events brought to my mind. Eventually I knew I had to write, and this play happened. My most intensely personal play, it was the first of my plays to win a national playwriting contest and get a production. The cast includes (under different names) myself, my wife, my father, his spirit and Kobe and Sam (although I eventually changed his gender so I could channel my daughter, Jennie, into the character). Plenty of laughs, and some tears. The six characters never leave the stage and the play is moved along by the lighting. My blurb for the show: If you’ve ever been a parent, or ever had a parent, you will be at home in the world of this play.  My best full length, and maybe my best writing.

Hello, I Must Be Going2018-10-28T14:13:45+00:00

It’s About Forgiveness

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.

It’s About Forgiveness2018-10-28T14:13:46+00:00

Regression

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.

Regression2018-10-28T14:13:45+00:00

Road Signs

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.

Road Signs2018-10-30T20:32:17+00:00

Send Not To Ask For Whom The Bell Tolls

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.

Send Not To Ask For Whom The Bell Tolls2018-10-28T14:13:45+00:00

Tell Me A Story

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.

Tell Me A Story2018-10-28T14:13:45+00:00

The Date Dinger

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.

The Date Dinger2018-10-28T14:13:45+00:00

The Ex Factor

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.

The Ex Factor2018-10-28T14:13:45+00:00

The Rub

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.

The Rub2018-10-28T14:13:46+00:00

Verbatim

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.

Verbatim2018-10-28T14:13:45+00:00

Wishes

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.

Wishes2018-10-28T14:13:45+00:00

You Don’t Know Me

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.

You Don’t Know Me2018-10-28T14:13:45+00:00