Sweet Storm Produced in association with LAByrinth Theater Company. Rural Florida, September 1960. Young revival preacherman Bo Harrison sweeps his lovely bride, Ruthie, up into the tree house he's built as a surprise for their wedding night, unaware that the fury of an infamous storm is rolling in from the gulf. Ruthie, recently paralyzed from the waist down, tentatively finds her way in their "honeymoon suite in the sky"- and in the mystery, wonder and promise of her role as a newlywed. The human heart's wild longing for union in conflict with its abiding need for self-preservation fuels the sweet storm between lover and beloved in this intimate tale of marriage, faith and love.
Umbrella is a mix of tragedy and comedy about the loneliness and despair of living in a big city and the choices we make to relieve the pressure. Helen and Frank are two strangers on a rooftop; one a peeping Tom, the other a cutter. They try to fins a common ground, but it all changes as taboos and secrets are revealed and dreams fall apart. What began as an act of kindness turns into a war of wills.
Harvest is a tender and poignant story about a west Texas cotton farmer. Spanning 45 years (late 1960’s; early 80’s and present), the farmer battles to keep his farm and his family while struggling against inevitable change. In the spirit of Anton Chekhov, with the surroundings of Horton Foote, this timely account of what could be the last generation of an American family farm. An inspirational, epic tale that asks the question, “How would you choose to live your life?” and “At the end of your life… where do you want to die?”
The Vietnamization of New Jersey
The Vietnamization of New Jersey is set in a middle-class home in Piscataway, New Jersey, where Ozzie Ann (the mother) and Harry (the father) await the return of their Vietnam veteran son, David, and his native bride, Liat. Also on hand are younger brother Et, a sex-obsessed high school junior who eats corn flakes from his unzipped pants; and Hazel, the irrepressible black maid who is the real power in the household. When David and Liat arrive they are both blind and she is an ex-hooker (who later turns out to be a displaced orphan named Maureen O’Hara). Thereafter comes suicide, adultery, the feeble intervention of a homosexual priest, and the arrival of a super-patriotic, war-mongering uncle — plus a staccato of outrageous comments by the cynical Hazel.
Permanent Whole Life
Permanent Whole Life is a new black comedy from Zayd Dohrn concerning an unprincipled life insurance investigator in Palm Beach who seduces a young widow fresh from the funeral home. Florida is no place for the living in this savage comedy about sex, death, and the relationships that outlast us. Permanent Whole Life was the IRNE Award-Winner for Best New Play, 2005. It was presented as part of the 10th annual New York International Fringe Festival.
Haymarket centers around the events surrounding the evening of May 4, 1886, a day in which anarchist organizers called a meeting in the Haymarket Square in Chicago to demand an eight-hour day for the city’s workers. When police attempted to disperse the meeting, somebody in the crowd hurled an iron sphere filled with dynamite into the ranks of officers. The bomb exploded, the police opened fire into the corwd, and in the ensuing riot, seven policemen and several workers were killed. At the time, it was one of the most deadly acts of terrorism that had ever taken place on American soil. While the bomb-thrower was never caught, seven anarchist leaders were arrested and convicted of conspiracy. Five of them were hanged.
Haymarket focuses on one of those leaders, Albert Parsons, and his wife Lucy Parsons, a bi-racial ex-slave. Using newspapers, trial transcripts, and in original scenes, the play shows the aftershocks from the May 4 explosion that rocked the city of Chicago in the summer of 1886. The play begins moments after the bomb is thrown, and follows the lives of anarchists, policemen, elected officials, and ordinary citizens in the aftermath of tragedy and through the first “red scare” in American history.
The Normal Heart
The Normal Heart closely follows playwright Larry Kramer’s life, with Ned Weeks representing Kramer during the period in 1981 and 1982 when he co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Other characters represent his brother Arthur Kramer and his other close associates.
In this play, there is a group trying to make the AIDS virus more known. Ned Weeks is a radical. He’s loud and wants everyone to become well aware of the virus. Felix Turner is a character that dies of the AIDS virus. Bruce Niles wants to keep everything under wraps so that his homosexuality stays quiet. Ben Weeks is Ned’s brother who’s a lawyer.
Hollywood mid-level producers Bobby Gould and Charlie Fox engage in a verbal boxing match centered on the eternal debate of art versus money. Should Gould recommend to his unseen boss another bad action would-be blockbuster? Or should he put himself on the line for a film adaptation of a spiritual, uplifting, and apocalyptic novel? The office’s temp acts as catalyst in this debate. Gould has her read the novel in order to report on it to him later at his apartment. He has a secret bet that he will bed her; there she gives a glowing review of the novel’s themes and content, and Gould becomes deeply affected by her and her analysis. However, she is ditched the next day at the office in the play’s cynical finale, with Gould’s partner, Fox, accusing her of using sex to get a place in the movie business.