Ubu Roy: An American Tale updates Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi to a time and place not unlike 2016 in the USA, bringing its legendary absurdity and non-stop violence into sharp focus. Written/devised for an ensemble of 6, with plenty of room for up-to-date goofs; commissioned by the Lubbock Community Theatre. The Prophet Darla is the story of a young West Texas woman whose life is turned upside down when she is endowed with a divine gift – a gift that has everyone in her life clamoring to use it to their advantage. Written for 3 Women and 3 Men; developed at Texas Tech’s WildWind Performance Lab; 2015 New Play Fest honoree at the Texas Educational Theatre Association. Fault/Line, semi-devised in collaboration with a Texas Tech-based ensemble, wrestles with the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation technique” program employed after the events of 9/11. Written/devised for 1 Woman and 2 Men; first All-American production at the MeetFactory in Prague. Christmas in Terminal B is an unconventional holiday tale about seven people stuck in an airport over Christmas, each of whom needs a little reminder about what’s important at this special time of year. Written for 4 Women and 3 Men; commissioned by the Lubbock Community Theatre.
Selected Short Plays
“Three Histories of the Future” imagines a world in which time travel is accessible to anyone who wants to take another swing at the past – albeit with substantial risk of screwing things up all over again; written for Klecksography 2019 at Rorschach Theatre Company. “Trapped Like a You Know” is the story of Bertie, a rat, who is trying to get Sam, his cage-mate, to go along with a hunger strike – all part of a plan for escape. Written for 2 Actors of any gender; developed at the New Play Lab at the William Inge Theatre Festival. “The Emperor’s Big, Fat, Naked Revolution” spins a classic fairytale into a commentary on brash, blustery – and bare – politics, with plenty of jokes to burn. Written for 1 Woman and 2 Men; debuted at the Source Festival in Washington, D.C. “The World is Watching” imagines – or predicts – a society in which our eyes, not Big Brother’s, are on each other at all times, and what lengths some will go to get a piece of the gaze. Written for 2 Women, 2 Men, and 1 Voice of any gender. “Leaving Zimbabwe” is the story of a young revolutionary struggling against the oppressive regime of former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, and the American operative who is trying to keep her young mark on the right path. Written for 1 Woman and 1 Man. “Red Nose,” inspired by the short, silent works of Charlie Chaplin, sees a loveable oddball fall head-over-heels for a young girl, forcing him to go toe-to-toe with an assortment of rivals. Written for 1 Woman and 2 Men. “Alice Out of Wonderland,” “Anatomy of a Scene,” and “Talk” each take a skewed look at relationships, some of them imaginary, some of them strained, some of them hardly qualifying as relationships at all. Written for a total of 4 Women and 4 Men.
In-Progress and Un-Produced
On the docket: Lycanthrope, a supernatural thriller set somewhere out West in 1872, when some men were not what they seemed and most monsters were not what we imagined; and Delilah Revisited: A Moralities Play, an updated version of one-act about a young woman trying to drag her children’s Bible show into the 21st Century and a more progressive ethic. Workshopped plays include Return to Goodnight, a road trip comedy about a woman transporting her father’s ashes alongside her gay ex-husband; “Our Man in Tashkent,” the true story of the British ambassador to Uzbekistan who uncovered covert dealings between the CIA and the oppressive Uzbek government; and “Iphigenia Come Home,” in which the recently deceased Clytemnestra tries to enlist her daughter, a one-time sacrificial lamb, into her plan for righteous vengeance. On the shelf: Kompromat, the story of a CIA operative plying a refugee for dirt at the highest possible level.
Directing and Devising
On the docket: A virtual reading of an excerpt from Liz Maestri’s The Ice Room, part of the Fearless New Play Festival at the University of Maryland.
Credits include Ubu Roy: An American Tale (2016); Guns Up, Guns Down: A Cultural Response to Campus Carry (2015), a collection of poetic, dramatic, and visual works inspired by Texas’s “campus carry” legislation; Christmas in Terminal B (2014); Tom, Dick, and Harry (2011); The Mousetrap (2010), Waiting for Godot (2009); and various one-acts. Work in devised theatre on Fault/Line and #LookUp (both 2013) influenced work on Ubu Roy: An American Tale, which featured several scenes and segments created in collaboration with the ensemble.
Devised performance credits include #LookUp, “Out of the Question” (KCACTF Region VI 2014), The Mileage Out of Misery (2013), a play built on improvised scenes; and Next Exit (2013), a show based on the experiences of students in the Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) program, which helps young people in foster care transition into adulthood.
Collaborations include Val and Gad’s Big Adventure/La Aventure Grande de Val y Gad (2012), a children’s play created with TTU and Harwell Elementary students; and The Pinsky Project (2016), inspired by the “Poem with Lines in Any Order” by former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.