|FULL LENGTH PLAYS||ONE ACT PLAYS|
"GHOST LIGHT NOW & THEN"
5f 2m. 1 set with 5 simultaneous suggested sets.
During an inexplicable seismic event in 2017, New Yorkers Becky and Mandy are flung through a window into the early twentieth century Greenwich Village Theater.
"THE THREE MILE LIMIT"
5f 3m. 4 sets.
Florence Mills (African American singer and Broadway star), Beniamino Gigli (Italian tenor) and Alla Nazimova (former film and stage star) encounter other passengers and crew, with mixed results, while on a transatlantic voyage in 1927. Some flashbacks to press interviews.
“WOMEN OF THE WIND”
5f 4m. (some doubling and tripling) 4 sets.
Explores the lives of two secondary cast members of the movie Gone with the Wind and the fading star hired to coach some of the screen tests. African-American Butterfly McQueen (Prissy); Ona Munson (brothel owner Belle Watling) andAlla Nazimova (coach) The play (re)discovers the lives of these women and reveals the racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia that defined both their professional and private lives.
8f 1m. 4 sets (2 suggested).
Written by Barbara Kahn and Noelle LuSane. Music by Noelle LuSane. Lyrics by Barbara Kahn. 8f. 1m. Set in the Women’s Penitentiary and Workhouse in 1927, a short ferry ride from the hustle and bustle of mid-town Manhattan, on what is now Roosevelt Island. Women from varying ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds found themselves on the wrong side of the law. A new social worker, facing obstacles by the warden and staff, reaches out to an inmate for help and affection.
“CROSSING PATHS IN WASHINGTON SQUARE”
4f 3m. 1 set encompassing 4 separate locations in the park
Artists and writers; immigrants; working class and elite; gays and lesbians; African-Americans, Italians and Jews shared the Greenwich Village park in 1913, sometimes crossing boundaries to fall in love.
4f 4m, some doubling and tripling. 5 sets.
Unreachable Eden. Polish Jewish lesbian Eve Adams (born Chava Zloczower) ran a tearoom on Macdougal Street in 1926, which catered to artists, writers and actors, both male and female. She was deported from the U.S. as an “undesirable alien” and spent the 1930’s in Paris, selling banned books to English-speaking tourists. Eve and her friends Henry and June Miller and Anais Nin enjoyed both café and nightlife in France, while in Germany the Nazi government was banning and burning books and implementing its war against Jews, homosexuals and others deemed “undesirable.” These parallel worlds collided during World War II, once again putting Eve in triple jeopardy as a Jew, a lesbian and an immigrant. Composer Arthur Abrams has mined the rich musical genres of 1930’s Europe to write a score that ranges from the popular tango to waltz to ethnic melodies.Unreachable Eden is based on Eve Adams’ deportation file from the U.S. government as well as correspondence and photographs courtesy of her relatives.
“BIRDS ON FIRE”
6f 2m. 4 sets.
Music by Allison Tartalia. Birds on Fire portrays what might have been the lives of four unidentified victims of the 1911 Triangle Waist Factory fire in Greenwich Village. Written as part of the commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the disaster. Birds on Fire uses life-size puppets to portray the people in power—factory owner, architect, superintendent of buildings, city alderman—contrasting with the immigrant Jewish and Italian employees. Two women, childhood friends from Eastern Europe in America for five years, have dreams of a better life beyond the factory. They help a recent arrival from Eastern Europe who tries hard to adjust to her new and difficult life in America. The young Italian seaman who helped her on the dock jumps ship to find this woman he loved “at first sight.” The lives of these four converge in the Triangle Factory. They work hard, play hard during their precious hours of relaxation and share their hopes, dreams and love. The tragic fire that is the climax of the play steals from them their future as well as their past.
THE SPRING AND FALL OF EVE ADAMS.
6f 2m. 1 set.
The Spring and Fall of Eve Adams recounts the true story of an extraordinary woman who was a victim of homophobia and anti-immigrant hysteria that ultimately led to her death. In 1926 Eve Adams, a Jewish lesbian from Poland, was proprietor of “Eve’s Hangout”, a tearoom at 129 Macdougal Street, where local poets, musicians and actors congregated and shared their work in salon evenings. Eve’s haven of artistic and sexual freedom was soon threatened by religious and governmental authorities, leading to her arrest, imprisonment and deportation. The conflict between progressive and reactionary forces provides the drama in the play as the characters attempt to live and love free from discrimination.
WALKING FROM RUMANIA
4m 7f. 4 sets. Running time approx.1hr.45 min.
Walking from Rumania, set in 1899, was inspired by the women-only groups of “fusgeyers” (pedestrians) who walked across Rumania to escape hardship and discrimination. Five women in a small village prepare to join a larger group that is leaving a nearby city in three months. Two of the women are drawn to each other and plan to stay together in America. A pogrom (rampage against Jews) brings tragedy and provides greater impetus for the women to risk the journey. Two Gypsies function throughout the play as a “Greek chorus,” with folk tales and music that comment on the action. Walking from Rumania concludes on a hopeful note, with the fusgeyers on the verge of beginning their daring escape.
1918: A HOUSE DIVIDED
5m. 5f. Suggested sets covering seven locations. Running time: 1hr 50 min.
1918: A House Divided expresses the anguish of displacement, no matter in what century it occurs, and the familial love that overcomes the generational, cultural and sexual divides. The cultural richness of New York in 1918 was reflected in the many musical sounds that could be heard, from jazz to ragtime to ethnic folk music brought here by immigrants. The original songs of 1918: A House Divided capture these influences. Breindel “Billie” Gershon, an aspiring artist, attempts to bridge the divide between her traditional immigrant family and bohemian Greenwich Village, secretly enrolling in an art class. The students she meets—Morgan, Ricardo and Jamie--sometimes argue about the war and always argue about art, which is going through its own transition from 19th century impressionists to 20th century moderns. When Billie’s father discovers her clandestine life, including her love for another woman, Billie is disowned and finds refuge with Rina, the piano player in the nickelodeon and in the gay and lesbian community. The youthful exuberance of their lives is disrupted when Ricardo gets his draft notice, prompting his best friend Jamie to declare his love. These characters face the realities of prejudice and war and loss by creating new family bonds while strengthening the old ones, The play ends on a hopeful note as peace comes and the new decade of the Roaring Twenties looms ahead.
THE GHOSTS OF 14TH STREET
8m. (1 African-American) 3f. 2 sets. Running time: 1hr 45 min.
The Ghosts of 14th Street is set in New York City in 1908, when 14th St. was the entertainment capital of the city. In the Biograph Studio, the actors film scenes of a primitive one-reeler, while between takes they reveal their dreams, fall in love and rehearse routines they hope will take them to the Vaudeville stage. A husband and wife acting team are forced by scandal to work in the “flickers,” an immigrant housekeeper leaves her gangster husband from an arranged marriage, a dancer finds love at the gay hangout, his sister laments her unrequited love for the housekeeper, an African-American dancer refuses to perform in blackface, and two stagehands are determined to win the New York Times Limerick Contest. In the Olympic Theatre, the play replicates a typical evening of Vaudeville, including dance, comedy skits, female mimickry (cross dressing), and the song “Yiddishe Yankee Doodle Boy” (lyrics by Barbara Kahn, music by Allison Tartalia), as well as the finished film.
LONG TIME PASSING
3m 5f. (1f and 2m are animal hand and rod puppets.) 1 set.
Long Time Passing portrays war from the perspective of some of its residual targets. It is set in the ruins of Central Park in the midst of a war that is older than anyone who is still alive. The denizens of the park are two soldiers who deserted so they would not have to kill, an actress hoping for the return of theater when peace comes, a mime, an itinerant peddler whose advanced age allows her to travel freely between sides (“old people are naked to the human eye, and that’s the naked truth”), and various animals, including two pigeons and a squirrel. The animals and humans are able to communicate with each other when the peddler directs them to “listen with your heart, not your ears.” This band of outcasts seeks only peace. “I have no enemy but war itself,” states the actress, when describing her capture and escape from one of the competing armies.
THE BALLAD OF BAXTER STREET Play with music. Lyrics by Barbara Kahn. Music by Nicola Barber.
Place: Baxter Street and vicinity, Lower Manhattan, New York. Village square. Sagaponack, Long Island.
4m. 7 f. Sets: 3 locations in Act One. One location in Act Two.
THE BALLAD OF BAXTER STREET recreates the notorious Five Points neighborhood in Lower Manhattan in 1855, steeped in diversity and full of the same prejudices that exist in today’s volatile climate -- the place where “slumming” was invented. Street vendors sell everything from sand (yes, sand!) to hot corn to hand-sewn shirts; an Irishman and free-born African-American woman cross a social and racial divide to marry; an orphan who was tricked into marriage to a much older widowed policeman falls in love with her husband’s daughter; the real life famous French actress Rachel Felix helps the two women while on her New York tour; and the incredibly rich theatrical life on Broadway (below 14th St.), includes magicians, musicians and melodramas.
PYRATES! THE COURTSHIP CHRONICLES Book & Lyrics by Barbara Kahn. Music by Jay Kerr.
7 m. 6 f. Running time: 1 hr. 55 min. Two main sets (Tavern and ship), two suggested sets (pier and prison cell)
Pyrates! The CourtShip Chronicles is a musical about real-life lesbian and gay pirates in the tradition of Three-Penny Opera or Oliver! Mary Read, passing as Mark, joins the crew of Captain Jack Rackham and Anne Bonny in 1722 Jamaica. Joining the three on their final venture are a crew that reflects the local population including Luis, a Sephardic Jewish refugee from the European Inquisition and Agibo, an escaped African slave. Left behind when the pirate ship sails are Anne’s friend Pierre, a gay man and Belinda, a multi-racial tavern owner. Captain Jack’s jealousy of the growing relationship between Anne and Mary leads to betrayal, capture, trial and for some, hanging. The book is based on trial transcripts and other contemporary reports. The music was inspired by the popular songs of the period.
THE LADY WAS A GENTLEMAN. Incidental music by Jay Kerr. 5f. 4 sets. Full length. Period drama. Commissioned and produced by Theater for the New City, New York City.
Place: Charlotte Cushmans dressing room and the stage in Woods Theatre, in front of Barnums Hotel, the garden of the Crow residence, all in St. Louis, Missouri. Time. Two days in January, 1858.
Charlotte Cushmans opening night as Romeo, one of her most famous male roles, leads to a case of the jitters, and encounters with an amorous young female fan and a frontierwoman and her mail-order bride. Charlottes hectic life on and offstage is held together by her trusted assistant Sallie Mercer, a free and educated black woman during the time of slavery in the U.S. Based on the life of the most famous actress in the English-speaking theatre in the 19th century, who lived her life loving other women, including sculptor Emma Stebbins, designer of Central Parks Bethesda Fountain.
WAR BONDS 5f. 1m (piano player). 4 sets (2 simultaneous sets in each act.) Full length. Period drama. Commissioned and produced by Theater for the New City, New York City.
Place: Lincoln Army Air Force Base (Women's barracks and canteen) in Act One; Bar and room in a rooming house in Frankfurt, Germany in Act Two. Time: 1943 (Act One) and 1947 (Act Two).
War Bonds explores the neglected story of women pilots and women in the army in World War II. Inspired by interviews with veterans and other research, the play evokes the spirit of the daring women who braved the prevailing attitudes of the day in order to contribute to the war effort on their own terms. Two pilots fall in love; childhood friends find their friendship strained by institutionalized homophobia in the military. No World War II story would be complete without the requisite canteen. War Bonds has its own canteen and canteen singer, who performs seven "original" World War II songs, with music by Jay Kerr and lyrics by Barbara Kahn. "When the World is Free Again," "My Silver Wings and I" and the other songs typify the music of wartime US-from torch to swing to anthem.
THE TEMPEST-TOSSED 5f. 1 set. Full length. Period drama. Commissioned and produced by Theater for the New City, New York City.
Place: a district office of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (UNRRA) Berlin, Germany. 1946.
The confusion, despair and hope in the aftermath of world war bring together five women. They are an American administrator who can't leave her wartime demons behind; a Jewish pre-war Russian immigrant to the US who returns to Europe seeking the family she left behind; a young German woman whose Aryan mother and stepfather had disowned her because of her mischling (mixed Jewish) status; her lover, an escaped Russian prisoner she helped to hide during the war. All four women come into conflict with the German secretary, widow of a soldier who committed massacres for the SS, who struggles with her own past.
JOANNA 8f. 1 set. Full length. Period comedy-drama. Commissioned and produced by Theater for the New City, New York City. Inspired by the song, "Joanna" by Cris Williamson.
Place: a Lower East Side tenement apartment in New York City. Time: 1900.
Joanna escapes an arranged marriage mid-ceremony, climbs up on the ceiling, and refuses to come down or speak to anyone, despite the pleading of her sister and her now-married and very pregnant former lesbian lover. Her parents leave town in shame, the other tenants move out in fear of Joanna's "evil demon," and the landlord boards up the building, leaving Joanna alone with her sister. As one day passes inside, a century goes by outside, occasionally bringing intruders from the future. They include an aspiring silent film actress afraid of catching the flu, a depression-era hobo, two anti-Vietnam-war street mimes, and a contemporary real estate agent who wants her share of the neighborhood gentrification.
THE GREENEH* PASTURES TRILOGY
*unassimilated immigrant(Unorthodox Behavior, Whither Thou Goest, Heaven and Earth)
UNORTHODOX BEHAVIOR 1m. 3f. Various settings. Period drama. Full length. Originally produced by Theater For the New City, NYC.
Place: a small Russian village (shtetl).
Time: 1913, a year on the edge of worldwide change.
The story of a young Jewish woman's confrontation with tradition. "A little bit of Yentl, a little bit of Antigone."
MALKA SHAFRAN is "surrogate" mother to CYMA and LIBBY LOZAWICK, sisters whose mother died in childbirth. Malka was abandoned by her husband who went to America after their wedding.
Following her father's death, Cyma attempts to say kaddish for him in the synagogue with the men--breaking 5000 years of tradition. Libby refuses to join her sister's action. Cyma is forcibly ejected and goes to Malka for comfort and support. RABBI GERSON tries to elicit Cyma's apology and a promise to refrain from further attempts; Malka tries to mediate and fails. Cyma's second attempt to enter the synagogue results in tragedy, and she plans to leave the village. Malka unsuccessfully tries to dissuade her.
In the epilogue, eight years later, Malka and Libby have finally become close. Malka learns Cyma's fate following her exile, and plans to share the news with Libby.
WHITHER THOU GOEST 1m. 3f. 3 sets. Period romantic drama. Full length. Sequel to UNORTHODOX BEHAVIOR. Commissioned and produced by Theater For the New City in New York City with a grant from the Jerome Foundation. Published in MAKING A SCENE: The Contemporary Drama of Jewish-American Women, Syracuse University Press (1997).
Place: The Hannah Lavanburg Home for Immigrant Girls and a room in a Lower East Side boardinghouse, both in New York City; a live-in photography studio in Shoshone, Wyoming.
Samantha Lasser (Simi), born Cyma Lozawick, is a young Russian Jewish immigrant who volunteers at a Home for Immigrant Girls, where she meets Charlotte, a wealthy Jewish socialite descended from early immigrants, who does "good works" for the Home. The initial conflicts of class and culture give way to stronger romantic feelings between them. Simi's friendship with Rachel, a newly-arrived resident at the Home, helps her to deal with the ensuing scandal and crisis that force her to change her life.
HEAVEN AND EARTH 4f. Two settings. Romantic, political drama. Full length. Commissioned and produced by Theater for the New City with a grant from the Jerome Foundation.
Place: A live-in photography studio in Shoshoni, Wyoming; office at a rural airport in Pennsylvania.
Simi, a Jewish refugee living in Wyoming, is obsessed by the press reports from Europe and the homegrown bigotry of radio evangelists. Rachel, also an immigrant, is content with her life with Simi and chooses to ignore what's going on around them--"It's not happening to us," she declares. Nora, an American pilot born into class privilege, is willing to put her own security on the line for her Jewish friends. Laurel, a child who is lonely and unloved, believes the bigotry and echoes the hatred she hears from the adults around her. In a dramatic climax the four converge on a small airport in Pennsylvania one day in November 1938.
PEN PALS 1m. 3f. Various settings, minimally suggested. Political drama. Full length. Originally produced by Theater For the New City, New York City.
Place: A middle class neighborhood in the Northeastern United States; a room in a house in Toronto, Canada.
Time: From 2002-2022.
PEN PALS is about three childhood friends in the US and the Canadian pen pal of one of them during the politically-changing 21st century. As the United States government changes from democracy to dictatorship, the play focuses on their friendship--the conflicts, the humor and the love--in the difficult political climate. Though they follow different paths as adults, political and social upheaval bring them back to each other, with both tragic and hopeful consequences. Adult actors play the characters from age eleven to midlife. PEN PALS was inspired by the work of Amnesty International.
SEATING AND OTHER ARRANGEMENTS 4f. One full set, one suggested. Romantic comedy. Full length. Third-prize winner, nationwide new play contest sponsored by Celebration Theatre, Los Angeles. One-act version (scenes 1 and 2) winner of Love Creek Productions Gay and Lesbian One-Act Play Festival, New York City. Full length produced by Wings Theater in New York, Triangle Theatre in Boston and Labrys Theatre in San Diego, CA.
Place: Train station on Long Island (1st scene only); an apartment in Manhattan.
Time: The present.
Solves the problem: what to do when your lover comes back, finds that you have a new lover and discovers that the new lover is "awfully sweet." Into the mix, to help sort things out, comes an old friend, a very good therapist who speaks the lingo.
THE FORGOTTEN TRUTHS by Colleen Curtis and Barbara Kahn. 1f. One set. Historical drama. Approx. 75 min. Originally produced by Calico Productions, New York City. Shortened version produced at Madison Avenue Theatre. Staged reading presented by the Barbara Barondess Theatre Lab Alliance.
Place: George Sand's Paris apartment at Quai Saint-Michel.
Time: June 1832.
Set at the time of her first somewhat controversial success, the play is about that turning point in any celebrity's life, when he or she must confront the past in order to learn to face the future. It is a blend of material from Sand's own writing as adapted and dramatized by the playwrights. The puppets in the play are based on the puppets and puppet theatre at Sand's country estate called Nohant. She made the puppets while her children wrote plays and performed them. Everyone wants to "breathe the air of freedom," no one more so than Aurore Dudevant, who in 1832 left her husband and children in the country and moved to Paris to begin a career as a writer. As George Sand, she wrote over sixty novels, numerous plays and political tracts and an extensive correspondence. Her scandalous relationships with other artists, such as Alfred de Musset and Fredric Chopin, became source material for her novels. She wrote about previously taboo themes, including women's sexual feelings, relationships between peasants and aristocrats and injustice in many forms. This brought her immediate fame and an air of controversy that contributed to the myths and legends about her life and lifestyle.
George Sand was the most famous and influential Frenchwoman of the 19th century. She influenced her own generation as well as subsequent ones. According to Justin Kaplan, Walt Whitman's biographer, Whitman "preferred George Sand's heroine Consuelo to any of Shakespeare's women, and he acted out the scene in which she was singled out for the beauty and earnestness of her music. `How often have I dwelt upon that passage,' he said." Emile Zola said, "George Sand triumphs by her honesty, by the calm and tender feeling with which she interprets the passions."
CROSSINGS: Where W.11th Meets W.4th St., Greenwich Village
7 f. Various suggested sets. 90 minutes. Produced by Theater for the New City.
Place: Three different apartments in and outside a brownstone apartment building in Greenwich Village; a Greenwich Village outdoor cafe; a train station.
Time: The present.
Two "New York" stories interweave in a series of seven vignettes about women meeting women, old friends, new love and true romance. All are about the comedy of errors that result when people make incorrect assumptions about each other.
HELL'S KITCHEN HAS A TUB IN IT 2m. 3f. One set. Romantic comedy. Full length. Originally produced by Calico Productions, New York City.
Place: A tenement apartment in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood in New York City.
Time: The present.
It is a frigid winter's day in New York City. Jenny Newman, a young actress illegally subletting a friend's tenement apartment, faces many challenges: a landlord who has turned off the heat, dealing with the phone company that has shut outgoing service because of unpaid bills, getting friends who call in to make outgoing calls on her behalf, spraying the roaches that don't seem to mind the cold and, most of all, trying to keep warm. Into this chaos arrives a representative from Con Edison to collect on the outstanding account or shut off the gas and electricity. What follows is a traditional "boy meets girl" romantic comedy with a not-so-traditional surprise ending.
One act plays
by Barbara Kahn
currently available for production.
CO-OP 1f. 1 set. Twenty minutes. Commissioned and produced by Theater For the New City for the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts.
Place: A sidewalk in front of a recently renovated apartment building on the Lower East Side, New York City.
Time: The present.
Martha, evicted from her home of 28 years by developers who converted the building into co-op apartments, is homeless. She returns every day to the building trying to sell enough of her belongings to passersby to get along for the day. Although angry at being so easily "discarded," she faces her new life on the streets with humor, optimism and a will to survive.
CO-OP: The Next Generation. Sequel to "CO-OP." 3f (1 child). 1 set. Twenty minutes. Commissioned and produced by Theater For the New City for the second annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts.
Place: A sidewalk in front of a renovated apartment building on the Lower East Side, New York City.
Time: The present.
Martha confronts the young daughter of one of the owners of an apartment in the building from which she was evicted. Alice, playing hooky from school, is fascinated by Martha and her stories of life on the Lower East Side before "gentrification," a time when there were no owners, only renters. Martha tries to convince Alice to go to school, but Alice's mother misunderstands the relationship and threatens Martha with arrest.
[CO-OP & its sequel have also been adapted for presentation together.]
The Weaver. 1f. 1 set. 4 minutes. Monologue, usually performed as curtain raiser. Produced by the Heather Company for Westbeth Anniversary Celebration.
Place and Time: Non specific.
A "weaver of tales" tells the audience how she turned her family tradition of weaving cloth into one of weaving tales. Selling her wares, she weaves "tales of romance, seduction and passion..." and creates wonderful characters, so that "even when I am hungry or cold, I am never, never alone, and I am always, always loved."
Seating and Other Arrangements. 2f. 2 sets. Romantic comedy. 20 min. Produced by Women Playwrights Collective, Love Creek Prods. and Phoenix Fire Festival (all in NYC) and the Arts Project of Cherry Grove, Fire Island.
Place: Long Island Rail Road station, Sayville, NY; an apartment in Manhattan.
Time: The present.
Gina, still mourning a breakup after 8 months, meets Amy, a breath of fresh air. She invites her to dinner and falls in love all over again.
Where W.11th Meets W.4th St., Greenwich Village
2-6 f. 3 sets. Seven 10-minute comedies, 2f each. "10014" and "The Cat's Meow" were commissioned and produced by Miranda Theatre in New York City as part of "Manhattan Zip" and "Holidaze" respectively. "10014" has also been produced by Triangle Theatre in Boston and the WOW Cafe in NY.
Place: Three different apartments in and outside a brownstone apartment building in Greenwich Village.
Time: The present.
"New York" stories in the popular 10-minute format: "10014," "Getting to Know You," "The Mole" and "The Cat's Meow." Can be done separately or together. All are about the comedy of errors that result when people make incorrect assumptions about each other.
Summer in the City.
5f (2 can be either m or f). One set. A series of 5 monologues, 3-5 minutes each. The original three monologues were first produced in MIDSUMMER REVELS at Southampton College. Additional monologues were added for the cabaret OUT...IN OUR TOWN at The Duplex. Subsequently presented at Theater For the New City, the Crystal Quilt, and the WOW Cafe, all in New York.
Place: A park in New York City.
Time: A sunny afternoon in August.
What happens to New Yorkers left behind in August when all the therapists are on vacation. Relationships end over minor squabbles, phobias return full force, a sibling can't handle her newly-licensed therapist sister, and a woman who is afraid to admit to her new friends that she's not in therapy and has never been in therapy finds her lies catching up to her.
Note: The piece may be considered in total or as separate monologues for possible production. Although originally written for women, some of the monologues have been performed by men and can be done so in future productions.
Lifeline. 1m 1f. 3 sets minimally suggested. 30 minutes.
Place: Office, hospital room, apartment.
Time: The present.
Sally is a volunteer on her first unsupervised shift on an AIDS hotline. She must deal with other people's skepticism of her ability and then with her first caller. Tony is at the stage of his illness where he mistrusts anyone's goodwill. Their eventual meeting is a shock for Tony who realizes that they have more in common than he could have imagined.
A Day to Remember: The Staten Island Ferry
4 f. one set. 20 minutes. Produced by Theater for the New City.
Place: Aboard the Staten Island Ferry.
Time: The present with flashbacks to August, 1936.
A lesbian spoof of the movie TITANIC, taking place on the day the Staten Island Ferry crashed in 1936. Includes the original song "Take My Heart" (lyrics Barbara Kahn; music Marianne Speiser)
Annie Get Your Pun: or One Rhymes, The Other Doesn't
5 f. One set. 20 min. Produced by Theater for the New City.
Place: The Nuyorican Poets Cafe on the Lower East Side, New York City.
Time: The present and the recent past.
A Western-style lesbian romantic comedy about a "showdown" between Aussie Annie and Lovely Rita Meter Maid at an infamous poetry slam.
1f. One set. 20. Produced at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and at Expanded Arts.
Place: Cyma's home/photo studio in Shoshoni, Wyoming.
Adapted from the Greeneh Pastures Trilogy. Cyma is a Russian Jewish immigrant living with her partner Rachel in Wyoming. On the eve of war in Europe, Cyma writes to her family in Russia and recalls the scandal that forced her to leave them behind many years before.
Law and Order: P.I. 3f. 1 piano player m or f. 2 sets. 20 minutes.
Place: A rundown office, a night club.
Time: late 1940’s.
A film noir satire about detectives and dames on the Lower East Side. Includes original song, lyrics by Barbara Kahn, music by Arthur Abrams.
Law & Order: I.C.E. A cold case. 1m 4f. 1 m v.o. 2 suggested sets. 20 minutes.
Place: a police station, a television studio
Time: The present.
Two detectives audition actors looking for foreign impostors.
Law & Order: E.R. 1m 5f 1 m or 5. 3 suggested sets. 20 minutes.
Place: a police station, a rehearsal studio, a Broadway stage.
Time: The present.
Two detectives are assigned to trace undocumented aliens looking for roles on television medical series.
Law & Order: E.S.L. 3m 4f. 2 suggested sets. 20 minutes
Place: A police station, a classroom.
Time: the present.
Two detectives look for perpetrators of language-based offenses.
Law & Order: Criminal Interruption. 3f 3m or f. 2 suggested sets. 20 minutes.
Place: A police station, a theater.
Time: the present.
Two detectives track down and arrest cell phones that go off during performances.
Book of Merman. 3m 2f. 1 set. 20 minutes.
Place: A rehearsal studio.
Time: the present.
Three traditional musical theatre ‘geeks’ are taught about performing in rock and hip hop musicals by the ghost of Ethel Merman. Includes an original song, lyrics by Barbara Kahn, music by Allison Tartalia.
Lost and Found. 5f. 1 piano player m or f. 1 set. 20 minutes.
Place: An urban island.
Time: The present.
Five people are stranded on an island following a plane crash.
Les L.E.S. 3M 4F. 1 SET. 20 minutes.
Place: a rehearsal studio.
Time: the present.
New York City actors plan a new All-American show that will ‘rescue’ the New York theater from the Brits. Original song, lyrics by Barbara Kahn, music by Allison Tartalia.
Thawed: A Turkey Melt. 1m. 4f. 3 sets minimally suggested. 20 minutes.
Place: various Middle Eastern Bible settings.
Time: The distant past.
A re-imagining of the Bible stories of Noah and the Book of Ruth with a nod to the hit movie Frozen. Includes an original song, lyrics by Barbara Kahn, music by Allison Tartalia.
Downtown Abbey: Advice Maven of the Lower East Side. 2m. 3f. Suggested sets. 20 minutes.
Place: A radio station, with callers shown onstage.
Time: the present.
Abigail Van Essex’ call-in radio show, with callers from the Lower East Side. Musical theme by Allison Tartalia.
“A Melody Played in a Penny Arcade.”
3f. 2m. 15 min.
One set. A post-apocalyptic, post gentrification walled-in Manhattan, where bite-sized cupcakes are rationed and robots enforce restrictions.