The Bunker Cycle
A cycle of seven full-length plays about American survivalism, doomsday preppers, and bunkers. Complete Bunker Cycle plays currently include: EVERYBODY’S DEAD: A COMEDY; GUNS IN TREES; and TOMORROW GAME.
Tomorrow Game (2 F)
Bell and Roe live in a postapocalyptic wasteland that is so far gone they don’t even remember a time when there were grocery stores, safe drinking water, or 911. They each live in isolation, until they happen to meet. Bell shows Roe a game: take of your mask and see if you can breathe. Try this vegetable, and see if you wake up. Read a poem. Do more than just not-die. Bell may also have ulterior motives. Roe’s shelter is stocked with years worth of canned goods and other priceless resources. Is their friendship true–or just another game?
Developed: Edward Albee Foundation 2017. Awards: Princess Grace Finalist 2018.
Everybody’s Dead: A Comedy (2 F, 1 M)
Annika is the unlikely multi-millionaire CEO of a doomsday prepper subscription box service. She is also trapped inside the massive custom bunker that she built to house herself…and her sex robot…and no one else! At all! After receiving a notification that nuclear apocalypse was imminent, Annika retreated to her bunker, bringing no one with her whatsoever. That was two years ago. Now, she’s suffering from cabin fever and skyrocketing guilt over the people–especially the cute guy guy–she left behind to die in a radioactive holocaust! What a riot! Time to get out of here!
Guns in Trees (5 M, 5 F)
Al goes home from the big city to her white, conservative, and fairly well-meaning family to find that they are full-fledged doomsday preppers now–just like on TV! Al tries to connect with her family members, and get a little side action, but her siblings hate her and Hank the hot neighbor just wants to treat her right. Meanwhie, beavers Reggie and Ronnie try to build a lodge before the frost sets in–and Ronnie tries to convince Reggie that it’s ok to be small, and it’s better to be safe than brave and dead. The preppers go hunting and Al tries to figure out where she belongs, but she can’t shake the feeling that it’s no where. A play about whiteness and also death.
Other Full Length
White: A North Dakota Story (3 F, 3 M)
Bliss, ND is a tiny, forgotten town. Population: 16. Demographics: 93.7% white; 6.3% black. Country living can be harsh, but here, everyone’s family. Until a known white separatist leader comes to town, planning to get himself elected mayor and build himself the first American all-whites town–whether the townspeople like it or not. And boy, do they ever not. Based on a true story, White explores family, fear, loneliness, and what it is to be white in rural America today.
Developed at the HBMG Foundation’s National Winter Playwrights Retreat 2018.
Krav Maga! (2 M, 3 F)
When Monica begins taking Israeli special forces fighting (AKA Krav Maga!) as a self-defense class (and also a form of therapy) she starts to believe in a version of herself that is confident, strong, empowered. Then she punches multiple people that she loves in the face, and has to deal with the consequences. Krav Maga! explores intimacy, love, and the rules of dating through a lens of exercise, violence, and food.
Reading: Mildred’s Umbrella’s Consenting Bodies Series 2019.
Changeling Folk: An Appalachian Musical (2 M, 5 F, 6+ fairies)
Susan’s mother has always believed that Susan is a changeling, but Susan’s sister Bernice has protected and befriended her all their lives. Now that Susan is about to get married, she is more and more restless–does she really belong here? could she belong somewhere else? She goes in search of fairies, and when she finds them, new questions arise: Can she ever belong anywhere? A play filled with traditional Appalachian folk music, Set in the isolated hills of 1890s Appalachia.
Developed: Edward Albee Foundation 2017.
The Facts, The Truth, and Other Stories (YA. 2 M, 5 F)
Olive is a seventeen-year-old inventor on the verge of a scientific breakthrough! Maybe. Prompted by a truth-telling machine (In Beta), she conducts a secret correspondence with her own mother, Marianne, a lonely woman with dozens of pen-pals. When Olive meets Martin, a thirty-five-year-old drunk layabout, they form an unlikely friendship–which is utterly derailed when Martin becomes involved with a self-help organization called The Facts. Weaving throughout Olive and Martin’s tale is Scheherazade, a mythic storyteller, leading us on an exploration of the stories we tell each other–and the stories we tel ourselves.
Workshop Production: Loyola University Chicago 2012.
What the Ladies Do (3 F)
Three proper 19th century ladies (cousins, in fact!) sit in interminable boredom, embroidering, reading the Bible in Latin, smoking cigarettes, and getting naked. Being a good girl and a lady is a full time job, but Elizabeth knows what God wants them to do.
Blunt Objects Theatre, directed by Kendra Wells 2016.
Collective 48, directed by Brandy Carie 2016.
And Now, An Education From Our Sponsors (YA. 8-15 Teens)
A Brand Representative who pitches advertisements during every class. A class devoted entirely to effective twitter-speak. This is Corporate Public Schools, where everything is sponsored and sponsorship equals status. When Julian starts his first day of Freshman year, he is afraid of everything, and Zoe won’t stop passing him notes that make him blush. After Zoe and her cousin, known only as “Renegade” save him from bullies and first-day trouble, he feels obligated to join them in their protest of Corporate Public Greed–but will their protest even have an impact? And are Zoe and Renegade really who they say they are?
American Theatre Company’s “Bridge” Program Student Production, directed by Tony Lawry, 2014.
Betty the Zombie adapted from the short story by Elizabeth Crane (6 F)
Meet Betty. Betty is a zombie. Betty wants to change. Betty goes on the Lifetime reality television series Relight the Fire of You. Through craft projects, group therapy, and electric fence limbo, Betty realizes that she has never fully addressed her latent issues of overspending and never having mourned the loss of not having children. Betty comes to believe that there are no coincidences in life, and feels that becoming a zombie gave her the opportunity to share her strength and hope through her love of needlecrafts.
The Future (3 F, 3 F)
The Future is a monologue-based piece that explores the relationship between ownership and identity, age and values, and the links of fear and feeling that connect people to one another in the collective unconscious. The piece takes place in the future-tense, allowing each character to tell his or her own story, focusing on what they “want”or think they want.
Chicago Fringe Festival, directed by Brandy Carie 2014.
How to Be A Person (2 any gender)
A non-narrative exploration of the stages of life, told through short comedic vignettes and action. And a dog. And a piece of cake.
Changeling Play (2 F)
Susan is about to get married and her sister Bernice is helping her try on her wedding dress for the first time. But instead of becoming a housewife, Susan is thinking maybe she’d like to run away instead. Did she mention she’s a changeling? At least, she thinks she is.
Mid America Theatre Conference reading, 2017.
Sisterhood (2 F)
Marty and Natalie are sisters, but definitely not friends. After an altercations with Natalie’s cult-leader boyfriend goes awry, the two find themselves trapped in a bathroom, trying to figure out how to fight for their lives.
Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Museum of Dysfunction Festival 2017.
Bus Stop Variations (2 M, 2 F)
A Man and a Woman at a bus stop. A Man and a Man and a Woman at a bus stop. A Woman and a Woman with a cigarette at a bus stop. Interacting with strangers is weirdly hard.
Hey, Hey, I Wanna Get Married (1 M, 1 F)
A Man and a Woman sit on a park bench. The Man is sweating. “Did you enjoy watching me play tennis as you do every week?” he asks. “I imagine my virility was highly stimulating.” He knows this is the perfect way to start off a marriage. As soon as the woman knows that’s what they’re doing, he’s sure she’ll agree.
Weathervane Playhouse 10×10 Festival, 2013.
Working Lunch (2 F)
The office is empty. Where did everybody go? Good think there are twinkies and whisky in the desk drawer.
Boiling Point Players New Day Cabaret 2017.
Chair Play (2 any gender)
A person sits in an armchair, on the sidewalk, drinking a coffee. “Hey kid–want this chair? You want this chair.” Only one problem: it’s haunted.
Playhouse 1960 Short Play Festival 2017.
Twinings (1 M, 1 F)
Harold and Marjorie sit in the library, drinking tea. Very nice tea. They’ve been together for so long, they hardly have to speak full sentences–but Marjorie has something to say.
Scriptwriters/Houston 2015, published in 105 5-Minute Plays by Smith and Kraus 2016.
F**k Kiss Touch (1 M, 1 F)
Sometimes a girl meets a guy at a bar and thinks: this is the meaningless hookup I’ve been waiting for. So she brings him home, gets a little drunk, kisses him a whole bunch–and finds out he has other things planned.
Cone Man Running 5-Minute Mile 2016.