curtains on fire

Extremely excited to announce – somewhat late, actually – CURTAINS ON FIRE – a new theatrical podcast produced by the Rising Curtain Theatre Company in NJ. This is a project that was started by me and the Director of RC, Ted Wrigley, in April of last year. The company had just come off of three sold-out performances of Miserable Love Stories – an evening of pieces from my then newly released book.  The show was successful – and Ted and I were looking for new projects that we could do while everyone was still sheltering at home during COVID.

With Curtains on Fire we invited several NJ and New York writers and performers to join us in a weekly workshop creating mini-plays based on assignments.  The workshops have been running almost weekly for about eight months now and the group has grown to 14+ writers, including some in NY, NJ, Cincinnati, and even Albuquerque, New Mexico! The group has generated hundred of mini-plays at this point, many of which have also been picked up by other outlets, including our friends at Gone In 60 Seconds.

We’ve released two podcasts so far and are working on our third.  You can find them on all your favorite podcast players.  Below is all of podcast #2, featuring new works by Jay Strong, Tarek Salib, and Nat Gennace.

Give it a listen!  We think there’s some very compelling stuff here.

it’s a Gi60 weekend!

It’s that time of year, once again, for Gi60! (Gone in 60 Seconds – the One Minute International Theatre Festival).  Gi60 is an evening of 50 short plays in (approx) 50 minutes.  I’ve gone international again, this year, with six pieces performed across three different shows – inc pieces in the Brooklyn and UK Leeds shows, and four in the Gi60 NextGen show (also in Brooklyn).  Above is one of my pieces from last year’s NextGen show – Bupkis.

Tickets are still available for all of the shows this weekend.  You can find links here.  And if you can’t make it out to Brooklyn, the evening shows will also be live streamed.

I will be haunting both of the Saturday shows in Brooklyn, and will likely have a few copies of both Plrknib and Miserable Adventure Stories with me for signing.

Here’s all the information on the shows and tickets.

Hope to see you there!

one minute plays: a practical guide to tiny theatre

Hey look!  The good folks at Gi60 have just published One Minute Plays:  A Practical Guide to Tiny Theatre.

One Minute Plays demystifies the super-short-form play, demonstrating that this rich, accessible format offers great energy and variety not only to audiences but to everyone involved in its creation and performance. The one minute play offers a unique challenge to actors, directors and writers: how do you create a whole world, where actors have room to perform and where audiences have a true experience all in 60 seconds? This handbook includes:

  • An anthology of 200 one-minute plays selected from the annual Gone in 60 Seconds festival.
  • A toolbox of exercises, methodologies and techniques for educators, practitioners and workshop leaders at all levels.
  • Tips and advice on the demands of storytelling, inclusivity and creative challenges.
  • Detailed practical information about creating your own minute festival, including play selection, running order, staging and marketing.

I’m also thrilled that a few of my own Gi60 pieces have been included:  Ace and Me, King Kwik, Nothing, and Sleep Tight.

You can order a copy of this highly recommended book here.

You can also pick up a copy at the author’s party on Monday, May 1st at the Drama Bookshop in NYC.  Should be a great time, and they’ll be doing staged readings of several pieces, including Sleep Tight.

king kwik

Gi60 UK is up this weekend at the Viaduct Theatre in Halifax, and my piece “Possible Opening Lines” opens the show.  Hoo ha.  Here’s my piece from last week’s show in Brooklyn.

King Kwik

Scene: ISAAC – middle-aged – speaks to the audience, off to the side of the stage.

King Kwik was the greatest store on Earth.  It had everything you could possibly need:  comics, candy, pizza, 25 cent airplanes, a big spy mirror, and, of course, Icees.  But more than anything, King Kwik had Margaret. 

Lights come up on MARGARET, 60, thin, white-haired, chipper, behind a counter.  She speaks to an unseen child.

Is that candy?  Oh, that’s a lot of candy.

Margaret was dependable and not at all complicated.  At exactly 3:05 p.m. hundreds of kids would race the two blocks from school to see who could be first to victimize Margaret.

A horde of kids, including IZZY and TIM (both 11), come onstage and huddle around the counter, shoving food and items at Margaret and yelling orders at Margaret.

Heat my pizza, Margaret!  Icee!  Icee!  I want change!   Stop pushing!  Take out my pizza!  Icee!  I dropped a quarter!  Where’s the bathroom?  He hit me, Margaret.  I want change!  Heat my pizza! 

Okay!  Settle down!  Settle down, honey!

She liked the girls best.  Called them “honey.”

She spots a boy in the corner.

You!  Over there!  I saw that!  Out for a month!  I know you, now!  Out for a month! 

That was her punishment for delinquents.  No King Kwik for a month. 

TIM, a tough kid in a white t-shirt, grabs something, sticks it under his shirt and bumps Izzy.  He starts to exits.

You!  Alright!  I saw that!  Empty your pockets!

Tim turns, angry and defensive.

I din’t do nothin’!

Oh yes you did.  I saw you in the spy mirror.


…Oh!  Out!  And don’t come back for a month!

Aw, bite me, ya’ bitch!  I’ll come back tomorrow!

The kids are stunned.  Tim storms out.  Margaret is shocked, hurt.  Tears well up in her eyes and she turns and covers her face with her apron.  All the kids leave but Izzy.  He watches her, compassionately, and approaches the counter. 

C’n I have an Icee?

Margaret shaking, makes the Icee.

Are you okay?

Margaret nods.  She hands him the Icee.  He pays, starts to leave.

Those Pop-tarts are eighty-five cents.

Izzy stops, frozen.  He backs up, sheepishly, puts the pop-tarts and change on the counter.

And I’m sorry, but you can’t come in for a month. 

Izzy runs off, head hung low.

(calling after him)
Don’t forget your Pop-tarts!

But they’d only have a bitter taste.

A girl comes in, puts a piece of candy on the counter.  Izzy, off to the side, presses his face to the glass, watching – a sad criminal.

Thirty cents, honey.