Jami Brandli

Jami Brandli

JAMI BRANDLI’s plays include M-Theory: a play told in 11 dimensions, Technicolor Life, The Romeo and Juliet Senior Citizens Project--A Comedy, Through the Eye of a Needle, O: A Rhapsody in Divorce, Visiting Hours, The Caregiver's Guide and BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!) which was named in the inaugural Kilroys List. Works produced/developed at New Dramatists, New York Theatre Workshop, The Lark, Launch Pad...
JAMI BRANDLI’s plays include M-Theory: a play told in 11 dimensions, Technicolor Life, The Romeo and Juliet Senior Citizens Project--A Comedy, Through the Eye of a Needle, O: A Rhapsody in Divorce, Visiting Hours, The Caregiver's Guide and BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!) which was named in the inaugural Kilroys List. Works produced/developed at New Dramatists, New York Theatre Workshop, The Lark, Launch Pad, The Women’s Voices Theater Festival, The Road, Moving Arts, The Inkwell Theater, Great Plains Theatre Conference, among other venues.

She is currently a commissioned playwright for Center Theatre Group’s 2022 L.A. Writers' Workshop led by Luis Alfaro where she is developing a play about female magicians titled The Magician’s Sister. Her mini-opera, “Diana and Narcissus,” will premiere at New Opera West in Los Angeles this spring, 2022.

Additional accolades include: 2020 Under Construction Playwright with The Road. 2019 Humanitas Prize PLAY LA playwright. BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!) nominated for Best Playwriting for an Original Play; Los Angeles Ovation Awards. Winner of John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award, Holland New Voices Award, Ashland New Plays Festival and Aurora Theatre Company's GAP Prize. Finalist for the PEN Literary Award for Drama, Playwrights’ Center Core Writer Fellowship, Princess Grace Award, Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference; nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. Her short works are published with TCG, Dramatic Publishing Company, Applause Books, and Smith & Kraus.

Technicolor Life premiered as part of the 2015 Women’s Voices Theater Festival and received its Australian premiere in 2017. In 2018, BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!) received a joint-world premiere with Moxie Theatre (San Diego) and Promethean Theatre (Chicago), ending with Moving Arts’ production at Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles (LA Times Critic’s Choice and Ovation Recommended). BLISS will receive its fourth production at Defunkt Theatre (Portland, OR) in early 2020. Through the Eye of a Needle (Stage Raw ‘TOP TEN’ Pick and Ovation Recommended) received its world premiere at The Road Theatre (Los Angeles), March-May 2018. Sisters Three received its world premiere with The Inkwell Theater (Los Angeles) in December through January 2019.

A proud member of The Playwrights Union and The Dramatist Guild, Jami teaches dramatic writing at Lesley University's low-residency MFA program. She is represented by Samara Harris at the Michael Moore Agency. www.jamibrandli.com

Plays

  • The Romeo and Juliet Senior Citizens Project--A Comedy
    Lucas, a recent MFA graduate of Yale School of Drama (and barely 30 years old), creates and directs his adaptation of Romeo & Juliet for a local Seniors Retirement Facility. During rehearsal and opening night, complications arise from conflicts and a budding romance between Rich and Rose, the two star-crossed lovers/residents at the facility. As Lucas juggles the play and real-life drama, his creative...
    Lucas, a recent MFA graduate of Yale School of Drama (and barely 30 years old), creates and directs his adaptation of Romeo & Juliet for a local Seniors Retirement Facility. During rehearsal and opening night, complications arise from conflicts and a budding romance between Rich and Rose, the two star-crossed lovers/residents at the facility. As Lucas juggles the play and real-life drama, his creative vision is truly tested by one regal resident, 90 year old Nina Sallinen, who interjects with her unsolicited advice. Nina, a former star of the National Theatre of Finland, seeks the ultimate ‘high C’ of performance, and she is determined to show Lucas (and Shakespeare) why the tragedy should have a happy ending.

    Script by Jami Brandli
    Story by Jami Brandli, Nina Sallinen and Ann Hearn Tobolowsky
    (and William Shakespeare, too)


    Development:
    -Reading presented as part of The Road Theatre's 13th Summer Playwrights Festival, upcoming in July, 2022; Los Angeles
  • M-Theory: a play told in 11 dimensions
    The near future. Former biographer Pauline Grey has shut herself and her daughter Ava away in a remote cabin in Angeles National Forest for nearly a year. Pauline will not let Ava go until she has the answers she is desperately seeking. But when a solar flare storm hits, cutting the women off from communication with the outside world, and a downed pilot appears at the cabin asking for help, Pauline's...
    The near future. Former biographer Pauline Grey has shut herself and her daughter Ava away in a remote cabin in Angeles National Forest for nearly a year. Pauline will not let Ava go until she has the answers she is desperately seeking. But when a solar flare storm hits, cutting the women off from communication with the outside world, and a downed pilot appears at the cabin asking for help, Pauline's reality is challenged in more ways than one.

    Development and Accolades:
    Selected for Kitchen Dog Theater's 2022 New Works Festival, Dallas.
    Selected for The Road Theatre's 12 Annual Summer Playwrights Festival, 2021, Los Angeles.
    Finalist for 2021 Bay Area Playwrights Festival.
  • O: A Rhapsody in Divorce
    The Odyssey reimagined as a rhapsodic dramedy.
    O, a childless female neurobiologist in her 40s, is blindsided by her husband who wants a divorce, but he refuses to leave the house. With that, her life is upended and she’s thrown into an epic couch-hopping odyssey. As O hops from one couch to the next, we’ll not only learn about the science behind love and heartbreak, O discovers unconventional and...
    The Odyssey reimagined as a rhapsodic dramedy.
    O, a childless female neurobiologist in her 40s, is blindsided by her husband who wants a divorce, but he refuses to leave the house. With that, her life is upended and she’s thrown into an epic couch-hopping odyssey. As O hops from one couch to the next, we’ll not only learn about the science behind love and heartbreak, O discovers unconventional and magical ways to reassemble the blown-up pieces of her life while she struggles to find her way back toward a “new home.”

    Development:
    Selected for The Road Theatre's Tenth Annual Summer Playwrights Festival, 2019, Los Angeles
    The Playwrights Union First Peak Reading Series, June 2018
  • Visiting Hours
    Visiting Hours; Part Four of Re-envisioned Greek Myth Cycle
    A reclaiming of the Persephone myth, now set in a psychiatric hospital, Visiting Hours follows the arduous journey of Stephie Green, a middle-aged music teacher who must break free from her complicated past in order to be reunited with her family.

    Reading at The Road Theatre Company as part of their 2020 Summer Playwrights Festival #11

  • The Caregiver's Guide
    A family dramedy about evolving heroes, truth tellers, memory keepers, and early onset Alzheimer's.

    Development:
    *NOTE: This is a first draft*
    -2020 Under Construction playwright; play initially written under the auspices of The Road Theatre
    -Under Construction Reading Festival with The Road Theatre (Virtual), January to February 2021
    -Under Construction Reading...
    A family dramedy about evolving heroes, truth tellers, memory keepers, and early onset Alzheimer's.

    Development:
    *NOTE: This is a first draft*
    -2020 Under Construction playwright; play initially written under the auspices of The Road Theatre
    -Under Construction Reading Festival with The Road Theatre (Virtual), January to February 2021
    -Under Construction Reading Festival with The Road Theatre (in person!), Sept 2021

  • BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!)
    Nominated for best Playwriting for an Original Play; Los Angeles Ovation Awards.
    In 2018, BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!) received a joint-world premiere with Moxie Theatre (San Diego) and Promethean Theatre (Chicago), ending with Moving Arts’ production at Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles (LA Times Critic’s Choice and Ovation Recommended).
    Winner of The Great Plains Theatre Conference...
    Nominated for best Playwriting for an Original Play; Los Angeles Ovation Awards.
    In 2018, BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!) received a joint-world premiere with Moxie Theatre (San Diego) and Promethean Theatre (Chicago), ending with Moving Arts’ production at Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles (LA Times Critic’s Choice and Ovation Recommended).
    Winner of The Great Plains Theatre Conference's Holland New Voices Award. Named on The Kilroys' THE LIST of the 46 most recommended plays written by female playwrights. Finalist for O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and The Source Festival. Selected readings at The Antaeus Company in Los Angeles, HERE Arts Center in NYC, The Hearth Collective hosted by Portland Center Stage, and a Workshop Presentation with Moving Arts in Los Angeles.

    It's 1960 in North Orange, NJ. Clytemnestra and Medea are now housewives with a pill addiction, and Antigone is the teenage girl next door who is in love with a black boy. On the surface, they're seemingly blissful to follow the "rules” of Emily Post, the American author famous for writing on etiquette. But that's just the surface. Then Cassandra, a black working girl, moves into their neighborhood and all routines are interrupted. Cassandra is determined to finally break the curse of Apollo, the gorgeous and egotistical god who gave her this “gift” of prophecy but made it so no one would ever believe her. He makes it clear his curse is practically indestructible: all she has to do is convince someone to believe her. Can Cassandra convince these women they now have choices in this modern era? That they don't have to live a doomed existence? Can all four women escape their ongoing fate?
  • Through the Eye of a Needle
    Through the Eye of a Needle received is world premiere with The Road Theatre in Los Angeles, 2018.

    Through the Eye of a Needle (formerly known as A Merry Little Christmas)
    Workshop with Launch Pad at UC Santa Barbara, July 2017;
    Finalist for ID Theater, Seven Devils Conference, 2017;
    Finalist for LOCAL Theater's LOCAL Lab, 2017;
    Semi-finalist for O'Neill...
    Through the Eye of a Needle received is world premiere with The Road Theatre in Los Angeles, 2018.

    Through the Eye of a Needle (formerly known as A Merry Little Christmas)
    Workshop with Launch Pad at UC Santa Barbara, July 2017;
    Finalist for ID Theater, Seven Devils Conference, 2017;
    Finalist for LOCAL Theater's LOCAL Lab, 2017;
    Semi-finalist for O'Neill Playwrights Conference, 2017;
    Semi-finalist for Bay Area Playwrights Festival, 2017;
    Selected for The Road Theatre's Seventh Annual Summer Playwrights Festival, 2016, Los Angeles

    Through the Eye of a Needle is a working middle-class family dramedy about the Keen family dealing with the death of their daughter, Dana, a navy corpsman who recently died in the Iraq War. Larry copes with a tumbler of scotch or five, Barbara stubbornly sets an extra plate setting, while their straight-edge teenage daughter, Samantha, secretly uses Twitter to create a protest on the George Washington Bridge. Much to Larry’s annoyance, the self-righteous Pastor Bill Towers and his fragile wife, Shirley, invite themselves over for Christmas Eve dinner, and then Nasser, an Iraqi refugee, arrives at their door unannounced. They quickly learn he was Dana’s trusted military interpreter and that Dana has given Nasser as a “Christmas gift.” As they fight over to keep Nasser or not, tempers fly and secrets are revealed. Will the Keens be pulled further apart or will they find grace and redemption in this unexpected gift?
  • Sisters Three
    World premiere with The Inkwell Theater Company in Los Angeles, December 2018.

    Workshop production with The Inkwell Theater Company in Los Angeles, December 2016. Finalist for The Source Festival. Semi-finalist for The Bay Area Playwrights Foundation. Selected readings Moving Arts MADlab Reading Series, Playwrights Union First Peak Reading Series.

    The Brontë sisters, modern day,...
    World premiere with The Inkwell Theater Company in Los Angeles, December 2018.

    Workshop production with The Inkwell Theater Company in Los Angeles, December 2016. Finalist for The Source Festival. Semi-finalist for The Bay Area Playwrights Foundation. Selected readings Moving Arts MADlab Reading Series, Playwrights Union First Peak Reading Series.

    The Brontë sisters, modern day, Christmas Eve. Due to the death of their brother, Charlotte has dropped out of society and joined a commune on Gondol Island. So Emily and Anne build a canoe to rescue her. In this off-center dramedy about family, social media, fame, the holidays and the perfect cupcake, individual secrets and desires are revealed which could tear the sisters apart.
  • Technicolor Life
    Technicolor Life premiered as part of the 2015 Women’s Voices Theater Festival and received its Australian premiere in 2017.
    Winner of The Aurora Theater Company's Global Age Project (GAP) Prize, John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award, and Ashland New Plays Festival. Finalist for 2016 PEN Literary Award for Drama, Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship and O’Neill National Playwrights Conference....
    Technicolor Life premiered as part of the 2015 Women’s Voices Theater Festival and received its Australian premiere in 2017.
    Winner of The Aurora Theater Company's Global Age Project (GAP) Prize, John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award, and Ashland New Plays Festival. Finalist for 2016 PEN Literary Award for Drama, Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship and O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Readings at New York Theatre Workshop and The Lark. Fellow at WordBRIDGE.

    Maxine, a book smart teenager, is caught between her older sister, a wounded soldier who just returned from the war in Iraq, and her ailing grandmother with a flair for American Musicals. With the help of her new imaginary friends—Lorelei Lee and Dorothy Shaw from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes—Maxine secretly creates a dating profile for her sister and successfully sets her up with another wounded vet. Life takes a darker turn when her grandmother announces she'll be ending her life and wants her family to support her final wish by throwing her a good-bye party. With that, Maxine has to grow up fast.
  • ¡SOLDADERA!
    Workshop presentation with MOXIE; Feb 2018, San Diego. Finalist for the 2017 Source Festival. Visiting Playwright at Loyola Marymount University with a workshop presentation; 2016 Fall, Los Angeles. Visiting Playwright for UC Santa Barbara’s LAUNCH PAD: New Plays in Process. Semi-Finalist O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.

    Part epic and part grotesque comedy, ¡SOLDADERA! is set in the...
    Workshop presentation with MOXIE; Feb 2018, San Diego. Finalist for the 2017 Source Festival. Visiting Playwright at Loyola Marymount University with a workshop presentation; 2016 Fall, Los Angeles. Visiting Playwright for UC Santa Barbara’s LAUNCH PAD: New Plays in Process. Semi-Finalist O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.

    Part epic and part grotesque comedy, ¡SOLDADERA! is set in the Mexican Revolution during The Day of Dead Feast. A teenage girl with face blindness finds the camp where her mother fled to become a revolutionary soldadera (female solider). She is taken in by the other soldaderas and unintentionally catches the eye of the lascivious, god-fearing colonel. Upon learning her mother died bravely in battle, the girl decides to become a soldadera. This sets off the unveiling of secrets that threatens to tear the camp apart.

    NOTE: The current uploaded draft is a work in progress.
  • Medusa's Song
    This is a work-in-progress

    Part Two of Reclaimed Greek Myth Cycle
    A modern-day reclaiming of the Medusa myth set on a college campus. The Golden Boy can run, but he can't hide.
  • S.O.E.
    -*Atwater Village Theater, Los Angeles World Premiere, March-April 2013
    *Received 2013 Los Angeles ARC Grant for this production
    -HotCity Theater, St. Louis Premiere, May 2010
    -2011 Nomination for Kevin Kline Award for “Outstanding New Play”

    UNCONDITIONAL LOVE IS A BITCH. It’s the morning after a big party celebrating the publication of Josh’s first novel. His top student...
    -*Atwater Village Theater, Los Angeles World Premiere, March-April 2013
    *Received 2013 Los Angeles ARC Grant for this production
    -HotCity Theater, St. Louis Premiere, May 2010
    -2011 Nomination for Kevin Kline Award for “Outstanding New Play”

    UNCONDITIONAL LOVE IS A BITCH. It’s the morning after a big party celebrating the publication of Josh’s first novel. His top student, childhood best friend, and literary agent unwittingly meet in his apartment and find themselves trapped by the fierce winter storm raging outside which threatens to cause a State of Emergency for the Boston area. Anxiously awaiting Josh’s return, the three begin sifting through the cigarette butts and plastic cups to clean up last night’s mess, until the discovery of a mysterious gun triggers unexpected revelations about the man they each deeply love.
  • Epic Love; a ten-minute play
    A married couple have their last date at their special spot in the woods.

    NOTE: "Epic Love" can be performed outdoors or indoors.
  • Pandemic Therapy; a ten-minute play (two versions in one document)
    Version #1: A young married couple struggles to adjust to their new pandemic living situation while their therapist wrestles with her own problems.

    Version #2: A long-time married couple struggles to adjust to their new pandemic living situation while their therapist wrestles with her own problems.

    NOTE: This piece can be done on Zoom or live/on-stage.
  • Zoom Audition: a monologue
    A young woman does her first Zoom audition while she wrestles with her inner darkness.

    NOTE: This piece can be done on Zoom or live/on-stage
  • Normal; a ten-minute play
    Late for brunch with his in-laws, Robert tries to get his son, Bobby Jr., down from a tree. As Bobby Jr. continues to refuse to come down, Robert discovers things about his son and himself.
  • Flooding; a ten-minute play
    B and C try to take a simple drive to a coffee shop. But there's a problem. B has a phobia of cars, and C has a phobia of small spaces. As the two phobics struggle to put the key in the ignition and close the door, they end up bearing their hearts and falling for each other.

    NOTE: "Flooding" can be performed outdoors or indoors.
  • Moon Man; a ten-minute play
    In the middle of the night, Lilith, a difficult widow, is visited by Moon Man, who has traveled from the moon to keep her company. Although Lilith tells Moon Man to leave, she is torn between wanting him to actually go and wanting him to stay. So she calls her son, Frankie, pretending that the house is on fire. When Frankie arrives, he cannot see Moon Man and finally reaches the end of his patience with his mother's lying.
  • Once Removed; a ten-minute play
    Elliot and Maggie, a married couple diseased with a deep sadness, are desperate to get back into bed. But here’s an undeniable bump under the covers and they are forced to face a recent tragedy.