Jean Ciampi

Jean Ciampi

I've been a writer since I could pick up a pencil or a pen, a crayon or a stick in the dirt. My career has taken me through magazine features, corporate communications and 12 years of a snarky, weekly newspaper column, but three-plus years of living in Saudi Arabia made me a playwright.

Having spent most of my life on the Texas Coast, I'm an actress, director, producer, crew and board...
I've been a writer since I could pick up a pencil or a pen, a crayon or a stick in the dirt. My career has taken me through magazine features, corporate communications and 12 years of a snarky, weekly newspaper column, but three-plus years of living in Saudi Arabia made me a playwright.

Having spent most of my life on the Texas Coast, I'm an actress, director, producer, crew and board member with community theatres wherever I live. Currently I live in Midland, Michigan where I think it is far too cold.

Plays

  • The Bold and Bob
    ~ “A colonoscopy isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a man.” ~

    “Bob-O”, a high school teacher with the spine of a jellyfish, returns to Normal, Illinois to find that nothing is normal anymore after the sudden passing of his mother, Mariam O’Kineski. Forced to face up to the responsibilities of planning her funeral, he must navigate an outlandish cast of characters that include the Vietnam...
    ~ “A colonoscopy isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a man.” ~

    “Bob-O”, a high school teacher with the spine of a jellyfish, returns to Normal, Illinois to find that nothing is normal anymore after the sudden passing of his mother, Mariam O’Kineski. Forced to face up to the responsibilities of planning her funeral, he must navigate an outlandish cast of characters that include the Vietnam vet angling for Mariam’s corner apartment and the building manager angling for a wedding ring. The aging flower child across the hall is hell-bent to steamroll the funeral plans (which may or may not include the funeral director’s taco truck, the Rolly Guacamole), but when Mariam’s boss shows up, everything Bob-O thought he knew about his mother quickly unravels in hilarity. He’ll be making a grave mistake if he thinks his mother’s legacy is what she’s left in her will as Mariam’s final gift to Bob will be much more “bold and brave.”
  • A Very Holly Moosemas
    It’s August in Atlanta but Holly Anderson is convinced she can transform a movie set into a wooded, mountain Christmas masterpiece. With the blessed assistance of a scotch-drinking retired nun, she has to navigate the crotchety host of her AirBnB, an unexpected case of salmonella, and a Scrooge of a boss. If she could only find her phone. Joy is where you create it – even unconventionally – in this high energy...
    It’s August in Atlanta but Holly Anderson is convinced she can transform a movie set into a wooded, mountain Christmas masterpiece. With the blessed assistance of a scotch-drinking retired nun, she has to navigate the crotchety host of her AirBnB, an unexpected case of salmonella, and a Scrooge of a boss. If she could only find her phone. Joy is where you create it – even unconventionally – in this high energy, off-season holiday romp.
  • Potato Gumbo
    “You don’t quit having dreams because you get old.”

    A touchingly honest and, at times, zany look at the potentially brutal challenges of aging, "Potato Gumbo" tells the poignant story of Gretchen and Thomas, her dream, an ill-gotten pair of handcuffs, a diagnosis, and the adult children who must walk the delicate line of parenting their parents. It is the story of so many of our lives...
    “You don’t quit having dreams because you get old.”

    A touchingly honest and, at times, zany look at the potentially brutal challenges of aging, "Potato Gumbo" tells the poignant story of Gretchen and Thomas, her dream, an ill-gotten pair of handcuffs, a diagnosis, and the adult children who must walk the delicate line of parenting their parents. It is the story of so many of our lives – past, present or the future we must inevitably face.

    Gretchen Nelson could create the ideal gumbo recipe utilizing the unlikely ingredient of potato if she could only get from her Central Texas retirement community to the famed School of Cooking in New Orleans. Fellow retiree Thomas Trahan, already caught by her whimsical charms and light-fingered ways, is soon drawn into Gretchen’s off-beat schemes. Their initial plan, a late night, impromptu road trip to the Big Easy, has been aborted with their unfortunate return back home under police escort.

    As a result, more darkly serious issues begin to quickly bubble up. Is Gretchen’s “whimsy,” in fact, a looming cloud of declining mental faculties or worse? How much can one old heart endure? And when must elderly care end and control begin?

    Throw in an overbearing daughter hell-bent on saving Gretchen from herself, Thomas’s supportive son, a couple of helpful and hilarious friends and a dictatorial manageress, and you have, in short, a recipe for a very real and gently comic serving of the daunting challenges of getting older.

Recommended by Jean Ciampi

  • BLINDED
    5 Mar. 2021
    Although it's set more than a generation ago, Joni Ravenna's BLINDED has a timely and outright hilarious message. Clever characters with sharp dialogue twist and tumble into a surprise climax. The fun and laughs we all need right now!
  • The Serving Class
    28 Jan. 2021
    Wonderfully drawn characters and crisp dialogue come together for this fun farce. The love triangles sift and shift and guarantee big laughs in this creative telling of a riotous wedding run-up.
  • Five Frickin Winters
    2 Dec. 2020
    Roger's struggles as a writer are the least of his worries as he gets swept up in the escalating conflicts happening next door. Adding in a sexy new woman to the mix only seems to muddy his waters even further as he tries to chart a course forward. Authentic and, at times, caustic, "Five Freakin' Winters" is well-seasoned and real.
  • The Odd and Unusual Day of Mr. Ribbitz (Radio Play Version)
    1 Oct. 2020
    A fast-paced, hilarious romp of insanity. Often a good script will make you smile, perhaps even chuckle, as you give it a read. But Jeff Folschinksy's characters had me cackling out loud. It was a much-enjoyed good laugh.
  • Two Thumbs Up
    2 Sep. 2020
    A creative and well-imagined comedy that draws you in with it's rather unexpected twists. The characters are delightfully off-center and fun. Two Thumbs Up definitely deserves two thumbs up!