Mark Rigney

Mark Rigney

Psst. This is the prologue, the bit before the bio proper. I'm just back from the Ground and Field Theater Festival (Davis, CA, Oct. '18), where my new play SUMMERTIME got a workshop production that really pulled out all the stops. Feeling pleased, and grateful. Meanwhile, another new piece, TECHIES, designed specifically for high schoolers, will debut in mid-October 2018 at North High (Evansville, IN...
Psst. This is the prologue, the bit before the bio proper. I'm just back from the Ground and Field Theater Festival (Davis, CA, Oct. '18), where my new play SUMMERTIME got a workshop production that really pulled out all the stops. Feeling pleased, and grateful. Meanwhile, another new piece, TECHIES, designed specifically for high schoolers, will debut in mid-October 2018 at North High (Evansville, IN). More good news to follow. Thanks for reading this far, and now...the real bio:

Mark Rigney has had work produced or developed in twenty-two U.S. states, Canada, and Australia, including at 59e59 (NYC), the Utah Shakespearean Festival’s Plays in Progress Series (Cedar City, UT), the Alleyway Theatre (Buffalo, NY), the Cell Theatre (Albuqerque, NM), the Ark Theatre (Los Angeles, CA), the Forest Roberts Theatre (Marquette, MI), the Indy Fringe Festival, and others. He has won several national playwriting contests, including the John Gassner Playwriting Award, the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Prize, the Jury Prize for “The Seven,” and the Panowski Playwriting Award (twice). Multiple titles are published by Playscripts, Inc., including The Shout (Fall, 2016), Ten Red Kings and Acts of God, the latter produced over fifty times around the U.S. His ten-minute plays appear in multiple editions of the Smith & Kraus series, The Best Ten-Minute Plays (2012, 2013, 2014, and 2018), and in 25 10-Minute Plays for Teens (Applause). ArtAge recently published "Griddle Cakes," and has named it an Editor's Pick.

In other work, his novellas and novels, The Skates, Sleeping Bear, Check-Out Time and Bonesy used to be available from Samhain Publishing...but Samhain went belly-up, so now he is relying on his agent to save his life and new homes for these and other manuscripts. His short fiction appears in Witness, Ascent, Unlikely Story, and The Best of the Bellevue Literary Review, among over fifty other venues. In non-fiction, Deaf Side Story: Deaf Sharks, Hearing Jets and a Classic American Musical (Gallaudet) remains happily in print.

When not writing, he has worked as a zookeeper, a sound recordist, a tech director, and as a retail trainer at Borders Books & Music. His website is www.markrigney.net.

Plays

  • Summertime
    Summertime tracks the Kohl family, a nominally successful upper middle class clan dealing with an impending political crisis in which the United States Congress, in its infinite wisdom, has outlawed both medicine and medical practitioners in an attempt to deal with a burgeoning population crisis.

    Twentysomethings SUMMER LANE and JESSE KOHL are welcoming a new baby into this inhospitable landscape...
    Summertime tracks the Kohl family, a nominally successful upper middle class clan dealing with an impending political crisis in which the United States Congress, in its infinite wisdom, has outlawed both medicine and medical practitioners in an attempt to deal with a burgeoning population crisis.

    Twentysomethings SUMMER LANE and JESSE KOHL are welcoming a new baby into this inhospitable landscape, while Jesse’s parents, TOM and SARAH KOHL, are grappling with both Tom’s professional irrelevance (he’s a pundit) and Sarah’s slide into paranoid dementia. AUNT PRU, forever ensconced in the family armchair, provides bleak commentary at every turn, even after the arrival of a MEDICAL MALFEASANCE INSPECTOR, who threatens to send the entire Kohl household to prison for daring to try to take care of themselves (using every privileged means at their disposal).

    As the outside world falls apart, only Summer rises to the challenge, ditching her sunny, optimistic persona in an all-out war to protect herself and her baby. A dark, hilarious take on the cost of having faith in the system, Summertime takes readers and audiences where we all hope we never have to go.


  • Bears
    The world is going to hell in a hand-basket, but neither Growl Bear nor Timmy Bear, two grizzlies stuck in a suddenly deserted zoo, have the least idea what a hand-basket might be. What they do know is that their keeper is in tears more often than not, and the treats they used to get from cheerful zoo visitors are long gone. Enter Suzie Wild Bear, a committed loner brought to the zoo for breeding purposes. As...
    The world is going to hell in a hand-basket, but neither Growl Bear nor Timmy Bear, two grizzlies stuck in a suddenly deserted zoo, have the least idea what a hand-basket might be. What they do know is that their keeper is in tears more often than not, and the treats they used to get from cheerful zoo visitors are long gone. Enter Suzie Wild Bear, a committed loner brought to the zoo for breeding purposes. As the zoo shuts down around them, the three bears form an alliance and escape to the supposed paradise of the wilderness.
  • Michael, Cleveland
    Two married couples arrive at a St. Louis-area hospital having been informed that their babies were switched at birth, and hospital facilitator Nancy Kimura attempts to reassure Michelle and Jayden Ross, both black, prior to introducing them to the second couple, Oregon-based Lindy Dodge and Sam Shaw.
    Who turn out to be white.
    After recovering from their initial shock, the two couples stake out...
    Two married couples arrive at a St. Louis-area hospital having been informed that their babies were switched at birth, and hospital facilitator Nancy Kimura attempts to reassure Michelle and Jayden Ross, both black, prior to introducing them to the second couple, Oregon-based Lindy Dodge and Sam Shaw.
    Who turn out to be white.
    After recovering from their initial shock, the two couples stake out their territory, and both insist that they love and adore the child they have. Neither couple has any intention of switching back.
    Or so they claim at the outset.
    But best laid plans have a habit of unraveling, and alliances, even in marriage, do not always hold. After nudging from Nancy and the arrival of a talkative “singing telegram” by the name of Buddy, only Lindy remains committed to keeping and raising the “wrong” child. Despite her resistance, the writing is on the wall. Birth children will go with birth parents. Everybody––and nobody––wins.
    A hilarious, scathing comedy of parenting, family, and race relations, Michael, Cleveland tackles the lies people tell when brought face-to-face with their deepest hypocrisies.
  • Ten Red Kings
    Margot Cates, one year into college, is home for the summer and all set to spend every waking minute honing her skills at World of Warcraft, but before she can get her rebellious avatar, Nightwatch, into full fighting readiness, Margot finds herself packed off to a wilderness camp for on-line gaming addicts. There she meets a bevy of fellow campers in various stages of acceptance and/or denial, together with...
    Margot Cates, one year into college, is home for the summer and all set to spend every waking minute honing her skills at World of Warcraft, but before she can get her rebellious avatar, Nightwatch, into full fighting readiness, Margot finds herself packed off to a wilderness camp for on-line gaming addicts. There she meets a bevy of fellow campers in various stages of acceptance and/or denial, together with Rhonda, a group leader who invokes any number of unexpected tactics to counter and redirect the campers’ “addictions.”
    Margot doesn’t believe for a second she’s addicted to anything; indeed, she’s quite certain that gaming offers far more benefits than pitfalls. Adding insult to injury, Nightwatch originally belonged to Margot’s older sister, Courtney, who was killed in a highway accident a year before and now, at the camp, begins making ghostly visitations. Margot, determined to escape her troubles, sets Nightwatch on a new course, to find a lost map that will explain her reality, and her place in it, but Nightwatch, newly allied in-game with a wizard belonging to a fellow camper, has ideas of her own about who should be in charge.
    A contemporary play built on contemporary concerns, Ten Red Kings bridges the “real” and “digital” worlds with music, dance, and the harrowing drama of savvy young adults determined to rise above.
  • Acts of God
    Acts of God, a storm-tossed swirl of a play, tracks twelve high-school students through the year following a devastating tornado strike. As the students grieve, assist in the recovery efforts, and tackle the basics of getting on with life, they must also cope with the storm’s emotional detritus. Friendships and allegiances shift, beliefs and faith are tested, and the threat of future storms lurks daily just...
    Acts of God, a storm-tossed swirl of a play, tracks twelve high-school students through the year following a devastating tornado strike. As the students grieve, assist in the recovery efforts, and tackle the basics of getting on with life, they must also cope with the storm’s emotional detritus. Friendships and allegiances shift, beliefs and faith are tested, and the threat of future storms lurks daily just below the western horizon. By turns comic and wrenching, the play culminates in a second storm warning, and as the sirens blare once more, each character relives the once-in-a-lifetime terror they thought they’d put behind them…
  • Saint Harley, Adventure Girl!
    Harley Lynn hails from a sheltered factory town, but her fascination with sainthood––the daunting, sometimes hilarious task of trying to do good––sends her across the world to war-torn Syria and the medical tents of Doctors Without Borders. This most unlikely of comedies tracks Harley Lynn’s spirited attempts to save the world, and features a cast of thousands (well, okay, two), Donna Summer, and dancing.
  • The Fox
    A sharply funny play that explores the value of art in the face of unforgivable private behavior, The Fox tracks folksinger-for-kids Brendan LaSalle, who has enjoyed a long career and a happy marriage, but his reputation is endangered when his son’s girlfriend, a budding journalist, uncovers a long-buried claim that Brendan abused one of his young fans. Brendan attempts to rescue his legacy as a performer, but...
    A sharply funny play that explores the value of art in the face of unforgivable private behavior, The Fox tracks folksinger-for-kids Brendan LaSalle, who has enjoyed a long career and a happy marriage, but his reputation is endangered when his son’s girlfriend, a budding journalist, uncovers a long-buried claim that Brendan abused one of his young fans. Brendan attempts to rescue his legacy as a performer, but a noisy protest in his own front yard “outs” him as an accused sex offender.
  • End Of the Rainy Season
    A U.S. grad student seeks shelter for the night from the owner of a tiny hotel in Togo.
  • Caretta-Caretta
    On a Greek island, two brothers try to convince their environmentally minded sister to sign papers that will convert their strip of family-owned beach to a hotel high rise. Meanwhile, at their feet, an ancient mother sea turtle digs a hole to lay her eggs. On such a night as this, can there be any winners?
  • Griddle Cakes
    Two aging sisters debate the neighbor's annual wildflower walk, climate change, and whether to gun down their annoying telephone with their rifle, all while remaining ensconced in their twin rocking chairs.