Brian Vinero

Brian Vinero

Playwright/ lyricist Brian Vinero is an alumnus of the Minnesota Conservatory of Performing Arts, the National Shakespeare Conservatory, the 78th Street Theatre Lab and the BMI/ Lehman Engel Workshop. Plays and musicals produced and/ or developed at the Praxis Theatre Ensemble, the 78th Street Theatre Lab, the Willoughby Theatre, the West Side Dance Project, the BMI/ Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and...
Playwright/ lyricist Brian Vinero is an alumnus of the Minnesota Conservatory of Performing Arts, the National Shakespeare Conservatory, the 78th Street Theatre Lab and the BMI/ Lehman Engel Workshop. Plays and musicals produced and/ or developed at the Praxis Theatre Ensemble, the 78th Street Theatre Lab, the Willoughby Theatre, the West Side Dance Project, the BMI/ Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and the Midtown International Theatre Festival in New York City, Theatre of Note in Los Angeles, the Jewish Ensemble Theatre in Detroit, the Playwrights Center, the New Musical Theatre Exchange, the Classical Actors Ensemble, Theatre Pro Rata and the Minnesota Fringe in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area and in Utah, Virginia, North Carolina and Massachusetts. Brian has worked directly with two Newberry Award-winning authors adapting their work to the stage, has been published by the literary journals Aysmptote and The Mercurian, was a contributing writer for Sea World and has served on the faculties of William Patterson University and Regional Center for the Arts High School. His rhymed verse adaptations of the plays of Euripides are available for sale on Amazon.com. Barnes and Noble and at The Drama Book Shop in New York City. Member of the Dramatists Guild, BMI and the Playwrights' Center.

Plays

  • Vanity Fair
    William Makepeace Thackeray’s immoral, immortal heroine Becky Sharp finds herself transplanted from London in the Napoleonic Era to New York City in the Vietnam Era in a freely adapted and updated dramatization of the novel Vanity Fair. From the grounds of a convent school in 1965 to the hot seat of a talk show in 1985, Becky’s amorous adventures are played out over two turbulent decades of American history as...
    William Makepeace Thackeray’s immoral, immortal heroine Becky Sharp finds herself transplanted from London in the Napoleonic Era to New York City in the Vietnam Era in a freely adapted and updated dramatization of the novel Vanity Fair. From the grounds of a convent school in 1965 to the hot seat of a talk show in 1985, Becky’s amorous adventures are played out over two turbulent decades of American history as she parties her way through sex, drugs, Rock ‘n Roll, a husband or two, and countless lovers in her quest for wealth, power and social position (and maybe, just maybe love). Becky’s cunning and guile are contrasted by the honesty, integrity and innocence of her friend Amelia Sedley whom though born into a life of privilege, has no use for the empty values instilled in her Park Avenue upbringing. The fortunes of both women rise and fall with the hemlines as they both struggle and ultimately triumph in their own ways; and eventually our heroine, the lovely Miss Sharp takes her place among New York’s wealthy, famous and elite.

    Orphaned, impoverished BECKY sees the kindly AMELIA as her way into society. On an extended visit with Amelia’s family, Becky tries to ensnare Amelia’s wealthy, “confirmed bachelor” brother JOSEPH; but her plans are thwarted by Amelia’s playboy fiancée GEORGE who doesn’t want a girl of Becky’s lowly station in the family. George’s West Point classmate WILL is secretly in love with Amelia but has no hope to marry her as he is from a working-class background and can’t compete with the debonair George who proves time and again that he doesn’t really love her. Becky is exiled to a farm in New Jersey and forced to work as a nanny, but in no time first ingratiates herself with her employer and then runs off and marries his dashing son RAWDON. Amelia’s family loses its fortune and George breaks the engagement only to turn around and marry her (at Will’s insistence) as she is carrying his child. Becky, Rawdon, Amelia and disinherited George find themselves impoverished as the boys prepare to go off to Vietnam.

    Over the next five years Becky and Rawdon have a son and use their abilities to procure drugs to help them climb to the top of New York’s party scene. Meanwhile, Amelia raises her son in poverty; the specter of George (who died in Vietnam) keeping her from marrying the faithful Will. Becky’s wild ways weigh hard on Rawdon; he kills himself and her famous lover when she reveals that the son he adores is actually the offspring of George, who she seduced before he went off to war. The resulting scandal turns New York on its ear and Becky is shunned from all society. Many years later Amelia discovers Becky working as a prostitute in Atlantic City and tries to help her. A grateful Becky tells Amelia the truth about George’s lecherous ways freeing her at last to marry Will. Becky finally has a brief marriage to Joseph who dies leaving her a large fortune that allows her to take her rightful place in Vanity Fair.
  • Stirring The Plot (Or, The Tragedy of Chef III)
    Could Shakespeare have envisioned our modern world where the taverns and inns of his time would give way to restaurants, where obsessed chefs would live through and create drama rivaling his greatest tragedies and histories? Were he writing today, might he find inspiration from power-mad culinarians fighting for the right to wear the toque and control the kitchen just as kings and queens fought for crown and...
    Could Shakespeare have envisioned our modern world where the taverns and inns of his time would give way to restaurants, where obsessed chefs would live through and create drama rivaling his greatest tragedies and histories? Were he writing today, might he find inspiration from power-mad culinarians fighting for the right to wear the toque and control the kitchen just as kings and queens fought for crown and country in his day? In Stirring the Plot (or The Tragedy of Chef III), the daily grind of restaurant life takes on an Elizabethan heft as rival factions are in an all-out war attempting to gain control of a once-grand restaurant that is now at death's door. Plotting, counter-plotting and endless backstabbing and mayhem play out in the battlefield of the kitchen and dining room as the dramatis personae sling hash and fling verbal venom at each other in rhyming iambic pentameter amidst flagons of alcohol and more drugs than an apothecary could ever fathom. Great men will fall. Weak men will falter. And one young man will find that he was born to greatness when he is transformed by the love of a woman who has disguised herself as a man to survive the sexist and often dangerous domain of the kitchen. Hundreds of years have passed since the time of Shakespeare, but perhaps he would not be surprised by the tempest of the modern restaurant. His plays continue to teach us that one could blend comedy, tragedy, history, romance and oh so many problems in a stew where art, ego, love, ambition, passion and danger are simmering.
  • Froo-Froo Dogs
    In this re-imagining of Moliere's The Misanthrope, a group of elite Gay men in late Twentieth-Century Manhattan are like the froo-froo dogs that are leashed on the sidewalks of Chelsea -- they are pretty and polished and pampered, yet can easily regress to wild animals as they bitch and snap at each others' well-heeled heels. At a gathering in the loft of a dashing and handsome Broadway star who is...
    In this re-imagining of Moliere's The Misanthrope, a group of elite Gay men in late Twentieth-Century Manhattan are like the froo-froo dogs that are leashed on the sidewalks of Chelsea -- they are pretty and polished and pampered, yet can easily regress to wild animals as they bitch and snap at each others' well-heeled heels. At a gathering in the loft of a dashing and handsome Broadway star who is Top Dog in their circle, many suitors jockey for pack position with an eye fixed on his bedroom door. But can they survive the acid tongue of the star's one true love; a vicious critic who is frustrated with life, the theatre, and his relationship with a man who is committed to love but avoids commitment?
  • Mark the Halls: A Made-for-TV Christmas Movie Musical!
    Somewhere, far from the cold and cruel big city, there is a charming village called Holly Garland Corners. There, impossibly beautiful women operate factories specializing in artisanal Christmas goods. Well, at least when they are not too busy attending local Christmas pageants, decking the halls and meandering through the festive, yet quaint and quiet streets while nursing a warm drink and smiling at every...
    Somewhere, far from the cold and cruel big city, there is a charming village called Holly Garland Corners. There, impossibly beautiful women operate factories specializing in artisanal Christmas goods. Well, at least when they are not too busy attending local Christmas pageants, decking the halls and meandering through the festive, yet quaint and quiet streets while nursing a warm drink and smiling at every friend and neighbor passing by. Yet, it seems that this will be a lonely Christmas for one well-dressed heroine. At least until an eligible bachelor executive sweeps in three days before the holiday with the intention of closing down her beloved family business and ruining Christmas forever! Can she find a way to stop him, even as they fall in love during a whirlwind of snowman construction, cookie decorating and a tree lighting occurring on every other block? Meanwhile, a local baker finds herself entangled with her long-lost high school boyfriend who is now a famous country singer. And throw in a mysterious old man with a white beard who seems to have an affinity for reindeer, a man in town who may be a prince, a deployed soldier who must return home in time for a holiday reunion and...oh, you know how it goes. Somehow, all of it will end with a kiss and an engagement on Christmas Eve, under the moonlight, just as the snow begins to fall on a village that seems to be made of gingerbread.

    This new musical spoofs the sweet and sentimental Made-for-TV Christmas movies that are a “hallmark” of the holiday season. With no commercials and a good dose of Broadway song and dance. And tinsel. A lot of tinsel.
  • The Allen Street Yiddish Theatre Palace Presents: Cinderesther
    The Allen Street Yiddish Theatre Palace Presents: Cinderesther is a new musical comedy that celebrates the lives, struggles and triumphs of the large numbers of Jewish immigrants that landed in America and settled in the difficult, crowded, impoverished and often dangerous streets of New York City's Lower East Side. Strangers in a strange land, the Jewish people found new opportunities and freedoms; and...
    The Allen Street Yiddish Theatre Palace Presents: Cinderesther is a new musical comedy that celebrates the lives, struggles and triumphs of the large numbers of Jewish immigrants that landed in America and settled in the difficult, crowded, impoverished and often dangerous streets of New York City's Lower East Side. Strangers in a strange land, the Jewish people found new opportunities and freedoms; and out of poverty they emerged triumphant as writers, musicians, and labor leaders, and all but created the garment industry in the span of a generation. At the end of Fiddler on the Roof and Yentl we see the protagonist escape to America, but then what would face a Jewish person arriving in America with nothing but faith and family?

    The story is told with a framing device of a struggling, third-rate Yiddish Theatre barely eking by. Run by the resourceful REBECCA, who is sometimes driven to near-madness by her diva-actress mother MARILYN, they put on shows in Yiddish with plenty of Klezmer music to give their homesick immigrant neighbors a taste of the shtetl life they left behind. They tell the familiar tale of Cinderella, but with a new twist: it is told through the prism of Jewish immigrant life (this sort of adaptation was very common in the Yiddish Theatre of the era, where even Shakespeare was served up with a side of schmaltz). In this world, ESTHER (re-named Cinderesther by her stepsisters) struggles in a dingy, walk-up tenement with a hallway toilet shared by multiple families and is forced to do all the housework while also maintaining a job. She finds cruelty from her wicked STEPMOTHER and stepsisters ROSE and HILDA, but finds hope from her kind neighbor SOPHIE and from JERUSHA and LEAH, two girls who work with her at a garment factory in deplorable conditions for low wages. Enter DAVID PRINCE, a wealthy Tin Pan Alley songwriter who is enamored of Esther's ability to sing the catchy rhythms of a new kind of music he is introducing to his neighbors: Jazz. Of course we know how the story will turn out, but it has never been told quite like this.

    The music includes the sounds of classic Klezmer, but also evokes the sounds of Tin Pan Alley, as the music of Jewish songwriters (such as Irving Berlin) would fill the streets of New York and eventually take the world by storm. And as the story unfolds, the sounds of Jazz start to mix in with the Klezmer… setting the stage for how composers such as Gershwin would use their Jewish heritage to put their own spin on a new kind of American music.

    The Yiddish language is also used as a device in the storytelling. Though the show is written primarily in English, we are expected to suspend disbelief and assume that the characters are all speaking in their native Yiddish. However, Yiddish words and phrases are interspersed throughout the dialogue for flavor and authenticity, used in context so they can be easily understood.
  • Children of Agamemnon
    A two-part theatrical epic. CHILDREN OF AGAMEMNON combines Euripides' IPHIGENIA AT AULIS, ELECTRA, ORESTES and IPHIGENIA AT TAURIS into a single narrative. Following the House of Atreus before, during and after the Trojan War; the play explores how an act of infidelity sets events in motion afflicting a family with violence, abuse and vengeance during a time of great political strife, war and social...
    A two-part theatrical epic. CHILDREN OF AGAMEMNON combines Euripides' IPHIGENIA AT AULIS, ELECTRA, ORESTES and IPHIGENIA AT TAURIS into a single narrative. Following the House of Atreus before, during and after the Trojan War; the play explores how an act of infidelity sets events in motion afflicting a family with violence, abuse and vengeance during a time of great political strife, war and social upheaval. Actions of one generation affects the other for the worse and violence begets violence in a seemingly endless cycle. And though the family is born to royalty, wealth and prestige, the Gods are always present and more than willing to remind them they still are all-too mortal and at their mercy.



    This English adaptation of Euripides is in rhymed verse to create an approximation of the rhythms and poetry of the original Greek text.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac, translated from Rostand
    Rostand's hero Cyrano de Bergerac speaks of affinity for the art of the verse play in his dialogue, and that is the dramatic form the playwright used to make him immortal on the stage. This unabridged translation honors Rostand's intent by rendering the dialogue entirely in rhymed couplets, in an homage to the original play's poetic style and heightened language.
  • Chantecler, based on the play by Rostand
    In a farmyard that seems to have much in common with La Belle Époque Paris, there resides a collection of animals who seem to have much in common with the denizens of Parisian society. The busy hens lead the social pecking order, but it is the noble rooster Chantecler who rules the roost. Each morning his glorious song fills their world and inspires the sun to rise, a fact of which he is most certain. While...
    In a farmyard that seems to have much in common with La Belle Époque Paris, there resides a collection of animals who seem to have much in common with the denizens of Parisian society. The busy hens lead the social pecking order, but it is the noble rooster Chantecler who rules the roost. Each morning his glorious song fills their world and inspires the sun to rise, a fact of which he is most certain. While he is the hero of the fashionably dressed residents who seem to spend the bulk of their day in cafes and soirees, he is despised by the creatures who live by the night, a criminal underworld of the farm led by a homicidal cat. The treacherous cat believes the demise of the rooster will also be the end of daylight, thus allowing her and her cohorts to thrive in a world of darkness. Against this backdrop of day and night a female pheasant arrives from the countryside and scandalizes all society with her decision to defy the constructs of gender and take on the bold and colorful plumage of the male of her species. She will enchant the bold Chantecler, and through their romance she will change him and his perception of the world forever. As in Rostand's most-famous work, Cyrano de Bergerac, the tale is spun through swashbuckling swordplay, poetry, bravado and music.
  • The Tinsel in the Toilet, A Jewish Christmas Musical
    A young Jewish housewife breezes through the cultural upheaval of the 1970s and luxuriates in the materialistic 1980s fueled by her outrageous behavior and a personality disorder that is not cured by the popular self-help books she reads. Trapped in a marriage to a Jewish man she does not love or even like, she repeatedly finds herself tempted by an endless parade of WASPs and Catholics from up and down the...
    A young Jewish housewife breezes through the cultural upheaval of the 1970s and luxuriates in the materialistic 1980s fueled by her outrageous behavior and a personality disorder that is not cured by the popular self-help books she reads. Trapped in a marriage to a Jewish man she does not love or even like, she repeatedly finds herself tempted by an endless parade of WASPs and Catholics from up and down the social strata in the wilds of the suburbs. Along for the ride are her three children who bounce with her from marriage to marriage as they experience a most atypical upbringing. As the world and decades change she shatters all stereotypes of a devoted Jewish mother and her children as well. But she also gives them the most taboo Hanukkah gift imaginable: Christmas.
  • Like No People I Know
    Like No People I Know follows the misadventures of a histrionic, theatrical wannabe diva named RONNIE STANGEL whose dreams of Show Biz success have only come to fruition by directing children's theatre. Her sexless, loveless marriage to an actor JUSTIN STANGEL is falling apart as she becomes overly focused on and eventually obsessed with a young male actor in her company, SIGGY. She leads him astray in...
    Like No People I Know follows the misadventures of a histrionic, theatrical wannabe diva named RONNIE STANGEL whose dreams of Show Biz success have only come to fruition by directing children's theatre. Her sexless, loveless marriage to an actor JUSTIN STANGEL is falling apart as she becomes overly focused on and eventually obsessed with a young male actor in her company, SIGGY. She leads him astray in both life and on the stage and eventually destroys him as she moves on to other projects and ambitions. This is all seen through the wise eyes of her longtime stage manager ELAINE who does her best to intervene, but cannot prevent the inevitable conclusion.

    ACT ONE: It is the year 1996 and ELAINE, a veteran stage manager enters the darkened theatre and takes the stage. She asks the audience to be her witnesses and confessors as she presents the story of SIGGY'S downfall at the hands of RONNIE STANGEL. She calls light cues that bring us back to 1985 when Ronnie was the Artistic Director of The Portland Children's Theatre and Siggy had played the lead in every one of her productions for years. Ronnie quits in a huff when the board tells her they expect her to spread the lead roles among more actors and her husband JUSTIN is unable to calm her down. Ronnie decides to start her own theatre in a nearby suburb and plans to open it by showcasing Siggy as Peter Pan. After some ferocious though questionable fundraising she brings Elaine on board and starts to feel a chill from Justin, who is questioning her relationship with Siggy, and struggling with his own identity. Ronnie fills Siggy's head with delusions of grandeur and dreams of admission to Juilliard, though Elaine advises against it. She knows that the mark Siggy has made as a child actor will not guarantee success as an adult actor. After years of being controlled by her former employer Ronnie is now free to run her theatre as she sees fit; both Elaine and Justin are concerned that her behavior with the children is inappropriate as she tends to lead them in group exercises that end in a room full of crying, hysterical kids. Siggy's ego gets out of control as Ronnie seems to focus more and more of her attention on him. Elaine attempts to intervene but Siggy seems to be just too far gone to help, completely under Ronnie's spell. Ronnie goes from an argument with Elaine straight into a screaming match with Justin where she confronts him about his sexual orientation and an affair he has been carrying on with another man (not as discreetly as he imagined). He admits the truth to her as she attacks him with a barrage of insults as she realizes her marriage has been a sham. Ronnie is completely spent and left alone at the theatre with Siggy. She makes an attempt to seduce him, which he rebukes. She manipulates him into believing that there is a rumor going around that he is Gay, and convinces him that having sexual relations with her will stop the gossip as the lights fade to black.
    ACT TWO: Six months later the madness continues as Siggy turns eighteen, graduates from high school and begins to crack. He crosses a professional line on stage that Ronnie defends as Elaine is horrified at what he is becoming. Siggy is rejected by Juilliard and goes to a local school very briefly, then quits believing he needs no further training. He has aged out of Ronnie's theatre, and after their intimate encounter he starts to distance himself. Justin, now free of Ronnie and open to who and what he is, blossoms and begins to direct at a large professional theatre in town, but avoids casting Siggy due to the fact he is not impressed with his abilities. After two years of frustration in Portland's small theatre community Siggy leaves for Hollywood, sharing Ronnie's contention that he is destined for stardom. For five long years he toils in the real world, far from Ronnie's delusions about his potential and suffers the many indignities of a struggling actor. Meanwhile, Ronnie's theatre thrives as Elaine notes that Siggy is no longer a distraction. At twenty-seven a broken-down Siggy is reduced to working as a clown at a children's party being held at Ronnie's theatre. Ronnie can barely be bothered by her former star. Elaine revels in his failure, taking great joy in reminding him of his enormous ego and delusions of grandeur in the past. Siggy is left shattered, and two days later Ronnie and Elaine are shell-shocked by the news that he committed suicide in a highly theatrical manner. Elaine at last fully confronts Ronnie about her manipulation of the children entrusted to her care and quits working for her to join a thriving Justin at another theatre. And an unchanged Ronnie continues on, business as usual...
  • The Magnificent Ambersons
    Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Booth Tarkington, The Magnificent Ambersons is set in a Midwestern American town that is fast becoming a sprawling city due to industrialization and the rise of the automobile. In the midst of this we meet the wealthy and socially prominent Amberson family. They will find that their influence fades in a new world as romantic entanglements that cross generations seal...
    Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Booth Tarkington, The Magnificent Ambersons is set in a Midwestern American town that is fast becoming a sprawling city due to industrialization and the rise of the automobile. In the midst of this we meet the wealthy and socially prominent Amberson family. They will find that their influence fades in a new world as romantic entanglements that cross generations seal their fates as their fortunes change.


    Act One: MAJOR AMBERSON sweeps into a sleepy Midwestern village and recreates it into a town with a central district formed around a neighborhood dominated by his own spectacular mansion and influence. His daughter ISABELLE is the catch of the county and seems to have caught the eye of a driven working class boy EUGENE MORGAN, but rejects him for the sensible WILBUR MINAFER. Wilbur's sister FANNY is distraught to see Eugene leave town to seek his fortune, he not knowing she secretly loves him. Many years pass and Isabelle and Wilbur have one son GEORGE, who as the sole heir to the Amberson fortune grows up with every privilege and advantage. His Aunt Fanny and his mother's brother UNCLE GEORGE look on as their nephew grows up spoiled and arrogant in a town where the name “Amberson” guarantees him power and social position. Eugene returns to the town after decades away, recently widowed and in the company of his lovely daughter LUCY, who immediately captures George's heart. Fanny is excited at Eugene's return and his prospects as the creator of a new “horseless carriage” but soon sees that the spark between Eugene and Isabelle is still there. This does not go unnoticed by George, who returns to college while continuing to romance Lucy. Months pass and many letters are exchanged as Eugene's factory begins to produce automobiles as he spends much of his time in the company of Isabelle, as a frustrated Fanny is included as a means to squelch gossip. Wilbur passes away and George returns from school with the expectation that Lucy will want to marry him; she refuses to commit until George chooses a career for himself. Satisfied with living the life of a gentleman, George allows his relationship with Lucy to fade as Eugene and Isabelle seem to be free to re-kindle their romance. An alarmed, jealous Fanny sets George upon an angry path when she tells him people are gossiping about his mother and Eugene which leads him to insult Eugene and formally break things off with Lucy. George whisks Isabelle off on an extended world tour to keep her away from Eugene as the sleepy town suddenly finds itself turning into a noisy, polluted city.

    Act Two: Three years have passed and George and an ailing Isabelle return home to what is now an unfamiliar city where the name “Amberson” no longer carries prestige and Major Amberson's fortune is depleting rapidly. As Isabelle passes away, George will not allow Eugene anywhere near her. In rapid succession Major Amberson dies broken-down and penniless and Uncle George leaves the family to seek work elsewhere. George and Fanny find themselves with nothing but each other and leave the luxurious Amberson Mansion for a boarding house. As Fanny is financially destitute it is up to George to provide for her and he takes a dangerous job in order to secure a salary that will keep his aunt in a semblance of comfort. Eugene is now the wealthiest and most-powerful man in the city, and Lucy hopes there can be a reconciliation between him and George, and eventually between George and her; but an angry Eugene will not forgive him. As George wanders the lonely and now unfamiliar city at night, he is struck and seriously wounded by an automobile. Eugene is made to see that if he is to be true to his one true love Isabelle, he must be there for her son and extends his hand in friendship to George as the story ends.
  • The Jurgens File
    The Jurgens File recounts true events that happened in Minnesota in the mid-Twentieth Century. A baby boy was born to a sixteen year-old ward of the state who was forced to give him up for adoption; twenty years later she sought to contact what she believed would be her adult son only to discover he died at the age of three under suspicious circumstances. The story moves backwards and forwards in time viewing...
    The Jurgens File recounts true events that happened in Minnesota in the mid-Twentieth Century. A baby boy was born to a sixteen year-old ward of the state who was forced to give him up for adoption; twenty years later she sought to contact what she believed would be her adult son only to discover he died at the age of three under suspicious circumstances. The story moves backwards and forwards in time viewing the events that led up to his death and the eventual cover-up as recounted by family members, neighbors, police officers, social workers and other members of the quiet, suburban community where the action takes place. While some characters are composites and some of the events are compressed in the interest of time, the story depicted is true and is taken directly from court documents and the extensive media coverage that followed the case.

    ACT 1 It is October 1986 and the Sunday morning paper arrives in a small suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. The residents’ memories are awakened by a front-page story that tells of an unsolved child murder that happened amongst them decades before; they recall their actions and inaction as details of what will become one of the most notorious child abuse cases that will ever be tried within the Justice System are revealed. The paper tells of a woman named JERRY who discovers that her son Dennis, given up for adoption in 1961 died under mysterious circumstances that suggest severe child abuse at the hands of his adopted mother-yet charges were never filed. Jerry goes to the authorities insisting that the case get reopened, and the press puts pressure on CLAYTON and MELINDA, the assistant district attorneys assigned to the case; they ask Jerry to be patient, but she will have none of it. She herself is a frustrated victim of the Child Welfare System. We travel back to Jerry’s childhood in the 1950s where running away from neglectful and abusive parents is considered a crime, punishable by incarceration in a variety of placements-including a foster home with a lecherous father; she runs away and is sentenced to reform school. Upon her release she meets a local boy, DENNIS and spends the night with him, resulting in a pregnancy and a return to reform school where she gives birth to a boy that she names after his father. Only sixteen and a ward of the state, she is forced to give him up for adoption. Now, in 1986 she has discovered the home he was placed in resulted in his death and lets Melinda and Clayton know she expects them to bring his killer to justice.
    Back in the sleepy suburb three housewives: ANGIE, LISA and LESLIE have known for years about the unpunished murder. They step forward to tell the story of LOIS JURGENS, Dennis’ adoptive mother. Even before the murder Lois was notorious in town for her foul manner and temper, yet she managed to snare quiet and gentle HAROLD JURGENS. Harold’s mother, MRS. JURGENS sees her son live with Lois’ madness, a collection of personality disorders that come to crisis point when it is discovered she can’t have children. Lois is first institutionalized, then barred from adopting children, but gets her brother JEROME, a police officer to procure a baby for her: ROBERT. Robert fits in well in the Jurgens’ household, and they soon seek to adopt another boy-a rambunctious toddler named “Dennis.” Child Welfare fails to see the dangers of placing playful Dennis with the rigid Lois and he is left at her mercy, as HAROLD quietly looks on. Across town, JERRY wonders what happened to the boy she was forced to give up.
    Returning to 1986, a COP feels the heat, as the public wants questions answered; he takes us back to 1965, the morning a three year-old Dennis was found dead. Angie, Lisa and Leslie look on as a doctor then the police arrive to find Dennis’ corpse. Lois claims the death was an accident, though an autopsy reveals brutal abuse. Dennis is buried and Lois is never charged. Decades pass, then a woman named Jerry arrives at Dennis’ grave seeking answers.
    It is now early 1987 and the media reveals that Lois and Harold were able to adopt four more children after the death of Dennis. All four children eventually ran away, and the oldest, RENEE gives the world a first-hand account of life in the Jurgens home. Jerry’s adult daughter MISTY stands by her side as Lois is arraigned and charged. Melinda and Clayton face the daunting task of trying a twenty year-old murder case. Robert, now 27 and a police officer realizes he is the only witness to the crime his mother committed as she is dragged off in handcuffs.

    ACT 2 The trial approaches, and Robert recalls being taken from his home and being placed with Mrs. Jurgens for an extended period due to the suspicions Child Welfare had after Dennis’ death. Angie recalls Lois threatening to burn her to death for speaking to the authorities, and then sees Robert returned to Lois after Mrs. Jurgens dies in a suspicious fire. A SOCIAL WORKER tells of how Renee and her brothers soon joined Robert after a loophole keeps caseworkers from discovering the secrets of the Jurgens home. Teenaged Renee and Robert live through the nightmare of Lois’ cruelty and further descent into madness and soon run away from home. The authorities revoke Harold and Lois’ parental rights and are they are barred form adopting more children. Lois lives quietly for eleven years until a reporter informs her that Dennis’ case has been reopened due to the probing of his birth mother.
    Melinda and Clayton have no problem proving child abuse as neighbors and family members at last come forward to shed light on the actions of Lois and the system that failed to save Dennis. Their difficult task is proving a decades-old murder, relying on the testimony of Robert to assure Lois’ conviction. From the witness stand he guides us (and Jerry) through the night before Dennis’ dead body was discovered; as a raging Lois, angered by flood water filling her basement takes out her aggression on Dennis’ three year-old body. After years of abuse, Dennis no longer has a fight left in him and passes away.
    Robert’s testimony leaves no doubt as to Lois’ guilt and she goes to prison; Jerry wonders if all she and Dennis sacrificed will do anything to stop the flow of Child Abuse in America. And the story goes on…
  • Rostand's The Last Night of Don Juan
    Don Juan's sexual conquests have gained him an infamous reputation all over Europe. When the Devil himself begins to drag him to Hell, Don Juan makes a bargain: In exchange for another ten years of life, he will commit to doing the Devil's dark work himself by bedding as many women as possible and leaving them wanting and devastated.

    A decade later, the Devil catches up with Don Juan...
    Don Juan's sexual conquests have gained him an infamous reputation all over Europe. When the Devil himself begins to drag him to Hell, Don Juan makes a bargain: In exchange for another ten years of life, he will commit to doing the Devil's dark work himself by bedding as many women as possible and leaving them wanting and devastated.

    A decade later, the Devil catches up with Don Juan in Venice. Through a dizzying melange of puppetry, riddles and mysterious women clad in masks and cloaks, the Devil shows Don Juan that though he believed he was a master at playing romantic and sexual games, in truth he was but a plaything. This translation of one of Rostand's final works is, like the French original, written completely in rhymed couplets.
  • Scapin the Scammer, adapted from Moliere
    Two pairs of star-crossed lovers are faced with a duo of wealthy, buffoonish businessmen determined to guarantee they will not get their happy ending. Enter Scapin, a servant with a talent for schemes and scams who is always more than willing to put one over on the upper classes. For Scapin no lie is too outrageous and no plot is too outlandish when it comes to assuring that true love finds its way....
    Two pairs of star-crossed lovers are faced with a duo of wealthy, buffoonish businessmen determined to guarantee they will not get their happy ending. Enter Scapin, a servant with a talent for schemes and scams who is always more than willing to put one over on the upper classes. For Scapin no lie is too outrageous and no plot is too outlandish when it comes to assuring that true love finds its way.

    Through a dizzying blend of emotional blackmail, physical assault, disguises and subterfuge, Scapin will utilize his enormous talents to assure that all is well before the final curtain comes down. This adaptation of Moliere's classic is in rhymed verse.
  • The Imaginary Invalid, adapted from Moliere
    The obscenely crude Argan is a hopeless hypochondriac who has seen his considerable wealth drained by an endless parade of charlatan doctors and their endless supplies of “miracle” cures. As his wicked second wife waits impatiently for him to die, he hatches a plot to marry off his eldest daughter to an obnoxious young doctor to assure he will always have free medical care available.

    As doors...
    The obscenely crude Argan is a hopeless hypochondriac who has seen his considerable wealth drained by an endless parade of charlatan doctors and their endless supplies of “miracle” cures. As his wicked second wife waits impatiently for him to die, he hatches a plot to marry off his eldest daughter to an obnoxious young doctor to assure he will always have free medical care available.

    As doors slam, and disguises and deceit thicken the plot, it seems only Argan's clever maid Toinette and his wise brother Beralde may save the day. This English adaptation of Moliere's classic is in rhymed verse and includes several fully-scored musical interludes.
  • The Bourgeois Gentleman, adapted from Moliere
    Monsieur Jourdain is a middle class merchant who foolishly believes he can break into the upper echelon of society. Desperate to elevate himself and his station, it seems there is no humiliation too great as he tries to better himself via tutelage from a variety of instructors who are more than happy to relieve him of his money. He also finds himself an easy mark for a penniless nobleman who uses him to fund an...
    Monsieur Jourdain is a middle class merchant who foolishly believes he can break into the upper echelon of society. Desperate to elevate himself and his station, it seems there is no humiliation too great as he tries to better himself via tutelage from a variety of instructors who are more than happy to relieve him of his money. He also finds himself an easy mark for a penniless nobleman who uses him to fund an extravagant lifestyle. Monsieur Jourdain's long-suffering wife and daughter find themselves caught up in one of his latest schemes, involving a poorly planned affair, several sets of unhappy lovers and a full orchestra and ballet company invading the household. It will fall to the clever servants to find sense in the madness and set things right.
  • The Bacchae, adapted from Euripides
    King Pentheus of Thebes bears a legacy of denial from his aristocratic family regarding the circumstances of the birth of his cousin, Dionysus. Dionysus comes to Thebes accompanied by the Bacchae, a group of passionate, devout women under his influence. But are these women caught up in a cult of personality, or is the long-denied divinity of Dionysus what truly has them caught in his spell?

    ...
    King Pentheus of Thebes bears a legacy of denial from his aristocratic family regarding the circumstances of the birth of his cousin, Dionysus. Dionysus comes to Thebes accompanied by the Bacchae, a group of passionate, devout women under his influence. But are these women caught up in a cult of personality, or is the long-denied divinity of Dionysus what truly has them caught in his spell?

    The cousins come head-to-head in a clash that will settle scores from generations past, and will lead the family to unimaginable violence. This English adaptation of Euripides' classic play is in rhymed verse to create a close approximation of the rhythms and poetry of the original Greek text.
  • Medea, adapted from Euripides
    Medea has abandoned her family and homeland of Colchis for the love of the great hero Jason, and her loyalty, cunning and talents in witchcraft have repeatedly rescued him. Now after bearing him two fine sons and settling in Corinth; Jason announces that Medea is to be cast aside, freeing him to marry royalty. Now finding herself not only abandoned, but banished from Corinth and driven beyond madness, Medea...
    Medea has abandoned her family and homeland of Colchis for the love of the great hero Jason, and her loyalty, cunning and talents in witchcraft have repeatedly rescued him. Now after bearing him two fine sons and settling in Corinth; Jason announces that Medea is to be cast aside, freeing him to marry royalty. Now finding herself not only abandoned, but banished from Corinth and driven beyond madness, Medea commits an unspeakable act of vengeance against her former husband.
  • Hecuba, adapted from Euripides
    As the fires that burned Troy smolder, the once-proud and regal Queen Hecuba finds herself homeless, widowed and enslaved by the Greek conquerors. In the hours before she is to sail to Greece in chains she discovers that two of her surviving children will pay the blood debt of war with their lives.

    Left with nothing to lose but a hopeless life that is no longer her own, she commits an act of...
    As the fires that burned Troy smolder, the once-proud and regal Queen Hecuba finds herself homeless, widowed and enslaved by the Greek conquerors. In the hours before she is to sail to Greece in chains she discovers that two of her surviving children will pay the blood debt of war with their lives.

    Left with nothing to lose but a hopeless life that is no longer her own, she commits an act of vengeance that is shocking in its violence, yet asserts all that is left of her humanity. This English adaptation of Euripides' classic play is in rhymed verse to create a close approximation of the rhythms and poetry of the original Greek text.
  • Iphigenia at Aulis adapted from Euripides
    On the eve of The Trojan War the Greek leader Agamemnon is at the port of Aulis and finds himself at odds with the goddess Artemis. She is holding back the wind that will allow his army to sail to Troy, and demands the sacrifice of his beloved daughter Iphigenia to release it. As tensions mount Agamemnon finds himself not only confronted by an impatient army, but also with with his wife Clytemnestra and brother...
    On the eve of The Trojan War the Greek leader Agamemnon is at the port of Aulis and finds himself at odds with the goddess Artemis. She is holding back the wind that will allow his army to sail to Troy, and demands the sacrifice of his beloved daughter Iphigenia to release it. As tensions mount Agamemnon finds himself not only confronted by an impatient army, but also with with his wife Clytemnestra and brother Menelaus as he considers his duties to his county and family.

    As his actions lead to sacrifice and sacrifices, he sets his family on a bloody, violent path that will carry on through generations. This English adaptation of Euripides' classic play is in rhymed verse to create an approximation of the rhythms and poetry of the original Greek text.
  • Electra, adapted from Euripides
    Following his triumphs during The Trojan War the great Greek warrior Agamemnon is slaughtered by his crafty wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. Many years later his surviving children Orestes and Electra are living far from the royal halls that are rightfully theirs and are long separated; as Orestes has escaped and lives in exile while Electra languishes in an arranged marriage to a peasant.
    ...
    Following his triumphs during The Trojan War the great Greek warrior Agamemnon is slaughtered by his crafty wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. Many years later his surviving children Orestes and Electra are living far from the royal halls that are rightfully theirs and are long separated; as Orestes has escaped and lives in exile while Electra languishes in an arranged marriage to a peasant.

    Upon a reunion where the brother and sister face each other for the first time as adults they decide to execute a plan that will demonstrate to Clytemnestra and Aegisthus that the example that was set to them as children was not forgotten. This English adaptation of Euripides' classic play is in rhymed verse to create a close approximation of the rhythms and poetry of the original Greek text.
  • Orestes, adapted from Euripides
    After avenging his father Agamemnon's death by slaughtering his mother Clytemnestra, Orestes finds himself tormented by The Furies and pursued by the Argive people who seek to put him to death along with his sister Electra. Seemingly ignored by the god Apollo whose oracle led Orestes to matricide; his only hope lies with his father's brother Menelaus who is recently reunited with his wife, the...
    After avenging his father Agamemnon's death by slaughtering his mother Clytemnestra, Orestes finds himself tormented by The Furies and pursued by the Argive people who seek to put him to death along with his sister Electra. Seemingly ignored by the god Apollo whose oracle led Orestes to matricide; his only hope lies with his father's brother Menelaus who is recently reunited with his wife, the infamous Helen.

    As Menelaus refuses to intervene, Orestes and Electra find themselves once again pushed into a desperate, violent act. This English adaptation of Euripides' classic play is in rhymed verse to create a close approximation of the rhythms and poetry of the original Greek text.
  • Iphigenia at Tauris adapted from Euripides
    Many years after the events that led to the destruction of Agamemnon's family during the Trojan War his daughter Iphigenia is long thought dead but lives among the Taurians as a priestess in the Temple of Artemis. Her duty to prepare any foreigner who arrives in Tauris for ritual sacrifice introduces her to a young Greek prisoner who she will soon discover is none other than her long-lost brother Orestes....
    Many years after the events that led to the destruction of Agamemnon's family during the Trojan War his daughter Iphigenia is long thought dead but lives among the Taurians as a priestess in the Temple of Artemis. Her duty to prepare any foreigner who arrives in Tauris for ritual sacrifice introduces her to a young Greek prisoner who she will soon discover is none other than her long-lost brother Orestes.



    Though they have been separated for many years and are far from home, the siblings devise a plan to ensure a safe escape and put an end to the curse of bloodshed that has plagued the House of Atreus for generations. This English adaptation of Euripides is in rhymed verse to create an approximation of the rhythms and poetry of the original Greek text.
  • Alcestis adapted from Euripides
    The God Apollo has tricked the Fates into sparing King Admetus when it is his time to die. Yet in exchange, Admetus has to find another mortal to take his place in the Underworld. After his aged parents refuse to step in to save him it is Admetus' noble wife Alcestis who agrees to give her life, hoping to spare her children from growing up without a father. She dies leaving her husband alive, yet alone....
    The God Apollo has tricked the Fates into sparing King Admetus when it is his time to die. Yet in exchange, Admetus has to find another mortal to take his place in the Underworld. After his aged parents refuse to step in to save him it is Admetus' noble wife Alcestis who agrees to give her life, hoping to spare her children from growing up without a father. She dies leaving her husband alive, yet alone.



    Into this royal house in mourning stumbles the hero Heracles who is oblivious to the sad event that has come to pass. He will use his remarkable strength to assure that the Fates will not have the final word. This English adaptation of Euripides' classic play is in rhymed verse to create a close approximation of the rhythms and poetry of the original Greek text.
  • Andromache, adapted from the play by Euripides
    In the aftermath of the Trojan War, the royal-born Andromache finds herself in far-off Greece enslaved by the family of the man who killed her husband and forced her into the role of concubine. She is not only forced to share her bed with her captor, Neoptolemus, but also bears him a son. This draws the ire of his wife Hermione, who is convinced that Andromache's presence and actions have kept her husband...
    In the aftermath of the Trojan War, the royal-born Andromache finds herself in far-off Greece enslaved by the family of the man who killed her husband and forced her into the role of concubine. She is not only forced to share her bed with her captor, Neoptolemus, but also bears him a son. This draws the ire of his wife Hermione, who is convinced that Andromache's presence and actions have kept her husband far from their marriage bed and left her childless.

    When Neoptolemus is away, Hermione sees an opportunity to rid herself of a romantic rival and her husband's illegitimate son.  This sets off events that will result in violence and further loss. This English adaptation of Euripides' classic play is in rhymed verse to create a close approximation of the rhythms and poetry of the original Greek text. 
  • Ten Minutes 'til Christmas!
    Why spend two hours and slog through dozens of perfume and jewelry commercials when one can get that romantic Yuletide story fix that is a "hallmark" of the season in a mere ten minutes? In a picturesque village we meet a man and a woman who fight insurmountable odds and conflicts of personality, class and income to fall in love and get engaged ten minutes after meeting during the Christmas season.