John Minigan

John Minigan

John is a 2019-2020 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Dramatic Writing. His plays have been presented by Circle Repertory Company, Hey Jonte!, Centastage, Vagabond Theatre Company, New World Theatre, Clockwise, Good Company, Shelter West, and others. He is a 2020 winner of the New American Voices Festival, a 2019 winner of the Clauder Competition, a 2018 O'Neill and Lark finalist, a finalist...
John is a 2019-2020 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in Dramatic Writing. His plays have been presented by Circle Repertory Company, Hey Jonte!, Centastage, Vagabond Theatre Company, New World Theatre, Clockwise, Good Company, Shelter West, and others. He is a 2020 winner of the New American Voices Festival, a 2019 winner of the Clauder Competition, a 2018 O'Neill and Lark finalist, a finalist for the Heidemann Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville, and a two-time Elliot Norton Award Best Play nominee. He has developed new work at the Utah Shakespearean Festival's New American Playwrights Project, New Repertory Theatre, Portland Stage Company, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Dayton Playhouse, and Vermont Actors' Rep. John is a five-time winner of the Firehouse Theatre New Works Contest, winner of the Nantucket Short Play Contest, the KNOCK International Short Play Competition, the Rover Dramawerks Competition, the Longwood 0-60 Competition, and the 8-Minute Madness Festival in New York City. He is a member of StageSource and the Centastage writer's group and is a Dramatists Guild Ambassador for Eastern New England.

Plays

  • Queen of Sad Mischance
    FULL LENGTH: A play about academia, race, power and belonging.

    Intense, bi-racial college senior Kym thinks she’s lucked into the perfect resume-builder: a research assistantship helping feminist scholar Beverly Norden finish her ground-breaking book on Shakespeare’s Queen Margaret before Alzheimer’s makes the task impossible. As Kym learns that more than Beverly’s failing memory stands in the...
    FULL LENGTH: A play about academia, race, power and belonging.

    Intense, bi-racial college senior Kym thinks she’s lucked into the perfect resume-builder: a research assistantship helping feminist scholar Beverly Norden finish her ground-breaking book on Shakespeare’s Queen Margaret before Alzheimer’s makes the task impossible. As Kym learns that more than Beverly’s failing memory stands in the way of both the book and the carefully-planned trajectory of her own future career, she has to use her own understanding of the Margaret story to find a new path forward.

    2020 New American Voices Festival Winner
    2019 Clauder Competition Gold Prize Winner
    2019 Great Plains PlayLab
    2018 O'Neill finalist
    2018 Lark finalist
    2018 Kitchen Dog Theatre Finalist
    2018 Dayton FutureFest Official Selection
    2017 Pestalozzi Prize winner
  • Breaking the Shakespeare Code
    FULL LENGTH: Anna arrives in a college rehearsal hall, hoping to get advice from intimidating acting instructor Curt about landing the lead in a professional production of Romeo and Juliet. Once he agrees to help, they embark on sixteen years of emotional entanglements that reshape both of their lives.

    Elliott Norton Award Nomination, Best New Script, 2014
    First Runner-Up, Arthur Stone...
    FULL LENGTH: Anna arrives in a college rehearsal hall, hoping to get advice from intimidating acting instructor Curt about landing the lead in a professional production of Romeo and Juliet. Once he agrees to help, they embark on sixteen years of emotional entanglements that reshape both of their lives.

    Elliott Norton Award Nomination, Best New Script, 2014
    First Runner-Up, Arthur Stone Prize, 2007
    Weissberger Award Nomination, 2006
  • Noir Hamlet
    FULL LENGTH. A Boston Globe Critics' Pick, EDGEMedia Best of Boston Theatre 2018, Elliot Norton Best New Script Nominee

    There’s never a good time to find yourself on the roof, twelve flights above the sidewalk, not sure if you’re alone. And a cold midnight, in the fog, two months after the sudden death of a big shot detective who just happens to be your father? It’d be hard to come up with a...
    FULL LENGTH. A Boston Globe Critics' Pick, EDGEMedia Best of Boston Theatre 2018, Elliot Norton Best New Script Nominee

    There’s never a good time to find yourself on the roof, twelve flights above the sidewalk, not sure if you’re alone. And a cold midnight, in the fog, two months after the sudden death of a big shot detective who just happens to be your father? It’d be hard to come up with a worse. Will Hamlet discover the truth of his father’s death, keep his mother from marrying a potential killer and hold on to the love of his secretary Rae Chio? And what’s better for the City of Angels, justice or violent revenge?
  • Noir Hamlet -- Festival Version
    55 MINUTE VERSION
    There’s never a good time to find yourself on the roof, twelve flights above the sidewalk, not sure if you’re alone. And a cold midnight, in the fog, two months after the sudden death of a big shot detective who just happens to be your father? It’d be hard to come up with a worse. Will Hamlet discover the truth of his father’s death, keep his mother from marrying a potential killer and...
    55 MINUTE VERSION
    There’s never a good time to find yourself on the roof, twelve flights above the sidewalk, not sure if you’re alone. And a cold midnight, in the fog, two months after the sudden death of a big shot detective who just happens to be your father? It’d be hard to come up with a worse. Will Hamlet discover the truth of his father’s death, keep his mother from marrying a potential killer and hold on to the love of his secretary Rae Chio? And what’s better for the City of Angels, justice or violent revenge?
  • Noir Hamlet - Radio version
    One-hour radio play: There’s never a good time to find yourself on the roof, twelve flights above the sidewalk, not sure if you’re alone. And a cold midnight, in the fog, two months after the sudden death of a big shot detective who just happens to be your father? It’d be hard to come up with a worse. Will Hamlet discover the truth of his father’s death, keep his mother from marrying a potential killer and hold...
    One-hour radio play: There’s never a good time to find yourself on the roof, twelve flights above the sidewalk, not sure if you’re alone. And a cold midnight, in the fog, two months after the sudden death of a big shot detective who just happens to be your father? It’d be hard to come up with a worse. Will Hamlet discover the truth of his father’s death, keep his mother from marrying a potential killer and hold on to the love of his secretary Rae Chio? And what’s better for the City of Angels, justice or violent revenge?
  • Concordance
    FULL LENGTH: Where is the line between faith and madness?

    Armed with only a butter knife, 18th century Bible scholar Alexander Cruden attempts to cut his way to freedom from London’s notorious Bethnal Green madhouse. He is interrupted when Christiana, a sixteen-year-old blind girl, invades his cell. Although she has arrived merely to avoid the sexual advances of the madhouse under-keeper, she...
    FULL LENGTH: Where is the line between faith and madness?

    Armed with only a butter knife, 18th century Bible scholar Alexander Cruden attempts to cut his way to freedom from London’s notorious Bethnal Green madhouse. He is interrupted when Christiana, a sixteen-year-old blind girl, invades his cell. Although she has arrived merely to avoid the sexual advances of the madhouse under-keeper, she discovers that the roots of Alexander’s madness reach back to a haunting secret he has worked for decades to escape.

    Five actors portray 22 characters.

    New American Playwrights Project Finalist, 2013
    PlayPenn Semifinalist, 2013
  • The Castle of Otranto
    FULL LENGTH: When a giant helmet falls from the sky to kill his son Conrad and enormous body parts begin to appear in his castle, Prince Manfred must scramble to divorce his wife, marry his son’s fiancée and produce a male heir before an ancient prophecy is fulfilled. Unfortunately for Manfred, young peasant Theodore arrives and wins the hearts of both the fiancée and Manfred’s daughter. Manfred’s wife...
    FULL LENGTH: When a giant helmet falls from the sky to kill his son Conrad and enormous body parts begin to appear in his castle, Prince Manfred must scramble to divorce his wife, marry his son’s fiancée and produce a male heir before an ancient prophecy is fulfilled. Unfortunately for Manfred, young peasant Theodore arrives and wins the hearts of both the fiancée and Manfred’s daughter. Manfred’s wife Hippolita, Father Jerome and even the Knight of the Gigantic Saber try to convince Manfred to give up the castle before more disaster strikes, but all quickly discover that Theodore is more than he seems and dark fates await them all.

    Adapted from the first Gothic novel by Horace Walpole.
  • The Castle of Otranto -- Solo
    An actor tells the story of the first Gothic novel, Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, while struggling to make it relevant in the age of COVID-19 and autocratic rule.

  • Easter at the Entrée Gold
    ONE-ACT: Although Peter has been sent by their school’s headmaster to give incapacitated Leverett a ride home from Montreal, he learns that Leverett, dressed in drag, has a different plan in mind. Peter attempts to get Leverett ready to return to the states, but the older man reveals the sexual secret that has caused him to flee their school and kept him from returning on his own. As Peter probes for the truth...
    ONE-ACT: Although Peter has been sent by their school’s headmaster to give incapacitated Leverett a ride home from Montreal, he learns that Leverett, dressed in drag, has a different plan in mind. Peter attempts to get Leverett ready to return to the states, but the older man reveals the sexual secret that has caused him to flee their school and kept him from returning on his own. As Peter probes for the truth of Leverett’s transgressions, he discovers that Leverett’s goal has more to do with unearthing Peter’s secrets than in covering up his own.

    Published in Best American Short Plays 2016 by Applause Books and New England New Play Anthology
    Winner, Nor'Eastern Playwrights Contest
    Winner, Firehouse Theatre New Works Contest, 2010
    Award of Excellence, Shakespeare in the 'Burg Contest, 2014
    Third Place, Nantucket Short Play Competition, 2014
  • It's the Jews
    TEN-MINUTE: When playwright Arny Sibber meets with Artistic Director Stephie Moffeles to discuss the possible world premiere production of his much-workshopped Holocaust play, he discovers she has only one problem with the script. That problem? It’s the Jews.

    First Place, KNOCK International Short Play Competition, 2010
    "Best Playwright," 8-Minute Madness Festival, NYC, 2011...
    TEN-MINUTE: When playwright Arny Sibber meets with Artistic Director Stephie Moffeles to discuss the possible world premiere production of his much-workshopped Holocaust play, he discovers she has only one problem with the script. That problem? It’s the Jews.

    First Place, KNOCK International Short Play Competition, 2010
    "Best Playwright," 8-Minute Madness Festival, NYC, 2011
    Finalist, New American Short Play Competition (City Theatre, Miami), 2013
  • The Maltese Walter
    TEN-MINUTE: On the eve of his wedding day, mild-mannered accountant Walter visits therapist Dr. Eddy with a big problem: Walter’s fiancée refuses to marry him unless he gives up his superpower and secret identity: noir-Man, able to transform any moment into film noir. When fiancée Vera arrives, she and Dr. Eddy convince Walter to “go straight,” but the therapy takes a dark and unexpected turn. (10-minute)...
    TEN-MINUTE: On the eve of his wedding day, mild-mannered accountant Walter visits therapist Dr. Eddy with a big problem: Walter’s fiancée refuses to marry him unless he gives up his superpower and secret identity: noir-Man, able to transform any moment into film noir. When fiancée Vera arrives, she and Dr. Eddy convince Walter to “go straight,” but the therapy takes a dark and unexpected turn. (10-minute)

    Published in Best 10-Minute Plays of 2016, Smith & Kraus
    Samuel French OOB Festival Finalist 2015
    Optioned for film production by Asylum Giant, London 2015
    2014 Finalist, Heidemann Award, Actors Theatre of Louisville
    2014 First Place, Rover Dramawerks Contest
    2014 Winner (one of six), Longwood University 0-60 Contest
  • The Long Christmas Journey to Wellesley and Weston
    ONE-ACT: Over the course of 63 years, multiple generations of an Italian immigrant family take a Christmas car ride through time and place on their way to becoming an American family. A one-act in the style of Thornton Wilder.

    First Place/Honegger Prize, Firehouse Theatre New Works Contest, 2015
  • Velas Votivas
    SIX MINUTE MONOLOGUE: The day after the 2017 shooting at St. Alphonsus in Fresno, a priest tries to find meaning in old rituals.
  • Closing Doors
    When fourth-grade teacher Sandra is called on the carpet by old friend and Assistant Principal Valerie for breaking protocol in an active shooter drill, they must decide how they can save both their friendship and their students.

    2020 Finalist for National Award for Short Playwriting, City Theatre Miami
    2020 Finalist for Sam French/Concord Theatricals OOB Festival
    First Place/...
    When fourth-grade teacher Sandra is called on the carpet by old friend and Assistant Principal Valerie for breaking protocol in an active shooter drill, they must decide how they can save both their friendship and their students.

    2020 Finalist for National Award for Short Playwriting, City Theatre Miami
    2020 Finalist for Sam French/Concord Theatricals OOB Festival
    First Place/Honegger Prize, Firehouse Center for the Arts New Works Festival, 2019
    Best Play Award, North Park Playwrights Festival
  • Conversation Starter
    Monologue: Edie suggests the best approach for handling the neo-Nazi hitting on you at the bar.
  • Friday Drinks
    One-act : When aging exotic dancer Sandy decides to leave the profession, she and her long-time fan Benny are compelled to reassess not only their connection but also the stories they have told each other and themselves. How will they determine the next step in their relationship?
  • Family Planning
    TEN-MINUTE: When, on the morning after Trump's election, high school senior Angela tells her mother Bella about a pact she has made with three of her closest friends, Bella has to decide whether or not to adjust her moral compass to protect her daughter in the strange new world of Trump's America.
  • Product Reveal
    FIVE-MINUTE PLAY: Smith, an inventor, reveals a new product he feels will preserve his white Christian nation.
  • A Monogamy of Swans
    TEN-MINUTE: After breaking up with her fiancé Jimmie, Ellie has gone to Boston’s Public Garden to kill the swans. Violet, her ex, arrives with a better alternative.
  • Everything's Real
    Work-in-Progress, inspired by The Merchant of Venice. Comments welcome.

    Portia, Jess, and Taali try to leave their father's belief systems and, in a world of climate change, conspiracy theories, false equivalencies, isolation, and nefarious business practices, map their own ways to truth, love, and connection.
  • Thank You, Two
    On the closing night of their high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, light board operator Mia sound board operator Danny discover that the most important cues come in unexpected ways.
  • Sarai's Knife
    DRAFT ONLY--not yet looking for recs but would appreciate feedback :)

    For other "education-based" plays, you can check out Queen of Sad Mischance and Breaking the Shakespeare Code (full lengths), Easter at the Entrée Gold (one-act) or Closing Doors (short)

    When first-year art teacher and collage artist Aleyna is asked to investigate the possibly racist vandalism of black...
    DRAFT ONLY--not yet looking for recs but would appreciate feedback :)

    For other "education-based" plays, you can check out Queen of Sad Mischance and Breaking the Shakespeare Code (full lengths), Easter at the Entrée Gold (one-act) or Closing Doors (short)

    When first-year art teacher and collage artist Aleyna is asked to investigate the possibly racist vandalism of black student Sarai’s photograph, her increasingly complex connection with Sarai forces her to examine her own history, question her place in the exam school in which she teaches, and redefine the nature and purpose of her own art.
  • A Dateless Bargain with Engrossing Death
    When Death comes to visit in the form of an acquaintance from college, database manager Bobby has to do some quick thinking to stay alive.
  • An Emoji Named Desire
    With apologies to Tennessee Williams: Tom Stella must decide whether his internship at Emotr, an emoji company, will be with charismatic and overly passionate creative designer Blanchard DuBois or with hard-nosed marketing executive Ms. Stanley. Can Tom’s (or anybody’s) emotional life be contained in “a Lilliputian parcel of pixels”?
  • The Noir Before Christmas
    When Mrs. Claus visits Jack Frost -- an elf turned private eye -- to find a missing Santa, Jack's case takes him on a sleigh ride involving his red-nosed ex Rudee, a sultry Vixen, and an unexpected gift from The Fat Man himself.
  • No Regrets
    When Charlene’s workday begins with voicemails from a nightmare client, she knows it will take all of her wits to solve their problem.
  • Rising Sophomore
    After a few weeks quarantined at home, rising high school sophomore Gary reaches out to Jacob, a student he has bullied for years, to ask for support and a new relationship.

  • The Dobler Effect
    On an early morning at his retirement home, Lionel tries a grand Say Anything gesture to get the attention of attractive new resident Winnie, but Didi brings him back to reality and a more reasonable chance for love.
  • Unpacking
    Long time tenant Gabriela visits her new white neighbor Priscilla with what seems to be a welcoming gift. When the visit and the gift turn out to be more than gestures of welcome, Priscilla must confront her assumptions about her impact in the neighborhood, and Gabriela must decide how to use her anger productively.