Donald E. Baker

Donald E. Baker

Donald E. Baker's work falls into three categories: plays about historical events that provide context for today’s social and political issues; plays about racism and homophobia; and plays illustrating aspects of the life and experience of older gay men. His work has been performed in Texas, Virginia, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, and Washington state. Born and raised in Indiana, he now lives with his...
Donald E. Baker's work falls into three categories: plays about historical events that provide context for today’s social and political issues; plays about racism and homophobia; and plays illustrating aspects of the life and experience of older gay men. His work has been performed in Texas, Virginia, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, and Washington state. Born and raised in Indiana, he now lives with his husband in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

By downloading any of the plays below, you hereby acknowledge that Donald E. Baker is the sole copyright owner of these plays. None of these plays may be produced or reproduced in whole or in part unless permission is granted by Donald E. Baker or his designated agents.

Copies of the full scripts and licensing information for "Trade With Klan" and "Grand Dragon in Power" are available from the publisher, Next Stage Press: https://nextstagepress.com/.

Plays

  • Trade With Klan: A Play about Choices
    (Alt. title: "Back Home Again") FULL LENGTH. What do you do when people you love choose hate? A play about the life-altering choices people must make in the face of extremism abetted by Evangelicalism. The world of the play is the 1920’s, but the religious prejudice and xenophobia of a century ago still echo in contemporary American society. Premiered in Austin TX by Southwest Theater Productions, Jan...
    (Alt. title: "Back Home Again") FULL LENGTH. What do you do when people you love choose hate? A play about the life-altering choices people must make in the face of extremism abetted by Evangelicalism. The world of the play is the 1920’s, but the religious prejudice and xenophobia of a century ago still echo in contemporary American society. Premiered in Austin TX by Southwest Theater Productions, Jan.-Feb., 2020. Copies of the full script and licensing information are available from the publisher, Next Stage Press: https://nextstagepress.com/trade-with-klan-a-play-about-choices/

  • Grand Dragon in Power
    FULL LENGTH. When the Grand Dragon takes charge, nothing is sacred and no woman is safe. D.C. Stephenson, Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, rules Indiana until he is convicted of murder and rape. This play, set in the 1920's and inspired by a true story, contains startling parallels to the society and politics of contemporary America. Panglossian Productions of Williamsburg, Virginia, recorded a staged...
    FULL LENGTH. When the Grand Dragon takes charge, nothing is sacred and no woman is safe. D.C. Stephenson, Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, rules Indiana until he is convicted of murder and rape. This play, set in the 1920's and inspired by a true story, contains startling parallels to the society and politics of contemporary America. Panglossian Productions of Williamsburg, Virginia, recorded a staged reading and uploaded it to their website, November, 2020. A radio adaptation was performed before a live audience in March, 2018, by the Radio Theatre Project of St. Petersburg, Florida, and is available on Soundcloud.com. Copies of the full script and licensing information are available from the publisher, Next Stage Press: https://www.nextstagepress.com/grand-dragon-in-power/

  • Everyday Monsters
    45-60 MINUTE DUOLOGUE. A man confronts his abuser 26 years after the fact. Douglas, a White romance novelist, and Timo-thy, a Black college professor, have a history. Twenty-six years previously Douglas hired the 14-year-old Timothy to mow his lawn and subsequently sexually abused him for several months. In the intervening years Douglas has enjoyed increasing success while Timothy has been mired in fear and...
    45-60 MINUTE DUOLOGUE. A man confronts his abuser 26 years after the fact. Douglas, a White romance novelist, and Timo-thy, a Black college professor, have a history. Twenty-six years previously Douglas hired the 14-year-old Timothy to mow his lawn and subsequently sexually abused him for several months. In the intervening years Douglas has enjoyed increasing success while Timothy has been mired in fear and self-loathing. Now Douglas opens his door to discover the grown-up Timothy standing on his door-step, and he has a gun. Issues of sexual trauma and white power emerge as the two men hurl conflicting memories at each other, and the tension builds to a shattering conclusion.

    This play has adult language and content. It references childhood sexual abuse although no abuse is depicted. A gun is seen onstage and there is the sound of a gunshot.
  • Best Friends and Everyday Monsters
    A pair of one-act plays about shame, guilt, and homosexuality anxiety that together constitute an evening of harrowing theater. "Best Friends": Eddie and Danny’s lifelong friendship comes apart under the stress of deception, sexual fear, and self-loathing. "Everyday Monsters": As a Black man confronts his White abuser twenty-six years after the fact, issues of sexual trauma and white power...
    A pair of one-act plays about shame, guilt, and homosexuality anxiety that together constitute an evening of harrowing theater. "Best Friends": Eddie and Danny’s lifelong friendship comes apart under the stress of deception, sexual fear, and self-loathing. "Everyday Monsters": As a Black man confronts his White abuser twenty-six years after the fact, issues of sexual trauma and white power emerge and build to a shattering conclusion. Very simple sets. Both plays contain adult language concerning sexual encounters.
  • Best Friends (One Act)
    30-MINUTE TWO-HANDER. Eddie and Danny’s lifelong friendship comes apart under the stress of deception, sexual fear, and self-loathing. The two are a couple of blue-collar guys. As teenagers in high school (Class of 1968) they engaged in a little sexual exploration with each other until they started dating girls. After graduation they stayed in their small hometown, got married, and had kids. After an encounter...
    30-MINUTE TWO-HANDER. Eddie and Danny’s lifelong friendship comes apart under the stress of deception, sexual fear, and self-loathing. The two are a couple of blue-collar guys. As teenagers in high school (Class of 1968) they engaged in a little sexual exploration with each other until they started dating girls. After graduation they stayed in their small hometown, got married, and had kids. After an encounter in a public restroom, Eddie questions his sexuality and is overcome with religious guilt. When he turns to his best friend Danny for help, the toxic nature of their relationship is revealed. GRAPHIC LANGUAGE. This is Act I of the full-length version.
  • Best Friends (Full Length)
    FULL LENGTH (60 minutes). Eddie and Danny’s lifelong relationship comes apart under the stress of deception, sexual fear, and self-loathing. The two are a couple of blue-collar guys. As teenagers in high school (Class of 1968) they engaged in a little sexual exploration with each other until they started dating girls. After graduation they stayed in their small hometown, got married, and had kids. In Act I (...
    FULL LENGTH (60 minutes). Eddie and Danny’s lifelong relationship comes apart under the stress of deception, sexual fear, and self-loathing. The two are a couple of blue-collar guys. As teenagers in high school (Class of 1968) they engaged in a little sexual exploration with each other until they started dating girls. After graduation they stayed in their small hometown, got married, and had kids. In Act I (1975), Eddie questions his sexuality and is overcome with religious guilt after an encounter in a public restroom. When he turns to his best friend Danny for help, their lifelong relationship is destroyed when its toxic nature is revealed. Act II takes place ten years later (1985). Danny’s wife has divorced him after finding him in flagrante with a man. Eddie, though still married, has arranged a night with a gay friend in an attempt to resolve his sexual conflicts once and for all. Now both men discover they may have been infected with HIV/AIDS. Are they capable of confronting this devastating reality together?

  • Ice Box Cake and the Man from Lima
    10-MINUTE MONOLOGUE. Velma, a White woman "of a certain age" is shocked to see a person of color walking into her neighbors' house. What if he comes peeking into Velma's windows? And what if he's out in the yard when "the girls" show up for bunco that afternoon? They'll be afraid to get out of their cars! And here she's gone to the trouble of making a special ice box...
    10-MINUTE MONOLOGUE. Velma, a White woman "of a certain age" is shocked to see a person of color walking into her neighbors' house. What if he comes peeking into Velma's windows? And what if he's out in the yard when "the girls" show up for bunco that afternoon? They'll be afraid to get out of their cars! And here she's gone to the trouble of making a special ice box cake for refreshments! The monologue uses gossipy humor to illustrate the casual racism of the 1950s and to demonstrate that fear of young Black men is nothing new in American society. Produced on Facebook and Vimeo by Stage Left Theater of Spokane on October 8, 2021, with Lynn Noel as Velma, directed by Susan Hardie.
  • The Boys Across the Street
    FOUR-MINUTE MONOLOGUE. An older white woman discovers an interracial same-sex couple is moving in across the street. Produced on Facebook by Stage Left Theater of Spokane, March, 2022.Revised after the reversal of Roe v. Wade seemed to endanger Obergefell.
  • Coming Out to Uncle Jake
    ONE MINUTE. Robert tells his mother he has finally had enough of Uncle Jake's Thanksgiving rants about "people like him" and plans to confront him at the next family dinner. There's a bit of a twist at the end.
  • Dad and Uncle Mark (Who Was Not Really My Uncle)
    10-MINUTE MONOLOGUE. Doug, now in his seventies, recalls his thirteen-year-old self spying on Dad and "Uncle Mark" when they were supposed to be building birdhouses down in the basement workshop. What he sees through a knothole begins his own journey of sexual awareness but results in the destruction of his father's relationship with his oldest and dearest friend.
  • For a Man Your Age
    TEN-MINUTE TWO-HANDER. Life partners Will and Michael are growing older, Will gracefully, Michael not so much. With their elevator not working, they find themselves trapped in their high-rise condo, discussing aging, flirtatious baristas, and the National Geographic.
  • I Invited Your Mother for Thanksgiving
    10-MINUTE TWO-HANDER. Warren has been estranged from his mother for five years, ever since she discovered he is gay. He is not pleased to find out she and his partner Dale talk on the phone regularly. And that he has invited her to Thanksgiving. And that she will be joining them at the traditional “orphans’ feast” where she will be surrounded by all their gay friends. Can Warren be placated by Dale's...
    10-MINUTE TWO-HANDER. Warren has been estranged from his mother for five years, ever since she discovered he is gay. He is not pleased to find out she and his partner Dale talk on the phone regularly. And that he has invited her to Thanksgiving. And that she will be joining them at the traditional “orphans’ feast” where she will be surrounded by all their gay friends. Can Warren be placated by Dale's homemade cinnamon rolls? A play about being open to reconciliation when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Intestate: A COVID-19 Monologue
    7-8-MINUTE MONOLOGUE. Fifty-year-old Richard lived with David and worked in his store, but the two never got around to getting married or doing the necessary legal paperwork. Now David is dead from COVID and his homophobic mother has inherited everything. Richard finds himself unemployed and homeless, angry and bitter--and very afraid he may have given David the virus that killed him. Performed in 2022 by...
    7-8-MINUTE MONOLOGUE. Fifty-year-old Richard lived with David and worked in his store, but the two never got around to getting married or doing the necessary legal paperwork. Now David is dead from COVID and his homophobic mother has inherited everything. Richard finds himself unemployed and homeless, angry and bitter--and very afraid he may have given David the virus that killed him. Performed in 2022 by Magnolia Arts Center in Greenville NC (awarded audience favorite) and in 2021 by Talking Horse Productions in Columbia MO. Published by the "some scripts online literary journal" in Issue 4: Outbreak, 2021.
  • Life Support
    TEN-MINUTE TWO-HANDER. Ben, who never appears in the play, is in the hospital on life support following an accident. His lover of five years, James, and Ben's homophobic sister, Sandra, meet for the first time to discuss what happens next. The encounter does not go well as the two argue about the definition of family, religion, and whether one can "love the sinner but hate the sin."

  • My Summer of Cypress Gardens
    9-10 minute MONOLOGUE. A White man in his seventies recalls the childhood trip to Florida when the “saw” Black people for the first time--toiling in the fields, doing dirty jobs in cities, working on chain gangs, and elegantly serving meals at Cypress Gardens. It made a lasting impression on him.
  • What Happened This Time?
    TWO-MINUTE COMEDY for two actors of any age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or gender expression. The “Klutz of All Klutzes” explains to their spouse why an attempt to take a box to the trash means a trip to the ER and the pet cemetery.
  • A Lynch Mob Foiled
    MONOLOGUE: 5-6 minutes. A besieged jail. A frightened Black prisoner. An angry White mob. A sheriff determined to uphold the rule of law. A daring escape in the dead of night. Julius August “Gus” Lemcke (pronounced “LEM-key”) was sheriff of Vanderburgh County, Indiana, in 1880 when a clash between overheated political partisans resulted in a Black Republican and a White Democrat shooting each other. The White...
    MONOLOGUE: 5-6 minutes. A besieged jail. A frightened Black prisoner. An angry White mob. A sheriff determined to uphold the rule of law. A daring escape in the dead of night. Julius August “Gus” Lemcke (pronounced “LEM-key”) was sheriff of Vanderburgh County, Indiana, in 1880 when a clash between overheated political partisans resulted in a Black Republican and a White Democrat shooting each other. The White man was cared for by his friends. The Black man ended up in the county jail, surrounded by armed and angry citizens determined to lynch him from the nearest tree. This monologue is adapted from Lemcke’s own account of this episode in his 1905 published memoir.
  • Grand Dragon in Power: A Radio Play
    60 MINUTES. When the Grand Dragon takes charge, nothing is sacred and no woman is safe.

    D.C. Stephenson, Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, rules Indiana until he is convicted of murder and rape. Set in the 1920's and based on a true story, the play contains startling parallels to the politics of contemporary America.

    The performance by the Radio Theatre Project at the Studo@...
    60 MINUTES. When the Grand Dragon takes charge, nothing is sacred and no woman is safe.

    D.C. Stephenson, Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, rules Indiana until he is convicted of murder and rape. Set in the 1920's and based on a true story, the play contains startling parallels to the politics of contemporary America.

    The performance by the Radio Theatre Project at the Studo@620 in St. Petersburg, Florida, on March 26, 2018, is available on Soundcloud.com at: https://soundcloud.com/radiotheatreproject/grand-dragon-in-power-by-donald-e-baker