Donald Gecewicz

Donald Gecewicz

Plays

  • All-American Boy
    Piero just published a new book, but his public life as a gadfly journalist is sidetracked by big trouble for his boyfriend, Sinan, with the Immigration Service. Someone tampered with Sinan’s application. Set against politics of unchecked power, endless war, and high-stakes political games, All-American Boy portrays our interior insecurities and the possibilities for tenderness in this time of dislocation and discontent.
  • The Marriage of Venice and the Sea
    It's the long summer of 2001. The Marriage of Venice and the Sea starts with Zeno Chatham contemplating Sebastian Finzi’s proposal of marriage. Men want to marry. Each other. Where do they get these ideas? What do Zeno's parents have to say about his plans? Sebastian has inherited a ring from one of his uncles. Zeno receives a ring from his parents. In 2001, though, marriage equality was still a...
    It's the long summer of 2001. The Marriage of Venice and the Sea starts with Zeno Chatham contemplating Sebastian Finzi’s proposal of marriage. Men want to marry. Each other. Where do they get these ideas? What do Zeno's parents have to say about his plans? Sebastian has inherited a ring from one of his uncles. Zeno receives a ring from his parents. In 2001, though, marriage equality was still a threat and a novelty.

    And how can Sebastian's dead grandmother appear to pass along information about a manuscript found by chance in Venice, with many lost complete poems by Sappho?

    Act I takes place in Chicago, a watery city deeply rooted in the earth and in earthly pleasures. Leaving behind Zeno’s ailing father, one of the last veterans of the Spanish Civil War, Sebastian and Zeno fly together to Venice. Act II takes place in Venice, an unnatural, supernatural city of water and air. Zeno and Sebastian’s wedding plans twist and turn to find a resolution that both of them can live with.

    Sebastian knows that our civilization is built on poets like Sappho (especially Sappho) and her gay themes. Zeno understands that his parents’ radicalism has been limiting and liberating. Zeno and Sebastian must learn to apply their complicated past to the complicated present. In Venice, Sebastian does discover a manuscript that will overturn received ideas, and Zeno and Sebastian come to an accommodation that isn’t quite marriage in the “normal” sense.

    The Marriage of Venice and the Sea is a companion piece to All-American Boy. The first is set in 2001, just before the Global War on Terror. The second is set in the aftermath—years and years of war in the Middle East and the worsening situation on the home front.

  • Magic Lantern
    A hundred years ago, the world was reeling with change: The first thrills of motion pictures, the first realizations of modernity, the new insight of psychoanalysis, all punctuated by political and social revolutions.

    It is February 1907, and Ambrogio has had to return to Turin. The health of his mother, Eleonora, once a great actress, is deteriorating. Yet Ambrogio also wants to seize the...
    A hundred years ago, the world was reeling with change: The first thrills of motion pictures, the first realizations of modernity, the new insight of psychoanalysis, all punctuated by political and social revolutions.

    It is February 1907, and Ambrogio has had to return to Turin. The health of his mother, Eleonora, once a great actress, is deteriorating. Yet Ambrogio also wants to seize the opportunity to open a movie studio and continue to make silent films. He seeks to persuade Giorgio, a star of the popular stage, and Alessandro, Giorgio’s writer and director, to make the transition from the stage to motion pictures.

    Colette arrives from Paris, fleeing a disastrous theatrical performance and a messy divorce. Her rich and eccentric lover, Missy, turns up, in men’s tweeds and hot pursuit. Missy threatens Ambrogio with a revolver.

    The marionette Gianduja begins to tease and advise Ambrogio about the knotty situation. (Somehow, only Ambrogio.)

    Ambrogio’s talents as a filmmaker intrigue Colette, Missy (aggressive and lovelorn), doubting Giorgio, and the ambitious Alessandro. Brought up in a theatrical family, though, Ambrogio senses tensions with his ailing mother, who worries that photography will replace the immediacy of performance.

    Ambrogio shoots films. Yet the ambitions and fears of the others lead to a fight over whether to leave the stage, what to show on film, and how to control the final product.
  • A Handbook of Steadfastness: A Play in Concentration-Camp Letters
    In the 1930s, Ernst Bernhard and Dora Friedlander trained as Jungian analysts, yet they also were forced to become refugees from Nazi Germany. According to German racial laws, Ernst was a Jew. Dora had a Jewish grandparent, although she was brought up as a Catholic. They chose Rome, Italy, as a place of refuge, even as Italy began to enforce its own racial laws, aping the Nazis.

    In 1940, Ernst...
    In the 1930s, Ernst Bernhard and Dora Friedlander trained as Jungian analysts, yet they also were forced to become refugees from Nazi Germany. According to German racial laws, Ernst was a Jew. Dora had a Jewish grandparent, although she was brought up as a Catholic. They chose Rome, Italy, as a place of refuge, even as Italy began to enforce its own racial laws, aping the Nazis.

    In 1940, Ernst was arrested as a Jew and alien. He was sent to a concentration camp in Calabria. Meanwhile, in Rome, Dora set out to try to have him released, using the fascist legal system, her connections to the regime, and sympathetic friends.

    This play is based on a translation and adaption of the letters between the two.
  • Chassano
    Chassano is a hot commodity—a print model on his way up, attracting a lot of attention in the media. Act I opens in the office of his agent, Angie Santacaterina, as a major new opportunity presents itself for Chassano to be the face in a print campaign for a new men’s cologne with global reach. Chassano continues his rise, but at the same time, questions of Chassano’s identity turn up: Who is this woman who...
    Chassano is a hot commodity—a print model on his way up, attracting a lot of attention in the media. Act I opens in the office of his agent, Angie Santacaterina, as a major new opportunity presents itself for Chassano to be the face in a print campaign for a new men’s cologne with global reach. Chassano continues his rise, but at the same time, questions of Chassano’s identity turn up: Who is this woman who claims to be his mother, and what does she want? Chassano’s success representing a cologne is leading to more opportunities for him, and Chassano’s exotic look has plenty of advantages. At the same time, Angie begins to have doubts about his identity—and these doubts rebound onto her own identity, her independence as a businesswoman, and her values in her world where illusion and sizzle are so important.