Steffi Rubin

Steffi Rubin

Steffi Rubin came to play writing with the festival premiere of an early version of her work “The Woodstock Tontine,” (Women’s Theatre Festival, Raleigh, NC). A revised version was later selected for The Road Theatre’s Summer Playwrights Festival (North Hollywood, CA). Several of her short works have had staged readings and productions, including “Coffee for Two” (Grand Rapids, MI; Rockford, IL), “Not My Ride...
Steffi Rubin came to play writing with the festival premiere of an early version of her work “The Woodstock Tontine,” (Women’s Theatre Festival, Raleigh, NC). A revised version was later selected for The Road Theatre’s Summer Playwrights Festival (North Hollywood, CA). Several of her short works have had staged readings and productions, including “Coffee for Two” (Grand Rapids, MI; Rockford, IL), “Not My Ride” (Lake Charles, LA), “Familiar Enough” (Wilmington, DE; Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA), “Let’s Stay Together Al Green” (Hollywood, CA), “Upright and Blameless”(Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD, Carrboro and Cary, NC), “The Closet” (Charles Town, WV; Cary, NC; Montrose, NY; Bonita Springs, FL; Silver Spring, MD); "Christmas Unspectacular" (Indianapolis, IN); "Hudson's Legacy" (San Diego, CA; Los Angeles, CA), "Terminal" (Raleigh, NC. “My Other Mother,” Steffi’s full-length musical based on her life as an adoptee searching for her birth mom, in partnership with composer Miriam Kook, enjoyed staged readings with music in Columbia, MD (2018) and Cambridge, MD (2019). Her monologue "The Red Dress" is part of Debra Kaufman's "Illuminated Dresses" Project (Raleigh, NC). She is also the lyricist for Marlo Bernier’s “Beyond the Dressing Room,” featuring Austin Pendleton which began workshops in Spring 2019. Originally from the Bronx, NY, Steffi lives in Chapel Hill, NC.

Plays

  • My Other Mother — the Musical (music by Miriam Kook)
    FULL LENGTH. Twelve-year-old energetic, high-spirited Young Teri learns that she is adopted, and the revelation unlocks a universe of possibilities. No longer restricted by the limitations of the family she knows, she begins to imagine her “other” mother, certain that she will find a place to belong within the family of her invention. Five decades later, and older Teri reaches out to her sisters Sherry (the Tea...
    FULL LENGTH. Twelve-year-old energetic, high-spirited Young Teri learns that she is adopted, and the revelation unlocks a universe of possibilities. No longer restricted by the limitations of the family she knows, she begins to imagine her “other” mother, certain that she will find a place to belong within the family of her invention. Five decades later, and older Teri reaches out to her sisters Sherry (the Tea Party sister) and Sheila (the Disney sister) only to discover that Mom was not so wonderful and that her sisters are estranged, the result of a long-kept secret neither one can face.

    Finding herself in the middle of their struggle, Teri is convinced that it is her destiny to restore their relationship. An ill-conceived plan, inspired by her younger persona (Young Teri), jeopardizes the fragile connection between Teri and her newly discovered sisters, forcing her to examine the childhood she had, the childhood she imagined, and the one that she might have endured. In despair of never truly belonging, Teri must finally forfeit her fantasy and confront the facts about her mysterious other mother, and about herself.
  • The Wood$tock Tontine
    FULL LENGTH. Five women met at the Woodstock Music Festival in August, 1969. Now they are reunited 50 years later at the funeral of the group’s emotional pulse, Valerie. Finding their bond in danger, they decide to invest in their friendship—literally—by forming a tontine, each contributing a substantial amount of money to ensure that the last gal standing will be taken care of financially. It is a tantalizing...
    FULL LENGTH. Five women met at the Woodstock Music Festival in August, 1969. Now they are reunited 50 years later at the funeral of the group’s emotional pulse, Valerie. Finding their bond in danger, they decide to invest in their friendship—literally—by forming a tontine, each contributing a substantial amount of money to ensure that the last gal standing will be taken care of financially. It is a tantalizing and morbid proposition that will test the bonds of their friendship.

    "The Wood$tock Tontine" was an official selection of the Road Theatre Company’s Summer Playwrights Festival 9 July 2018. Scott Alan Smith Festival Director.
  • First Child
    ONE ACT (1 hour). Claudia was adopted as an infant. Five years later, (after an intense religious period involving televangelists and prayer warriors!) her mother became pregnant with brother Brad, leaving young Claudia the disquieting sense that there was a difference between the children in the eyes of parents, Martin and Jean, who refuse to believe there is a favorite.

    Now an adult, Claudia’s...
    ONE ACT (1 hour). Claudia was adopted as an infant. Five years later, (after an intense religious period involving televangelists and prayer warriors!) her mother became pregnant with brother Brad, leaving young Claudia the disquieting sense that there was a difference between the children in the eyes of parents, Martin and Jean, who refuse to believe there is a favorite.

    Now an adult, Claudia’s marital problems land her back at home, only to discover that Brad has also returned—first. But Claudia holds the P-card: she is pregnant. And she hopes the news can elevate her to the status of adored first child. Brad’s ex-girlfriend (and Claudia’s childhood best friend), poet/barista Enid shows up at Jean and Martin’s, followed by Claudia’s OCD husband Michael, and untold family secrets begin to bubble up through the weight of the lies that are suppressing them.

    Do her folks know about Claudia’s alcoholism, DUI and suspended license? Has Michael been told about his wife’s pregnancy (and what are the ramifications of Michael’s infertility)? What did Jean and Martin actually know about Claudia’s 14-year-old birth mother?

    Is Claudia even pregnant?

    Adoption is a process that grants wishes to hopeful couples, offers a way out to mothers who cannot care for their babies and the possibility of family to children who must balance being wanted and unwanted at the same time. It is not a perfect solution and one that often involves loss papered over with platitudes.

    In “First Child” Claudia must navigate the meaning of motherhood for her, for her mom, and for the teen who gave birth to her before—or if—she has her own first child.
  • Ogrodowa Street: A one-act play based on the Life of Rachmiel Frydland
    FULL LENGTH-one act. On his way to setting the Yeshiva world of Poland on fire, a young Orthodox Jewish prodigy takes an unexpected turn toward Christianity that severs him from the only world he has known. When bombs begin to fall on Warsaw, and boxcars crammed with humanity roll through the countryside toward annihilation, Rachmiel Frydland runs from arrest and eludes death for four years, while everyone else...
    FULL LENGTH-one act. On his way to setting the Yeshiva world of Poland on fire, a young Orthodox Jewish prodigy takes an unexpected turn toward Christianity that severs him from the only world he has known. When bombs begin to fall on Warsaw, and boxcars crammed with humanity roll through the countryside toward annihilation, Rachmiel Frydland runs from arrest and eludes death for four years, while everyone else he knows has been less fortunate. One night in the late winter of 1943, weary and ready to die, he smuggles himself into the Warsaw Ghetto. There he runs into Stasiek Eisenberg, an old friend who spends the night determined to talk Rachmiel into escaping death one more time. —Confessional, uplifting and ultimately life-affirming.
  • Always Will
    FULL LENGTH. Before Margaret’s husband Everett dies, he films a series of videos to guide her through the five stages of grief—ordering her world in his absence as he had throughout their forty years of marriage. When he recommends a night class to get her out of the house, Margaret veers off script and rejects Accounting in favor of Playwriting, determined to immortalize her fallen hero with the help of her...
    FULL LENGTH. Before Margaret’s husband Everett dies, he films a series of videos to guide her through the five stages of grief—ordering her world in his absence as he had throughout their forty years of marriage. When he recommends a night class to get her out of the house, Margaret veers off script and rejects Accounting in favor of Playwriting, determined to immortalize her fallen hero with the help of her three best friends. The teacher’s insistence that every protagonist is flawed angers Margaret who is certain her late husband’s worst fault was that in giving so much to others he neglected his own health. Further digging, however, uncovers surprising information that challenges Margaret’s assumptions. She invites her three friends to participate in a class reading where they play themselves, providing a creative and perilous path for Margaret to navigate her grief and reach the final stage, Acceptance.

    TAG LINE: Settling the Affairs of the Dead
  • Christmas Unspectacular
    10 MINUTES. Every ten years the members of the Tantalizing Tappers of Tremont Terrace meet in New York City for lunch and the Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall. Though it has been ages since they performed together, the slights and grudges of years gone by bubble to the surface, as “what might have been” remains as close as yesterday. When one of their members is later than usual, will the reunion devolve...
    10 MINUTES. Every ten years the members of the Tantalizing Tappers of Tremont Terrace meet in New York City for lunch and the Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall. Though it has been ages since they performed together, the slights and grudges of years gone by bubble to the surface, as “what might have been” remains as close as yesterday. When one of their members is later than usual, will the reunion devolve into regret and recrimination or will they regain their poise and bearing in the face of death?
  • The Closet: Because a Shoe is Never Just a Shoe
    10 MINUTES. Designer Erin and her older sister, stay-at-home-mom Caroline, have very little in common. With eight years and two brothers between them, it's hard to say that they grew up in the same family. A sisters’ night out is long overdue, but before they leave, Erin feels compelled to find Caroline the perfect pair of shoes to wear. Since a shoe is never just a shoe, the conversation in Erin’s...
    10 MINUTES. Designer Erin and her older sister, stay-at-home-mom Caroline, have very little in common. With eight years and two brothers between them, it's hard to say that they grew up in the same family. A sisters’ night out is long overdue, but before they leave, Erin feels compelled to find Caroline the perfect pair of shoes to wear. Since a shoe is never just a shoe, the conversation in Erin’s enormous closet tackles subjects the sisters have never dared discuss.
  • Coffee for Two
    10 MINUTES. Thirty years after being adopted as an infant, a WOMAN arranges to meet her birth mother at a small diner. Keyed up and nervous, the woman shares her dreams, anxieties and assumptions with the SERVER as they await the entrance of the MOTHER.
  • Cast Out: Because Misery Loves Company
    Lucifer and Judas have each been cast out of God’s presence. Defending the decisions that sealed their fates offers common ground to two of history’s most evil and unsympathetic characters. But banding together cannot provide the comfort they seek or the glory they lost.
  • Familiar Enough
    10 MINUTES. Blindfolded, comedy writer Artie is brought to a mystery location to celebrate his birthday by Jack, his old college friend. Artie, the smartest guy in the room (just ask him!) identifies the place immediately: Ernie’s Bar. As the first round of drinks kick in, they are joined by Artie’s old college girlfriend Ellen and it looks like the two might pick up where they left off, fifteen years before....
    10 MINUTES. Blindfolded, comedy writer Artie is brought to a mystery location to celebrate his birthday by Jack, his old college friend. Artie, the smartest guy in the room (just ask him!) identifies the place immediately: Ernie’s Bar. As the first round of drinks kick in, they are joined by Artie’s old college girlfriend Ellen and it looks like the two might pick up where they left off, fifteen years before. What begins with a joke, followed by a game of blindfold-regret, leads to the discovery of how different things might have turned out...if only.
  • Death in the Cloud
    When Cynthia learns that her cancer has returned, her husband Brian wants her to fight it (again), but Cynthia is more interested in exploring a Virtual Immortality subscription she discovers on the dark web.
  • Hudson's Legacy
    5 MINUTE + 10 MINUTE VERSIONS. Wanting to be certain that her yet-to-be-born son understands from whence he came, Ashley asks her great-grandfather to record his earliest childhood memories. But the more he explains, the less certain she is that she wants her child to hear the unvarnished truth about what it means to be a Jew.
  • Upright and Blameless: a modern adaptation of the Book of Job
    10 MINUTES. As a straight, white male, a successful Job has enjoyed playing the cards he’s been dealt. But when Satan challenges God to strip Job’s privilege away, our hero finds that being upright and blameless is more of a struggle than he imagined and navigating life without advantage is a whole new ball game. His wife wants him to curse God and die. His friends are no help at all. Can Job deal with this new...
    10 MINUTES. As a straight, white male, a successful Job has enjoyed playing the cards he’s been dealt. But when Satan challenges God to strip Job’s privilege away, our hero finds that being upright and blameless is more of a struggle than he imagined and navigating life without advantage is a whole new ball game. His wife wants him to curse God and die. His friends are no help at all. Can Job deal with this new hand he has been dealt? And does Satan have a point?
  • Let's Stay Together, Al Green
    10-MINUTES. Di was the first Black woman hired at the downtown headquarters of a national insurance firm 35 years ago. Today is her last day. Four co-workers prepare the break room for the retirement party, practicing a parody-tribute to the melody of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” But staying together seems unlikely, as Gina, Marcus, Celeste and Wayne struggle with what they want in life, examine...
    10-MINUTES. Di was the first Black woman hired at the downtown headquarters of a national insurance firm 35 years ago. Today is her last day. Four co-workers prepare the break room for the retirement party, practicing a parody-tribute to the melody of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” But staying together seems unlikely, as Gina, Marcus, Celeste and Wayne struggle with what they want in life, examine opportunities sought and lost, and try to create a proper send off for the woman who faced adversity, paving the way for them all.
  • Not My Ride
    10 MINUTES. A fifteen year old girl on her way out of town meets an older woman at a bus stop but each of them reconsiders the ride they are awaiting as they learn about each other's lives.
  • Terminal
    10 MINUTES. Dana and her husband Marc ask Dana’s sister Tracy over to dinner. They also invite oncologist Craig to be Tracy’s blind date. When Craig calls to say he might not make it, Dana uses the opportunity to tell Marc and Tracy that she learned earlier that day that her breast cancer had returned and that the prognosis was not good. Dana wants Marc and Tracy to agree to marry one another after she is gone...
    10 MINUTES. Dana and her husband Marc ask Dana’s sister Tracy over to dinner. They also invite oncologist Craig to be Tracy’s blind date. When Craig calls to say he might not make it, Dana uses the opportunity to tell Marc and Tracy that she learned earlier that day that her breast cancer had returned and that the prognosis was not good. Dana wants Marc and Tracy to agree to marry one another after she is gone, but when Craig arrives with a rant about honesty in dealing with terminal patients, everyone has to struggle with just how truthful they can afford to be.
  • The Trick is...A Short Play about Schtick and Misdirection
    10 MINUTES. Gabe is trying to learn some card tricks in an attempt to shed his loser status and impress a girl. His father Eli agrees to help by teaching Gabe the real magic of observation, confidence, misdirection and shtick.
  • Bryher: A Monologue
    Written from the point of view of her lover Hilda Doolittle, this short monologue explores the complex English novelist, film-maker and magazine editor Annie Winifred Ellerman who assumed the name a small, rugged island off the British coast. Moved by the films produced on the continent between the wars, Bryher and Doolittle lived in Berlin until the unthinkable became the undeniable. Later, from her home in...
    Written from the point of view of her lover Hilda Doolittle, this short monologue explores the complex English novelist, film-maker and magazine editor Annie Winifred Ellerman who assumed the name a small, rugged island off the British coast. Moved by the films produced on the continent between the wars, Bryher and Doolittle lived in Berlin until the unthinkable became the undeniable. Later, from her home in Switzerland, Bryher and Doolittle helped evacuate Jews from Hitler’s Germany. But this monologue is about how two women save one another.
  • The Red Dress—A Monologue
    When Pete's kindergarten class is forced to stay indoors one rainy day, Miss Fox hauls out a cardboard box full of clothes that changes everything.
  • Safe in Shepherdstown
    10 MINUTES. Husband and wife reminisce about buying a home outside of Washington, DC in preparation for the catastrophe that was supposed to be Y2K.
  • Sam With the Cigar
    10 MINUTES. When her younger, recently unemployed sister Robin comes for a visit, Amanda has to explain the unexpected discovery of an heirloom no one knew about.