Robert Weibezahl

Robert Weibezahl

Robert Weibezahl’s plays include “And Lightning Struck” (commissioned and presented by Lit Live, Simi Valley, California, 2017; Winner, 2020 Quarantine Playwriting Competition, Grand Theatre, Cartersville, Georgia), “Which Way the Wind Blows” (staged reading Palisades Playwrights Festival 2018 and Finalist at Dayton Playhouse’s FutureFest 2019), and “Hold On” (staged reading Palisades Playwrights Festival 2019...
Robert Weibezahl’s plays include “And Lightning Struck” (commissioned and presented by Lit Live, Simi Valley, California, 2017; Winner, 2020 Quarantine Playwriting Competition, Grand Theatre, Cartersville, Georgia), “Which Way the Wind Blows” (staged reading Palisades Playwrights Festival 2018 and Finalist at Dayton Playhouse’s FutureFest 2019), and “Hold On” (staged reading Palisades Playwrights Festival 2019). Short plays include “Mission” (staged at 2018 TENx10 Festival, Bendigo Theatre Company, Australia, and reading at 2019 Midwest Dramatists Conference), “Dolls" (staged at 2020 TENx10 Festival: PRIDE, Bendigo Theatre Company, Australia), and “Recipe” (produced online by Theatre Three, Port Jefferson, New York, 2020; Kentwood Players, Los Angeles, 2020; West Valley Playhouse, Los Angeles, 2020). He has worked in various production capacities on feature films and television movies, has published two novels ("The Wicked and the Dead" and "The Dead Don’t Forget"), two non-fiction books, and numerous poems and short stories (including the Derringer Award finalist “Identity Theft”), as well as several hundred book reviews as a monthly columnist for "BookPage." He lives in southern California and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Plays

  • Wrong Turn - A Monologue
    At a funeral, a woman on the cusp of middle age assesses the price exacted on her life by childhood events and sacrifices unwittingly made.

    Companion piece to "Final Dispatch - A Monologue," "Broken Glass - A Monologue" and "Straightening Up - A Monologue"
  • Straightening Up - A Monologue
    As Helen cleans up her kitchen the evening after her husband's funeral, she reflects on the complicated past and ponders a hopeful future.

    Companion piece to "Final Dispatch - A Monologue," "Broken Glass - A Monologue," and "Wrong Turn - A Monologue"
  • Broken Glass - A Monologue
    A soldier in Vietnam writes a letter to an old friend.

    Companion piece to "Final Dispatch - A Monologue,""Straightening Up - A Monologue," and "Wrong Turn - A Monologue"
  • Final Dispatch - A Monologue
    A middle-aged man hashes out the past after his father's funeral.

    Companion piece to "Broken Glass - A Monologue," "Straightening Up - A Monologue," and "Wrong Turn - A Monologue"

  • Artifact
    10-15 MINUTES. On a crossing of the Staten Island Ferry, the very different worlds of a young white upper class runaway and 30-something Nuyorican collide with unexpected consequences.
  • The Disappearing Diamonds: From The Casebook of Beak E. Baxter
    A PLAY FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES. 15-MINUTE.

    A comic spoof of 1930s and 40s hard-boiled films for young audiences. Beak E. Baxter, a tough-talking crow, and her sidekick, Chomper, a bashful fox, solve crimes from their office over the pet shop near Hollywood and Vine.

    Zoom-adaptable
  • Hold On
    FULL-LENGTH. As a 25th high school reunion goes on in the gym down the hall, HEATHER WREN wanders into what she thinks is an empty classroom to sneak a smoke, where she finds GREG ALDERSEN, a math teacher, at work. Greg immediately recognizes Heather, who is a minor rock star, returning to her hometown for the first time, but at first, she does not recognize him as her former friend and confidante from high...
    FULL-LENGTH. As a 25th high school reunion goes on in the gym down the hall, HEATHER WREN wanders into what she thinks is an empty classroom to sneak a smoke, where she finds GREG ALDERSEN, a math teacher, at work. Greg immediately recognizes Heather, who is a minor rock star, returning to her hometown for the first time, but at first, she does not recognize him as her former friend and confidante from high school. As the action of the play unfolds through the night, the complicated past relationship between these two damaged characters comes to light, and long kept secrets and repressed truths begin to surface. Beneath the sharp-tongued humor of these erstwhile friends lies a poignant sense of emotional need and unfulfilled destiny.
  • And Lightning Struck
    WINNER, 2020 Quarantine Playwriting Competition, Grand Theatre, Cartersville, Georgia
    FULL-LENGTH. "And Lightning Struck: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Creation" is an atmospheric historical drama that delves into the intimate life of Mary Shelley, the writer of "Frankenstein." It is a story about Mary herself—not an adaptation of "Frankenstein," but rather the story of how...
    WINNER, 2020 Quarantine Playwriting Competition, Grand Theatre, Cartersville, Georgia
    FULL-LENGTH. "And Lightning Struck: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Creation" is an atmospheric historical drama that delves into the intimate life of Mary Shelley, the writer of "Frankenstein." It is a story about Mary herself—not an adaptation of "Frankenstein," but rather the story of how this literary genius came to write it. Mary Godwin Shelley was only eighteen years old when she first “gave birth” to her classic story and the creature at the heart of it. Along with her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and their friends, including Lord Byron, Mary was part of group of freethinkers who lived life by their own rules, often provoking scandal. But tragedy dogged Mary Shelley’s life—her mother died when she was born, all but one of her children died as children, and by age twenty-five she was already a widow.

    "And Lightning Struck" begins in 1831 as a publisher asks Mary to write a new introduction to a new edition of "Frankenstein." As she reluctantly tells him the fascinating story of how she came to create this classic tale during a ghost storytelling contest, she tries to puzzle out the source of her own genius. As the action unfolds, the play re-imagines this incredible true story as the older Mary looks back on her life and is visited by the ghosts of memory—including her husband, her father William Godwin, her stepsister Claire Clairmont, Lord Byron, the doctor–poet John Polidori, and, of course, the fictional Victor Frankenstein and the "creature" he/she created.
  • Which Way the Wind Blows
    FULL-LENGTH. WHICH WAY THE WIND BLOWS is about friendship, memory, and a crisis of conscience.

    Finalist, FutureFest 2019, Dayton Playhouse
    Best New Work, nominee, Dayton Most Metro

    Marty O’Neill is a good cop with an ordinary life. A captain with some thirty years on the force, he is content in his job and his marriage. But, O’Neill’s contentment is shattered when he is...
    FULL-LENGTH. WHICH WAY THE WIND BLOWS is about friendship, memory, and a crisis of conscience.

    Finalist, FutureFest 2019, Dayton Playhouse
    Best New Work, nominee, Dayton Most Metro

    Marty O’Neill is a good cop with an ordinary life. A captain with some thirty years on the force, he is content in his job and his marriage. But, O’Neill’s contentment is shattered when he is faced with a decision that challenges everything he has always believed.

    MARTY O’NEILL is about to head home at the end of the day when his assistant, THALIA, tells him there is a witness he should interview. The man, GERALD FREEMAN, was witness to an unsolved hit-and-run. But the moment Freeman walks into the office, O’Neill is troubled by a sense of recognition. He’s sure he knew Freeman in the past, but can’t quite place him.

    That evening, O’Neill will remember as he pins down the resemblance between Freeman and someone else he once knew—Paul Travis. As O’Neill tells his wife, CAROL, Paul Travis was a close childhood friend with whom he long ago lost touch. O’Neill has some vague recollection of Paul having been involved in something criminal. A little research reveals that Paul was a member of a radical anti-war group during the Vietnam War, and that he went underground after a bombing. He has been missing all these years.

    Still, as sure as he feels about his hunch, O’Neill cannot be certain that Freeman is really Travis—until Thalia digs up some strong evidence that they are the same man. Suddenly, O’Neill is faced with a crisis: turn in his old friend, or abandon the principles that have guided his career in law enforcement.

    As the play unfolds, we discover more about the complicated relationship between O’Neill and Travis, and how the latter all but saved the former from a childhood of abuse and neglect. We discover, too, an emotional complexity that has long simmered beneath the benign surface of the O’Neill’s marriage.

  • Dolls
    10-MINUTE. Three very different mothers have an altercation in the toy aisle as they vie for the last princess doll.
  • Gown
    10-MINUTE. Lynn and Annie embark on that treasured mother-daughter rite of passage: shopping for the perfect wedding gown. But saying yes to the dress proves not so straightforward as their afternoon in the bridal shop reveals an unforeseen agenda and unfolds in both heartbreaking and uplifting ways.
  • Matinee
    10-MINUTE. During a visit to her childhood home, Melanie reluctantly goes to the movies with her aging baby boomer parents.
  • Mission
    10-MINUTE A couple grapples with their relationship while visiting a California mission.
  • Recipe (a Zoom play)
    10-MINUTE: Virtual/via Zoom. During a family's weekly virtual check-in, old habits die hard.

    “A beautiful play — very honest and very real . . . RECIPE was one of the most important (and beautifully written) of all the pieces in the series.” — Jeffrey Sanzel, Executive Artistic Director, Theatre Three Productions
  • Partita - A Monologue
    MONOLOGUE: A violinist visits the grave of an old friend and colleague.

    Gender neutral. Race neutral.
  • Viva - A Monologue
    MONOLOGUE: Live or virtual. 90-year-old Joni gets ready as she waits to leave for her COVID test.
  • Essentials
    ONE-MINUTE. A micro-play written for The One-Minute Play Festival's "The Coronavirus Play Project."

    During a perceived crisis, a calm character is infected by another character's panic.