Robert Weibezahl

Robert Weibezahl

Robert Weibezahl’s plays include “And Lightning Struck,” now published by Next Stage Press (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...
Robert Weibezahl’s plays include “And Lightning Struck,” now published by Next Stage Press (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). His short plays have been performed (live and virtually) by theatre companies in ten states across the U.S. and in Australia, as well as at the Midwest Dramatists Conference and the William inge Festival. 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 finalists “Identity Theft” and "Why are You Just Sitting There?"), as well as several hundred book reviews as a monthly columnist for "BookPage." A "Jeopardy!" champion, he lives in southern California and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Plays

  • Senior Prom
    10-MINUTE: Comedy. When high school friends Deborah and Mike unexpectedly reunite at Shady Acres Independent Living, some truths about past memories are clarified.
  • Half-Baked
    5-MINUTE COMEDY
    "It’s not like we planned it." Three friends have a surprise up their sleeves, but the surprise is on them.
  • Blitzen Sneezes! (A Christmas Audio Play)
    10-MINUTE Audio Play

    When Blitzen comes down with the Caribou Croup, Christmas might be canceled--unless the reindeer and elves can find a quick solution!

    Easily adaptable for stage performance as well as audio.
  • SwimShare
    10-Minute, Absurdist

    Vicki and Leo claim they've rented Anna and Nelson's backyard pool through an app. The unwelcome intrusion takes some surprising turns.
  • Pistachio Ice Cream
    10-MINUTE: An aging woman has an encounter with her deceased grandmother and realizes she needs to act to keep memories alive.
  • October Surprise (Twenty Minute Version)
    20 MINUTE - One Act Version

    After twenty-plus years, two sorority sisters meet for tea. One of them is now running for the Senate. The other has a surprising agenda.
  • October Surprise (Ten Minute Version)
    10-MINUTE. After twenty-plus years, two sorority sisters meet for tea. One of them is now running for the Senate. The other has a surprising agenda.
  • Doughnut Disturb
    10-MINUTE. Dominic and Colin have a serendipitous meeting, which stirs up a painful past but sparks a promising future.
  • Out of the Woods
    WORK IN PROGRESS

    ONE-ACT
    After getting lost in the woods one night, Orfie awakens in the morning to find an enigmatic old man by his side. The man has something to warn Orfie about his future with Mercy, the woman he loves, but the choice Orfie is being presented with is impossible to bear. A modern-day fable that plays with the Orpheus myth (and perhaps turns it on its head), OUT OF THE...
    WORK IN PROGRESS

    ONE-ACT
    After getting lost in the woods one night, Orfie awakens in the morning to find an enigmatic old man by his side. The man has something to warn Orfie about his future with Mercy, the woman he loves, but the choice Orfie is being presented with is impossible to bear. A modern-day fable that plays with the Orpheus myth (and perhaps turns it on its head), OUT OF THE WOODS is at turns a tender, funny, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking look at life, love, and the choices we make.
  • Mañana Iguana or The Lizards Who Came to Dinner
    ONE ACT
    Either a silly modern-day parable for young audiences or a wicked satire for adults about the way we live now. Read it as you wish. Perform it with much imagination.

    Non-native iguanas have invaded the small town of Dolores Springs, Florida, and the locals are not happy. Who'll win the battle to call the town their own?
  • 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
    Published by Next Stage Press

    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 "...
    WINNER, 2020 Quarantine Playwriting Competition, Grand Theatre, Cartersville, Georgia
    Published by Next Stage Press

    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.

  • 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.
  • Dolls
    10-MINUTE. Three very different mothers have an altercation in the toy aisle as they vie for the last princess doll.
  • Gimme Shelter
    10-MINUTE. A septuagenarian with an unconventional past and a twenty-something with an uncertain future have a brief encounter at the bus stop in a retirement village and forge a highly unexpected connection.

    FIRST PLACE, 8x10: The Eileen Moushey TheatreFest, Weathervane Playhouse
  • 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.

    Selected for THE BEST 10-MINUTE PLAYS 2023 (Smith & Kraus)
  • 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.
  • Next Stop
    10-MINUTE. Carol and Jimmy, two older people, meet on a city bus. Their very different backgrounds melt away as they talk.

    Adaptable as radio play/audio drama/podcast
  • Recipe
    10-MINUTE: During a family's weekly virtual check-in, old habits die hard, as each member adjusts to new realities in the outside world and within the family structure as well.

    Originally written to be performed Virtually/via Zoom, this piece can EASILY be performed LIVE on stage.

    “A beautiful play — very honest and very real . . . RECIPE was one of the most important (and...
    10-MINUTE: During a family's weekly virtual check-in, old habits die hard, as each member adjusts to new realities in the outside world and within the family structure as well.

    Originally written to be performed Virtually/via Zoom, this piece can EASILY be performed LIVE on stage.

    “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
  • R/Eject
    10-MINUTE. A playwright wrestles with his/her better self.
  • 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
  • Ashes - A Monologue
    A Man. Two viruses. Climate Change. Through the story of his own personal loss, an aging man reflects on the spiraling series of losses that the world has faced and often denied in recent times.

    Selected for The PlayGround Experiment's Faces of America Monologue Festival #5
  • Broken Glass - A Solo Play
    A soldier in Vietnam writes a letter to an old friend.

    Companion piece to "Bronze Buddha - A Monologue" and "Wrong Turn - A Monologue," as well as "Final Dispatch - A Monologue,""Straightening Up - A Monologue," and "Dog Gone - A Monologue."
  • Bronze Buddha - A Monologue
    A woman reminisces about something she inherited after her uncle's death in Vietnam.

    Companion piece to "Wrong Turn - A Monologue" and "Broken Glass - A Monologue," as well as "Final Dispatch - A Monologue," "Straightening Up - A Monologue," and "Dog Gone - A Monologue."
  • Dog Gone - A Monologue
    A man remembers a dog he never had.

    Companion piece to "Final Dispatch - A Monologue," "Broken Glass - A Monologue," "Wrong Turn - A Monologue," and "Straightening Up - 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," "Dog Gone - A Monologue," and "Wrong Turn - A Monologue"

  • Learning to Drive - A Monologue
    A shelter worker is chatting with their newest co-worker after an exhausting week working in a shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence.

    Drawn from the actual words of real women who work for a nonprofit provider of social services, including mental health and trauma treatment, youth crisis and homeless services, domestic violence and child abuse prevention, human trafficking...
    A shelter worker is chatting with their newest co-worker after an exhausting week working in a shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence.

    Drawn from the actual words of real women who work for a nonprofit provider of social services, including mental health and trauma treatment, youth crisis and homeless services, domestic violence and child abuse prevention, human trafficking prevention and intervention, and justice services.
  • Maps or Charts - A Curmudgeon's Monologue
    A curmudgeon of a certain age ruminates on peoples' lost sense of direction.

    Written at New Play Lab Playwrights' Masterclass, Inge Festival 2022
  • Mick Jagger is Eighty Years Old - A Monologue
    A man. A bar. A beer. A birthday.
  • Partita - A Monologue
    MONOLOGUE: A violinist visits the grave of an old friend and colleague.

    Gender neutral. Race neutral.
  • 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," "Dog Gone - A Monologue," and "Wrong Turn - A Monologue"
  • Viva - A Monologue
    MONOLOGUE: Live or virtual. 90-year-old Joni gets ready as she waits to leave for her COVID test.

    The COVID Monologues: 54 writers respond to the pandemic
  • 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," "Dog Gone - A Monologue," and "Straightening Up - A Monologue"
  • 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.