Nina Mansfield

Nina Mansfield

Nina Mansfield is a Cos Cob, CT based playwright, fiction writer and educator. Nina’s ten-minute and one-act plays have had over 100 productions; they have been produced professionally, and at colleges, community theaters and high schools throughout the United States and in Canada, England, Australia, Scotland, Ireland and Peru. Her work has appeared at a number of festivals including the New York International...
Nina Mansfield is a Cos Cob, CT based playwright, fiction writer and educator. Nina’s ten-minute and one-act plays have had over 100 productions; they have been produced professionally, and at colleges, community theaters and high schools throughout the United States and in Canada, England, Australia, Scotland, Ireland and Peru. Her work has appeared at a number of festivals including the New York International Fringe Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Boston Theatre Marathon, Vital Theatre’s New Works Festival, 20% Theatre Twin Cities, the Six Women Playwriting Festival, Little Fish Theatre’s Pick of the Vine Festival, and multiple 8-Minute Madness Festivals in New York. In the coming months, she has short play productions scheduled in Brisbane, Australia and Seoul, South Korea.

In June of 2013 Nina’s short play Bite Me was a finalist for the Miami City Theatre’s National Award for Short Playwriting and was produced as part of Summer Shorts 2013. Her full-length play Losing Our Heads: The Guillotine Play was a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s 2012 National Playwrights Conference and a semi-finalist for the Leah Ryan Feww Award. Her one-act drama Pedestrian Casualty: Bronx, USA received an Honorable Mention for the Goshen Peace Play Award. Nina was commissioned in 2012 by Ticket2Eternity productions to write a full-length play, entitled Gymnos: A Geek’s Tragedy, which premiered in New York at the HERE Arts Center in September 2013. Nina was a participant in the 2010 Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive. She has been a member of a number of playwriting labs over the years, including The Present Company’s “The Pool,” and Turtle Shell Theater’s Playwriting Lab. Nina was the 1998 Bruce Peyton Memorial Playwriting Fellow at the Dorset Theater Festival in Dorset, Vermont.

Nina’s short plays have been anthologized in Smith & Kraus’s The Best Ten-Minute Plays (of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014), the Boston Theater Marathon XI, 2009 Anthology, and YouthPlays’ Middle Schoolin’ It. Her one-act play Clean is published by Original Works Publishing. Two short play collections entitled Three More Marriage Plays and Gals and Goddesses, along with her plays No Epilogue, Crash Bound, Text Misdirected and Missed Exit are published by One Act Play Depot. Her work also appears in 222 Comedy Monologues (Smith & Kraus), Best Women’s Stage Monologues of 2014 (Smith & Kraus) and Best Contemporary Monologues for Women Ages 18-35 (Applause Books.)

Nina’s fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Mysterical-E, Kings River Life Magazine, and anthologized in Fast Women and Neon Lights: Eighties-Inspired Neon Noir. Her first novel, Swimming Alone, a young adult mystery, was a quarter-finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest and was published by Fire & Ice YA in 2015. Nina is a member of The Dramatists Guild, Mystery Writers of America, The Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and Sisters in Crime.

Plays

  • Hamsplaining
    The last scene of Hamlet, explained, and or mansplained, as if Horatio has recently given his statement to the police.
  • Antigone: 3021
    It's the year 3021 and Thebes has just been through a bloody civil war. Chancellor Creah has decreed that anyone who buries the body of the traitor Polyneices will face the death, but Antigone is determined to bury her brother, no matter the penalty. She brazenly break’s Creah’s law and broadcasts her crime on the public cloud. Now Creah must decide if she will bend to the will of the people or punish...
    It's the year 3021 and Thebes has just been through a bloody civil war. Chancellor Creah has decreed that anyone who buries the body of the traitor Polyneices will face the death, but Antigone is determined to bury her brother, no matter the penalty. She brazenly break’s Creah’s law and broadcasts her crime on the public cloud. Now Creah must decide if she will bend to the will of the people or punish Antigone for her crime. Antigone: 3021 is a virtual-friendly, futuristic retelling of Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone where the Greek chorus has been transformed into a talk show/news program and the characters communicate via virtual projection.

    Full-length and one-act versions. Virtual or Live Production.
  • The Woman in the Teal Scarf
    Sam, a poet/college professor, and Lydia, his stay-at-home-mom wife, used to argue about normal couple things, like how to best care for their 2 1/2 year old daughter, and whether or not their 1900 farmhouse needs new windows. When they take in a homeless woman one cold night their relationship is altered.
    On a night close to Christmas, after Lydia has finally managed to get her young daughter to sleep,...
    Sam, a poet/college professor, and Lydia, his stay-at-home-mom wife, used to argue about normal couple things, like how to best care for their 2 1/2 year old daughter, and whether or not their 1900 farmhouse needs new windows. When they take in a homeless woman one cold night their relationship is altered.
    On a night close to Christmas, after Lydia has finally managed to get her young daughter to sleep, she is eager to settle in for an evening of Netflix—perhaps something serious, like a documentary about the Syrian refugee crisis. Then Sam receives a strange text message. A woman he has only met twice seems to be homeless and in need of shelter. As Sam and Lydia debate how best to respond, Hannah shows up at their home.
    The appearance of this eccentric stranger makes Sam and Lydia question what kind of people they are. Sam believes it is their duty to shelter Hannah from the cold. Lydia thinks Hannah is not their problem. Sam makes Hannah feel welcome. Lydia does everything short of kicking her out onto the street. When Hannah leaves of her own accord, and is later found dead, Sam blames Lydia.
    The Woman in the Teal Scarf is a 90-minute, three character drama that examines human kind’s responsibility is to one other.
  • Losing Our Heads: The Guillotine Play
    Losing Our Heads: The Guillotine Play is a full-length comedy that juxtaposes absurdist vignettes about the bizarre history of the guillotine with the post-beheading loves, lives and struggles of historical figures who now exist in a very contemporary version of the afterlife. In the first historical vignette, Guillotine—an actual Guillotine—arrives for a job interview. Sanson, the head executioner...
    Losing Our Heads: The Guillotine Play is a full-length comedy that juxtaposes absurdist vignettes about the bizarre history of the guillotine with the post-beheading loves, lives and struggles of historical figures who now exist in a very contemporary version of the afterlife. In the first historical vignette, Guillotine—an actual Guillotine—arrives for a job interview. Sanson, the head executioner during the French Revolution, is dismissive at first, but Guillotine wins him over. Meanwhile, in the land of the beheaded, Nick, the first person to be guillotined in French history, attends Beheaded Anonymous meetings. Nick is in a relationship with Marie (Antoinette), who is concerned about her friend Charlotte (Corday), because Charlotte refuses to admit that she’s been beheaded. Anne (Boleyn), who also attends B.A. meetings although her head was severed by a sword, is secretly in love with Nick. Other characters include the “numbing neck foam” peddling Henri, and the tortured Guy. The struggles of the beheaded are intertwined with warped versions of their back stories.
    As the play progresses, each character’s backstory is revealed in absurdist fashion. Anne Boleyn, for example, is forced to choose her execution device at a 70s style game show. Henri finds himself in the home of girl who has fallen in love with his severed head. Meanwhile, in the land of the beheaded, Marie and Nick help Charlotte confront her addiction. By the end of the play, she has, but not without consequences. She has destroyed Marie and Nick’s relationship, and Nick has relapsed, eventually becoming a dreaded “vegetable head.”
    The play culminates in a scene where Sanson is forced to relieve Guillotine of his duties, but not until he is able to perform his final execution, in 1977.
    The play runs 90-minutes with no intermission, and could be played with eight or more actors.
  • Clean
    Harvey and Donna, two recovering alcoholics, surprise each other in a church basement late one night. Harvey is there to do his dishes- seriously. Donna has been kicked out by her husband. A bottle of bourbon appears. An alcoholic pastor soon follows. Three humans struggle with addiction and the unbearable cleaning power of an industrial strength dishwasher are revealed.
  • Clown Therapy
    Frank, a clown, and his wife Maggie seek marriage counseling after Maggie discovers that Frank is not really a clown.
  • Bite Me
    Ellen has a surprise for her husband Mark, and no, it isn’t a new puppy dog. She’s brought home a vampire. After all, he did say that he wanted to spend all eternity with her, and wouldn’t it be nice if they didn’t have to age in the process.
  • The Tea Exercise
    The Tea Exercise is a short drama, which deals with the trials and tribulations of two aspiring actresses. It is an attempt to illustrate everything there is to love, and everything there is to hate about life in the theatre.
    In the first scene, we are introduced to A & B arguing in an off-off-Broadway dressing room over B’s decision to quit acting. A has just gotten her first big break,...
    The Tea Exercise is a short drama, which deals with the trials and tribulations of two aspiring actresses. It is an attempt to illustrate everything there is to love, and everything there is to hate about life in the theatre.
    In the first scene, we are introduced to A & B arguing in an off-off-Broadway dressing room over B’s decision to quit acting. A has just gotten her first big break, and B has been struggling for too many years. In the following scenes we go back in time a number of years, to a time when B was determined to make it as an actress, and A had no intentions of pursing acting. The play continues to follow A & B’s small successes and failures, until we reach the end again. The last scene of the play returns to the beginning, where B shows A just what she loves about acting.
  • The Relationship Plays: Dating through Divorce in 90 Minutes
    This collection of short plays, all comedies about relationships, forms a 90 minute evening of theatre, and can be performed with seven actors (4 women, 3 men), or more.

    Sculpting Perfection
    It’s the morning of the annual Bear Lodge Park Snow Sculpture Contest, and Clara and her daughter Allison had planned to sculpt Michelangelo’s David. But first, Clara must sculpt Allison into...
    This collection of short plays, all comedies about relationships, forms a 90 minute evening of theatre, and can be performed with seven actors (4 women, 3 men), or more.

    Sculpting Perfection
    It’s the morning of the annual Bear Lodge Park Snow Sculpture Contest, and Clara and her daughter Allison had planned to sculpt Michelangelo’s David. But first, Clara must sculpt Allison into perfection. When the door bell rings, Allison learns that Clara had a hidden agenda.

    Bona Fide
    In this satire, Anna has married Samir so that he can stay in the country. As they celebrate their new marriage with champagne, Anna discovers a letter from the state. At first it seems like a routine immigration letter, but as they read on, they realize that the state is asking for proof that their marriage has been consummated.

    The Ping and the Pong of It
    As Tina and Gavin measure a small room in their new apartment for a ping pong table, it becomes apparent that Tina no longer wants a ping pong table. In fact she never wanted a ping pong table. Gavin is crushed. Can their marriage survive?

    Missed Exit
    A family of five is trapped in a compact car on their way to a wedding. After one too many wrong turns, the GPS comes to life.

    Bite Me
    Ellen has a surprise for her husband Mark, and no, it isn’t a new puppy dog. She’s brought home a vampire. After all, he did say that he wanted to spend all eternity with her, and wouldn’t it be nice if they didn’t have to age in the process.

    Text Misdirected
    Jane plans to divorce her husband. Lucky for her, she has just boarded a train and sat down next to Barry, an attorney, who is more than happy to provide his services. Unlucky for Barry, Jane has a severe distrust of all technology, and Barry is plugged-in in more ways than one.

    The Unbearable Lightness of Greening
    After Bob leaves Jane for a potted plant, he tries to convince Jane to start internet dating.

    Clown Therapy
    Frank, a clown, and his wife Maggie seek marriage counseling after Maggie discovers that Frank is not really a clown.
  • Erasing the Brain
    When Ellen discovers that her younger brother Mattie has read her diary, she resorts to drastic measures: she takes his video game controller hostage. Mattie tries to convince Ellen that he can erase his brain, including all memories of the boy that she has been writing about. After all, Mattie argues, wasn’t Mom able to erase her brain? Has their mom really forgotten all about their dad, and is Mattie destined to as well?
  • Crash Bound
    Love, math and paranoia collide at 30,000 feet. An actress and a statistician find themselves on Flight 214 to Los Angeles via Detroit. According to the statistician’s calculations, today is the day that he was meant to find true love. The actress, however, is positive that Flight 214 will crash, as she was never meant to reach “the metaphorical Moscow.” Their personalities collide as the pilot quotes Chekhov...
    Love, math and paranoia collide at 30,000 feet. An actress and a statistician find themselves on Flight 214 to Los Angeles via Detroit. According to the statistician’s calculations, today is the day that he was meant to find true love. The actress, however, is positive that Flight 214 will crash, as she was never meant to reach “the metaphorical Moscow.” Their personalities collide as the pilot quotes Chekhov and the flight attendant insists that she is a seagull.
  • No Epilogue
    Mike, a struggling poet and cab driver, and Steph, the girl who loves him,debate the causes of a mysterious suicide early one morning on the Brooklyn Bridge. We soon learn that Mike hasn't written anything in months, but this suicide seems to inspire him. Was Mike somehow at fault for the stranger's fate? And how far will Steph go to inspire him again?
  • Bar Car Reverie
    A man finds himself tangled in the web of his own dream…or perhaps he has entered another dimension.
  • Frostbite
    After an encounter with some rabid polar bears, Candy and Carl are stranded in an Arctic Tundra, and are about to resort to cannibalism. As they contemplate chowing down on poor Hank’s foot, Carl’s fifteen-year affair with his best friend comes to light. And there’s one more thing…Hank isn’t dead! Frostbite is a comedy about marriage, infidelity and eating human flesh.
  • Pedestrian Casualty: Bronx, USA
    In Pedestrian Casualty: Bronx, USA, the events surrounding a tragic accident, in which a teacher accidentally kills a student, are juxtaposed with radio reports of local and global events. Ms. K., a school teacher crashes her car, killing DeShawn. The two officers who arrive at the scene discover that the young man who was killed was one of her students. The cluttered thoughts of the teacher are interwoven...
    In Pedestrian Casualty: Bronx, USA, the events surrounding a tragic accident, in which a teacher accidentally kills a student, are juxtaposed with radio reports of local and global events. Ms. K., a school teacher crashes her car, killing DeShawn. The two officers who arrive at the scene discover that the young man who was killed was one of her students. The cluttered thoughts of the teacher are interwoven with the events of that day. We discover that DeShawn left school early, storming out of Ms. K’s class during a quiz. One officer believes that the crash was not accidental. The other can’t imagine that it was anything but an accident. The play brings to light some of the issues that are prevalent in urban education.
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Greening
    Bob left his wife Jane for a houseplant, and now he wants her to open an online dating account like him.
  • The Ping and the Pong of It
    As Tina and Gavin measure a small room in their new apartment for a ping pong table, it becomes apparent that Tina no longer wants a ping pong table. In fact she never wanted a ping pong table. Gavin is crushed. Can their marriage survive?
  • Bona Fide
    In this satire, Anna has married Samir so that he can stay in the country, and he is eternally grateful. As they celebrate their new marriage with champagne, Anna discovers a letter from the state. At first it seems like a routine immigration letter, but as they read on, they realize that the state is asking for proof that their marriage has been consummated.
  • Text Misdirected
    A text— misdirected, exposes one woman’s fear and loathing of technology.
  • Missed Exit
    A family of five is trapped in a compact car on their way to a wedding. After one too many wrong turns, the GPS comes to life.
  • Out Damn Spot
    A 10-minute modern take on the Scottish play.
  • Snack Time
    Liz had come to Karen to report that a mother had been breastfeeding her child on the playground. After Karen gives Liz a stern lecture, she learns that the circumstances aren’t quite what she thought.
  • Making the Cut
    A guillotine goes for a job interview.
  • Love at First Slice
    Collete has fallen in love with a severed head, and brings him home to meet her mother.​ A dark comedy, very loosely based on the 1905 beheading of Henri Languille.
  • Slicing the Cherry
    Slicing the Cherry is a ten-minute comedy in which Charlotte Corday, the historical killer of Marat, resists the advances of her oh-so-sexy executioner. SPOILER ALERT: Her head gets chopped off at the end.
  • What the Puck?
    Tania has a confession…after experimenting with foraged herbs, she has accidentally cheated on her boyfriend. Or, maybe someone drugged her… Inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, What the Pucks? reimagines the King and Queen of Fairyland as employees of the the Athenian, the Catskill’s premiere family resort.