David Zarko

David Zarko

David Zarko was producing artistic director of Electric Theatre Company in Scranton, PA from 2001 to 2011. He was also founding artistic director of The Metropolitan Playhouse of New York (1991 - 2000), now on East Fourth Street, and was previously artistic director of Parsifal's Players and The Fabulous Theatre Co., both in California. During his nineteen years in New York City, he worked as director...
David Zarko was producing artistic director of Electric Theatre Company in Scranton, PA from 2001 to 2011. He was also founding artistic director of The Metropolitan Playhouse of New York (1991 - 2000), now on East Fourth Street, and was previously artistic director of Parsifal's Players and The Fabulous Theatre Co., both in California. During his nineteen years in New York City, he worked as director and instructor at American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and Long Island University C.W. Post Campus. In addition, he has over 90 professional directing credits and at least 50 in academic theatre. He is also a produced playwright, an actor, is a member of The Dramatists Guild and Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and holds a BFA in Dramatic Production from the University of Arizona, Tucson. As a playwright, he has written, translated, and adapted about twenty scripts, most of which have been produced in the U.S. He is currently on a self-styled writer's retreat in Orvieto, Italy. A complete resume and CV can be found at www.davidzarko.us

Plays

  • Risotto
    Arduina Rosetti is teaching her young neighbor, Alan, how to prepare risotto in the way she learned as a girl in the suburbs of Lucca, before she emigrated to California in 1916. Now fifty-six years later, she fights old age, falls in love with a man twelve years her junior, keeps a huge garden, plans to return to Italy with her new beau to resurrect Italian cuisine. Above all, she yearns to pass something on...
    Arduina Rosetti is teaching her young neighbor, Alan, how to prepare risotto in the way she learned as a girl in the suburbs of Lucca, before she emigrated to California in 1916. Now fifty-six years later, she fights old age, falls in love with a man twelve years her junior, keeps a huge garden, plans to return to Italy with her new beau to resurrect Italian cuisine. Above all, she yearns to pass something on to the younger generation that somehow makes all her struggles worthwhile. When her gentleman friends dies, suddenly, she is thrown into confusion, and it falls on Alan to bring her out of it. *** Risotto is first in a series of plays following the life of Alan Cravick. The plays can stand alone, but they are linked by small references and by Alan's progression as he grows from 19 to 46. The second play is Fried Prawns (set in 1978) and the last is Soup (1998).
  • Fried Prawns
    Alan is hired as Equity stage manager at a cabaret theatre in Seattle, early summer 1973. He closes up his life in Tucson and drives up to take the job, only to find when he gets there that the post is not empty, the man filling does not know he's being fired, and everyone in the organization is at one another's throats. *** Fried Prawns is second in a series of plays following the life of Alan...
    Alan is hired as Equity stage manager at a cabaret theatre in Seattle, early summer 1973. He closes up his life in Tucson and drives up to take the job, only to find when he gets there that the post is not empty, the man filling does not know he's being fired, and everyone in the organization is at one another's throats. *** Fried Prawns is second in a series of plays following the life of Alan Cravick. The plays can stand alone, but they are linked by small references and by Alan's progression as he grows from 19 to 46. The first play is Risotto (set in 1971) and the last is Soup (1998).
  • Soup
    When Fran, a woman in her eighties, fractures her ankle, she is encouraged by her son and her friends to hire a care-giver. She decides on Felicity, a homeless, mixed race, Puerto Rican New Yorker who comes to the soup kitchen run by an old friend of Fran's. Fran's son and younger friend, both tolerant Silicon Valley types, object, worry, fret, and do everything they can to prevent the hire. But...
    When Fran, a woman in her eighties, fractures her ankle, she is encouraged by her son and her friends to hire a care-giver. She decides on Felicity, a homeless, mixed race, Puerto Rican New Yorker who comes to the soup kitchen run by an old friend of Fran's. Fran's son and younger friend, both tolerant Silicon Valley types, object, worry, fret, and do everything they can to prevent the hire. But Fran is afraid of becoming an invalid, and Felicity laughs freely at her humor, so she invites her to move in. *** Soup is last in a series of plays following the life of Alan Cravick. The plays can stand alone, but they are linked by small references and by Alan's progression as he grows from 19 to 46. The first play is Risotto (set in 1971) and the second is Fried Prawns (1978).
  • Rain and Revolution
    A professor of history and his much younger wife verbally spar, call up memories, and have their lives changed by the amorous young couple at the next table. This witty, surprising play is about getting past first impressions, be they ones formed a week ago or several decades in the past, and how doing so is essential to living a connected life. - This play was chosen as a semi-finalist in the Trustus New...
    A professor of history and his much younger wife verbally spar, call up memories, and have their lives changed by the amorous young couple at the next table. This witty, surprising play is about getting past first impressions, be they ones formed a week ago or several decades in the past, and how doing so is essential to living a connected life. - This play was chosen as a semi-finalist in the Trustus New Play Festival 2012.
  • Walter's Story
    DEVELOPING: A detective for campus security at a mid-sized university is almost inadvertently assigned the investigation of the ritualistic murder of a female student whose body was found in the university's chapel. His work eventually leads him to suspect faculty, but when he begins to reveal specifics, his superior closes the case. He continues to pursue an unauthorized investigation which endangers...
    DEVELOPING: A detective for campus security at a mid-sized university is almost inadvertently assigned the investigation of the ritualistic murder of a female student whose body was found in the university's chapel. His work eventually leads him to suspect faculty, but when he begins to reveal specifics, his superior closes the case. He continues to pursue an unauthorized investigation which endangers first career, then his personal life, and ultimately his health. Sorting through layers of overlapping interests and motives, he encounters a complex web of money, power, politics, and school loyalty that effectively conspires to conceal a perpetrator. Latest draft posted. Resting now. Still needs work, but is more solid.
  • Urban Renewal
    WORK IN PROGRESS: Maureen lives with her three children and stroke affected father in the sprawling, decaying family house in a struggling American city, and it's a cold Christmas. Her ex-husband is a wheeler-dealer with few scruples and a love for power. Her eldest son, Conor, is eager to prove himself contrary to his father's values, and when his father announces his decision to close a retail...
    WORK IN PROGRESS: Maureen lives with her three children and stroke affected father in the sprawling, decaying family house in a struggling American city, and it's a cold Christmas. Her ex-husband is a wheeler-dealer with few scruples and a love for power. Her eldest son, Conor, is eager to prove himself contrary to his father's values, and when his father announces his decision to close a retail landmark that has anchored the downtown for a century, he sees his chance. Guided by his sisters he develops a meme that goes viral, a video that goes global, and suddenly finds himself the object of his father's adoration. His younger sister, however, sees danger in this, and organizes a surprise for her father that changes lives. I'm working on a draft now, to be posted by late February. As listed there are 6 roles for men, 3 for women, but it would be easily cast as four and five (in either direction), among those two are boys (7 and 17) and two are girls (13 and 15).
  • Majesty
    A WORK IN PROGRESS -- A play about Joshua Norton, self-styled as Norton I Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, and his friend Addie L. Ballou, activist for women's rights, Spiritualist, poet, painter, journalist, and divorced (?) mother of four. A host of other characters based on San Franciscans of the time (including David Belasco) also populates the story. Currently undergoing a top...
    A WORK IN PROGRESS -- A play about Joshua Norton, self-styled as Norton I Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, and his friend Addie L. Ballou, activist for women's rights, Spiritualist, poet, painter, journalist, and divorced (?) mother of four. A host of other characters based on San Franciscans of the time (including David Belasco) also populates the story. Currently undergoing a top to bottom rewrite. If the idea of the play intrigues you, contact me and I'll keep you apprised.
  • Both of Us
    EARLY STAGES: This play needs lots of work, but I like the loopy way it's structured. If you want to look at a draft, contact me. I'm not likely to post a script anytime soon (other stuff calls). LONG ONE ACT: A young Californian leaves India after meditating for two months and tours gay southeast Asia, singing Cole Porter, falling in love, getting taken advantage of, and trying to work out the...
    EARLY STAGES: This play needs lots of work, but I like the loopy way it's structured. If you want to look at a draft, contact me. I'm not likely to post a script anytime soon (other stuff calls). LONG ONE ACT: A young Californian leaves India after meditating for two months and tours gay southeast Asia, singing Cole Porter, falling in love, getting taken advantage of, and trying to work out the tensions inherent when he follows the lure of the senses. The structure is fluid. It likely runs about 75 minutes. The script could serve as a strong base for a lively workshop process. The Porter songs, of which there are several, would need to be licensed. Five of the roles (all southeast Asian) are ensemble roles, each actor portraying a half dozen characters.
  • forgeries
    LONG ONE ACT: Kenneth, a character actor in a prominent regional theatre company, wakes up under a pile of old costumes not able to recall how he got there, or to have any clear idea of what transpired at all the night before. He struggles with this alone, until Sheldon, his artistic director who had fallen asleep under a pile of curtains, also awakes and joins him. They recreate the events of the previous...
    LONG ONE ACT: Kenneth, a character actor in a prominent regional theatre company, wakes up under a pile of old costumes not able to recall how he got there, or to have any clear idea of what transpired at all the night before. He struggles with this alone, until Sheldon, his artistic director who had fallen asleep under a pile of curtains, also awakes and joins him. They recreate the events of the previous evening using scripts, and come to a deeper understanding as to the nature of life.
  • The Loyalist
    SHORT PLAY: The Culper Ring was a spy network ordered by General George Washington, one so secret and so tightly organized that some of its members were not identified until the 1930's. Jemmy Rivington was one of those. A mysterious man who seemed to be on both sides at once, he was flamboyant, aggressive, and irrestistably likeable. This short play explores a part of what is known (and speculated) about...
    SHORT PLAY: The Culper Ring was a spy network ordered by General George Washington, one so secret and so tightly organized that some of its members were not identified until the 1930's. Jemmy Rivington was one of those. A mysterious man who seemed to be on both sides at once, he was flamboyant, aggressive, and irrestistably likeable. This short play explores a part of what is known (and speculated) about Jemmy's story.
  • Going Places
    TEN MINUTE PLAY: Tim has aspirations towards professional tennis. He leaves his hometown, and a good friend Vanessa, to pursue his dreams. In the process he founds a tennis school for endangered kids. It's a challenge he's not sure he can sustain.
  • A Penny Saved
    TEN MINUTE PLAY - Morris, a professional corporate mascot, has to train Fred, a newbee who has spent his life up until now as an Olympic gymnast and ballet dancer. It's a challenge, but one that Morris feels he can rise to.
  • Pockets
    TEN MINUTE PLAY - Alan is walking home after dinner when Derek, a young man nicely dressed, asks him for money. Derek claims to be homeless, and is very good at begging. Alan tries to brush him off, but Derek is too engaging, and soon they're having a spirited exchange. Derek eventually all but admits that he's a con, but in the process also intimates that he does more than just pocket his money...
    TEN MINUTE PLAY - Alan is walking home after dinner when Derek, a young man nicely dressed, asks him for money. Derek claims to be homeless, and is very good at begging. Alan tries to brush him off, but Derek is too engaging, and soon they're having a spirited exchange. Derek eventually all but admits that he's a con, but in the process also intimates that he does more than just pocket his money and go home. This is a brief play about the moral ambiguity of just about everything involving money.
  • A Christmas Carol
    This is a "verbatim" adaptation of the Dickens classic. The script uses *all of the text* that Dickens employed for his public readings, plus a few scenes from the book that were not included. The narrative sections are performed, from a first person point of view, by the actor to whose character they apply. The script suggests fluid staging, and a dynamic, active, personified treatment of the text....
    This is a "verbatim" adaptation of the Dickens classic. The script uses *all of the text* that Dickens employed for his public readings, plus a few scenes from the book that were not included. The narrative sections are performed, from a first person point of view, by the actor to whose character they apply. The script suggests fluid staging, and a dynamic, active, personified treatment of the text. This approach brings Dickens' wit and socio-political commentary to life, and the story gains an edge and an urgency that is often lacking in more traditional "cinimatic" adaptations.
  • The Romantics
    The many and various loves of a diehard romantic named Anatol, who we follow from his college days to marriage (about fifteen years later), and conversations with his sardonic -- and much more grounded -- best friend, Max. Based on the play "Anatol" by Arthur Schnitzler.
  • The Servant of Two Masters
    WILL BE REVISED: A servant from Bergamo finds himself in Venice serving a woman from Turino who is pretending to be her own brother. A series of even more complicated events makes him also the servant of her lover who doesn't know she is in Venice dressed as her dead brother, whom he killed in Turino. Chaos ensues. This is a translation from Goldoni. It sticks close to the original theatrically, but...
    WILL BE REVISED: A servant from Bergamo finds himself in Venice serving a woman from Turino who is pretending to be her own brother. A series of even more complicated events makes him also the servant of her lover who doesn't know she is in Venice dressed as her dead brother, whom he killed in Turino. Chaos ensues. This is a translation from Goldoni. It sticks close to the original theatrically, but takes some liberties with dialog to achieve a script more accessible to modern audiences. What is posted has been produced, but I intend to revise.
  • The Bishop Comes to Visit
    Jones, an amiable scoundrel, wanders into a stodgy household while running away from the police, only to find himself believed by almost everyone to be their long-awaited relative, an Anglican Bishop from Australia. Based on "What Happened to Jones" by George Broadhurst
  • Buddy Truffle
    An upper middle class family is terrorized by a religious zealot who the father of the house has invited to live with them. Intrigue, license, and Fiorello LaGuardia follow; Moliere's Tartuffe re-imagined as a crazy family comedy of the 1930's.