Jennifer Kokai

Jennifer Kokai

Jennifer A. Kokai is a playwright who currently lives in Tampa, FL where she serves as the Director of the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of South Florida. Her plays have been produced by Riverside: The National Theatre of Parramatta, Plan-B, Montana Rep, THML Theatre, Theatre Synesthesia, Wasatch Theatre Company, Building Better People Productions, Off-Key Anthem Collective (reading), and a...
Jennifer A. Kokai is a playwright who currently lives in Tampa, FL where she serves as the Director of the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of South Florida. Her plays have been produced by Riverside: The National Theatre of Parramatta, Plan-B, Montana Rep, THML Theatre, Theatre Synesthesia, Wasatch Theatre Company, Building Better People Productions, Off-Key Anthem Collective (reading), and a variety of educational institutions. She was included in the Lark Play Development Center's 2014 Playwrights Week. She has been a semi-finalist with the O'Neill, Bay Area Playwrights' Festival, B-Street Theatre, and Seven Devils. She is a member of the Plan-B Theatre Company Playwrights Lab.

Plays

  • Zombie Thoughts (written with Oliver Kokai-Means)
    Sam and Pig are avatars in the video game “Zombie Thoughts.” Sam’s character is intelligent, anxious, and armed with a book. Pig is goofy, distracted, and armed with a rubber chicken. Can Pig and the players in the audience help Sam overcome anxiety and defeat the monsters and trials the Machine throws in the way? A one act video game inspired TYA play about childhood anxiety where the audience determines the...
    Sam and Pig are avatars in the video game “Zombie Thoughts.” Sam’s character is intelligent, anxious, and armed with a book. Pig is goofy, distracted, and armed with a rubber chicken. Can Pig and the players in the audience help Sam overcome anxiety and defeat the monsters and trials the Machine throws in the way? A one act video game inspired TYA play about childhood anxiety where the audience determines the outcome. Written for grades 3-6 with help from someone in grade 3 (note: the 2 person version is uploaded here, 3+ available by request). This play can be easily adapted to work very well through Zoom!
  • Singing to the Brine Shrimp
    (A Fantasia in 12 Scenes with Sock Puppets, Ukuleles, Wine, and an Accident)
    This is the theatrical opportunity of the lifetime for playwright Allison, a mom from Utah. At least that’s what the people in New York keep telling her. But the director hasn’t read the play, the actors keep competing over who has been on Law and Order the most, and Allison is a ball of stress and insecurity. Thank goodness the...
    (A Fantasia in 12 Scenes with Sock Puppets, Ukuleles, Wine, and an Accident)
    This is the theatrical opportunity of the lifetime for playwright Allison, a mom from Utah. At least that’s what the people in New York keep telling her. But the director hasn’t read the play, the actors keep competing over who has been on Law and Order the most, and Allison is a ball of stress and insecurity. Thank goodness the singing brine shrimp are there to help her find her way. A fucked up love letter to life and art in a flyover state.
  • Reacting To Myself in an Apocalypse!!!!
    What happens when Youtube's most popular, upbeat, and energetic kid's vlogger meets the apocalypse? (Commissioned for Plan-B's Radio Slam)
  • You're a Good One (aka Janine)
    A verbatim monologue about the experience of discovering you are an undocumented citizen and how that impacts identity and perception.
  • Girl of Glass
    Edgar, a delivery man, misreads a package and attempts to deliver it to the wrong address. The place he ends up at is a weird store, filled with glowing glass jars and run by a woman named Truly. Truly captures Edgar's attention and he visits her once a week at the store, falling more and more in love with her. But what is in the glass jars and is Truly who she says she is? The play is told with a...
    Edgar, a delivery man, misreads a package and attempts to deliver it to the wrong address. The place he ends up at is a weird store, filled with glowing glass jars and run by a woman named Truly. Truly captures Edgar's attention and he visits her once a week at the store, falling more and more in love with her. But what is in the glass jars and is Truly who she says she is? The play is told with a experimental structure that allows spaces for each company to create moments in the play through dance, puppetry, improv or other elements.
  • The Robots of Walmart (early draft)
    Annie's life is crumbling underneath her. She's pretty sure her husband is an alcoholic and maybe even a little abusive. Looking for certainty in an uncertain time, she gets sucked further and further into a home organization show on Netflix, whose hosts, Sutton and Taylor, promise that rainbow organizing your belongings is the path to inner calm and acceptance. Then they ask for more and more. They...
    Annie's life is crumbling underneath her. She's pretty sure her husband is an alcoholic and maybe even a little abusive. Looking for certainty in an uncertain time, she gets sucked further and further into a home organization show on Netflix, whose hosts, Sutton and Taylor, promise that rainbow organizing your belongings is the path to inner calm and acceptance. Then they ask for more and more. They might be a cult? Her only true friend is an inventory Bossa Nova robot in the home organization aisle of Walmart (he doesn't talk, or know she's there, but he's a good listener). Where is the line between finding purpose and meaning in life and being addicted to things? Or is it really that adulthood is just finding acceptable things to be addicted to?
  • The Art of Floating
    Marian lives in the sleepy town of Spring Hill, Florida where she spends her days hanging out at the senior citizen center and drinking wine with her best friend Fran. After her estranged granddaughter has a crisis of faith and moves in with her, marvelous things begin to happen. A play about death, faith, and learning to float through Jello.
  • Lost Land
    Lost Land is a tale of hope and dreams, of love discovered and ultimately lost. Spanning three centuries from the late 1950’s to the present to the year 2150, the play is set in an ill-conceived nautical theme park designed around Moby Dick, the all-seeing, all-enduring commentator who takes us on a journey from a world built to delight to a world filled with despair.
  • Ballet for Aliens (written with Gerard Hernandez and O. Kokai-Means)
    Jacob is 8. He loves ballet, Pokedudes, and turkey sandwiches. He does NOT love Chron's disease, chemo, or dealing with nurses who can't get the IV in on the first try. Sophie is his nurse. Or possibly an alien. Or possibly a friend. A play in process written with an 11 and a 12 year old (new draft uploaded 1/31/2021).
  • Bird Brains
    Short sketches about a hummingbird, snobby barn owls, a dysfunctional vulture couple, and ducks who want to be dinosaurs. Written for the Rose Exposed Benefit for the Tracy Aviary.
  • Not About A Cat-- Co-written with Rachel Bublitz
    Delaney and Laila's friendship is ending, but they have radically different perspectives on why.
  • A Long Way to Fall
    Adam is a mountain climber who meets the devil at the summit.
  • Lucy and the Statue
    Lucy’s family is not fond of her boyfriend. Because he is a statue in a park.
  • Matchstick Girl (music by Kenneth Plain)
    World premiere of a new musical. It is New Year’s Eve in 19th century Denmark. As the people bustle about the town, carrying treats like cakes of marzipan rings to share with friends, Sofia stands alone, shoeless in the bitter cold with a handful of matches for sale. A chance encounter with an old friend, Johan, on his way to his family’s ball, gives her a glimpse of a world of warmth, love and safety that she...
    World premiere of a new musical. It is New Year’s Eve in 19th century Denmark. As the people bustle about the town, carrying treats like cakes of marzipan rings to share with friends, Sofia stands alone, shoeless in the bitter cold with a handful of matches for sale. A chance encounter with an old friend, Johan, on his way to his family’s ball, gives her a glimpse of a world of warmth, love and safety that she is denied and leaves Johan troubled and conflicted about what he should or could do for her. Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved story is brought to life in a sweeping family friendly musical about what we owe to each other in a community.