Ken Preuss

Ken Preuss

Ken Preuss is a Florida-based performer and playwright who became a teacher to guarantee himself an audience 5 days a week. His 14 published one-acts for teens and his assorted short plays have been produced in Australia, Canada, China, England, Germany, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Thailand, and 48 of the 50 United...
Ken Preuss is a Florida-based performer and playwright who became a teacher to guarantee himself an audience 5 days a week. His 14 published one-acts for teens and his assorted short plays have been produced in Australia, Canada, China, England, Germany, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Thailand, and 48 of the 50 United States. He lives near Orlando with his wife, sons, and an assortment of pets.

Ken's published plays for teens are available via Pioneer Publishing, Playscripts Inc., Eldridge Plays and Musicals, Theatrefolk, Brooklyn Publishers, and Next Stage Press.

Plays

  • A Dave with Destiny
    Dave and Destiny meet on a street and struggle to discover why they recognize each other. Are they crazy? Have they met before? Is there a deeper connection? Perhaps all three.
    Note: UK and Canadian adaptations with regional reference are also available.

    “A Dave With Destiny... subverts the cliches of opposites attracting and the cliche of dreams foretelling someone’s love life in a way...
    Dave and Destiny meet on a street and struggle to discover why they recognize each other. Are they crazy? Have they met before? Is there a deeper connection? Perhaps all three.
    Note: UK and Canadian adaptations with regional reference are also available.

    “A Dave With Destiny... subverts the cliches of opposites attracting and the cliche of dreams foretelling someone’s love life in a way that’s sweet and funny." - Richard Sanford, Columbus Underground. https://www.columbusunderground.com/big-gamble-in-madlabs-2018-theatre-roulette-rs1
  • The Elusive Pursuit of Maximum Bliss
    A female researcher and her wealthy benefactor, both missing something in their lives, explore multiple timelines to find the feasibility of 100% happiness.

    WINNER: Best Dramatic Screenplay, The Hive Collaborative The Ten Show Season 2, 2020
  • A Benevolent Alliance of Mourners
    A student, home from college for the funeral of a friend, and a singer, hired to perform at the service, meet by chance outside the church, conversing, confessing, and connecting in unexpected ways.
  • Shapes and Stanzas
    Winner, 2020 Shakespeare in the 'Burg One-Act Playwright Competition

    Friends, Ron and Suzie, meet 3 times across 60 years, exploring poetry, geometry, friendship, romance, and other complicated things.
  • Science Friction; or, The Rapid Deconstruction of a Rational Mind
    A deep dive into her boyfriend’s Sci-Fi favorites sends Daisy over the deep end.
  • Every Seven Minutes
    A two-character, workplace comedy with a sci-fi twist. An employee, introduced to the minutia and machinations of a new job, discovers the fantastical and philosophical truths about deadlines, duties, and the destiny of mankind.
  • Binged There - Done That
    Greg visits his friend’s apartment to discover that his friend, Jon, and his date, Roni, have binged their entire relationship in one night. Confusion and comedy ensue.

    WINNER: Best Short Comedy, 2015: Playwrights' Round Table, Orlando, Fl.
  • Taking Sum Lumps
    A young woman breaks a mirror and is offered options by an agent in charge of dispensing the bad luck. Will she spread the bad luck across 7 years or take it all in one lump sum?
  • Poetry, Prose, and... Pirates!
    An author attending a monthly meeting of her critique circle discovers some unexpected and unethical similarities between her writing and that of her peers.
  • Genesisters
    Four women in Heaven try to perfect their pitch, convincing God to include their planet, Earth, in the big plans.
  • Seconds (An Online Play)
    Two twenty-something women, quarantined apart after a first date, connect online in hopes of arranging a second one.
  • Meta-Morphosis (An Online Comedy)
    An unexpected guest sends an online family birthday celebration off the rails, changing everyone involved.
  • Poetry, Prose, and... Pirates! (Online Version)
    An author attending an online meeting of her critique circle discovers some unexpected and unethical similarities between her writing and that of her peers.
  • A Dave with Destiny (Online Version)
    Dave and Destiny meet in an online seminar and struggle to discover why they both recognize each other. Are they crazy? Have they met before? Is there a deeper connection? Perhaps all three.

    REVIEW: "The stand-out (and most absurdist) piece of the night was Ken Preuss’ A Dave with Destiny. Preuss weaves in layer upon layer of witty word play, combining existentialist themes with genuinely...
    Dave and Destiny meet in an online seminar and struggle to discover why they both recognize each other. Are they crazy? Have they met before? Is there a deeper connection? Perhaps all three.

    REVIEW: "The stand-out (and most absurdist) piece of the night was Ken Preuss’ A Dave with Destiny. Preuss weaves in layer upon layer of witty word play, combining existentialist themes with genuinely funny jokes. A laugh a minute, A Dave with Destiny is one piece that very much deserves to be watched again and again." - Samuel Nicholls (www.theupcoming.co.uk) reviewing Bare Essentials 5: Far from Home Online - Oct 1 2020
  • Taking Sum Lumps (Online Version)
    A young woman breaks a mirror and is offered options by an online agent in charge of dispensing the 7 years of bad luck. Will she spread the bad luck across 7 years or take it all in one lump sum?
  • Genesisters (Online Version)
    Four women in Heaven meet online to perfect their pitch, convincing God to include their planet, Earth, in the big plans.
  • Dated Humor (Online Version)
    A young man tries to impress a girl by making her laugh on their online blind date. Things go horribly and comically awry. (Gender of either character could be changed if desired.)
  • Every Seven Minutes (Online Version)
    A two-character, workplace comedy with a sci-fi twist. An employee, introduced to the minutia and machinations of a new job, discovers the fantastical and philosophical truths about deadlines, duties, and the destiny of mankind.
  • Jengo Unleashed (An Online Play)
    "Karen" shows up at Skye’s door with a cat and a handful of complaints.
  • Two Birds with One Scone (An online comedy)
    Wren and her Aunt Robin text and talk about Wren’s very recent ex-boyfriend.
  • The Shortest Long-Distance Relationship in the History of Romance (A One-Character Online Play)
    Candice records a video diary recounting how the quarantine transformed her epic romance into an epic fail.
    (A UK Version of this script is also available.)
  • The Shortest Long-Distance Relationship in the History of Romance (Two Character Version)
    Lilly records a video diary recounting how the quarantine transformed her epic romance into an epic fail. Her sister, Rose, chimes in with comedic commentary.

    (A UK Version of this script is also available.)
  • Meet The Beatletoons
    A marriage counselor finds an unorthodox way to help an unusual quarreling couple who speak exclusively in Beatles lyrics.
  • Molinda Falls
    Two 30-something friends overlooking one of nature’s wonders wonder if they’re overlooking the nature of their friendship.
  • A.V.A. (An ExtrAVAgantly Romantic Comedy)
    Ella sets out to prove that her best friend, Ana, is still in love with an ex-girlfriend. Wordplay, romance, and smoothies ensue.

    Gay Shorts II 2018 Review: "Florida-based playwright Ken Preuss has concocted a wordplay-inspired confection, Ava, that explores the idea that you express your subconscious interest in another person if his or her name appears frequently in your vocabulary....
    Ella sets out to prove that her best friend, Ana, is still in love with an ex-girlfriend. Wordplay, romance, and smoothies ensue.

    Gay Shorts II 2018 Review: "Florida-based playwright Ken Preuss has concocted a wordplay-inspired confection, Ava, that explores the idea that you express your subconscious interest in another person if his or her name appears frequently in your vocabulary." (http://artsfuse.org/170948/theater-review-gay-shorts-part-2-we-are-family/)
  • Calendar Girl
    A woman relives a tumultuous year as she flips through a calendar she is about to discard. Hitchcock, humor, heartbreak, and horror ensue.

    1 role (male) is essentially a walk-on on the last page
  • Puzzle Piece
    In interlocking scenes, two couples try to piece together their crumbing puzzle of a relationship.
  • Reprise
    On the one-year anniversary of a government shutdown, two members of a theatre company rendezvous in their shuttered theatre.
  • Odd Jobs (Comic Work and Cosmic Wonder)
    A trio of comedic shorts explore the woe and whimsy experienced by workers dealing with deadlines, duties, and the destiny of mankind.
  • Once More unto the Beach
    In this dark comedy, a mother with cancer returns to the family beach house with her twenty-something daughters hoping to share some final reflections and revelations.
  • Dated Humor
    A young man tries to impress a girl by making her laugh on their blind date. Things go horribly and comically awry. (Gender of either character could be changed if desired.)
  • Great Expectations (Revisited)
    College student Emma’s plan for a quiet night reading GREAT EXPECTATIONS is interrupted by her new roommate, Dawn.
  • Scout's Honor
    *Winner: Best Play, Beth Marshall Presents: Play-in-a-Day 2015, Orlando Fl.

    A boy scout’s public project has unexpected political and comical repercussions leading to simultaneous recruitment from the army, a college, and a talent agency.

    *Review: ‘Fringe POP [Performance over Projection]’ at Capital Fringe (Washington DC) - by Nicole Hertvik on October 7, 2016 - "The...
    *Winner: Best Play, Beth Marshall Presents: Play-in-a-Day 2015, Orlando Fl.

    A boy scout’s public project has unexpected political and comical repercussions leading to simultaneous recruitment from the army, a college, and a talent agency.

    *Review: ‘Fringe POP [Performance over Projection]’ at Capital Fringe (Washington DC) - by Nicole Hertvik on October 7, 2016 - "The strongest play of the bunch, this story of a young man who accidentally becomes an internet sensation fits perfectly into the theme of what is public and what is private." (https://dcmetrotheaterarts.com/2016/10/07/review-fringe-pop-performance-projection-capital-fringe/)
  • Box of Joy
    Tess tutors Kip in the art of letting go of the past and embracing new possibilities… or maybe she’s just helping him clean his apartment.
  • Hope Sings, Nocturnal
    WINNER: Best Overall Production, Beth Marshall presents Play-in-a-Day 2016

    Three people meet outside of a nightclub closed after a tragedy.
    Music, friendship, and hope emerge.
    Along with a few jokes.


    "a tiny gem of musical magic realism" (https://www.orlandoweekly.com/orlando/beth-marshalls-annual-play-in-a-day-event-is-dedicated-to-pulse/Content?oid=2532704)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dorm
    As newly-dating couple packs a dorm and prepares for a summer apart, their conversations, confrontations, and confessions explore past loves, present feelings, and future plans.
  • CollectaBullies
    Three people meet in a restaurant to discuss a sale of a rare collectible item. Bargaining, backstabbing, and Bullsh*t ensue.
  • The Men in the Mirror
    A nervous woman and a female officer view a line-up of men through a two-way mirror.
  • What's App-ening?!
    Two friends debate fate as a phone app claims to show images of their faces 2 minutes in the future.
  • Tricks and Treats
    A young trick-or-treater gets more than he bargained for when he visits the home of an unusual family.
  • How to Make a Play for a Girl (Short Play)
    Justin is too shy to reveal his feelings for new girl, Katie. Luckily - or perhaps unluckily - his best friend Scott offers some advice. Can notebook mix-ups, drama club auditions, and stories of misunderstood robots, possibly lead to a happy ending?
    (This short script for middle or high school performers is also available as a One-Act Play)
  • How to Make a Play for a Girl (ONE ACT)
    Justin is too shy to reveal his feelings for new girl, Katie. Luckily - or perhaps unluckily - his best friend Scott offers some advice. Can notebook mix-ups, drama club auditions, and stories of misunderstood robots, possibly lead to a happy ending?
    (NOTE: This play for high school and middle school students is also available as a Ten-Minute play.)
  • Sitting with Candy
    On Halloween night, the anniversary of a loved one’s death, members of a family deal with love and loss in different ways
  • Gift of the Matt-Guy
    Matt attempts to buy a gift for his girlfriend, Katie, while an unexpected visitor brings extraordinary news that may alter his decision... and his future. (1 female role is a silent walk-on on final page.)

    * "The Gift of the Matt-Guy," is a wonderfully plotted short play that has Matt visited by iterations of his future self as he tries to decide what Christmas gift to buy for his...
    Matt attempts to buy a gift for his girlfriend, Katie, while an unexpected visitor brings extraordinary news that may alter his decision... and his future. (1 female role is a silent walk-on on final page.)

    * "The Gift of the Matt-Guy," is a wonderfully plotted short play that has Matt visited by iterations of his future self as he tries to decide what Christmas gift to buy for his girlfriend. All his choices seem to lead to dismal futures, but a twist ending leaves everything delightfully explained. The writing here is the star. ("http://theaterreview.com/index.php?productionurl=5001&maindata=proddetail)
  • A Dave with Destiny (Holiday Version)
    In the hustle of the holidays, Dave and Destiny struggle to discover why they recognize each other. Are they crazy? Have they met before? Is there a deeper connection? Perhaps all three.

    Note: UK and Canadian adaptations with regional reference are also available.
  • Meta-Morphosis (An Online Christmas Comedy)
    An unexpected guest sends an online family Christmas gathering off the rails, changing everyone involved.
  • Three Boxes and a Triangle
    Elementary school buddies, Suzie and Ronnie, discuss “like” letters written to crushes.
  • Carded
    Hoping to attend Ladies Night with a friend, Claire tries to assume the identity on her just-purchased fake ID.
  • Mel: A Phobia
    Mel suffers from an unusual fear during a quarantine.
  • A Class without Harmony
    Students playfully banter about an absent student while their teacher tries to secure a volunteer for an upcoming talent show.