Christopher Kess

Christopher Kess

Plays

  • North Avenue
    Reggie Simms is the pastor of a small church in West Baltimore. Before a community event, he receives a visit from city councilwoman Delia Tate, bearing both a gift from a wealthy benefactor, as well as the promise of more -- a new community center building to launch the programs he’s always wanted.

    Over the misgivings of his friend and fellow activist, Tammy, as well as his mentor and board...
    Reggie Simms is the pastor of a small church in West Baltimore. Before a community event, he receives a visit from city councilwoman Delia Tate, bearing both a gift from a wealthy benefactor, as well as the promise of more -- a new community center building to launch the programs he’s always wanted.

    Over the misgivings of his friend and fellow activist, Tammy, as well as his mentor and board chair of his church, Rev. Dr. Ellis, Reggie begins plans to make a deal. All he has to do is to sell the community on benefactor Roman Carter and his community development plans.

    When Reggie’s friend and intern, Daryl, is shot and killed around the corner from the church in a seemingly random act, Carter attaches one more stipulation to the deal: to assuage the fears of Carter’s investors, Reggie must announce publicly that Daryl was gang-affiliated, the killing was targeted and the neighborhood will be safe for new arrivals when the building is complete.

    As the deal is ready to be signed, Tammy reveals to Reggie that Carter never had any plans to help the community, only to gentrify it. Reggie ultimately decides that the cost for his success is too high, he can’t betray the community or his friend’s memory.
  • Chat Room ver 2.7
    The play opens with Barbara, voice chatting with Christine. Christine tells Barbara that she may have recently become pregnant. After the conversation, Christine is startled when her father enters her room. Later that evening, Barbara's husband Henry becomes concerned that she has been eating right or taking her medicine.

    The next day, Christine reveals that she is pregnant and worries...
    The play opens with Barbara, voice chatting with Christine. Christine tells Barbara that she may have recently become pregnant. After the conversation, Christine is startled when her father enters her room. Later that evening, Barbara's husband Henry becomes concerned that she has been eating right or taking her medicine.

    The next day, Christine reveals that she is pregnant and worries about what will happen next. The boy she slept with blew her off and her father is certain to be angry. Barbara does her best to console Christine until Henry's sister Natalie comes over. She tells Barbara that Henry is worried about her. The two argue until Natalie leaves, at which point, Christine has logged off. That evening, Christine's mother Jeannie finds a box from a pregnancy test. Christine admits she is pregnant. Her father enters and she tells him as well. He is incensed.

    Three days later, Christine posts some of the details of her punishment online, also stating that her computer privileges have been curtailed. Later that evening, Barbara returns from a bookstore with a book on the Internet. She tells Henry of her plan to find and help Christine. He rants and raves, but Barbara is undeterred. That night, she finds more help online. The next morning, Barbara awakens to find Henry revealing his misgivings about what her search. Barbara is still. That evening, Barbara receives an email from a friend of Christine she found, who says she is reluctantly willing to give Barbara the phone number to Christine's home.

    The next morning, Barbara goes to her computer to find the computer unplugged. She confronts Henry. He says he did. They argue. Barbara throws a tantrum and threatens more if he doesn't give the cord back. He backs down. Later that day, Barbara has been calling the number. She's concerned until Christine answers the phone. Barbara tells her that she's happy she's found her. Christine tells her that the story about the baby is false and that she's sorry for all the trouble she's gone through, before ending the call.

    Christine's father, who was in the room, tells her she did the right thing. But Christine picks up the phone and rushes to dial Barbara back to tell her the truth before her father smacks her and takes the phone from her. Barbara tells Henry that the number she received was a wrong number. Natalie comes over. She and Henry go and get Chinese food. Barbara declines their invitation, turns her computer off, and turns on the TV.
  • Silenced Night
    Crystal was spending a quiet Friday lunch by herself, eating cream of crab soup and writing in her journal, when Jay from upstairs comes to the cafeteria to talk to her.

    He’s just moved up in the company -- more money, more visibility. Their relationship, specifically the events of their last date, are a loose end he wants tied. What happened that night, if publicly known, could cause problems...
    Crystal was spending a quiet Friday lunch by herself, eating cream of crab soup and writing in her journal, when Jay from upstairs comes to the cafeteria to talk to her.

    He’s just moved up in the company -- more money, more visibility. Their relationship, specifically the events of their last date, are a loose end he wants tied. What happened that night, if publicly known, could cause problems for him.

    After small talk about his new job, he asks Crystal if they’re “good,” if she has any plans to ever tell anyone about that night. She tells him she doesn’t.

    He feels relieved, but he says he needs more, revealing a document -- an agreement that neither will ever speak of the events of that night again. Crystal refuses to sign. Her refusal to talk about those events has already kept her in a cage of sorts, seemingly keeping her own name safe at the cost of protecting Jay as well.
    He offers her more to sign, which she refuses as well. When she does, he tells her that there’s nowhere in their company to go with this information, that he’s too connected, too powerful.

    Crystal, understanding this, tells him that she’s going to resign and she’s not going to be trapped anymore, that she’s going to tell her story, part of which is contained in the journal she’s been writing in, inside the lunch room.