Hank Kimmel

Hank Kimmel

Hank Kimmel (also known as Henry W. Kimmel) is an Atlanta-based playwright who is a founding member and serves as board president for Working Title Playwrights, an Atlanta-based theatre company dedicated to the development of playwrights and new plays. Hand also serves as the board president for the Alliance for Jewish Theatre (www.alljewishtheatre.org). Hank has been a long-time member of the Dramatists Guild...
Hank Kimmel (also known as Henry W. Kimmel) is an Atlanta-based playwright who is a founding member and serves as board president for Working Title Playwrights, an Atlanta-based theatre company dedicated to the development of playwrights and new plays. Hand also serves as the board president for the Alliance for Jewish Theatre (www.alljewishtheatre.org). Hank has been a long-time member of the Dramatists Guild. Always aspiring to craft deeper and more meaningful work, Hank has written dozens of plays of various lengths, mostly addressing people's obsession with status and money, including his own. He recently received a grant from the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta to develop his full-length -- Confessions of a Hit Man -- and has recently been commissioned to devise two plays through Serenbe Playhouse in Palmetto, GA. Hank also works as a dramaturg.

Plays

  • SIX by SIX: a sampling of 6 six-word plays in a time of the Covid crisis with many more plays available
    A SAMPLING OF SIX-WORD PLAYS: Starting on March 12, 2020, the playwright gave himself the assignment to write a six-word play every day. At first, this started off as exercise, but as the Covid-19 crisis accelerated, it became a way to capture the lingua franca of the day, personally, professionally, nationally and globally. These six plays are a sampling. The playwright has dozens and dozens more, and those...
    A SAMPLING OF SIX-WORD PLAYS: Starting on March 12, 2020, the playwright gave himself the assignment to write a six-word play every day. At first, this started off as exercise, but as the Covid-19 crisis accelerated, it became a way to capture the lingua franca of the day, personally, professionally, nationally and globally. These six plays are a sampling. The playwright has dozens and dozens more, and those are available by request. They can be categorized by style, content, and tone. MOST, if not all, address the Covid crisis in some form. The playwright supposes that these plays can be read (aloud or privately) or performed. This is new territory, and he welcomes input about how to best showcase these plays -- and whether this kind of style is worthy of a showcase at all.
  • THE WALL -- a virtual adaptation from Alice in the Looking Glass
    10-MINUTE FAIRY TALE -- performed live or virtually. Looking to escape the Queen and get back through the Looking Glass, Alice tries to get past a gigantic wall guarded by an obdurate Humpty Dumpty – as an elusive White Rabbit helps guide her. A 10-minute adaptation of a fairy tale.

    DRAMATIC PREMISE
    Crossing the threshold requires youthful persistence.

  • IT TAKES A (ZOOM) VILLAGE
    10-MINUTE FAIRY TALE /VIRTUAL THEATRE-- It’s a Zoom wedding, but the bride RAPUNZEL isn’t sure she wants to let down her hair – as others in her life vie for your love and attention. A 10-minute adaptation of a fairy tale that is meant to be performed virtually.
    DRAMATIC PREMISE.
    Virtual isolation leads to quixotic independence.
  • THE BIG BAD WOLF vs. THE THREE LITTLE PIGS: The Quest for Revenge in the time of Covid 19
    10-MINUTE FAIRY TALE / VIRTUAL THEATRE -- When the Big Bad Wolf blows into town ready to spread something bad, Brenda (a pig who lives in a brick house) uses Zoom to urge her brothers to do everything possible to stop the Wolf’s quest for revenge.
    Dramatic premise: Pandemic dysfunction is overcome by family unity.
  • Confessions of a Hit Man
    Entering the next phase of his life with his teenage son, a paralyzed ex-football player attempts make peace with the past when his tormentor returns with an offer that will either uplift or destroy them all.

  • The Education of Benjamin First
    Sent away to a boarding school by his family as a death-defying act, young Benjamin tries to blend in until his mis-cast roommate pushes them toward divisive truths about race, class, religion and each other.

    The Education of Benjamin First starts with Opening Day at the prestigious Mountcastle School in 1965. With the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement as the backdrop, Benjamin's...
    Sent away to a boarding school by his family as a death-defying act, young Benjamin tries to blend in until his mis-cast roommate pushes them toward divisive truths about race, class, religion and each other.

    The Education of Benjamin First starts with Opening Day at the prestigious Mountcastle School in 1965. With the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement as the backdrop, Benjamin's father is desperate to create a better life for his son, but Benjamin's world is immediately jarred by his African American roommate, Charles Robert Hawkins the Fourth, who immediately challenges every one of Benjamin’s assumptions about the world as it is.. With his father urging from afar, Benjamin tries to forge ahead until he realizes that Charles, unexpectedly, may be his best hope for friendship …if they can reconcile their differences about race, religion, and class.

  • Divided Among Themselves
    A righteous rabbi tries to honor her scheming father without betraying her core beliefs.

    Samantha Marcus is a progressive rabbi who wants to live a good and decent life. She and her three sisters – a successful developer, a struggling tennis pro and an emerging spiritualist – have all been out of touch for years. Following the death of their father, a hard-drinking, hard-driving union...
    A righteous rabbi tries to honor her scheming father without betraying her core beliefs.

    Samantha Marcus is a progressive rabbi who wants to live a good and decent life. She and her three sisters – a successful developer, a struggling tennis pro and an emerging spiritualist – have all been out of touch for years. Following the death of their father, a hard-drinking, hard-driving union activist, they are impelled to come together to examine their shared legacy and divide his estate.

    Divided Among Themselves is a dramatic comedy that explores the differing views in America toward money, charity, and self-reliance – while examining the relationship a grown child has to a deceased parent. The expected run time is 90 minutes.
  • Unbillable Hours
    With a southern city paralyzed over the construction of a billion-dollar football stadium, a young attorney, trained to do as he’s told, is tempted to subvert the future, if he can sort of the visions and voices that vie for his allegiance.

  • Meant to Be
    In a span of 42 years, Sam and Sally Ross, a mismatched Jewish couple, struggle to define (and redefine) their shifting notion of heritage as they experience unimagined love, success and loss.

    Meant to Be takes place over the course of three scenes in three different decades. The style / tone of each piece is meant to reflect the era in which it takes place. It is possible for the scenes to be...
    In a span of 42 years, Sam and Sally Ross, a mismatched Jewish couple, struggle to define (and redefine) their shifting notion of heritage as they experience unimagined love, success and loss.

    Meant to Be takes place over the course of three scenes in three different decades. The style / tone of each piece is meant to reflect the era in which it takes place. It is possible for the scenes to be presented in reverse order.

    1) Closing Time at the Bakery (Good Friday, March 28, 1975): Stuck with a flat tire on the eve of the Sabbath, a printing supply salesman tries to convince the store help at a kosher bakery to save him.

    2) The Chosen People (Easter Sunday, April 7, 1996): When Sally accompanies her husband to an interview to Castle Hill, the most exclusive country club in the United States, she must decide if her marriage is worth saving as her ambitious husband and the irrepressible host vie for her eternal support.

    3) May God Bless Her (Holy Saturday, April 9, 2017): Without the power of attorney, Sam Ross tries to convince his 20-year-old daughter to keep his wife alive as a young doctor tries to help them navigate between life and death.

    Dramatic premise: Expectation is overmatched by destiny (bersheit).

  • Burning, Powerful Women!!!!
    Iowa 1962. Men work. Women take care of the home. And young Mary Jo Brickner is about to get married to John Sybil. It's a typical year in Swisher until Ritva Puotila storms into town and creates the BPW, a secret order of women designed to empower Mary to become the first female valedictorian of the high school....and a whole lot more. A fractured fairy tale where The Music Man meets Our Town meets...
    Iowa 1962. Men work. Women take care of the home. And young Mary Jo Brickner is about to get married to John Sybil. It's a typical year in Swisher until Ritva Puotila storms into town and creates the BPW, a secret order of women designed to empower Mary to become the first female valedictorian of the high school....and a whole lot more. A fractured fairy tale where The Music Man meets Our Town meets Gloria Steinem meets the three witches of Macbeth.

    SUMMARY
    When Mary loses her bra during a romantic tryst, the B.P.W. springs into action. Posing as Mary's mother, father and boyfriend, the members of the B.P.W. -- who consist of a widow, divorcee and “spinster” -- use the bra to gain access to Mary's subconscious. They have different ideas about how a young woman should live, and they are desperate to share their views before, as they see it, the next generation is lost forever. Ultimately, it is Mary who must decide her fate as she comes to realize there is no guarantee of a happy ending, only the chance to control her own narrative.
    A combination satire and fractured fairy tale (Our Town meets The Music Man meets Gloria Steinem meets the three witches of Macbeth), Burning Powerful Women depicts a clash between old-fashioned and modern living -- at a time when this clash was at its cusp, reflecting the changing status of women in America, and one adolescent’s attempt to take control over her life. Breaking the boundaries of time and space, Burning Powerful Women takes a stylized look at a very real emotion: the desire to find one's own voice.
    Burning Powerful Women is a 70-minute play with seven characters that is to be played by four actresses ranging in age from 17-60. The three older actresses along with being a divorcee, widow and “spinster” also portray/channel Mary's mother, father and fiancee. The play requires a simple set, and the movement between various settings can be suggested by the blocking

    DRAMATIC PREMISE: Questioning leadership leads to full-throated independence.
    NOTES
    This play was initially developed in a workshop with Margaret Baldwin and Diane Moroff where the play was devised from an exercise involving a poorly scanned newspaper, haiku poetry, and stream of consciousness writing exercise. This play was also developed as part of the Process Theatre (GA) Plays in Process Series. It also received a reading at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference (Alaska), and through No Shame Productions (Athens, GA). Also contributing: Lily Yancey Miller, the Fern Theatre, Nichole Palmietto and especially Open Minds Theatre. The play is meant to be developed as a collaborative piece with the script serving as the launch, not the end point. The portrayal of characters is meant to be done as authentically as possible, and, if produced, the play allows for flexible and innovative staging.

  • Hank Kimmel's Shorts -- Jewish Life
    Compendium of short plays -- Hank Kimmel’s Shorts: Jewish Life features a compendium of short plays and monologues that takes an earnest, affectionate and comic look at Jewish Life.

    Each piece is self-contained, meaning it can all be performed separately or together…or some combination thereof….and in any particular order.


    The Categories:

    1) INTRODUCTION...
    Compendium of short plays -- Hank Kimmel’s Shorts: Jewish Life features a compendium of short plays and monologues that takes an earnest, affectionate and comic look at Jewish Life.

    Each piece is self-contained, meaning it can all be performed separately or together…or some combination thereof….and in any particular order.


    The Categories:

    1) INTRODUCTION
    a. Welcome to Our Holiday Show
    2) THE HOLIDAYS
    a. The Day Santa Ignored Us
    b. Saved on the Day of Atonement
    3) ROMANCE
    a. An Answer to their Prayers
    b. Closing Time at the Bakery
    c. J Date
    4) FAMILY
    a. Father-Son Outing: The Trip to Northlake Mall
    b. Beat the House: A Hanukah Midrash
    c. Father-Son Campout
    5) POLITICAL SHORTS
    a. The 0.02% Solution
    b. Searching for the Afikommen
    c. The Day Our 5th Grade Teacher Taught Us About Religious Tolerance
    6) FINALE
    a. The Music Man Goes Yiddish
  • Hank Kimmel's Shorts -- Parenting Edition
    COMPENDIUM OF SHORT PLAYS: Seven short plays that take a contemporary look at parenting, for better and worse, usually for the better. These scripts lend themselves to both readings and productions.

    The Shorts: (# of required actors)
    Soccer Moms (2F)
    The Talk (2M)
    A CVS XMAS (3 adults)
    Winners Never Quit (2M)
    My Native Language* (3 adults)
    Father-Son...
    COMPENDIUM OF SHORT PLAYS: Seven short plays that take a contemporary look at parenting, for better and worse, usually for the better. These scripts lend themselves to both readings and productions.

    The Shorts: (# of required actors)
    Soccer Moms (2F)
    The Talk (2M)
    A CVS XMAS (3 adults)
    Winners Never Quit (2M)
    My Native Language* (3 adults)
    Father-Son Outing: The Trip to Northlake Mall (2M)
    The Yanks Are Coming (3 adults)
    (* written by Barbara Kimmel)
  • Hank Kimmel's Shorts -- Holiday edition
    COMPENDIUM OF SHORT PLAYS: A comedic look at the holidays through the following short plays:

    The Shorts: (# of required actors)
    Welcome to Our Holiday Show (1)
    The Name Game (3-6)
    An Answer to Their Prayers (2)
    Is it Such a Wonderful Life? (2)
    The Day Santa Ignored Us (5)
    Redemption of a Football Widow (2)
    Your Local Neighborhood Pharmacy (4)...
    COMPENDIUM OF SHORT PLAYS: A comedic look at the holidays through the following short plays:

    The Shorts: (# of required actors)
    Welcome to Our Holiday Show (1)
    The Name Game (3-6)
    An Answer to Their Prayers (2)
    Is it Such a Wonderful Life? (2)
    The Day Santa Ignored Us (5)
    Redemption of a Football Widow (2)
    Your Local Neighborhood Pharmacy (4)
    The Dilemma of a Standing Ovation (5-6)

  • Hank Kimmel's Shorts -- Political Correctness
    COLLECTION OF SHORT PLAYS -- Hank Kimmel’s Shorts: Political Correctness features a compendium of short plays and monologues that takes an earnest, affectionate and satirical look at Political Correctness.

    Each piece is self-contained, meaning it can all be performed separately or together…or some combination thereof….and in any particular order.


    The Categories:...
    COLLECTION OF SHORT PLAYS -- Hank Kimmel’s Shorts: Political Correctness features a compendium of short plays and monologues that takes an earnest, affectionate and satirical look at Political Correctness.

    Each piece is self-contained, meaning it can all be performed separately or together…or some combination thereof….and in any particular order.


    The Categories:

    1) INTRODUCTION
    a. Welcome to Our Holiday Show
    2) WORKLACE
    a. Proper Business Etiquette
    b. Class Dismissed
    3) COMMUNITY
    a. Last Seat on the Train
    b. The Name Game
    4) RELIGION
    a. The Day Santa Ignored Us
    b. The Day Our 5th Grade Teacher Taught Us About Religious Tolerance
    5) ROMANCE – lost and found
    a. Sugar Daddy
    b. Fairy Tale Ending
    c. Politically Incorrect Dating
    d. J Date
    6) FINALE
    a. The Dilemma of a Standing Ovation

  • Hank Kimmel's Shorts -- Divorce
    Collection of short (mostly) comic plays: Hank Kimmel’s Shorts: Divorce features a compendium of short plays and monologues that takes a comic, incisive look at Divorce.

    Each piece is self-contained, meaning it can all be performed separately or together…or some combination thereof….and in any particular order.


    The Categories:

    1) ON THE HORIZON
    a...
    Collection of short (mostly) comic plays: Hank Kimmel’s Shorts: Divorce features a compendium of short plays and monologues that takes a comic, incisive look at Divorce.

    Each piece is self-contained, meaning it can all be performed separately or together…or some combination thereof….and in any particular order.


    The Categories:

    1) ON THE HORIZON
    a. Redemption of a Football Widow
    b. The Mediator Escapes from Hell
    c. Home Wrecker
    2) AFFECT ON KIDS
    a. A CVS XMAS
    b. The End of Summer
    3) LETTING GO
    a. Rear Ended
    b. Yesterday’s News
    4) AFTERMATH
    a. Sugar Daddy


  • Hank Kimmel's Shorts -- Sports
    Compendium of short plays: Hank Kimmel’s Shorts: Sports features a compendium of short plays and monologues that takes a comic, incisive look at Sports.

    Each piece is self-contained, meaning it can all be performed separately or together…or some combination thereof….and in any particular order.


    The Categories:

    1) BASEBALL
    a. One Day at the...
    Compendium of short plays: Hank Kimmel’s Shorts: Sports features a compendium of short plays and monologues that takes a comic, incisive look at Sports.

    Each piece is self-contained, meaning it can all be performed separately or together…or some combination thereof….and in any particular order.


    The Categories:

    1) BASEBALL
    a. One Day at the Little League Field
    b. Winners Never Quit
    2) SOCCER
    a. Soccer Moms
    3) TENNIS
    a. The Day I Was Supposed to Play Tennis With Samuel Beckett
    4) FOOTBALL
    a. Redemption of a Football Widow
    b. Confessions of a Hit Man – excerpt from a 60-minute one-act
    c. Unbillable Hours – excerpt from a 90-minute one act



  • LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE 2020
    COMPENDIUM OF SHORT PLAYS: "LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE 2020" presents a compendium of short comedic plays about love – finding, losing and celebrating it. Stylistically, it is loosely based on the television show “Love, American Style,” but with an updated, personalized twist.

    THE SECTIONS / PLAYS
    1) FINDING LOVE
    o How It Began – 1F
    o An Answer to Their Prayers – 1F...
    COMPENDIUM OF SHORT PLAYS: "LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE 2020" presents a compendium of short comedic plays about love – finding, losing and celebrating it. Stylistically, it is loosely based on the television show “Love, American Style,” but with an updated, personalized twist.

    THE SECTIONS / PLAYS
    1) FINDING LOVE
    o How It Began – 1F
    o An Answer to Their Prayers – 1F, 1M
    o Politically Incorrect Dating – 1F, 1M
    o Fairy Tale Ending – 1M
    2) SETTLING INTO MARRIAGE
    o My Native Language – 2F, 1M
    o Halloween Headaches – 1F, 1M
    o The Redemption of a Football Widow – 1F, 1M
    3) MOVING ON
    o CVS Christmas – 1F, 1M, plus Voice
    o The End of Summer – 1F, 1M
    4) CELEBRATION
    o The Most Romantic Day of My Life (and I almost missed it) – 1M
  • I LOVE MY LAWYER (but hate yours)
    COMPENDIUM OF SHORT PLAYS: I LOVE MY LAWER (but hate yours) is a compendium of short (mostly comedic) plays humanizing the process of being a lawyer. In each of the seven plays, a lawyer must overcome some kind of professional and ethical dilemma, sometimes with greater success than with others
  • MY LIFE IN THEATRE -- A series of plays, monologues and skits about life in the theatre
    COLLECTION OF SHORT PLAYS: My Life in Theatre takes an insider’s look at developing and producing a play through a series of short plays, monologues and sketches.
    Warning: It is self-indulgent, self-referential and metaphysical, but it also should be fun for anyone who makes, watches or scoffs at theatre.
    Each piece is self-contained, meaning it can all be performed separately or together…or...
    COLLECTION OF SHORT PLAYS: My Life in Theatre takes an insider’s look at developing and producing a play through a series of short plays, monologues and sketches.
    Warning: It is self-indulgent, self-referential and metaphysical, but it also should be fun for anyone who makes, watches or scoffs at theatre.
    Each piece is self-contained, meaning it can all be performed separately or together…or some combination thereof….and in any particular order.

    The Components:

    The Audience: Looking for Our Town: An autobiography (10-minute play)
    The Writing Process: Mis-Characterization (3-minute monologue)
    The Rehearsal Process, Part1: Stripping Bare (5-minute sketch)
    The Rehearsal Process, Part 2: Streetcar Serenade (8-minute play)
    The Curtain Speech, Part 1: Welcome to Our Holiday Show (1-minute monologue)
    The Curtain Speech, Part 2: I Would Like to Thank (1-minute monologue)
    The Cast: The Service Character Takes Center Stage (3-minute monologue)
    The Main Show: Tales from the Titanic & other 1-minute plays (10-minute sketch)
    The Curtain Call: The Dilemma of a Standing Ovation (5-minute sketch)

  • ALL IN A MINUTE: A collection of 15 one-minute plays related to politics, Romance and Family
    COLLECTION OF ONE-MINUTE PLAYS: All in a Minute is a collection of 15 one-minute plays, most of which have been produced as part of the nationally-organized OMP Festival produced at Actor’s Express in Atlanta.

    Each piece is self-contained, meaning it can all be performed separately or together…or some combination thereof….and in any particular order. The plays have been divided into five...
    COLLECTION OF ONE-MINUTE PLAYS: All in a Minute is a collection of 15 one-minute plays, most of which have been produced as part of the nationally-organized OMP Festival produced at Actor’s Express in Atlanta.

    Each piece is self-contained, meaning it can all be performed separately or together…or some combination thereof….and in any particular order. The plays have been divided into five categories, and are intended to have some stylistic variation.

    These plays are meant to captured a theatrical moment in time. While some may have a sketch element, they are all meant to portray life earnestly.

    The Categories:

    1) INTRODUCTION
    a. Welcome to Our Holiday Show
    2) CURRENT EVENTS / POLITICS
    a. Distant Friends (Covid)
    b. The March for Jobs
    c. The 0.2% Solution
    d. Break the Rules
    e. No Teacher Left Behind
    3) ROMANCE – lost and found
    a. J Date
    b. Rear Ended
    c. Fairy Tale Ending
    d. Yesterday’s News
    4) FAMILY
    a. A CVS XMAS
    b. School Auction
    c. Family Car
    d. The Talk
    5) FINALE
    a. The Dilemma of a Standing Ovation
  • TALES FROM THE TITANIC -- A wacky short play festival
    SHORT WACKY PLAY FESTIVAL: The Titanic’s about to sink and two people vie for the last seat on the last lifeboat. All in a minute. Romeo and Juliet fall in love and die. All in a minute. An unemployed plumber, Super Bowl placekicker, horny cat, and physicist explore the concept of hate. All in a minute.

    This festival of four one-minute plays, meant to last 10 minutes in total, is designed...
    SHORT WACKY PLAY FESTIVAL: The Titanic’s about to sink and two people vie for the last seat on the last lifeboat. All in a minute. Romeo and Juliet fall in love and die. All in a minute. An unemployed plumber, Super Bowl placekicker, horny cat, and physicist explore the concept of hate. All in a minute.

    This festival of four one-minute plays, meant to last 10 minutes in total, is designed for an audience eager to get home for the news at 10, maybe even 9.

    Representing a good portion of the playwright’s life work, this series of four unrelated plays Tales from the Titanic; Romeo and Juliet, Sort of; The Hate Monologues; Curtain Call celebrate a burgeoning form: the one-minute play.

    Those who delight in great Shakespearean drama and those who get titillated by a one-minute beer commercial might both appreciate the satirical elements of this unusual work that critics are guaranteed to call short.

    Between each of the plays is a short interlude that is meant to bridge the action and create an ensemble feeling among the four actors. These interludes are optional, as I suppose is the entire festival.
  • THE TRESPASSERS: A trilogy of 10-minute plays about the destructive effects chauvinism, machismo and chivalry
    TRILOGY OF 10-MINUTE PLAYS: (taking place in 1994): Can be presented either individually or together
    1) Pier Pressure -- As the storm of the century approaches, two men on a pier having different ideas about how to respond to the incoming onslaught. Dramatic premise: Machismo is no match for Mother Nature.
    2) Carton of Pink -- About to lay off her eldest worker, Julie must repel the advances of...
    TRILOGY OF 10-MINUTE PLAYS: (taking place in 1994): Can be presented either individually or together
    1) Pier Pressure -- As the storm of the century approaches, two men on a pier having different ideas about how to respond to the incoming onslaught. Dramatic premise: Machismo is no match for Mother Nature.
    2) Carton of Pink -- About to lay off her eldest worker, Julie must repel the advances of Seth, who believes he can help his younger boss excel. Dramatic premise; Chauvinism is fueled by intractability.
    3) Tinted Window -- As his dying wife urges him to leave her hospital room, Frank Meyer must decide if their boat is worth saving as the worst storm in years approaches. Dramatic premise: Denial foments vulnerability.

    Summary: The three plays explore the destructive effects of a male-dominated culture where chivalry, chauvinism and machismo are overtaken by natural forces both within and beyond a man’s control. The plays can either work in chronological or reverse chronological order.

    Caveat: Each of the three plays in this trilogy deal with uncomfortable subject matter in terms of gender relationships. The Playwright does not intend to offend and understands if someone wants to opt out from the experience of reading and / or seeing these plays. The characters are meant to be well-intentioned—and, as victims of their own culture, they try to rise above the darkness, with varying degrees of success.

  • HOLIDAY DIS-ENCHANTMENT: A Jewish Christmas Comedy Show
    COLLECTION OF SHORT HOLIDAY PLAYS: Holiday Dis-Enchantment: A Winter Holiday Jewish Christmas Comedy Show includes two short plays, a vignette and two short monologues that are tied together by the discomfort (and joy) a Jew feels at Christmas time.

    Sometimes this discomfort is gnawing. Sometimes it is unknown. Sometimes it brings absolute joy. In Holiday Dis-Enchantment: A Winter Holiday...
    COLLECTION OF SHORT HOLIDAY PLAYS: Holiday Dis-Enchantment: A Winter Holiday Jewish Christmas Comedy Show includes two short plays, a vignette and two short monologues that are tied together by the discomfort (and joy) a Jew feels at Christmas time.

    Sometimes this discomfort is gnawing. Sometimes it is unknown. Sometimes it brings absolute joy. In Holiday Dis-Enchantment: A Winter Holiday Jewish Christmas Show this discomfort is always tinged with humor.

    In The Day Santa Ignored Us, a Jewish Mother decides to confront a dismissive department store Santa – much to the chagrin of her 15-year-old son. Yes, Santa ignores them, but not for the reason they thought as the Mother overcomes her pre-conceived prejudice.

    In The Day Our Teacher Taught Us About Religious Tolerance, a 5th Grade teacher, addressing her class, takes a stand against political correctness, and by the end of her lecture/monologue, she learns whether her students have taken her message to heart.

    In Holiday Angst, a Jewish Man and a Jewish Woman try to overcome their holiday angst amid a cart-wheeling Santa and their own disturbed holiday images.

    In Welcome to Our Holiday Show, the school principal addresses an assembly of parents, trying to convince them there's nothing offensive about the upcoming holiday show.

    In Beat the House: A Hanukah Midrash, a 15-year-old girl, along with her 12-year-old brother, must decide about whether to let an off-centered relative join them for what will be more than an innocuous family tradition.

  • Mrs. Palsgraf's Dream Team

    Mrs. Palsgraf’s Dream Team is about a Young Lawyer whose worst nightmare becomes his greatest chance at success.

    It is the Fall of 1924, and Mrs. Helen Palsgraf, an elderly cleaning lady, has just been bopped on the head by a penny scale while waiting for a train. Mrs. Palsgraf wants to sue the railroad, but no lawyer in town will talk to her – until pushes her way into the storefront...

    Mrs. Palsgraf’s Dream Team is about a Young Lawyer whose worst nightmare becomes his greatest chance at success.

    It is the Fall of 1924, and Mrs. Helen Palsgraf, an elderly cleaning lady, has just been bopped on the head by a penny scale while waiting for a train. Mrs. Palsgraf wants to sue the railroad, but no lawyer in town will talk to her – until pushes her way into the storefront office of the Young Lawyer.

    Based on a famous 1928 law case (Palsgraf v. The Long Island Railroad Company), Mrs. Palsgraf’s Dream Team is a one-act play that, in one sense, traces the development of the law as it applies to torts and personal injury – and it is also a comedy about two people, outcasts, who will become footnotes to history but essential to each other’s life.

    Even though every lawyer in the United States should be familiar with the name Palsgraf, little is known about the real Mrs. Palsgraf. This play presents a fantastical account of what may have transpired behind the scenes, as it showcases one man’s journey to reluctant hero.


  • MATZA FOR THE RICH
    ONE ACT -- ADAPTATION: When the town’s richest woman comes into the bakery to make a special order for matza, the Baker tries to ready his co-workers for class warfare.

    DRAMATIC PREMISE
    Class envy is overtaken by class unity.

    SYNOPSIS
    It is three weeks before Passover, and word has gotten out: Mrs. Weinstock, the richest woman in town, is about to come into the...
    ONE ACT -- ADAPTATION: When the town’s richest woman comes into the bakery to make a special order for matza, the Baker tries to ready his co-workers for class warfare.

    DRAMATIC PREMISE
    Class envy is overtaken by class unity.

    SYNOPSIS
    It is three weeks before Passover, and word has gotten out: Mrs. Weinstock, the richest woman in town, is about to come into the bakery to place a large order for matza.

    Most of the workers are excited. To please the richest woman in town would mean many things, but most of all it would mean getting a big tip, which is no small thing at a time when most people are poor.

    There is a concern. Mrs. Weinstock is known for being tightfisted, and even if everyone does a good job, there is no guarantee that she will be uplifted by the Passover spirit. The Baker tries to convince his co-workers to expect less even as his own version of class differences takes an unexpected twist.

    Matza for the Rich is a one-act play based on the short story of the same name by Avraham Reisen (from The Heart-Stirring Sermon and Other Stories; Edited and translated from Yiddish by Curt Leviant; Published by Overlook Press; Permission granted). It is a story about how perceptions about the rich…leading to scorn, envy and longing …both reinforce and distort the way and manner of those less “privileged.” It is also about how the employees of a Jewish bakery, desperate for a big tip, overcome their initial bickering and form an allegiance none of them expected.

    Though the play takes place in a 19th Century Russian bakery, the issue of economic disparity is meant to speak to a contemporary audience.
  • The End of Summer
    On the last day of summer, a father tries to get his 10-year-old daughter to accept a new life with her mother, who doesn't see the beauty of watermelons falling from the sky.

    This 10-minute play requires two actors, some watermelons and not much else. The sight of watermelons falling from the sky can be depicted in a way most suited toward the production. Though Man and Girl are in...
    On the last day of summer, a father tries to get his 10-year-old daughter to accept a new life with her mother, who doesn't see the beauty of watermelons falling from the sky.

    This 10-minute play requires two actors, some watermelons and not much else. The sight of watermelons falling from the sky can be depicted in a way most suited toward the production. Though Man and Girl are in different locations, they are connected in other ways.

    The End of Summer was developed in an exercise created by Heather McDonald and Cathy Norgren during the Kennedy Center Advanced Playwriting Intensive, and the author thanks both of these artists for their inspiration. The exercise involved two photographs and the creation of a Haiku.


  • The Yanks Are Coming
    When Jerome comes back home after serving in World War II, he must decide if he’s going to pretend to be the war hero he’s not in order to keep alive his grandmother who lost so many in WW1.
  • The Redemption of a Football Widow
    A woman threatens to kill herself during the 1991 Super Bowl, and her husband, a life-long New York Giants fan, is caught between divided loyalties.

  • The Day Santa Ignored Us

    When a Jewish Mother decides to confront a dismissive department store Santa, her son is mortified until he learns why Santa ignores them and makes Mom embrace Christmas in an unexpected way.


  • Politically Incorrect Dating
    10-MINUTE COMEDY: Jessica has found the perfect date for her friend Scott, but there's a problem: Scott, a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, may not be as socially, sexually and politically open-minded as he thinks to pursue this dream person.

  • An Answer to their Prayers
    When two strangers meet in the back pew of a synagogue, they must decide if it's destiny -- or the pretzels that are making them thirsty.
  • Soccer Moms
    10-MINUTE COMEDY: A mother watching her daughter play soccer tries to convince herself that it's just a game– when she knows it's much more than that.
  • The Name Game
    10-MINUTE PLAY: About to be confronted by a name he should know, Chuck struggles to refresh his memory – as the rest of the party-goers offer no help.




  • MY LITTLE TRIP TO THE AIRPORT
    10-MINUTE DRAMA/ COMEDY: A man was planning to go to New York City on September 18, 2001, but after the events of 9/11, he would have to overcome fear, some bizarre incidents and heightened security before actually making it to New York.

  • Mother-Child Reunion

    The world is not like it was, and those left try to make sense of it. Oh, and there’s going to be a mother-child reunion, presumably. And a couple of references to Schaefer, the one beer to have when you’re having more than one.

    DRAMATIC PREMISE
    Breaking the rules leads to an un-imagined connection.

    Please note that this play was developed in a workshop “How To Break...

    The world is not like it was, and those left try to make sense of it. Oh, and there’s going to be a mother-child reunion, presumably. And a couple of references to Schaefer, the one beer to have when you’re having more than one.

    DRAMATIC PREMISE
    Breaking the rules leads to an un-imagined connection.

    Please note that this play was developed in a workshop “How To Break The Rules of Playwriting,” led by Tearrance Chisholm and sponsored by Working Title Playwrights. Every single line (except for the characters’ names) is meant to be read – and felt…even if only peripherally. Thank you for reading even this far.




  • WINNERS NEVER QUIT
    10-MINUTE COMEDY: After seeing his 11-year-old son strike out four times in a Little League game, a father inspires his son to keep playing – but not in a way either of them expected.

    The play requires two characters, a baseball mitt and not much else.

  • SAVED ON THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
    10-MINUTE COMEDY: On the holiest day of the year, Oliver struggles to find his place to sit in the sanctuary as others hold their ground with varying degrees of justification.
  • The Last Seat on the Train
    There is one last seat on a crowded train, and no one is sure who should take it. Is chivalry still in play or is it every man (and woman) for himself?

    Last Seat on The Train includes five characters Young White Male Bodybuilder (early 20s), Young Black Male Professional (late 20s-early 30s), Woman Professional in Heels (late 30s-early 40s), Middle-Aged Man with a Briefcase (late 50s-early 60s)...
    There is one last seat on a crowded train, and no one is sure who should take it. Is chivalry still in play or is it every man (and woman) for himself?

    Last Seat on The Train includes five characters Young White Male Bodybuilder (early 20s), Young Black Male Professional (late 20s-early 30s), Woman Professional in Heels (late 30s-early 40s), Middle-Aged Man with a Briefcase (late 50s-early 60s) and Older Woman with a Walker (late 70s-early 80s) all of whom have legitimate claims (and a strong desire) for the last seat on the train. In the end, only one of them can take it.
  • Proper Business Etiquette
    10-MINUTE COMEDY: When two obsequious co-workers are told by their overbearing boss to engage in improper public conduct, they must decide if it's worth demeaning their race and religion to save the jobs they worked so hard to get.
  • FATHER-SON CAMPOUT
    10-MINUTE PLAY: A Son is called into action when his 88-year-old Father disappears in the middle of the night. When the Son finally tracks down his Father in a remote, marshy area, he discovers all is not what it seems to be. The Father, who has been mentally strong but physically frail, is strangely robust and calm. The Son is eager to bring his Father home, but the Father resists. As they negotiate over...
    10-MINUTE PLAY: A Son is called into action when his 88-year-old Father disappears in the middle of the night. When the Son finally tracks down his Father in a remote, marshy area, he discovers all is not what it seems to be. The Father, who has been mentally strong but physically frail, is strangely robust and calm. The Son is eager to bring his Father home, but the Father resists. As they negotiate over the value of the Father’s life, the Son realizes it might take more than divine intervention to bail him out.

    Father-Son Campout is a two-character, 10-minute play. It is a modern depiction of the “binding” story from the Book of Genesis, where Abraham is commanded to sacrifice his son.

    This play is meant to be performed with simple staging and a simple set. It takes place in the present. The circumstances are very real to the characters involved.
  • It's Not Such A Wonderful Life
    10-MINUTE SPOOF/COMED: George Bailey is ready to end it all but is stupefied by the inaction of his Guardian Angel, who wonders if the world might actually be better off without George in this 10-minute fable about life, death and sub-prime lending.


    CHARACTERS
    George – 38
    Clarence – old

    (Please note: Though this is a spoof of the 1946 film “It’s A Wonderful...
    10-MINUTE SPOOF/COMED: George Bailey is ready to end it all but is stupefied by the inaction of his Guardian Angel, who wonders if the world might actually be better off without George in this 10-minute fable about life, death and sub-prime lending.


    CHARACTERS
    George – 38
    Clarence – old

    (Please note: Though this is a spoof of the 1946 film “It’s A Wonderful Life,” the actors are urged to use their own voices, rather than doing an impersonation of the characters from the movie. Though this is a satire, the intent of the play is meant to be earnest.)

  • Looking For Our Town
    10-MINUTE DRAMA: A Man goes to the theater to see a revival of Our Town with Spalding Gray and he gets caught in the middle of the action. A lot has changed in Our Town over the years, but does the message remain to the same?
  • Your Local Neighborhood Pharmacy
    10-MINUTE COMEDY: Charles Hill comes to the pharmacy late at night to fill his prescription for Social Anxiety and finds an unexpected cure from the crowd he attracts.
  • Sugar Daddy
    10-MINUTE PLAY: Bill and Wendy, an aging lawyer and a younger law student, try to keep the moral high road as they scoff at the intimate relationship developing between them and their colleagues. Based on a newspaper article from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution
  • Early Morning Appointment
    10-MINUTE PLAY: It is early in the morning, and Mrs. Kartee is waiting for a service delivery call that she hopes won’t have an effect on the rest of her day – and possibly the rest of her life.

    “I am delighted with your play. Your script reminds me of a Jerry Seinfeld production. It basically goes nowhere, accomplishes little, but takes the audience on a grand and laugh-filled voyage.” – Artistic Director
  • A CVS XMAS

    During a public exchange on Christmas, a mother must decide if she’s willing to let her children go upon ex-husband’s claim to be a new man.

    Author’s note: There can be some flexibility about how to utilize the character/voice of Store Manager.

  • Summary Judgment
    Two recent law school graduates yearn for what the other has until each realizes she was destine to lead different lives.
  • Streetcar Serenade
    Madeline and Adrian are rehearsing scene 10 (“the rape scene”) from Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire. Madeline and Adrian are beginning acting students, earnest but not yet artistically equipped to handle a scene with so much sexual fury. Still, they proceed, ready to give the most they can to each other as the scene, if not their own relationship, approaches its climax.

    Playwright’s...
    Madeline and Adrian are rehearsing scene 10 (“the rape scene”) from Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire. Madeline and Adrian are beginning acting students, earnest but not yet artistically equipped to handle a scene with so much sexual fury. Still, they proceed, ready to give the most they can to each other as the scene, if not their own relationship, approaches its climax.

    Playwright’s note: Madeline is slightly more adept as an actor than Adrian, but this difference is not significant.

    Dramatic premise: Dramatic tension provokes dramatic release.
  • A LITTLE ROOM AT THE INN
    ONE ACT COMEDY (60 minutes) -- When an aging CEO gets locked in an undersized motel room with his protégé, they must decide how much to keep their distance as the walls close in - in a cautionary corporate comedy.
  • THE SERVICE CHARACTER TAKES CENTER STAGE
    SHORT COMIC MONOLOGUE: On the way from one part of the stage to the other, the SERVICE CHARACTER speaks for the only time in the play.
  • BEAT THE HOUSE -- A Hanukah Midrash
    10-MINUTE HOLIDAY PLAY: With his Uncle and teenage sister urging him into a high-stakes game of dreidel, young Michael must assign a value to his righteousness.
  • FATHER-SON OUTING: THE TRIP TO NORTHLAKE MALL
    10-MINUTES: In a modern rendition of the “binding story,” a father responds to a call from beyond – though his 12-year-old son may not be a willing accomplice – as they try to figure if divine intervention is truly divine.

    This play is meant to be performed with simple staging and a simple set. It takes place in the present.
  • TABLE FOR ONE
    ONE ACT: Table for One is a one-act play about how bad service at a good restaurant leads to an unlikely friendship—and how that friendship can grow despite the obstacles of age, religion and race.

    Howard Rimsky is a 72-year-old Jewish widower who lives alone. Gabriel Bartlett is a 32-year-old single African-American man who lives with his elderly aunt and ill mother. Howard spends much of the...
    ONE ACT: Table for One is a one-act play about how bad service at a good restaurant leads to an unlikely friendship—and how that friendship can grow despite the obstacles of age, religion and race.

    Howard Rimsky is a 72-year-old Jewish widower who lives alone. Gabriel Bartlett is a 32-year-old single African-American man who lives with his elderly aunt and ill mother. Howard spends much of the day sitting at his kitchen table doing crossword puzzles; Gabriel sits in his basement making hand-carved tables. When loved ones push them out the door into an unforgiving world, their lives collide and, after initial difficulty, they forge a bond that will unite them against their isolation.
  • CLASS DISMISSED
    10-minute comedy: At a time where the education system in the United States is coming under fire, the Teacher of the Year in one school wants to make sure no child is left behind – even if that one child feels otherwise.

    Class Dismissed is a s 10-minute play that takes a satirical look at our education system and the standards used to measure success.

    The play requires two actors...
    10-minute comedy: At a time where the education system in the United States is coming under fire, the Teacher of the Year in one school wants to make sure no child is left behind – even if that one child feels otherwise.

    Class Dismissed is a s 10-minute play that takes a satirical look at our education system and the standards used to measure success.

    The play requires two actors – and minimal staging and minimal props.
  • HOME WRECKER
    SHORT LEGAL COMEDY -- When Allison presses her client Peter to file a controversially novel lawsuit, she must convince Peter that it’s in the best interests of his family, and not just hers.
    Dramatic Premise: Amicability is tested by zealous representation.
  • THE UNSEEN WOUND
    10-MINUTE EXPERIMENTAL FANTASY: Sitting at an edge of a pier, a forlorn suitor tries to break the resistance of his reluctant princess who wants to be swept away by more than just memory.

    This play was developed in a workshop led by Erik Ehn.

    Dramatic Premise: An earnest clumsiness rekindles forgotten love.

  • THE COLLEGE INTERVIEW
    10-MINUTE COMEDY: Overmatched but undaunted, an underachieving high school Senior tries to defy the odds when interviewed by a jaded college admissions officer, who ends up questioning both the student and herself.

    DRAMATIC PREMISE
    Someone undeterred brings forth something unexpected.
  • THE MUSIC MAN GOES YIDDISH
    10-minute comedy: It's the first night of Hanukah, and Christine and Christie, two newly-discovered Jews, seek the help of a traveling rabbi, who may know less about the religion than they do.

    Dramatic premise: True faith requires a bit of faith.
  • THE CYCLE OF DEATH
    10-Minute Drama:
    A man in the prime of his life is summoned to a funeral parlor where he is impelled to join a strange and precise ritual that is bound to leave one of the participants forgotten for all time.

    Cycle of Death requires four characters (two males and two females) and four chairs. Though there is a surrealistic edge to the play, the action is very real to the characters.
  • TURNING POINT
    10-MINUTE PLAY (Drugged-out autobiography) -- On the day of remembrance, a Young Man is ready to stand naked in front of the world. He knows he cannot go forward until he turns back, but his path is both cleared and impeded by a strange Man In Suit, who takes on other guises. At first, the Young Man resists his journey and finds a dead end. Then, as he learns to embrace everything sweet and odd, the Young...
    10-MINUTE PLAY (Drugged-out autobiography) -- On the day of remembrance, a Young Man is ready to stand naked in front of the world. He knows he cannot go forward until he turns back, but his path is both cleared and impeded by a strange Man In Suit, who takes on other guises. At first, the Young Man resists his journey and finds a dead end. Then, as he learns to embrace everything sweet and odd, the Young Man forges ahead.

    Part poem, part dream, and part prayer, Turning Point experiments with structure, imagery, and style in order to unmask each character. The play requires two male actors, minimal props and minimal staging.

    Turning Point was developed during a meeting of “The Swim Team,” a group of writers who meet periodically in Atlanta to experiment in dramatic form.

    Dramatic premise: Breaking a boundary leads to the exploration of a new world.
  • STRIPPING BARE: The Rehearsal
    SHORT SKETCH COMEDY: During rehearsal the director calls for nudity, but the actor is hesitant about stripping down. DRAMATIC PREMISE: Laying bare physically leads to laying bare emotionally.
  • THE DILEMMA OF A STANDING OVATION
    SHORT COMEDY ABOUT THEATRE: To stand or not to stand. That's what Adam must figure out after he sees a show that, well, impresses others more than him. Dramatic premise: Peer pressure leads to community engagement.

  • THE MEDIATOR ESCAPES FROM HELL
    SHORT LEGAL COMEDY: Synopsis:
    During a hellish mediation, Mickey the Mediator tries to help a divorcing couple settle – as their two attorneys promote verbal, financial and emotional warfare.

    Dramatic premise: Unremitting entrenchment is overtaken by the relentless quest for harmony

  • Where There's A Will
    SHORT LEGAL COMEDY: SUMMARY: While meeting privately in a probate with Priscilla, the Mediator must decide the extent of Pricilla’s anger. Dramatic Premise: Patience is a virtue until when it isn’t.
  • LEGAL ADE
    SHORT LEGAL COMEDY: Ready to break up with her lawyer boyfriend when he takes on an unpopular cause,
    Morgan still considers Brian’s appeal.

    DRAMATIC PREMISE
    Relentless advocacy can rescue a lost cause

  • Welcome to Our Holiday Show
    At the risk of offending anyone who may be offended, a reluctant MC offers a list of disclaimers more entertaining than the show itself.
  • MIS-CHARACTERIZATION
    SHORT COMIC MONOLOGUE: A writer has trouble naming his characters without fear of offending those he loves in a short monologue about the agonies of committing heart and word to page.

    Mis-Characterization is a three-minute monologue that requires a male actor and not much else.

    Dramatic premise: Unfiltered honesty leads to unexpected emotion.
  • EFF U
    COMIC MONOLOGUE: A writer takes stock of his entire life as he decides whether to use a bad word in his play in a short monologue that explores the thin boundary of between emotional investment and vulgarity.

    Eff You is a four-minute monologue that requires a male actor and not much else.
  • ONE DAY AT THE LITTLE LEAGUE FIELD
    SHORT MONOLOGUE: Watching his 7-year-old son play baseball, a FATHER tries, with varying degrees of success, to keep his emotions in check as he wonders why this game has become the most important thing in the world at this particular moment.
  • FAIRY TALE ENDING
    Monologue:
    When a young man finally gets the courage to ask the girl of his dreams on a date, he sees something on her windshield that forces him to rethink his action – or inaction.

    Fairy Tale Ending is a short monologue that requires a male actor and not much else.

  • THE TALK
    SHORT COMIC MONOLOGUE: Instructed to talk to his adolescent son about sex, a Father stammers forth, hoping his son will rescue him.

    Dramatic premise: Reluctant communication leads to self-imposed exhaustion

  • The Day I Was Supposed to Play Tennis with Samuel Beckett
    SHORT MONOLOGUE: A young man decides how long he will wait for his tennis opponent – as others in his life urge him to press forth.

    Playwright's Note: In his youth, Samuel Beckett played tennis with a fair amount of aplomb.

  • THE DAY OUR 5th GRADE TEACHER TAUGHT US ABOUT RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE
    Comic Monologue (short) : Deciding about whether to call it quits, a schoolteacher has one last thing to say before Christmas to her 5th grade class – in her attempt to temper compassion with the truth.

    Dramatic premise: Unfiltered truth leads unexpected compassion.
  • A PASSOVER EULOGY: A FIFTH QUESTION
    SHORT MONOLOGUE: During a Passover seder by Zoom, a 50-year-old woman tries to restore a family connection to her 103-year old grandmother, who survived the Spanish Flu but not Covid.