Fengar Gael

Fengar Gael

Fengar Gael’s plays include Drink Me, The Spell Caster, Touch of Rapture, Sorrow of the Sea Maiden and Beggar at the Feast. She has had workshops and productions at The New York Stage and Film Company, the Utah Shakespearean Festival, the InterAct Theatre of Philadelphia, New Jersey Repertory, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, the Salt Lake Acting Company, the Moxie Theatre of San Diego, The Kitchen Dog...
Fengar Gael’s plays include Drink Me, The Spell Caster, Touch of Rapture, Sorrow of the Sea Maiden and Beggar at the Feast. She has had workshops and productions at The New York Stage and Film Company, the Utah Shakespearean Festival, the InterAct Theatre of Philadelphia, New Jersey Repertory, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, the Salt Lake Acting Company, the Moxie Theatre of San Diego, The Kitchen Dog Theatre of Dallas, The Seanachai Theatre of Chicago, the Botanicum Seedlings of Topanga, California, and in New York City: the Abingdon, Urban Stages, The Resonance Ensemble Theatre, and CAP 21. She is a recipient of the Craig Noel Award, the Playwrights First Award, and commissions from South Coast Repertory, New Jersey Repertory and the InterAct Theatre (through the National New Play Network), and a playwriting fellowship from the California Arts Council. Most recently, The Usher’s Ball was given a showcase at the Collaborative Arts Project 21's Shop Theatre; The Cantor's Tale was produced at the Hunger Artists Theatre Company; The Gallerist was produced at the Rorschach Theatre in Washington D. C.; Gift of Forgotten Tongues at The Venus Theatre in Laurel, Maryland; The Island of No Tomorrows, was co-produced by MultiStages and Interart Development in New York, and The Draper’s Eye was read at the Manhattan Theatre Works New Play Festival where it won their 2014 Excellence in Playwriting Award; Devil Dog Six was produced at the Landing Theatre Company of Houston, Texas. In late February 2015, The Last Lot was given a staged reading at the Manhattan Theatre Works Newborn Festival at the City University of New York and also at Urban Stages in New York; in April, The Draper’s Eye will be workshopped and staged at the Athena Project in Denver. In spring of 2016, Detroit Repertory will be producing Devil Dog Six. Her website is www.fengar.com

Plays

  • The House on Poe Street
    SYNOPSIS: Mendel Steingold, a prosperous real estate lawyer, is addressing The Jupiter Investment Club, explaining his decision to resign. Eight months ago, he was escorting the British twins, Argonne and Fluorine Seaborg, to their town home on Edgar Allan Poe Street. The sisters inherited the house from their estranged American mother, a molecular endocrinologist who employed the process of gene editing...
    SYNOPSIS: Mendel Steingold, a prosperous real estate lawyer, is addressing The Jupiter Investment Club, explaining his decision to resign. Eight months ago, he was escorting the British twins, Argonne and Fluorine Seaborg, to their town home on Edgar Allan Poe Street. The sisters inherited the house from their estranged American mother, a molecular endocrinologist who employed the process of gene editing to bestow unique gifts on her daughters, making them preternatural polymaths: proficient in the arts, sciences, and possessors of eidetic memories. Their mother’s professional goal was to locate an empathy gene, but having failed and aware that most women are nonviolent, she attempted to create a transgendering process so men could be feminized and less likely to engage in the ravages of incessant wars. The sisters are enamored of their new home and since it’s reputed to be where Poe composed “The Raven” they decide to turn the house into a museum. They also discover the house to be haunted by a spirit believed to be Poe’s wife, Virginia, who plays the harp and fills empty cups with a liquid that contains a new element they name Virginium. Mendel’s fiancée, Samaria, becomes enamored of the twins while Mendel becomes increasingly suspicious of their motives, and the house begins to seem menacing and oppressive. Eventually, Mendel’s quarrels with Samaria cause them to separate, while experiments with the Virginium lead to tragic consequences, forcing the twins to flee the country and abandon their new home. They leave the deed to Mendel who is eager to exorcise its demons, then sell to whomever dares to dwell in the house on Poe Street. THEMES: The House on Poe Street explores issues of gender parity, genetic determinism, the presumptions of wealth, and the power of poetry to affect emotions and visions of a spectral afterlife.
  • LITTLE RED
    The Viscount Villanelle, a renown literary critic, has been missing for weeks without a trace. Desperate to find him, his wife, Margaret, seeks the help of Roderick Rondel, a retired forensic artist known for his uncanny ability to summon the spirits of the deceased through the process of sketching, sculpting, or touching their skeletal remains. Margaret had been sent a tooth, and Roderick reluctantly summons...
    The Viscount Villanelle, a renown literary critic, has been missing for weeks without a trace. Desperate to find him, his wife, Margaret, seeks the help of Roderick Rondel, a retired forensic artist known for his uncanny ability to summon the spirits of the deceased through the process of sketching, sculpting, or touching their skeletal remains. Margaret had been sent a tooth, and Roderick reluctantly summons the spirit of the Viscount who claims to have been murdered by a vengeful coterie of poets known as “The Mad Doggerel League.” All the Doggerels were abused by the Viscount’s vicious reviews, so they held a drawing, and a young poet named Amber, was chosen to confront, humiliate, and record the Viscount eating his own words: a printed page filled with his cruelest condemnations. Amber succeeds in her mission, but while swallowing the paper and his pride, the Viscount chokes, suffers a heart attack, and Amber flees. The deceased Viscount’s spirit instructs Roderick to find Amber who reveals his hideaway in Montreal; however, the police fail to find his corpse and when members of the Mad Doggerel League appear to be dying in mysterious ways, suspicion falls on the Viscount who may not be deceased after all. In the course of their investigation, Margaret and Roderick forge a romance while Amber behaves erratically and is suspected of being possessed by a revenant that can be traced to the Viscount and the wild wolves he hunted as a child. Eventually the Viscount’s corpse is found, but his revenant spirit proves elusive and more powerful than mere mortal poets. THEMES: The play explores the importance of poetry in the age of twitter as well as corrosive effects of harsh criticism, and the human capacity for vengeance, romance, and belief in the world beyond. Throughout the story, various Grimm fairy tales are referenced as the characters attempt to mythicize their misguided lives.
  • SOUL ON VINYL
    THE STORY: At the Global Gospel Records Studio in the town of Swampwater, Texas, the Reverend Roger Billy Starks and his backup singers, the Angelicals, are recording songs for their latest album. During the session, Roger Billy sneezes, collapses into a coma, and is institutionalized for twenty-five years. When he recovers in middle-aged, he’s convinced that when he sneezed, his soul escaped his lips,...
    THE STORY: At the Global Gospel Records Studio in the town of Swampwater, Texas, the Reverend Roger Billy Starks and his backup singers, the Angelicals, are recording songs for their latest album. During the session, Roger Billy sneezes, collapses into a coma, and is institutionalized for twenty-five years. When he recovers in middle-aged, he’s convinced that when he sneezed, his soul escaped his lips, slipped through the wiring, then during mass production fell into the groove of a single record. Without his soul, Roger Billy is deaf to God’s voice, so he arranges a reunion with the Angelicals who join his countrywide search, exploring vintage record shops. Their journey takes them to a New York City ghetto where Roger Billy starts to spin like a whirling dervish. He believes his soul is beckoning from a nearby turntable, but on his quest to find its owner is robbed, arrested, and jailed. After his release, Roger Billy befriends a melancholy street vendor, is trampled by transit strikers, then hikes to Wall Street where he discovers his investments have vanished. Dismayed and needing sustenance, he stops at The Melting Pot Diner where he’s beaten, booted out, then chased by department store mannequins. Seeking refuge on the streets, Roger Billy becomes smitten with a homeless drug addict whose brother, a combat veteran, collects vinyl albums. One of his albums contains Roger Billy’s soul, and when they’re finally reunited, he realizes that despite enduring many indignities, his journey has led to genuine feelings of reverence. THE THEMES: Soul on Vinyl explores themes of alienation and identity. During the twenty-five years that Roger Billy was institutionalized, has his country lived up to the ideals that inspired his songs? Has the United States remained a model for concepts of religious and political liberty as well as racial and ethnic pluralism? Has the nation, with all the blessings of modern science and technology, become a genuine refuge for the oppressed: for immigrants and dreamers, for champions of civil, economic, and environmental rights? Modern consciousness is often symbolized by the global blogosphere, and although Soul on Vinyl tells a tale of spiritual loss and redemption, it also attempts to reflect the diversity, intensity, and velocity of today’s techno-society.
  • THE BUTTONHOLE BANDIT
    Little Phoebe Potts has a vivid imagination, which is why she spends her after school hours cowering in a closet. Then one day she follows a moth through a buttonhole and discovers an entire galaxy on the other side! With the help of an alien named Melf the Gelf, Phoebe embarks on a magical journey to save the Galaxy Clesto. There she encounters alien creatures who bestow wondrous gifts: gloves for seeing...
    Little Phoebe Potts has a vivid imagination, which is why she spends her after school hours cowering in a closet. Then one day she follows a moth through a buttonhole and discovers an entire galaxy on the other side! With the help of an alien named Melf the Gelf, Phoebe embarks on a magical journey to save the Galaxy Clesto. There she encounters alien creatures who bestow wondrous gifts: gloves for seeing through densities of matter; anti-gravitational boots for leaping great distances; and beanies for breathing under water. Soon Phoebe discovers that by making friends and conquering her fears, an imagination can be a wonderful thing!
  • THE PORTRAITIST
    The mystery at the heart of the creative process is explored through the story of a young portraitist in transition -- from being a mere copyist to becoming an original artist. While teaching her niece, Francine, to paint, Fay Locke recalls the lessons of her own tutor, Muriel, who professed that to know one’s subjects fully one must know them passionately. After Muriel’s seduction and subsequent departure,...
    The mystery at the heart of the creative process is explored through the story of a young portraitist in transition -- from being a mere copyist to becoming an original artist. While teaching her niece, Francine, to paint, Fay Locke recalls the lessons of her own tutor, Muriel, who professed that to know one’s subjects fully one must know them passionately. After Muriel’s seduction and subsequent departure, Fay has settled for a life of dreary isolation, dispassionately pleasing her subjects in a dated style of portraiture. The arrival of Francine is a catalyst for Fay’s development; in her young niece, Fay sees herself as she was, and experiences anew the freedom and optimism of an uninhibited child. In the past, as Fay’s artistic prowess grew, she began to resemble Muriel, adopting her myths and anecdotes in order to explain the power of color and form to evoke strong emotions. Like Muriel, Fay attempts to pass her knowledge to her niece, to create Francine in her own image as Muriel created Fay in hers. During the course of their summer together, Fay is also challenged by the amorous devotion of a woman she’s been commissioned to paint and tries desperately to resist. Fay expresses her resistance in a portrait unlike any she has ever created, thereby releasing new passions with an energy she has long ago suppressed. The final painting and reactions it provokes bring Fay to a new appreciation of her talent and potential. THEMES: The Portraitist explores the loss of innocence through the crossing of personal and sexual boundaries between a teacher and her student; the damaging intensity of thwarted adolescent passions; and the power of art to express rapture.
  • DRINK ME or THE STRANGE CASE OF ALICE TIMES THREE
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: Homeless and disreputable men are vanishing from the streets of London leaving only their buttons as evidence. The Metropolitan Police have exhausted all possible clues when Detective Chief Inspector Fossmire hears from a distraught anthropologist specializing in witchcraft who claims her twenty year old triplets are responsible. When the girls were toddlers, their father, a professor of...
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: Homeless and disreputable men are vanishing from the streets of London leaving only their buttons as evidence. The Metropolitan Police have exhausted all possible clues when Detective Chief Inspector Fossmire hears from a distraught anthropologist specializing in witchcraft who claims her twenty year old triplets are responsible. When the girls were toddlers, their father, a professor of Jacobean Drama, read plays to amuse them. They were so delighted by the arcane speech that they claimed it as their own and refused to learn modern English. Now the girls live in opulent seclusion, making their fortune in shrewd investments while worshiping pagan goddesses. Although Fossmire is skeptical, he visits the sisters and becomes convinced of their involvement when they demonstrate their powers, sending him reeling to his bed. His mother, Lady Augusta, an activist for the cause of global population control, is intrigued by the triplets since as a lonely child she conjured three imaginary sisters of her own, all bearing striking similarities to the suspected triplets. Meanwhile, a sympathetic psychiatrist, Doctor Flora Whetstone, is brought into the case, and Fossmire becomes smitten. Together they attempt to comprehend the girls menacing behavior, and to fathom how witchcraft is being employed to accomplish their sinister goals. The events enacted in Drink Me may be interpreted as literal, fantastical, or allegorical. The Rime Sisters may be neurotic manifestations of sexual anxiety or they may be flesh and blood women, or they may simply be reminders that the inexplicable exists. The play attempts to question Fossmire’s assumption that human experience can be quantified or known, and he is left with doubts about the underlying reality of his own fragile life.
  • THE LAST LOT
    At an auction in rural Georgia is a careworn trunk filled with items from the closure of Alchemy Antiques. The bidding escalates to thousands of dollars and leads to a reclusive collector living in New York who claims to have cheated death. The collector is Dragos Dragomir, leader of a clan of Romanian gypsies who became the time-traveling repositories of history, living generation after generation through...
    At an auction in rural Georgia is a careworn trunk filled with items from the closure of Alchemy Antiques. The bidding escalates to thousands of dollars and leads to a reclusive collector living in New York who claims to have cheated death. The collector is Dragos Dragomir, leader of a clan of Romanian gypsies who became the time-traveling repositories of history, living generation after generation through escalating catastrophes to our current precarious times. As gypsies, the clan endured constant prejudice, enmity, and exclusion from every country in Europe. While most learned to live peaceful, productive lives, one of the members sought revenge by infecting the ink of the swastikas she is asked to tattoo on her clients. She is arrested and imprisoned, but escapes to seek asylum with Dragomir who fears for his own survival and that of the remaining members of his ancient clan.
  • Devil Dog Six
    SYNOPSIS: Devil Dog Six evokes the world of horse racing with its eclectic mix of ethnicities and eccentric personalities. The play begins in Bossier City Hospital where a young woman jockey named Devon Tramore is recovering from a traumatic fall that caused multiple fractures and painful cerebral swelling. Instructed to ease the swelling by reducing the flow of information, Devon sits in a darkened room in...
    SYNOPSIS: Devil Dog Six evokes the world of horse racing with its eclectic mix of ethnicities and eccentric personalities. The play begins in Bossier City Hospital where a young woman jockey named Devon Tramore is recovering from a traumatic fall that caused multiple fractures and painful cerebral swelling. Instructed to ease the swelling by reducing the flow of information, Devon sits in a darkened room in utter silence, attempting to think of nothing. Finding the task unbearable, Devon’s spirit spins out of her body to her mother’s farm where she befriends several thoroughbreds, including a colt named Devil Dog Six. Devon’s daily journeys give her unique insights into the world of horses as she absorbs their language, movements, and characteristics. She whinnies, gallops, and attracts flies which confounds Devon’s parents, her physician, and a nurse who believes in the healing powers of Voodoo. Meanwhile, an investigation into Devon’s accident uncovers a possible plot by resentful jockeys to harm her. The investigator also probes into Devon’s romance with an African-American groom who works on her mother’s farm. Despite a pessimistic prognosis, Devon’s ambition, newfound powers, and her dream of riding Devil Dog Six in The Dixie Derby help her heal and resume her career. Soon Devon becomes the sole rider of “The Devil” and wins every race; however, when the time comes to enter the high stakes Dixie Derby, the Saudi owner chooses a male jockey with a better ranking. Devon’s disappointment turns to fury, and she indulges in schemes that compromise her relationships and integrity. THEMES: Devil Dog Six deals with issues of gender equality in sports, racial and class discrimination, animal adoration, religion, and science. The play is also about raw, untamed ambition gone awry in a culture that encourages competition and fosters the mentality that winning justifies any means.
  • SYCORAX: CYBER QUEEN OF QAMARA
    In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the sorceress, Sycorax, mother of Caliban and mistress of Ariel, was reported by Prospero to be deceased. But Sycorax is alive, having waited five hundred years for the ideal technology to reveal the truth of her story to the widest possible audience: the World Wide Web of the Internet. Sycorax has hacked into every electrified screen on Earth in order that everyone in every...
    In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the sorceress, Sycorax, mother of Caliban and mistress of Ariel, was reported by Prospero to be deceased. But Sycorax is alive, having waited five hundred years for the ideal technology to reveal the truth of her story to the widest possible audience: the World Wide Web of the Internet. Sycorax has hacked into every electrified screen on Earth in order that everyone in every language can witness her avatars enacting the true tale of her history: As a young girl in Algiers, Sycorax’s talents are revealed by spinning pots and floating scarves; later she carves small animals that are brought to vivid life through secret supplications to the pagan god, Setebos. Through the kindness of her scholarly brother, Sycorax learns to read and write, but as a Muslim woman, she is forced to endure marriage to a man already wedded to three wives. Although Sycorax employs her powers to oust invading Turkish pirates, a tribunal of mullahs judge her guilty of witchcraft, heresy, and treason. Since the Quran forbids the execution of pregnant women, Sycorax is exiled to the island of Qamara where she conjures a menagerie of creatures that help transform the barren terrain to a paradise of fertile fields. Although Sycorax longs for a daughter, she gives birth to a son, Caliban, whom she learns to cherish. Years pass in blissful harmony, but Caliban becomes restless for the companionship of others, so Sycorax carves a young man from a tree and names him Ariel. Thanks to the intercession of Setebos, Ariel is born with wings and the talent to sing, dance, and conjure storms that thwart ships from landing on their shores. Ariel arrives as a dashing seducer and soon both mother and son are enthralled by his charms. Eventually Ariel spies a boat drifting towards Qamara. Inside are Prospero, his daughter, Miranda, and stacks of books that Sycorax longs to read. She instructs Ariel to allow the boat to land, and unwittingly conspires to sabotage her future and that of her beloved son.
  • THE JUDAS TREE
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: Arturo Salvia, a traumatized detective who has been rendered mute,is witnessing the trial of his lover, Elena Fiero, a Chicana landlady. She has been accused of murdering her tenants and burying them in her garden as sacrificial tributes to the earth goddess, La Madreguera. As the prosecution presents its case, Arturo recalls how he was hired to investigate...
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: Arturo Salvia, a traumatized detective who has been rendered mute,is witnessing the trial of his lover, Elena Fiero, a Chicana landlady. She has been accused of murdering her tenants and burying them in her garden as sacrificial tributes to the earth goddess, La Madreguera. As the prosecution presents its case, Arturo recalls how he was hired to investigate the disappearance of a colleague’s niece whose last address was Elena’s boarding house. Arturo soon finds himself smitten by Elena’s alluring beauty and enthusiasm for life. Their romance blossoms until Elena poisons a sickly tenant, then enacts an elaborate burial rite that is witnessed by another boarder who confides in Arturo. After he unearths the decaying corpse, Arturo confronts Elena who claims her actions were merciful since the tenant was soon fated to degenerate and die. Because Elena is deeply influenced by ancient Mayan rituals, she believes that even the basest life can be transformed by the redemption inherent in flowers and trees. Arturo agrees to keep the burial a secret, but feels compelled to dig elsewhere, and is horrified to discover more corpses. Elena is arrested and a lawyer hired to support an insanity defense. When Elena discovers that Arturo is responsible for her arrest, she curses him, condemning him to life as Judas tree. Devastated, his heart hardens and he abrogates humanity for the life of a sentient tree. While Arturo revels in a new appreciation of nature, he perceives Elena and the society that created her in a critical light, and dreams of spreading his seeds to reforest the Earth with majestic trees. The Judas Tree attempts to weave together romantic and ritual elements, while exploring the historical, political, and psychological forces that give rise to bizarre criminal behavior.
  • THE JUDAS TREE
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: Arturo Salvia, a traumatized detective who has been rendered mute,is witnessing the trial of his lover, Elena Fiero, a Chicana landlady. She has been accused of murdering her tenants and burying them in her garden as sacrificial tributes to the earth goddess, La Madreguera. As the prosecution presents its case, Arturo recalls how he was hired to investigate...
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: Arturo Salvia, a traumatized detective who has been rendered mute,is witnessing the trial of his lover, Elena Fiero, a Chicana landlady. She has been accused of murdering her tenants and burying them in her garden as sacrificial tributes to the earth goddess, La Madreguera. As the prosecution presents its case, Arturo recalls how he was hired to investigate the disappearance of a colleague’s niece whose last address was Elena’s boarding house. Arturo soon finds himself smitten by Elena’s alluring beauty and enthusiasm for life. Their romance blossoms until Elena poisons a sickly tenant, then enacts an elaborate burial rite that is witnessed by another boarder who confides in Arturo. After he unearths the decaying corpse, Arturo confronts Elena who claims her actions were merciful since the tenant was soon fated to degenerate and die. Because Elena is deeply influenced by ancient Mayan rituals, she believes that even the basest life can be transformed by the redemption inherent in flowers and trees. Arturo agrees to keep the burial a secret, but feels compelled to dig elsewhere, and is horrified to discover more corpses. Elena is arrested and a lawyer hired to support an insanity defense. When Elena discovers that Arturo is responsible for her arrest, she curses him, condemning him to life as Judas tree. Devastated, his heart hardens and he abrogates humanity for the life of a sentient tree. While Arturo revels in a new appreciation of nature, he perceives Elena and the society that created her in a critical light, and dreams of spreading his seeds to reforest the Earth with majestic trees. The Judas Tree attempts to weave together romantic and ritual elements, while exploring the historical, political, and psychological forces that give rise to bizarre criminal behavior.
  • THE JUDAS TREE
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: Arturo Salvia, a traumatized detective who has been rendered mute,is witnessing the trial of his lover, Elena Fiero, a Chicana landlady. She has been accused of murdering her tenants and burying them in her garden as sacrificial tributes to the earth goddess, La Madreguera. As the prosecution presents its case, Arturo recalls how he was hired to investigate...
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: Arturo Salvia, a traumatized detective who has been rendered mute,is witnessing the trial of his lover, Elena Fiero, a Chicana landlady. She has been accused of murdering her tenants and burying them in her garden as sacrificial tributes to the earth goddess, La Madreguera. As the prosecution presents its case, Arturo recalls how he was hired to investigate the disappearance of a colleague’s niece whose last address was Elena’s boarding house. Arturo soon finds himself smitten by Elena’s alluring beauty and enthusiasm for life. Their romance blossoms until Elena poisons a sickly tenant, then enacts an elaborate burial rite that is witnessed by another boarder who confides in Arturo. After he unearths the decaying corpse, Arturo confronts Elena who claims her actions were merciful since the tenant was soon fated to degenerate and die. Because Elena is deeply influenced by ancient Mayan rituals, she believes that even the basest life can be transformed by the redemption inherent in flowers and trees. Arturo agrees to keep the burial a secret, but feels compelled to dig elsewhere, and is horrified to discover more corpses. Elena is arrested and a lawyer hired to support an insanity defense. When Elena discovers that Arturo is responsible for her arrest, she curses him, condemning him to life as Judas tree. Devastated, his heart hardens and he abrogates humanity for the life of a sentient tree. While Arturo revels in a new appreciation of nature, he perceives Elena and the society that created her in a critical light, and dreams of spreading his seeds to reforest the Earth with majestic trees. The Judas Tree attempts to weave together romantic and ritual elements, while exploring the historical, political, and psychological forces that give rise to bizarre criminal behavior.
  • THE CANTOR'S TALE
    THE CANTOR’S TALE is a troll tale of passion and betrayal. Prue Dimms, a priest, cantor and self-professed antiquarian, is the spiritual advisor to Duncan Albright, a talented young tenor who has fallen in love with a woman and is leaving the seminary to marry. Outraged at losing the leading soloist of his choir, Prue conspires in every conceivable way to destroy Duncan’s engagement. In the process of his...
    THE CANTOR’S TALE is a troll tale of passion and betrayal. Prue Dimms, a priest, cantor and self-professed antiquarian, is the spiritual advisor to Duncan Albright, a talented young tenor who has fallen in love with a woman and is leaving the seminary to marry. Outraged at losing the leading soloist of his choir, Prue conspires in every conceivable way to destroy Duncan’s engagement. In the process of his scheming, Prue uncovers clues to his own repressed passion which has taken the form of a shadow-self, an omnipotent troll who propels the action of the play in a bombastic, magniloquent voice. Prue’s relationship to women is also explored, especially his evolving friendship with his niece, Frances, who unmasks his troll-self, forcing Prue to finally acknowledge his love for Duncan. Prue gains strength from his new insights, and confronts Duncan only to discover that his machinations have succeeded in turning the young man against the woman he once loved. The irony is compounded when Prue realizes that both he and the abandoned woman have projected their fervently felt ardor on a man incapable of returning their passion.
  • THE SPELL CASTER
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: The Spell Caster is a comic drama revolving around a group of ragtag carnies who earn a precarious living by picking pockets, rigging games, and shortchanging the marks. The story begins with the troupers taunting Louisa, the carnival’s eldest member, for being too feeble and foul smelling to attract customers. Knowing she is the target of their enmity and fearful for her life, Louisa employs...
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: The Spell Caster is a comic drama revolving around a group of ragtag carnies who earn a precarious living by picking pockets, rigging games, and shortchanging the marks. The story begins with the troupers taunting Louisa, the carnival’s eldest member, for being too feeble and foul smelling to attract customers. Knowing she is the target of their enmity and fearful for her life, Louisa employs her powers as a fortune teller and healer to conjure her salvation: her own youth. Louisa’s child-self emerges from another time, another plane, as Mayra Rios- Benitez, a gifted hypnotist with the power to tap into the unseen potential of the carnies, transforming them from con artists to genuine artists: the tattooist acquires the genius of Michelangelo; the lead barker acquires the voice of Caruso; the kootch dancer becomes a prima ballerina, and so on. For months they enjoy fame, fortune, and blissful harmony until it becomes apparent that Mayra is not the virtuous child that Louisa remembers. While Louisa had repressed her passions as a girl, Mayra is bold, restless, and seductive, wreaking havoc in the interrelationships of the carnival and threatening its survival. As Louisa attempts to control Mayra’s impulses, the play becomes a battle between old age and youth, culminating in Louisa reclaiming her youthful spirit, becoming the carnival’s featured attraction: the world’s oldest old lady, ministered to by the other carnies who are eager to keep her alive. THEMATIC SYNOPSIS: The play attempts to explore issues of ageism, racism, the transcendent power of imagination, and the instant gratification syndrome endemic in America. There is also a parallel between the Great Depression of the1930s and the current economy. While there were many homeless drifters in the 30s, there was a different spirit, a stronger desire for renewal. Today there appears to be a more cynical attitude, a lack of faith that society can ever bridge the ever widening gap between rich and poor. Louisa’s dream of youth is a call for the unity and preservation of life, and this is what transforms the carnival.
  • The Island of No Tomorrows
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: On Isla Fortuna, Don Hilardo’s wife dies while giving birth to their daughter, Esperanza. The infant’s defective heart is replaced with an artificial one, and since she is not expected to live, Don Hilardo decrees that her brief life reflect his ideal of paradise. To accomplish this, he creates Villa Leche, a commune of nursing mothers who attend to Esperanza’s every need. Don Hilardo’s...
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: On Isla Fortuna, Don Hilardo’s wife dies while giving birth to their daughter, Esperanza. The infant’s defective heart is replaced with an artificial one, and since she is not expected to live, Don Hilardo decrees that her brief life reflect his ideal of paradise. To accomplish this, he creates Villa Leche, a commune of nursing mothers who attend to Esperanza’s every need. Don Hilardo’s dictums require that she only behold beautiful forms, hear words set to music, and consume mothers’ milk. She must be protected from all privations, contaminations, or electronic imagery that might induce a longing for a world she will never know. The management of Villa Leche is entrusted to Don Hilardo’s mistress, Maria, who oversees the mothers and reports on the child’s growth. Fifteen years pass as Esperanza defies her father’s predictions and lives to prove his patriarchal paradise is stunting her emotional and intellectual growth. Finally, the mothers agree to revolt, but Esperanza escapes and returns to become the experimental beneficiary of Maria’s matriarchal paradise which threatens to become as distorted as Don Hilardo’s. In the end, both Maria and Don Hilardo have treated Esperanza as a blank slate on which to draw their ideological fantasies, but she defies them both, escaping their bondage to flourish as a child of her own invention in a globalized, digitized, postmodern world. THEMES: The Island of No Tomorrows is an allegorical exploration of sexual subjugation, political oppression, and the challenges of parenting in the electronic age.
  • BEGGAR AT THE FEAST
    SYNOPSIS: The corpse of Reamus Skrolls, an esteemed elderly dramaturg, is found on the floor of his Manhattan brownstone where his spirit has returned to witness the consequences of his death. A reputable director, Griffon Wright, discovers the body, and assumes Reamus has committed suicide, but instead of a note, he has left a lengthy play entitled Beggar at the Feast. When detectives search the house,...
    SYNOPSIS: The corpse of Reamus Skrolls, an esteemed elderly dramaturg, is found on the floor of his Manhattan brownstone where his spirit has returned to witness the consequences of his death. A reputable director, Griffon Wright, discovers the body, and assumes Reamus has committed suicide, but instead of a note, he has left a lengthy play entitled Beggar at the Feast. When detectives search the house, they discover that the rooms on the top floor are filled with thousands of scripts; while the cellar features a laboratory for the production of potent opiates. Soon the deceased dramaturg is declared a notorious felon, and theatres everywhere are clamoring to produce his play -- despite all the characters being vultures and the dialog entirely in verse. Because the fingerprints on a nearby syringe do not belong to Reamus, his suicide is deemed a possible homicide, and an investigation ensues, revealing that his name, ethnicity, and country of origin have all been a deception. The police locate Reamus’s granddaughter, Fontana, a musician and heir to his estate, who participates, along with Griffon, a detective, a playwright, and literary manager at the reading of Beggar at the Feast. A romance ensues between Fontana and Griffon amid subplots involving accusations of seduction, plagiarism, and musings on the never ending cycles of violence enacted by human beings as vultures devour their carrion spoils on the fields of battle. Since the play is told from Reamus’s point of view, he interjects his dramaturgical analysis while espousing his philosophy. He also engages in futile attempts to control the destinies of characters who resist his machinations. THEMES: Beggar at the Feast deals with the moral reckoning of a tormented soul, while exploring the value of familial and romantic love, the triumph of imagination, and the perpetual folly of resolving conflicts through violence.
  • The Draper's Eye
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: From her apartment in the Garment District of New York, Penelope Melton, a violinist, speaks to hidden cameras recording her every move. She recounts the humbling decline of her dying sister, Portia, who spends hours staring out a window facing Spindle’s Fabric Shop. Portia notices that the feeble and infirm women who enter the shop never leave, so suspecting a nefarious gendercidal scheme,...
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: From her apartment in the Garment District of New York, Penelope Melton, a violinist, speaks to hidden cameras recording her every move. She recounts the humbling decline of her dying sister, Portia, who spends hours staring out a window facing Spindle’s Fabric Shop. Portia notices that the feeble and infirm women who enter the shop never leave, so suspecting a nefarious gendercidal scheme, she entreats Penelope to investigate. Once inside the shop, Penelope meets Katrina Spindle and her handsome nephew, Siegfried, a former physics prodigy who asks Penelope to play her violin. While she complies, he falls desperately in love. Gazing out her window, and fearing for Penelope’s life, Portia leaves the apartment and ventures into the shop with her caretaker. Relieved that her sister is unharmed, Portia meanders around, admiring the fabrics, then suddenly disappears. A police investigation ensues, involving a photographer and journalist who spread news of the mysterious shop and its vanishing customers. Both Siegfried and Penelope become suspects, and while Penelope continues searching for Portia, Siegfried attempts to prove the existence of folds in a fabric that lead through unseen dimensions to a parallel universe. THEMES: The Draper’s Eye explores the metaphysical implications of recent theories in physics, as well as the effects of globalization on The Garment District industries. The play can also be perceived as a metaphorical exploration of conflicted feelings in a family where death is imminent.
  • Touch of Rapture
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: As Quince Dillingham attends his dying wife, Clovis, she speaks her last words: “Will you take my hands?” He clasps her hands in his own, and in that instant the gift of sculpting which once belonged to Clovis is bestowed upon Quince. Although he’s an esteemed art dealer, Quince failed to appraise his wife’s goddesses as worthy of an exhibition. Now that he’s endowed with her talent, Quince...
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: As Quince Dillingham attends his dying wife, Clovis, she speaks her last words: “Will you take my hands?” He clasps her hands in his own, and in that instant the gift of sculpting which once belonged to Clovis is bestowed upon Quince. Although he’s an esteemed art dealer, Quince failed to appraise his wife’s goddesses as worthy of an exhibition. Now that he’s endowed with her talent, Quince knows the statues are masterful and capable of garnering a fortune. In her will, Clovis bequeathed her entire collection to her barrister sister, Ginger, who vows to avenge Clovis by making her statuary known to the world. Months pass and Quince has become a prolific sculptor, exhibiting his own goddesses in his gallery under a false name. Ginger sees them, confronts Quince, and threatens to expose him as a thief. A quarrel ensues, and though Quince fails to persuade Ginger of his mystical gift, he demonstrates his artistic prowess, convincing her of a genuine newfound talent. Together they conspire to exhibit the statues, employing Ginger’s cousin, Rosemary, to attend gallery openings, posing as the sculptress. Quince soon finds that managing the gallery while being an artist is threatening his health, so he relinquishes the hands to Ginger who succumbs to their power. After an opening exhibition, the goddesses reign supreme in the art world, Rosemary is feted by the media, and takes up residence at Fennfield along with Ginger and Quince. As time passes, Rosemary longs to become a genuine artist, and after learning the the true legacy of the hands, grasps them for herself, triumphing as their final possessor. Touch of Rapture is an allegorical exploration of the relationship of art to character; the art of creation versus art as a commodity; and the importance of body image in contemporary society. There is a crimson cloth that moves from scene to scene serving as a deathbed shroud, a curtain, carpet, shawl, and so on. The cloth represents post-Newtonian physics in which the perception of an object actually alters its molecular substance, so our concept of an object’s purpose might also change its essence as we perceive it to possess beauty, functionality, and so forth. As the crimson cloth flows from scene to scene, it affects the audience through its color, shapes, and applications, and also through being touched by the hands of the characters in the play.
  • The Orchid Lover
    Nella Kimanjano, a research chemist from Kenya, becomes the first human being to endure a radical change of skin color, to enter the threshold of a new millennium as the mother of a new race. Nella resides on the Mojave Desert where she works at a laboratory managed by an eccentric astrophysicist and her daughter, Aurora, who are offering a reward to anyone supplying definitive proof of...
    Nella Kimanjano, a research chemist from Kenya, becomes the first human being to endure a radical change of skin color, to enter the threshold of a new millennium as the mother of a new race. Nella resides on the Mojave Desert where she works at a laboratory managed by an eccentric astrophysicist and her daughter, Aurora, who are offering a reward to anyone supplying definitive proof of extraterrestrial life. They have employed Nella and a molecular biologist, Howard Golden, to analyze the hundreds of objects, photographs, and videos of abduction testimonials that pass by their microscopes and computers every day. After several futile months, the appearance of a single whisker reveals the presence of a new microorganism. The whisker is followed by a three-fingered hand, and soon Nella observes her own black flesh turning a jaundiced yellow, then later a bilious green. At first she is devastated, isolated, and forced to reflect on her place in the world and her future as a scientist, but greenness brings new insights that make Nella more sensual and sentient, and soon she is devising grandiose schemes for solving the problems of climate change, genocidal wars, and rendering obsolete the assumptions of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious world. Although The Orchid Lover is a work of science fiction, it is also a parable about race that attempts to touch upon political, scientific, and spiritual issues.
  • The Gallerist
    From his cell in New York City, a gallerist charged with vagrancy and assault claims his behavior was caused by a painting of a monkey whose sordid history was recorded nearly a century ago, after the first World War. The monkey was euthanized by a distinguished zoologist, but seeking revenge, its malicious spirit took possession of his daughter, Selena, who was driven to slaughter a pet shop filled with...
    From his cell in New York City, a gallerist charged with vagrancy and assault claims his behavior was caused by a painting of a monkey whose sordid history was recorded nearly a century ago, after the first World War. The monkey was euthanized by a distinguished zoologist, but seeking revenge, its malicious spirit took possession of his daughter, Selena, who was driven to slaughter a pet shop filled with animals then consigned to an asylum. After her release, Selena was haunted by the souls of the slain creatures, and persuaded her cousin to paint her vivid descriptions. The paintings evolved into whimsical masterpieces, but possession was soon replaced by obsession as the monkey continued to wreak unholy havoc. The Gallerist explores the timeless power of art, the effects of repressed passion, and the connection between demonic possession and creativity while drawing inspiration from the likes of Othello, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Picture of Dorian Gray.
  • The Usher's Ball
    The usher of the title invites his guests to be swept into a ghostly tale of love and loss in London during World War One. The play explores the futility of war, and the psychological repercussions on a young soldier and the woman who loves him more than life. Annabelle, a lonely pianist, is followed home from the theatre by an admiring usher named Wilfred who introduces himself as a wounded veteran and...
    The usher of the title invites his guests to be swept into a ghostly tale of love and loss in London during World War One. The play explores the futility of war, and the psychological repercussions on a young soldier and the woman who loves him more than life. Annabelle, a lonely pianist, is followed home from the theatre by an admiring usher named Wilfred who introduces himself as a wounded veteran and teacher at a local boys academy. As they stand chatting, a bolt of lightning strikes Wilfred who is burned, then taken to recuperate at a military hospital. While there, he feels a compulsion to dig up the hospital grounds, reenacting the nightmare of shoveling trenches on the Western Front. He unwittingly excavates the bones of ancient warriors, is joined by archeologists, and becomes famous throughout England as “The Digger.” Annabelle visits Wilfred, and while retrieving clothing from his flat, discovers a diary that implicates Wilfred as a possible pacifist who has allowed an enemy soldier to escape, then wounded himself to avoid combat. Both offenses are punishable by execution, and Wilfred is officially charged and suffers unusual consequences.
  • GIFT OF FORGOTTEN TONGUES
    Fernelle Millmore, a teenage linguist savant, is hired by a research geneticist to translate the arcane speech of two patients, a young man and woman under- going an evolutionary metamorphosis, the shocking result of an experiment gone awry. The play is told from the viewpoint of the linguist’s father, Felix, who believes the evolved patients (referred to as “mutagens”) hold the visionary key to the future of...
    Fernelle Millmore, a teenage linguist savant, is hired by a research geneticist to translate the arcane speech of two patients, a young man and woman under- going an evolutionary metamorphosis, the shocking result of an experiment gone awry. The play is told from the viewpoint of the linguist’s father, Felix, who believes the evolved patients (referred to as “mutagens”) hold the visionary key to the future of humankind. Felix encourages his daughter to befriend the mutagens in order to fathom their facility with languages and discover any life enhancing revelations they have to offer. Felix’s hope lies in the possibility that the mutagens will track endangered languages as well as create a universal one, but suddenly they dispense with language altogether, emitting strange musical sounds that cannot be deciphered. At first Fernelle resists the mutagens, finding them physically repulsive, but soon she becomes intrigued, and her subsequent attachment incites her father’s jealously and resentment, forcing him to confront his own inner turmoil. Eventually, the mutagens demand the isolation of an underground research station to continue their evolution. Fernelle agrees to accompany them, causing reactions in her father that jeopardize their relationship and his own humanity.
  • Opaline
    In a secluded wood lies the charred body of a woman who appears to have consumed vast quantities of absinthe. Her remains lead a forensic sleuth to seek her identity by posting sketches throughout England. A widowed veterinarian notes a keen resemblance to her neighbor, an elderly French housekeeper for a dissolute painter who claims to channel artists from the Age of Absinthe. The investigation leads to a...
    In a secluded wood lies the charred body of a woman who appears to have consumed vast quantities of absinthe. Her remains lead a forensic sleuth to seek her identity by posting sketches throughout England. A widowed veterinarian notes a keen resemblance to her neighbor, an elderly French housekeeper for a dissolute painter who claims to channel artists from the Age of Absinthe. The investigation leads to a secret distillery producing a highly addictive brew that causes dangerous deliriums: unlikely people fall in love, marble statues spring to life, and an ancient Greek sorceress lets loose a plague that transfigures all mankind.
  • SORROW OF THE SEA MAIDENS
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: On the fictitious island of Dolphina, Gwendolyn Welles, a marine biologist, awaits the birth of her genetically modified daughter. In the last months of the pregnancy, an ultrasound image reveals the fetus has regressed to an amphibious stage, with webbed hands, feet, and gills. Her husband and doctor recommend an immediate abortion, but since the oceans are rising from drastic climatic changes,...
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: On the fictitious island of Dolphina, Gwendolyn Welles, a marine biologist, awaits the birth of her genetically modified daughter. In the last months of the pregnancy, an ultrasound image reveals the fetus has regressed to an amphibious stage, with webbed hands, feet, and gills. Her husband and doctor recommend an immediate abortion, but since the oceans are rising from drastic climatic changes, Gwendolyn feels the world may benefit from a species that thrives on both land and sea. While nursing Gwendolyn through the pregnancy, a doula named Mirabelle bonds with her through daily swims in the sea. Months later, when the infant, Finoola, is born, she is a piscine mutation bearing no semblance to the daughter they’d imagined. Gwendolyn’s husband demands she be euthanized, while Mirabelle and a devoutly religious maid insist she be allowed to live. Gwendolyn and Marlin are unable to conquer their revulsion, and take an extended trip, leaving Finoola with Mirabelle who develops a genuine affection for her. When Gwendolyn returns, she decides to surgically alter Finoola to conform to acceptable images of human anatomy. Mirabelle feels this is unethical and a custody battle ensues, resulting in Finoola’s foray into the ocean where she vanishes during a storm. Twenty years later, evidence of her survival appears in amphibious infants born to mothers who swam in the region. THEMES: Sorrow of the Sea Maiden revolves around themes of love, loss, species extinction, and is an allegorical exploration of the catastrophic effects of climate change on our oceans and higher marine mammals. The play is also a futurist Frankenstein tale with women in the roles of the scientist, the assistant, and their customized creation. Instead of stitching cadavers, Doctor Welles employs her body to incubate an idealized being, a genetic experiment gone tragically awry.
  • THE CAT VANDAL
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: Before losing everything that matters in her life, Doctor Miranda Birman is called to testify for the prosecution at the trial of Omar al-Fahd, a Syrian born jihadist who has slashed and hammered priceless works of art. He is apprehended in New York at Le Chat Noir Gallery which specialized in paintings and sculptures of cats. Omar, a devout fundamentalist Sunni, believes it is blasphemous to...
    PLOT SYNOPSIS: Before losing everything that matters in her life, Doctor Miranda Birman is called to testify for the prosecution at the trial of Omar al-Fahd, a Syrian born jihadist who has slashed and hammered priceless works of art. He is apprehended in New York at Le Chat Noir Gallery which specialized in paintings and sculptures of cats. Omar, a devout fundamentalist Sunni, believes it is blasphemous to create art resembling humans or animals since artists are usurping the powers of Allah, capturing their subjects’ souls while condemning their own to perdition. Omar’s attorney has entered a plea of insanity since Omar believes he is possessed by the spirit of a cat that once dwelled inside a statue he destroyed. Witnessing the trial, Miranda's curiosity is roused, so she visits Le Chat Noir Gallery which is owned by two French sisters who worship the Egyptian cat goddess, Bastet. Miranda and her fiancé, Stephen, are both nonreligious physicians, but as Miranda leaves the gallery, she is followed by two cat spirits that conspire to jeopardize their relationship as well as Miranda’s career, her reputation, and sanity. After Omar is sentenced and confined, he questions his radicalism and becomes an artist himself, while Miranda checks into Bellevue Hospital desperately hoping to expunge the spirits and regain her former stability. THEMES: The Cat Vandal tells a story of conflicting cultures, science versus religion, but is also a metaphysical mystery. The play was inspired by the Taliban’s destruction of the giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan, and the metaphysical assumptions of a hadith of the Quran that reads: “Beware the Day of Resurrection: the most tormented sinners will be the painters of pictures of living creatures. Souls that were breathed into every picture shall be freed, and the painters punished in the fires of hell.”