Briandaniel Oglesby

Briandaniel Oglesby

Briandaniel writes plays for teens and plays for mature audiences. He is a mixed-Latino LGBT playwright based out of Austin and from Sacramento. His play SMALL STEPS was developed at the JAW Festival and Playwrights' Week at the Lark. His play HALFWAY, NEBRASKA was developed at Playwrights’ Week at the Lark, and went on to win the award for Outstanding Playwriting from the New York International Fringe...
Briandaniel writes plays for teens and plays for mature audiences. He is a mixed-Latino LGBT playwright based out of Austin and from Sacramento. His play SMALL STEPS was developed at the JAW Festival and Playwrights' Week at the Lark. His play HALFWAY, NEBRASKA was developed at Playwrights’ Week at the Lark, and went on to win the award for Outstanding Playwriting from the New York International Fringe Festival. His SHE GET NAKED IN THE END received the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Latinidad Award, and he is a three-time National Finalist for the festival for his short work. He frequently develops his plays-for-teens with a group of teenagers, using devising techniques and kinesthetic dramaturgy. This includes the inventive adaptation of Grimms' tales in THE TWELVE HUNTSMEN, adventure plays THE UNTITLED PIRATE PLAY and AND THEN, SHE PICKS UP THE SWORD, as well as a gay re-imagination of [a different] ROMEO & JULIET for middle schoolers he wrote and directed for his students. His adaptation of THE JUNGLE BOOK was commissioned and produced by Big Idea Theatre and published by Stage Rights. For ten years, he was Literary Manager for Barnyard Theatre, a company he co-founded that produced new work in a historic dirt-floored barn. He has an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California at Riverside and a second MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin.

Plays

  • The Twelve Huntsmen
    Large cast. Lots of female roles. Best for college or high school, but can be done with middle schoolers.

    This play can be done a million different ways.

    The Brothers Grimm tromp through the forest in search of fairy tales and stumble into a story: “Cesario” and a band of eleven women have disguised themselves as Huntsmen. The women tell stories inspired by food. Some are dark,...
    Large cast. Lots of female roles. Best for college or high school, but can be done with middle schoolers.

    This play can be done a million different ways.

    The Brothers Grimm tromp through the forest in search of fairy tales and stumble into a story: “Cesario” and a band of eleven women have disguised themselves as Huntsmen. The women tell stories inspired by food. Some are dark, some comic, some strange, some new, and some familiar. Each Huntsman has a story, but not all are told every night. This play can be different every performance.

    The energy of this play is "sleepover, but with, like, pirates."
  • Small Steps
    When Skip Powers realizes that no one will ever love him, he volunteers to go to Mars -- and the Principal of NASA says, "Yeah, sure. You'll do." Skip is super gay and isn't really a participant in the gene pool, so it just makes sense to send him millions of miles on the the spaceship Atlantis on a mission that will, in all likelihood, kill him. And after crappy experiences on gay hookup...
    When Skip Powers realizes that no one will ever love him, he volunteers to go to Mars -- and the Principal of NASA says, "Yeah, sure. You'll do." Skip is super gay and isn't really a participant in the gene pool, so it just makes sense to send him millions of miles on the the spaceship Atlantis on a mission that will, in all likelihood, kill him. And after crappy experiences on gay hookup apps, he's more than prepared for the training with the Abstinence Coach -- but a little less prepared when the Love of His Life tries to keep him on earth. This play about what it means to attempt to live your life in the pursuit of great things spans a million years and fifty-five million miles.
  • Brothers, Sisters, Santos
    Brothers, Sisters, Santos is a collection of three short plays about generations of immigrant siblings — the things that connect them, the things that tear them apart. These three plays can be produced together or individually. Selected as one of the top unproduced Latin@ plays of 2018 by 50PP.

    Act 1: Mentirosa | Melina is the smart sister, Graciela is the pretty one, and Rosa is the one who lies...
    Brothers, Sisters, Santos is a collection of three short plays about generations of immigrant siblings — the things that connect them, the things that tear them apart. These three plays can be produced together or individually. Selected as one of the top unproduced Latin@ plays of 2018 by 50PP.

    Act 1: Mentirosa | Melina is the smart sister, Graciela is the pretty one, and Rosa is the one who lies. Their lives change when a wolf comes to town.

    Act 2: Doctors Without Borders | Whatever Marco did, Teo would do. Teo became a doctor because Marco became a doctor. Then one day something changed. In the kitchen of their childhood, under the eyes of saints, the brothers replay what should have been. This is a play about what goes between the lines, how we earn our place in heaven, how earn our place on earth.

    Act 3. Between Brother and Sister | Martin and Briana recount a car trip when they were younger — and tell the story of the brother they lost.
  • Basement Demons and Trailer Saints
    In a small town in California, Maria wants nothing more than to meet this mysterious Hank Lord she’s been talking to online. Her sister is trying to live in the 90s. Neither know that Hank Lord is actually a demon.

    Meanwhile, Ella's job at Taco Bell isn't going well. Her manager won't talk with her, and she is coming to terms with her own sexuality, and she keeps hearing the cries...
    In a small town in California, Maria wants nothing more than to meet this mysterious Hank Lord she’s been talking to online. Her sister is trying to live in the 90s. Neither know that Hank Lord is actually a demon.

    Meanwhile, Ella's job at Taco Bell isn't going well. Her manager won't talk with her, and she is coming to terms with her own sexuality, and she keeps hearing the cries from the cows in the ground beef.

    This awkward comedy about people connecting and disconnecting was described by an audience member as "Clerks meets The Goonies."

    *VERSION FOR HIGH SCHOOL ALSO AVAILABLE*
  • The Briars
    The Townsfolk become a four-part chorus telling the tale of Buddy Briar, eccentric and larger-than-life, the kind of man who owns a zoo. The Townsfolk recount the rise and fall of their great villain, benefactor, and entertainer.
  • She Gets Naked in the End
    * Winner of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Latinidad Playwriting Award

    Every night, an untouchable woman walks into the bar, and she always, always, always leaves alone. Men fall over themselves for a shot at her, but it’s a woman from the past who drags the god back to the earth, the place where we all eat dirt.

    She Gets Naked in the End requires three...
    * Winner of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Latinidad Playwriting Award

    Every night, an untouchable woman walks into the bar, and she always, always, always leaves alone. Men fall over themselves for a shot at her, but it’s a woman from the past who drags the god back to the earth, the place where we all eat dirt.

    She Gets Naked in the End requires three versatile actors. “She” (aka Elle) plays herself at various ages; Alex plays several characters and ages, including Elle’s mother. “He” plays about ten terrible men and couple good ones.
  • Halfway, Nebraska
    * Winner of The FringeNYC (New York International Fringe Festival) Award for Overall Excellence in Playwriting
    * Developed at Playwright's Week at the Lark

    Sheila drives her disturbed adoptive son Nate across the country. Nebraska has a Safe Haven law, which allows parents to leave their children at hospitals, no questions asked. Also in the car is nine-year-old Miri, her adoptive...
    * Winner of The FringeNYC (New York International Fringe Festival) Award for Overall Excellence in Playwriting
    * Developed at Playwright's Week at the Lark

    Sheila drives her disturbed adoptive son Nate across the country. Nebraska has a Safe Haven law, which allows parents to leave their children at hospitals, no questions asked. Also in the car is nine-year-old Miri, her adoptive daughter. As the miles tick away, the layers of Sheila and Nate’s complicated relationship peel apart. Halfway, Nebraska explores the limits of hope and what it means to love someone who may be too far damaged to save.
  • OR "the one with the dogs"
    In a crappy house in the fields of Northern California, surrounded by a dead walnut orchard, brothers Boomer and Dirt struggle with each other, with themselves, and with their dog-breeding business. As their prized pregnant pooch swells, they seem on the way to strike it big. Their dreams are disrupted when Boomer brings home Marisol, who should be a one-night stand, and Dirt finds a boy who will never grow up...
    In a crappy house in the fields of Northern California, surrounded by a dead walnut orchard, brothers Boomer and Dirt struggle with each other, with themselves, and with their dog-breeding business. As their prized pregnant pooch swells, they seem on the way to strike it big. Their dreams are disrupted when Boomer brings home Marisol, who should be a one-night stand, and Dirt finds a boy who will never grow up.

    Note: Dirt and Boomer are both mixed (half-Latino, half white). Boomer must be able to pass for white.
  • The Jungle Book
    A modern, quirky take inspired by Rudyard Kipling's book. Rights available at Stage Rights. (stagerights.com)

    Adopted by Raksha of the Seeonee wolf pack and hunted by Shere Khan, Mowgli wants nothing more than to fit in. But fitting in with wolves isn’t easy for a man’s cub like Mowgli, and so he runs away, which sets in motion a long journey as he bounces from ape to snake to human...
    A modern, quirky take inspired by Rudyard Kipling's book. Rights available at Stage Rights. (stagerights.com)

    Adopted by Raksha of the Seeonee wolf pack and hunted by Shere Khan, Mowgli wants nothing more than to fit in. But fitting in with wolves isn’t easy for a man’s cub like Mowgli, and so he runs away, which sets in motion a long journey as he bounces from ape to snake to human communities.

    This is a play about community and what it means to be a perpetual outsider, with a environmentalist message to boot.

    This play has 13 named roles (needs a minimum of 8 actors), but can be expanded to accommodate a larger ensemble. The gender representation follows Kipling's story, but is flexible.

    Four Stars from Sacramento News and Review:

    “Oglesby brought a lot of wit and insight to the project…. a thoughtful-yet-active and entertaining all-ages family show, with enough cleverly inserted jokes to keep the grownups on board.”
  • Third Street
    In a crap-filled alley, Shane trains for a Renaissance Faire tournament when the neighborhood bully, Otis, comes to beg him for help. Dinosaurs have resurrected, he claims, and someone has to believe him. Worlds collide as Shane tries to escape into fantasy and Otis is pursued by his nightmares.

    This is a play for middle school, high school, and college aged (or older), with sword fights,...
    In a crap-filled alley, Shane trains for a Renaissance Faire tournament when the neighborhood bully, Otis, comes to beg him for help. Dinosaurs have resurrected, he claims, and someone has to believe him. Worlds collide as Shane tries to escape into fantasy and Otis is pursued by his nightmares.

    This is a play for middle school, high school, and college aged (or older), with sword fights, dinosaurs, dragons, and surprise kiss.
  • Very Best Coffee
    In Orington, Men go to Football Rehearsal and Women go to Crying Practice. No one hates. No one loves. Amy is content serving coffee in her husband’s diner. Timothy is thinking about getting married – maybe next week. And Albert, he’s the star of the football team – the glue that holds everything together. This is the way things are done. Just don’t go out into the woods. Yessir, everything in Orington is good...
    In Orington, Men go to Football Rehearsal and Women go to Crying Practice. No one hates. No one loves. Amy is content serving coffee in her husband’s diner. Timothy is thinking about getting married – maybe next week. And Albert, he’s the star of the football team – the glue that holds everything together. This is the way things are done. Just don’t go out into the woods. Yessir, everything in Orington is good, good, good. And then one day, a stranger comes to town, and people begin to change. Chaos takes hold of the town as hidden desires are revealed and acted upon, as the weirdness emerges, and the social order comes roaring back to assert itself.
  • Two Truths and Lies
    At a no-tech summer camp, teens re-invent themselves. Some spin fictions and live fantasies, while others deal with dead brothers and dark things, and another sees what he’s pretty sure is an alien. Relationships are formed and broken as the lies are on a collision course with uncomfortable truths.

    For mature teens and young adults
  • [a different] Romeo & Juliet
    The gay adaptation for young people...

    Synopsis: In this reimagination for young people of the Bard’s classic play, Romeo Mongoose and Juliet Catapult are two boys who fall in love as their families' obnoxious and occasionally deadly feud disrupts the local tourism industry. As Lord Catapult schemes to have his son Juliet wed the wealthy heiress Paris Motel 6, Juliet and Romeo marry with the...
    The gay adaptation for young people...

    Synopsis: In this reimagination for young people of the Bard’s classic play, Romeo Mongoose and Juliet Catapult are two boys who fall in love as their families' obnoxious and occasionally deadly feud disrupts the local tourism industry. As Lord Catapult schemes to have his son Juliet wed the wealthy heiress Paris Motel 6, Juliet and Romeo marry with the help of the local Fry cook.

    The LGBTQ adaptation was written for a junior high drama class in Texas. Although a campy comedy, the play turns serious late – before finding a happy ending for Juliet and his Romeo. *LGBTYA*
  • Nameless in the Desert
    A comedy that says, "You must give up whatever you most love to get what you most want."

    Nameless awakens in the desert. He doesn't know who he is, but he knows he has a desire for greatness -- and a sword. He goes gallivanting across the desert, learning how be a hero, defeating a great sand monster, and finally executing an evil king. Even achieving greatness, he is still...
    A comedy that says, "You must give up whatever you most love to get what you most want."

    Nameless awakens in the desert. He doesn't know who he is, but he knows he has a desire for greatness -- and a sword. He goes gallivanting across the desert, learning how be a hero, defeating a great sand monster, and finally executing an evil king. Even achieving greatness, he is still unhappy, and so he continues to search for answers.

    Originally written for teen actors, this play was further developed with adults. It's appropriate for all audiences, but probably best for teens and older.
  • The Untitled Pirate Play: a sea shanty
    It’s the time of sea shanties and pirates.

    Seeking adventure - and to move out of his parents' basement - young Carl stows away aboard The Hubris, the greatest ship ever built. The Hubris is owned by Captain Greenery, who with his first mate Cankle seek to rescue a herd of corgis gifted to him by the Queen of England from a band of pirates. He has hired a crew of sailors, all named Jim, to...
    It’s the time of sea shanties and pirates.

    Seeking adventure - and to move out of his parents' basement - young Carl stows away aboard The Hubris, the greatest ship ever built. The Hubris is owned by Captain Greenery, who with his first mate Cankle seek to rescue a herd of corgis gifted to him by the Queen of England from a band of pirates. He has hired a crew of sailors, all named Jim, to work his ship. These sailors are themselves secretly pirates lead by Captain No Beard, who scheme to make The Hubris their own.

    This swashbuckling comic adventure includes sword fights, a kraken attack, a battle between ships (which can be performed with puppets), a tempest, a Caliban-like creature who lives on a moving island, a minotaur, references to The Goonies, a haunting underworld beneath the ocean, betrayal, and a friendship with a rat named Willard. It also asks, when power corrupts,what is the price we pay to make a legacy?

    Although written for young actors (middle school), this play is appropriate to be performed for and by any age.
  • And Then, She Picks Up the Sword (Theatre-for-Teens version)
    Well, the king is dead in the kingdom of Eastwood, and a kingdom needs a king, so it falls to Princess Wimberley to wed the obnoxious Prince Driftwood. Prince Driftwood seeks True Love, so he's not on board with this plan either. Both the prince and the princess run away from their wedding, fleeing into the Forbidden Forest of Tez, dragging their reluctant attendants behind. In the woods, there's a...
    Well, the king is dead in the kingdom of Eastwood, and a kingdom needs a king, so it falls to Princess Wimberley to wed the obnoxious Prince Driftwood. Prince Driftwood seeks True Love, so he's not on board with this plan either. Both the prince and the princess run away from their wedding, fleeing into the Forbidden Forest of Tez, dragging their reluctant attendants behind. In the woods, there's a dragon who's been turned into an old man and the boy he's adopted, a vain artisan-witch and her annoyed henchman, a chorus of strange Dreamcreepers, and soon an outraged mother-of-the-bride, her son, and a female knight wrestling with complicated feelings for the princess. This comedy originally written for teens is both inspired by and blows up familiar tropes in Shakespeare's romantic comedies.
  • Deleted Scenes from Fairy Tales
    Flexible Cast. Short (30-45 mins, but can be shorter or longer). Good for middle school students.

    A group of fairytale-telling creatures entertain a bored kid with new scenes from old stories. The number of actors and stories can be adapted to fit different needs.

    - The Little Mermaid who saves an orca and decides to leave behind her fins to become a crusader to Save the Whales....
    Flexible Cast. Short (30-45 mins, but can be shorter or longer). Good for middle school students.

    A group of fairytale-telling creatures entertain a bored kid with new scenes from old stories. The number of actors and stories can be adapted to fit different needs.

    - The Little Mermaid who saves an orca and decides to leave behind her fins to become a crusader to Save the Whales.
    - Rapunzel getting her hair stuck in a woodchipper - and having to save herself when the doofusey prince fails to rescue her.
    - Beauty and the Beast are unable to make their relationship work once the relationship happens... which is staged as a clown WWE wrestling fight.
    - An obscure story about Death's Messenger being unable to save the love of his or her life
    - The witch from Sleeping Beauty wasn't always so cruel. In fact, she wanted to be a dancer
    - Goldilocks breaks into the three bears house and throws a crazy party
  • [More] Deleted Scenes from Fairy Tales
    Flexible Cast. 60 mins, but can be adjusted to be shorter (by cutting scenes) or longer. Perfect for middle school students.

    A group of fairytale-telling creatures entertain a bored kid with new scenes from old stories. The number of actors and stories can be adapted to fit different needs.

    Includes:
    - The Three Little Pigs are in a band. Being creatives, they build their...
    Flexible Cast. 60 mins, but can be adjusted to be shorter (by cutting scenes) or longer. Perfect for middle school students.

    A group of fairytale-telling creatures entertain a bored kid with new scenes from old stories. The number of actors and stories can be adapted to fit different needs.

    Includes:
    - The Three Little Pigs are in a band. Being creatives, they build their houses out of straw, sticks, and bricks, but the winds of gentrification threaten to blow them down and turn them into breakfast tacos.
    - Humpty Dumpty and his wall are Instagram famous, but the phone is also a distraction...
    - The Boy Who Cried Wolf - The wolf is unemployed and seriously thinking about opening an Etsy store when he hears the boy calling him.
    - Snow White - The dwarves are member of the United Dwarven Miners Union, and when Snow White takes over the house they prove that the Union keeps them strong.
    - Rumplestiltskin name is not guessed, so he ends up having to raise the queen's baby. He's not really equipped for this.
    -In Little Red Riding Hood, Little Red does not guess that her grandma is, in fact, the wolf.... And the wolf must then take on some of Grandma's responsibilities.
    - Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The three bears vow vengeance and break into Goldilock's house to destroy her stuff.

  • Space Carl (or) How to Get Lost on Planet Venus
    In the time of knights and pirates Carl leaves his home of New Guatamica to see the world. His attempted hero's journey has him stumbling on a space ship carrying an alien with a mission - to return a crystal bogey to the McGuffin Temple on the Lost Planet Venus. In pursuit of Bob the Marley and now Carl are the henchpets representing the Zoloftian Queen of the Galactic Order, along with the massive...
    In the time of knights and pirates Carl leaves his home of New Guatamica to see the world. His attempted hero's journey has him stumbling on a space ship carrying an alien with a mission - to return a crystal bogey to the McGuffin Temple on the Lost Planet Venus. In pursuit of Bob the Marley and now Carl are the henchpets representing the Zoloftian Queen of the Galactic Order, along with the massive mantises Phil and Estelle.

    This play is intended to both embody and subvert traditional tropes in the hero's journey, while playing with the genre of science fantasy. As per usual, we seek to find a place for fun and meaning.

    This play features: a hermit-crab hermit poet, aliens who share a brain and heart, sword fights, spaceship battles, gigantic venus fly traps, body switchers, time travelers, talking cheese experiencing existential angst, and more. 
  • Icarus Livingstone Falls Into the Sea
    SYNOPSIS: A Chorus of the Dead puts the broken Icarus back together, telling him of his boyhood friendship with Tor, who would become the Minotaur in the Labyrinth, and with Theseus, who would kill him. The path to his final fall is far from straightforward, and the Chorus tells of the cruelty of the tyrant – Tor’s father and king – and the world that made them. Modern elements like Youtubers mounting the 24-...
    SYNOPSIS: A Chorus of the Dead puts the broken Icarus back together, telling him of his boyhood friendship with Tor, who would become the Minotaur in the Labyrinth, and with Theseus, who would kill him. The path to his final fall is far from straightforward, and the Chorus tells of the cruelty of the tyrant – Tor’s father and king – and the world that made them. Modern elements like Youtubers mounting the 24-hour Labyrinth Challenge make this a relevant take on a classic story. Appropriate for teens and adults.