Ben Scranton

Ben Scranton

Ben Scranton is a New England-based playwright, actor and singer. He has written 14 plays that have been staged by theaters across the country.

The Head of Shamus Delaney was named first place winner in Clan na Gael's 2022 One-Act Playwriting Contest in Fairfield, CT. It will have a staged reading in March 2023. His two-act comedy, The Back-Porch Gang was produced in May 2022 at The...
Ben Scranton is a New England-based playwright, actor and singer. He has written 14 plays that have been staged by theaters across the country.

The Head of Shamus Delaney was named first place winner in Clan na Gael's 2022 One-Act Playwriting Contest in Fairfield, CT. It will have a staged reading in March 2023. His two-act comedy, The Back-Porch Gang was produced in May 2022 at The Overtime Theater in San Antonio. In the fall of 2022 the one-act version was in the Newmarket International Festival of One Act Plays in Ontario, and performed at the Open Eye Theater in Margaretville, NY.

Additional 2022 productions: 50th Playwrights’ Platform Festival of Short Plays (Boston), Crafton Hills College Festival of New Works (CA), and Gi60 (gone in 60 seconds) One Minute Theater Festival (Houston).

Other productions: The Pittsburgh New Works Festival (PA), Equity Library Theater Summer Virtual Play Festival (NY), The Drama Studio (Springfield, MA), International Festival of Arts and Ideas (New Haven, CT), Westfield State University (MA), and the Nantucket Short Play Festival (MA).

Ben's short plays have been published in the Stonecoast Review Literary Arts Journal, and Fresh Words Literary magazine.

Readings have taken place on the Tiny Theater Facebook page, The Depot for New Play Readings (CT), PIC (Play Incubation Collective), and Play Zoomers both is Massachusetts.

Ben is the recipient of a dramatic writing fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a two-time recipient of the Robert R. Lehan Playwriting Award from Westfield State University (MA), and a finalist for the James Stevenson Prize of Short Comedic Plays.

Ben has worked as a professional actor and singer appearing on the national tour of the Broadway musical Annie and in regional theater. For seven seasons he was a member of the resident acting company at StageWest in Springfield, MA appearing in 17 productions. He has appeared at Hartford Stage (CT), ArtPark in Lewiston, NY, and Theater by the Sea in Portsmouth New Hampshire.

He had a successful 32-year career in Realtor® Association management. The last 10 years as CEO for the Realtor® Association of Pioneer Valley in Springfield, MA.

Ben is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, The Screen Actors Guild, The Dramatists Guild of America, and The Playwrights Platform where he serves on their Board of Directors.

Plays

  • The Warehouse at the End of the World
    10 min. The Warehouse at the End of the World looks at survival after a nuclear war. It is an absurdist landscape played with an urgency and theatricality. Witty wordplay provides initial fun. While humor and irony drive the beginning of the play, the relationship that evolves between the tortured Boy, Elmo and Otto creates an emotional subtext. The presence of the maniacal Mallick throws danger in the mix...
    10 min. The Warehouse at the End of the World looks at survival after a nuclear war. It is an absurdist landscape played with an urgency and theatricality. Witty wordplay provides initial fun. While humor and irony drive the beginning of the play, the relationship that evolves between the tortured Boy, Elmo and Otto creates an emotional subtext. The presence of the maniacal Mallick throws danger in the mix. Survival and a successful outcome for them all is far from certain in this world after war
  • Official
    2-3 min. After a devastating car accident Todd's college football career is over. His father tries to carve out a potential career path for him as a football official. Sister Meg is caught in the middle. What are her career options?
  • Field Trip
    Lee faces her husband’s controlling nature on a daily basis. Lately it has gotten worse. Trust issues surface when Lee’s elderly mother, who is struggling with dementia, recalls a childhood field trip. The story of the trip has repercussions for Lee and Dag linking them to an important event. Their relationship is tested by the revelation.
  • Score
    1 min. A homeless couple pull a hand-written piano sonata from a dumpster, The score may be of value to them. But at what cost? And, who left it there?
  • Unplanned
    1-min. A young married couple face an unplanned event that upends their world.
  • The Back-Porch Gang - 10 minute version
    10 min version. Early one summer morning, four residents of the Bluebonnet Village Retirement Community wave at passing cars for the fun of it. Life affirming friendship mingles with insults. Verbal barbs fly as the excitement leads to a revealing ‘literary’ conclusion.

    Upcoming Production: Newmarket International One-Act Play Festival, Ontario. September 2022.
    Quote: “The audience...
    10 min version. Early one summer morning, four residents of the Bluebonnet Village Retirement Community wave at passing cars for the fun of it. Life affirming friendship mingles with insults. Verbal barbs fly as the excitement leads to a revealing ‘literary’ conclusion.

    Upcoming Production: Newmarket International One-Act Play Festival, Ontario. September 2022.
    Quote: “The audience loved The Back-Porch Gang. The laughter rang long and loud. Thank you for a charming piece of work.” Gary Bullock, Literary Manager. Mil Nicholson, Director. The Blue Sphere Alliance at the Lex Theatre, Hollywood, CA
  • The End of Society
    10 min. When an African-American woman submits an original piece of art to a show whose theme is ‘The End of Society as We Know It’, a heated debate takes place between the arts administrator and the artist. They navigate a treacherous maze of verbal sparring, populated with racial barbs and personal threats. A satire on race relations and the role art plays in society.
  • The Head of Shamus Delaney
    30 min. (A finalist for the 2020 James Stevenson Prize of Short Comedic Plays.) Two opportunistic Irishmen place a bar bet to see who has the biggest head in the city. The men ride a wave of conspiracy theories and convoluted word play as they try to figure out how to win. Lopsided love and family devotion play a hand in the outcome.
  • Maude and Maxine and the Emperor's New Clothes
    30 min. Maude and Maxine discuss their husband’s poor taste in clothes and the attempts to make them change. Maude recalls a dream she had about the Emperor’s New Clothes, the tale by Hans Christian Andersen where a suit of invisible clothes is made for a pompous Emperor. Their banter takes on a heightened sense as Maude recalls the dream. In the telling, the play reverts to the basement of the Emperor’s...
    30 min. Maude and Maxine discuss their husband’s poor taste in clothes and the attempts to make them change. Maude recalls a dream she had about the Emperor’s New Clothes, the tale by Hans Christian Andersen where a suit of invisible clothes is made for a pompous Emperor. Their banter takes on a heightened sense as Maude recalls the dream. In the telling, the play reverts to the basement of the Emperor’s castle where Maude and Maxine work as laundresses. The two women navigate a treacherous maze in a male-dominated society to see what change, if any, they can make. The play is a comic take on the relationship between men and women in the workplace. It examines what it means to speak truth to power.
  • The Last Battalion of Children
    45 min. Decades after World War II a Nazi doctor is haunted by his actions. Was he a pawn doing as he was told, bending under the gaze of his superiors, or a willing participant responsible for the death of hundreds? In this powerful memory play we enter into a recurring dream which is experienced by the old man on a nightly basis. It is a world inhabited by the spiritual presence of his daughter, grandson...
    45 min. Decades after World War II a Nazi doctor is haunted by his actions. Was he a pawn doing as he was told, bending under the gaze of his superiors, or a willing participant responsible for the death of hundreds? In this powerful memory play we enter into a recurring dream which is experienced by the old man on a nightly basis. It is a world inhabited by the spiritual presence of his daughter, grandson and a child of the Holocaust. The child’s persistent manner and calm demeanor propels the old man back and forth in time toward an explosive conclusion. Does she drive the narrative and hold him accountable? Or will evil prevail?
  • This Could Have Been Avoided
    1 min. A court worker escorts a convicted felon to her court-assigned community service. The felon harbors a secret which will make her community service rather ironic. The perils of auditioning have serious consequences.
  • Charlotte's Revival
    45 min. Charlie Walker runs an old movie house assisted by his teen-aged son Tommy. While changing the movie marquee late one night, he is confronted by Charlotte Lange, a troubled and grief-stricken loner with a tragic past. Through a series of fictional movie references, and an emotionally shattering story, she accuses Charlie of a personal indiscretion dating back to high school. The events upend their...
    45 min. Charlie Walker runs an old movie house assisted by his teen-aged son Tommy. While changing the movie marquee late one night, he is confronted by Charlotte Lange, a troubled and grief-stricken loner with a tragic past. Through a series of fictional movie references, and an emotionally shattering story, she accuses Charlie of a personal indiscretion dating back to high school. The events upend their world and force Charlie to confront his relationship with both Charlotte and his son. His memory is tested as he struggles to do the right thing.

    Production: The New Works Festival, Pittsburgh, Pa, 2019.

    Review: "Perhaps the most astonishing play I had the pleasure of seeing at the Pittsburgh New Works Festival was Charlotte's Revival....so much of the power of the show lies in the gradual revelations and the horror, anguish, and sympathy that the audience experiences as the characters do. Expertly written."
    Eva Phillips, Pittsburgh in the Round.

  • To be noticed
    15 min. The lives of three very different teenagers intertwine at a call-back audition for a coming-of-age film. One is coping with the disappearance of his mother and a distant father. Another with the façade of supportive parents. The stakes are high as they navigate a treacherous maze of self-discovery, the need for stability, love and acceptance. Family dysfunction, drugs, weight, and a desire to be...
    15 min. The lives of three very different teenagers intertwine at a call-back audition for a coming-of-age film. One is coping with the disappearance of his mother and a distant father. Another with the façade of supportive parents. The stakes are high as they navigate a treacherous maze of self-discovery, the need for stability, love and acceptance. Family dysfunction, drugs, weight, and a desire to be perfect are hauntingly apparent. The story is told in flashback.
  • Blessings
    20-25 min. Struggling to continue the family tradition of holiday baking, sisters Birdie and Mary face the first Christmas without their mother. Birdie is so grief-stricken she channels her mother and dresses and speaks as she would. Their Aunt Maggie attempts to help but her childhood resentments undermine the girl’s cherished memories. When a mysterious letter is found at the bottom of a flour tin...
    20-25 min. Struggling to continue the family tradition of holiday baking, sisters Birdie and Mary face the first Christmas without their mother. Birdie is so grief-stricken she channels her mother and dresses and speaks as she would. Their Aunt Maggie attempts to help but her childhood resentments undermine the girl’s cherished memories. When a mysterious letter is found at the bottom of a flour tin everything changes. Can the young women manage their grief while honoring the memory of their mother?
  • The Back Porch Gang - full length version
    Full-length version (90 minutes). On an early summer day four residents of a retirement community wave at passing cars for fun. When a police officer and a quirky stranger appear, they are forced to face the past and its impact on the present. Secrets are revealed as they face guilt, resentment, and missed opportunity. Can lost love be rediscovered? Will long-held friendships be sustained? The play is a...
    Full-length version (90 minutes). On an early summer day four residents of a retirement community wave at passing cars for fun. When a police officer and a quirky stranger appear, they are forced to face the past and its impact on the present. Secrets are revealed as they face guilt, resentment, and missed opportunity. Can lost love be rediscovered? Will long-held friendships be sustained? The play is a comic take on relationships senior citizens have with friends and lovers. It examines what it means for seniors to struggle with a need to be noticed and acknowledged, and the desire to lead a full life.

    Production: The Overtime Theatre, San Antonio, 2022.
    Reading: Play Incubation Collective, Massachusetts, 2021