Robert Caisley

Robert Caisley

Robert Caisley lives and writes in Idaho. He heads the MFA Dramatic Writing Program at the University of Idaho. His play HAPPY was a 2012 - 2013 NNPN Rolling World Premiere at New Theatre (Miami), Montana Rep (Missoula), 6th Street Playhouse (Santa Rosa, CA), New Jersey Repertory Company (Longbranch, NJ), Redtwist Theatre (Chicago) and is now published by Samuel French. His latest play LUCKY ME will receive...
Robert Caisley lives and writes in Idaho. He heads the MFA Dramatic Writing Program at the University of Idaho. His play HAPPY was a 2012 - 2013 NNPN Rolling World Premiere at New Theatre (Miami), Montana Rep (Missoula), 6th Street Playhouse (Santa Rosa, CA), New Jersey Repertory Company (Longbranch, NJ), Redtwist Theatre (Chicago) and is now published by Samuel French. His latest play LUCKY ME will receive an NNPN Rolling World Premiere in the 2014 - 2015 season at New Jersey Repertory Company ((Longbranch, NJ), Riverside Theatre (Iowa City), Curious Theatre (Denver), 6th Street Playhouse (Santa Rosa, CA), and Oregon Contemporary Theatre (Eugene, OR.) He is currently working on a commission for the Clarence Brown Theatre (Knoxville, TN).

Plays

  • A MASTERPIECE OF ... COMIC TIMING
    "The audience was laughing uproariously"--Sacramento News & Review “A Masterpiece of Comic … Timing” is a perfect B Street comedy, and if it isn’t a masterpiece it’s pretty darn close. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. --The Sacramento Press “There are lots of jokes in this play … There’s vintage comedy, sexist humor, off-color humor, good clean humor, slapstick humor and hilarious weather...
    "The audience was laughing uproariously"--Sacramento News & Review “A Masterpiece of Comic … Timing” is a perfect B Street comedy, and if it isn’t a masterpiece it’s pretty darn close. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. --The Sacramento Press “There are lots of jokes in this play … There’s vintage comedy, sexist humor, off-color humor, good clean humor, slapstick humor and hilarious weather aberrations. When it all comes to an end, the audience is still laughing uproariously. Things move forward at a dizzying speed in Act 2, and when the show ends, as does every good comedy, nobody cares that it wasn’t really about anything after all. It worked for ‘Seinfeld’ and it works well for Caisley.” – The Davis Enterprise From the author of the award-winning Happy, named by Chicago Magazine as one of the “Nine Best Comedies” of the 2013 Season, comes a brand new riotous comedy. [3M/1F] – Single Interior 1963. Scottsdale, Arizona—the Royal Palms Hotel. New York producer Jerry Cobb has invited wunderkind playwright Nebraska Jones for an all-expenses paid trip to paradise. Cobb has invested all his money commissioning Jones’ next play, which he believes will eclipse his Broadway debut—hailed by critics as a “masterpiece of comic timing.” Banking on Jones’ reputation and momentum, Cobb is disheartened to find his playwright suffering from a severe case of depression: he’s morose; he won’t eat; he can’t write—in fact all he wants to do is drink Cobb’s bourbon and sleep all day in the $250 per night luxury room at Cobb’s considerable expense. Right-hand man, Charlie Bascher, is charged with keeping the kid at the typewriter, distracting him from him from the booze, and figuring out the cause of his distemper. What happens when you’ve paid for the next hit comedy, but what’s coming out of the typewriter is tragedy? In this “vintage” screwball comedy skewering an artistic life in the theatre, the line between comedy and drama comes under hilarious scrutiny and is found to be much narrower—and sillier—than you’d think.
  • & JULIET
    Charlie Vaughn, an idealistic young director comes to a small conservative college campus to stage a production of Romeo & Juliet. When he announces his decision to cast a fourteen year-old boy in the role of Juliet, as was the Elizabethan custom, he challenges the “old school” sensibilities of the campus community and invites the wrath of Annie Rice, an ambitious, but unstable young black actress who...
    Charlie Vaughn, an idealistic young director comes to a small conservative college campus to stage a production of Romeo & Juliet. When he announces his decision to cast a fourteen year-old boy in the role of Juliet, as was the Elizabethan custom, he challenges the “old school” sensibilities of the campus community and invites the wrath of Annie Rice, an ambitious, but unstable young black actress who feels her time is due. Turning to his new colleague David Hughes – a thirty-year veteran of the drama department – for advice on how to handle the student’s challenge to his authority, Vaughn discovers that she’s not the only one out to bring about an end to his career. & Juliet is inspired by Federico Garcia Lorca’s The Public, and is a play about the pettiness and professional jealousy that festers within small communities (like academic departments) where rivalries can become so vicious, because the stakes are so low.
  • THE OPEN HAND
    Commissioned by the Clarence Brown Theatre, and developed this summer at the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, THE OPEN HAND is a meditation on the nature of generosity. Allison does not accept gifts. Not even on her birthday. Not even from her fiancé. So when she finds herself without her wallet and unable to pay the tab for an expensive lunch with a friend, it is with great reluctance that she accepts...
    Commissioned by the Clarence Brown Theatre, and developed this summer at the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, THE OPEN HAND is a meditation on the nature of generosity. Allison does not accept gifts. Not even on her birthday. Not even from her fiancé. So when she finds herself without her wallet and unable to pay the tab for an expensive lunch with a friend, it is with great reluctance that she accepts the generosity of a total stranger. Determined to repay his kindness, Allison comes face-to-face with the dark secrets that drive her inability to accept even the simplest act of benevolence.
  • WINTER
    “An affecting and hilarious look at the scars of abandonment … both painful and uproarious” (Chris Joseph, Miami New Times) [1M/3F, simple set] Fraternal twins Peter and Christina are busy people. She’s in pharmaceuticals. He’s a professor trying to finish a book. What begins as a scheduling “headache” as they arrange for the funeral of their recently deceased mother, quickly devolves into an all-out...
    “An affecting and hilarious look at the scars of abandonment … both painful and uproarious” (Chris Joseph, Miami New Times) [1M/3F, simple set] Fraternal twins Peter and Christina are busy people. She’s in pharmaceuticals. He’s a professor trying to finish a book. What begins as a scheduling “headache” as they arrange for the funeral of their recently deceased mother, quickly devolves into an all-out blood feud between the siblings and their mother’s mysterious young live-in assistant. But what is everyone really fighting over? Mother’s considerable fortune? The Greek amphora containing her ashes? Or the total denial of the past and misappropriation of their mother’s memory? Winter is a dark and chilly comedy about pettiness and neglect; the childish pettiness that can turn us into heartless adults, and the cruel and unusual neglect of the people we should love the most. “An ultimately harrowing evening of theatre” (Bill Hirschman, Florida Theatre OnStage.)
  • GOOD CLEAN FUN
    You know how you always say to yourself, "Gee, I just wish someone would write a play about Tequila ... the insincerity of Hollywood ... And the Norwegian mob"? This is that play. Longtime friends, Barry, a low-budget Hollywood producer, and his hapless sidekick Farber, take a road-trip to Las Vegas to escape the pressurized L.A. lifestyle that has bankrupted them both morally. In a bizarre...
    You know how you always say to yourself, "Gee, I just wish someone would write a play about Tequila ... the insincerity of Hollywood ... And the Norwegian mob"? This is that play. Longtime friends, Barry, a low-budget Hollywood producer, and his hapless sidekick Farber, take a road-trip to Las Vegas to escape the pressurized L.A. lifestyle that has bankrupted them both morally. In a bizarre turn of events, they accidentally rip off $150,000 from the Nowegian mob, car-jack the boss’ Mercedes and hit the Vegas Strip for an evening of gin, sin and self-loathing, unaware they’ve implicated themselves in a horrible crime. As events spin out of control it dawns on them that their Vegas odyssey is beginning to read strangely like the improbable plot of one of Barry’s low-budget action movies. In this Tequila-fueled comic monologue-a-deux, Farber and Barry invite the audience into their world, in the same way you can often be drawn into conversation with a total stranger in a bar, who just happens to be sitting on the barstool next to you, and drinking the same brand of tequila.
  • LUCKY ME
    Sara Fine’s having a bad week. Really bad! The light bulbs in her apartment keep burning out; there’s yet another leak in the roof; the aquarium is perpetually full of dead fish; the cat’s gone AWOL, again, and her blind, elderly father -- who chased off her last beau -- is immediately suspicious of Tom, their new neighbor, a TSA agent who just brought Sara home from the emergency room on New Year’s Eve with...
    Sara Fine’s having a bad week. Really bad! The light bulbs in her apartment keep burning out; there’s yet another leak in the roof; the aquarium is perpetually full of dead fish; the cat’s gone AWOL, again, and her blind, elderly father -- who chased off her last beau -- is immediately suspicious of Tom, their new neighbor, a TSA agent who just brought Sara home from the emergency room on New Year’s Eve with a fractured 5th meta-tarsal. As Tom’s attraction to the adorably unfortunate Sara increases, he learns of a truly bizarre streak of bad luck that’s been haunting Sara for years – twenty two years to be precise. Lucky Me is a very funny and whimsical comedy about love, bad luck, aging and airport security.