Beth Kander

Beth Kander

Beth Kander is a writer with one foot in the South and the other in the Midwest. Her plays have been staged throughout the United States and internationally. Published plays include Scrambled; See Jane Quit; Running Mates (Steele Spring Stage Rights); and Unshelved (Chicago Dramaworks). Her short plays have appeared in such anthologies as Stage This! Volume 3 and the upcoming Little Black Dress Ink collection....
Beth Kander is a writer with one foot in the South and the other in the Midwest. Her plays have been staged throughout the United States and internationally. Published plays include Scrambled; See Jane Quit; Running Mates (Steele Spring Stage Rights); and Unshelved (Chicago Dramaworks). Her short plays have appeared in such anthologies as Stage This! Volume 3 and the upcoming Little Black Dress Ink collection. In 2015 her new play The Bottle Tree earned her a spot on The Kilroys Honorable Mention List. Kander’s recent playwriting residencies and honors include Ashland New Play Festival 2015 (Ashland, Oregon); Leapfest 2015 (Stage Left Theatre, Chicago); The Writer’s Room 2015 (New Colony, Chicago); Downstage Left Residency, 2014–2015 (Stage Left Theatre); The Charles M. Getchell New Play Award 2012 (Southeastern Theatre Conference); Eudora Welty New Play Awards in 2013, 2010, and 2008 (New Stage Theatre, Jackson); Theatre Oxford Audience Award 2012 (Oxford, MS); Stage This! Audience Award 2009 (Fn Productions, New York); Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship in Playwriting, 2009–2010; and Mississippi Theatre Association New Play Award (2009).

Plays

  • Accused
    When likable finance guy Will is accused of assault, he and his wife Susan are adamant about his innocence. They hire Tova, a quiet, serious lawyer, to make this go away ASAP. Meanwhile, Chrissy’s pursuing justice; above all, she wants to be believed. A fifth actor portrays The Public, embodying various roles from beleaguered public defender to chatty barista. In a nonstop 90 minutes, the audience constantly...
    When likable finance guy Will is accused of assault, he and his wife Susan are adamant about his innocence. They hire Tova, a quiet, serious lawyer, to make this go away ASAP. Meanwhile, Chrissy’s pursuing justice; above all, she wants to be believed. A fifth actor portrays The Public, embodying various roles from beleaguered public defender to chatty barista. In a nonstop 90 minutes, the audience constantly questions whose stories to trust—is anyone guilty? Is everyone?—as the play races toward what might be a cliffhanger, or might be the edge of a very steep cliff.
  • Hazardous Materials
    The play takes place in one Chicago apartment, in two different eras. In 2015, new co-workers Hal and Cassie are investigating the residence where an elderly Jane Doe just died; in 1955, two strangers, Esther and Lynley, become tentative friends. In alternating scenes, two stories unfold within the same walls: As Hal and Cassie pick through the physical wreckage of a stranger’s life while dealing with their own...
    The play takes place in one Chicago apartment, in two different eras. In 2015, new co-workers Hal and Cassie are investigating the residence where an elderly Jane Doe just died; in 1955, two strangers, Esther and Lynley, become tentative friends. In alternating scenes, two stories unfold within the same walls: As Hal and Cassie pick through the physical wreckage of a stranger’s life while dealing with their own emotional detritus, Lynley and Esther attempt to connect across very different worlds. With each object or truth unearthed or ignored in each era, one small apartment unfurls as home to timeless human longing.
  • The Blue
    The Alexander sisters have pretty hard knock lives over in Worried Creek, Kentucky, in the late 1980s. Along with their comatose mother, they are all that remain of the Alexander family, a long line of addicts and social pariahs. April is a pregnant prize-fighter, refusing to reveal the identity of the baby's father; May is dead (but narrates their strange tale); and June, the book-smart sister, was born...
    The Alexander sisters have pretty hard knock lives over in Worried Creek, Kentucky, in the late 1980s. Along with their comatose mother, they are all that remain of the Alexander family, a long line of addicts and social pariahs. April is a pregnant prize-fighter, refusing to reveal the identity of the baby's father; May is dead (but narrates their strange tale); and June, the book-smart sister, was born with the "family curse": bright blue skin, which marks her as an Alexander and shames her into a hermit-like existence. But June hasn't entirely abandoned hope. She writes daily to a plastic surgeon in Los Angeles she believes can "fix" her-- and when he shows up at their door in Kentucky, all of the Alexander womens' lives (and deaths) take unexpected turns.
  • The Bottle Tree
    In The Bottle Tree, gun violence in America is explored through the story of a small-town girl with a big, bad family legacy. Years after a tragic shooting at East Maple High, all of Maple County, Mississippi, is still traumatized; perhaps no one more so than shy, sarcastic Alley, the little sister of the infamous shooter. With fragility, tenacity, and a sharp sense of humor, Alley is haunted by past ghosts and...
    In The Bottle Tree, gun violence in America is explored through the story of a small-town girl with a big, bad family legacy. Years after a tragic shooting at East Maple High, all of Maple County, Mississippi, is still traumatized; perhaps no one more so than shy, sarcastic Alley, the little sister of the infamous shooter. With fragility, tenacity, and a sharp sense of humor, Alley is haunted by past ghosts and jolted into new worlds with few easy answers—and as she gradually realizes, so is everyone else. When everyone around you is also a little bit broken, how can anyone begin to piece themselves back together? Young love, old guilt, laughter, and lingering scars all keep the girl, the town, and Alley’s symbolic “bottle tree” on the verge of shattering.

    NOTE: Script will soon be available through Stage Rights in Los Angeles - www.stagerights.com
  • Running Mates (or, The Family Party)
    Sam Storm has been the beloved mayor of Anderson, Georgia for the past twenty years. Loved by the community and his doting wife, Sam’s name is usually the only one on the ballot come election time, but when an embarrassing video of him is leaked his seat in office is threatened. Sam has some real competition when the last person he ever expected to run against him puts her name on the ballot, his wife Sophia....
    Sam Storm has been the beloved mayor of Anderson, Georgia for the past twenty years. Loved by the community and his doting wife, Sam’s name is usually the only one on the ballot come election time, but when an embarrassing video of him is leaked his seat in office is threatened. Sam has some real competition when the last person he ever expected to run against him puts her name on the ballot, his wife Sophia. Now it’s down and dirty as husband and wife duke it out. Can their marriage withstand the political fisticuffs? And what happens when an unexpected third candidate enters the race? This fast-paced political comedy brings new meaning to the phrase “family politics.”
  • Unshelved
    On what - or whom - does your own identity depend? The Hollingsworth family is, at first glance, perfectly normal – maybe a bit more literature-centric and a bit more formal than average, but nothing revolutionary. Audrey is the head librarian at the local library, her husband Bill is an English professor, and their son Rye is trying to make it as a writer. When Audrey is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer...
    On what - or whom - does your own identity depend? The Hollingsworth family is, at first glance, perfectly normal – maybe a bit more literature-centric and a bit more formal than average, but nothing revolutionary. Audrey is the head librarian at the local library, her husband Bill is an English professor, and their son Rye is trying to make it as a writer. When Audrey is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, the calm family picture begins to blur. Before her illness, Audrey had always protected her son and husband; now, as she sinks into the past, she reveals long-buried family secrets.

    For production rights: www.chicagodramaworks.com
  • Scrambled
    Sara is wisecracking, single, broke, and secular. Neshama is serious, married, infertile, and Orthodox. When fate, God, and Sara's Episcopalian roommate bring these two Jewish women together, each must question what really matters, what they really want-and what they're willing to do to get it. As Sara considers donating her eggs, and Neshama ponders accepting them, both women find themselves...
    Sara is wisecracking, single, broke, and secular. Neshama is serious, married, infertile, and Orthodox. When fate, God, and Sara's Episcopalian roommate bring these two Jewish women together, each must question what really matters, what they really want-and what they're willing to do to get it. As Sara considers donating her eggs, and Neshama ponders accepting them, both women find themselves unexpectedly scrambled.

    For production rights: https://www.stagerights.com/allshows/scrambled/

    "Scrambled is funny, poignant, and relevant to anyone who has ever wondered what they're supposed to be doing with their life. The characters feel familiar, and yet the story feels fresh-a powerful combination." -Denise Halbach, SETC