David Strauss

David Strauss

David Strauss is an Orlando-based playwright who has several dozen productions of his work in the US over the last few years. While he specializes in 10 minute shorts, he has also written numerous one acts, several especially for the Orlando Fringe Festival, and several full lengths.

Plays

  • How To Hold Hands
    (full-length, two acts, 2 hours) Annie is a sci-fi writer who specializes in books aimed at teenage girls. She’s well past her deadline on her newest book, a novel aimed at adult readers. She meets Eric, an adult with Asperger’s, at a book signing. Despite his social anxiety, she starts to bond with him as he offers advice on how to finish her book. He introduces her to Viktor, the Russian head of a local...
    (full-length, two acts, 2 hours) Annie is a sci-fi writer who specializes in books aimed at teenage girls. She’s well past her deadline on her newest book, a novel aimed at adult readers. She meets Eric, an adult with Asperger’s, at a book signing. Despite his social anxiety, she starts to bond with him as he offers advice on how to finish her book. He introduces her to Viktor, the Russian head of a local writing group who also owns a bookstore (who may or may not have once been a Soviet spy), and Eric's brother Ethan, a conspiracy theorist, and Ethan's girlfriend Jani, all of whom attempt to help her with her novel. Despite pressure from her mother Renee to stop writing and get a more responsible job, Annie finishes her novel while slowly falling for Eric.
  • Praising What Is Lost
    (full length, two acts, 80 minutes) A young man, Marc, and his fiancée Rachel struggle with the decision to enter his grandfather into a promising new drug trial for Alzheimer's. at the same time he must mend his relationship with his sister, a busy attorney. But when the drug trial begins to show positive effects, his grandfather starts recovering not his own memories, but those of the other patients in...
    (full length, two acts, 80 minutes) A young man, Marc, and his fiancée Rachel struggle with the decision to enter his grandfather into a promising new drug trial for Alzheimer's. at the same time he must mend his relationship with his sister, a busy attorney. But when the drug trial begins to show positive effects, his grandfather starts recovering not his own memories, but those of the other patients in the trial. Marc must question the nature of what creates our identity, and what can you trust when you can't trust your own memories?
  • Writer's Block
    Harper, a young writer, seeks out her hermit-like hero, Patrick Perrin, a famous novelist who published one masterpiece and who has remained out of view for decades. But when she finds him, will he answer the question everyone has been asking for 30 years? (45 minute one act)
  • Doctors and Lawyers (1st Edition Rules)
    Role playing games have never been more fantastic then when Xandor the Stout invites his friends: a warrior, a wizard, and a thief, to play the newest expansion in DOCTORS AND LAWYERS, a game set in the unbelievable fantasy world of insurance adjusters, malpractice lawyers, corporate headhunters, HR specialists, and dental hygienists. (Smith & Kraus, Best Ten Minute Plays of 2015)
  • The Cut of Memory
    When a new technology allows people to replay their memories over and over in virtual reality, what happens to those who can't escape from their own memories? (Smith & Kraus, Best Ten Minute Plays of 2017)
  • Two Steps Back
    Wesley and Elizabeth had an affair three years ago but haven't seen each other since she left town. When they run into each other at a mutual friend's funeral, the old sparks are still there, but have they learned to make better choices? (Ten minute short)
  • A Troubling Issue
    Two goldfish in a bowl have their world view rocked when a third goldfish joins them, claiming to come from outside the bowl and questioning the belief in "the great flush."
  • Snakeskin
    An Iraqi vet with PTSD contemplates suicide as his loving fiancee tries to talk him out of it.
  • Escape Into Captivity
    A recently released ex-con commits a crime on purpose to be sent back to prison, but why?
  • A Hazy Shade
    A father and his daughter surviving in a post-apocalyptic wasteland have to deal with the arrival of another human, the first one they’ve seen in a long time.
  • 93 Days
    Two brothers discuss the nature of hope at one’s wedding while the Earth sits just three months away from the end of civilization.
  • The Wind On My Face
    Two scientists, co-workers, are talking about their day...but underneath the banality is a terrible secret. Where are they, what has actually happened, and what horrible sinister truth is there that one is trying desperately not to deal with?
  • Inheritance
    Two thieves meet up after a heist, but there are other issues at play besides splitting up the money.
  • Hot Salsa in Space
    A couple of slackers working at an all night convenience store in Cocoa Beach, Florida face an interesting challenge when an alien appears: demonstrate the Earth’s importance or watch it be destroyed.
  • The Twelfth Annual Massapequa Park Kiwanis Dance-a-Thon Massacre
    Hour 17 of an all-night dance marathon brings with it frayed egos, arguments, sarcasm, insults, and resentment as two couples struggle to win the contest.
  • Dating, Sex, and the Space-Time Continuum
    Dating is hard enough for Nick and Summer, but on the night they finally decide to sleep together for the first time, they're harassed by versions of themselves from the future that have come back through time to change their own past. Will they live happily ever after? Will they find out why all bacon has disappeared in the future? (10 minute short)
  • 404
    Lightman, Wasp and Jolt are three coders working on an all night project when the unthinkable happens - the Internet goes down. Will civilization survive? Will Wasp ever ask Jolt out on a date? Will anyone discover who ate the last of the moo shu pork before the end of the world as we know it? (10 minute short)
  • Mr. Todd's Wild Ride
    What happens if you die at Walt Disney World? Todd isn't sure what happened, but he's here in an afterlife that looks like a theme park gift shop, with Elsa, a helpful cast member, as his guide. But perhaps Todd isn't ready to see the consequences of the life he just finished living. (10 minute short)
  • Annie Todd: The Demon Orphan of Fleet Street
    When little orphan Annie returns to Brooklyn after being exiled, she finds Miss Hannigan still in charge of the orphanage where she grew up. But after she discovers that Daddy Warbucks had her beloved dog Sandy sent to the pound, she plans a deadly revenge. A mashup of perhaps the two most diametrically opposed musicals in Broadway history, Annie and Sweeney Todd, Annie Todd is a parody musical sung with tongue firmly in cheek.
  • Pink Dawn
    It's 2011, and the bunch of misfits known as the Wolverines Theatre Company are about to lose their theatre if their next show isn't a huge hit. Unfortunately, rehearsals of their Fringe production of a stage version of the 80s movie Red Dawn are not going great. The cast keeps breaking up with each other and getting back together, falling for the new girl with low self-esteem, and playing drinking...
    It's 2011, and the bunch of misfits known as the Wolverines Theatre Company are about to lose their theatre if their next show isn't a huge hit. Unfortunately, rehearsals of their Fringe production of a stage version of the 80s movie Red Dawn are not going great. The cast keeps breaking up with each other and getting back together, falling for the new girl with low self-esteem, and playing drinking games and partying instead of rehearsing. A love letter to theatre and the misfits that become our chosen families, Pink Dawn is a comedy about why we perform and sacrifice for our castmates. One act, ~50 minutes.
  • Amanda's Mix Tape
    It's the mid 90s, and twenty somethings Scott and Amanda are trying to figure out whether their new relationship is worth it. With Scott's buds Jack and Razz providing ongoing commentary, and Amanda's friend Kelly trying to figure out if Scott is worthy of their friend, they've got a lot of obstacles. Will Scott ever stop quoting pop culture enough to think for himself? Will Razz ever win...
    It's the mid 90s, and twenty somethings Scott and Amanda are trying to figure out whether their new relationship is worth it. With Scott's buds Jack and Razz providing ongoing commentary, and Amanda's friend Kelly trying to figure out if Scott is worthy of their friend, they've got a lot of obstacles. Will Scott ever stop quoting pop culture enough to think for himself? Will Razz ever win the hand of the awesome girl from Drama class he's still in love with? Will Amanda ever get that birthday gift she's always dreamed of? This quirky romantic comedy is all about trying to find yourself in the years after college when you don't know yourself or what you want to be. One act play, ~50 minutes.
  • Who Murdered Winthrop Carlson: A Choose Your Own Adventure Mystery
    Edward Reynolds has seen it all as a low level private eye. But when wealthy businessman Winthrop Carlson hires him to protect his life, Reynolds has no idea what's in store. Carlson is murdered at his fancy estate, and it's up to Reynolds to find the killer, with the audience's help. Who could it be? Carlson's trophy wife Beverly? His sweet niece Danielle? His wimpy nephew Crayford?...
    Edward Reynolds has seen it all as a low level private eye. But when wealthy businessman Winthrop Carlson hires him to protect his life, Reynolds has no idea what's in store. Carlson is murdered at his fancy estate, and it's up to Reynolds to find the killer, with the audience's help. Who could it be? Carlson's trophy wife Beverly? His sweet niece Danielle? His wimpy nephew Crayford? Danielle's sleazy lawyer fiancee Robert? Or maybe it was the German French Maid Helga? At various points during the story, the audience is asked to make a choice to help Edward solve a murder. With four different possible endings, plus a secret fake ending like the old CYOA books used to have!

    This comedic noir parody won the Daily City award for Best Original Play and was named Patron's Pick and chosen Favorite Show in the Blue Venue at the 2010 Orlando Fringe Festival.

    The play runs about 50 minutes depending on the audience choices, with about two hours of material for actors to learn.