Jordan Young

Jordan Young

Jordan Young’s plays include HOLLYWOOD IS A STATE OF MIND (California Artists Radio Theatre; KPFK FM, Los Angeles); KVETCHER IN THE WRY (Dorothy Silver semi-finalist; Laguna Beach New Play Festival; “We really loved the surprises within the script and the way you played with levels of theatricality” - Jennie Webb, Theatricum Botanicum); PICASSO’S MOUSTACHE (World Premiere Weekend, UC Irvine; “very funny and...
Jordan Young’s plays include HOLLYWOOD IS A STATE OF MIND (California Artists Radio Theatre; KPFK FM, Los Angeles); KVETCHER IN THE WRY (Dorothy Silver semi-finalist; Laguna Beach New Play Festival; “We really loved the surprises within the script and the way you played with levels of theatricality” - Jennie Webb, Theatricum Botanicum); PICASSO’S MOUSTACHE (World Premiere Weekend, UC Irvine; “very funny and clever and well-written... a nice piece with a sardonic edge” - William Luce, The Belle of Amherst); MAGIC BOX, EVIL EYE (Vanguard Theatre Ensemble, Fullerton, CA; finalist, Shakespeare in the ‘Burg one-act contest, Middleburg VA).

Jordan’s work has been produced Off-Off Broadway at Theatre Lab NYC; Hollywood Fringe Festival, and The Chance Theater (CA); Bloomington Playwrights Project (IL); Five-Minute Mile Play Festival (Houston); Kauai Shorts Festival (HI). His plays have also been read at Melbourne Fringe Festival (Australia); South Coast Repertory, and Playwrights Festival, Fullerton College (CA); semi-finalist, Indie Boots Theatre Fest (Chicago).

A native Californian, his non-fiction has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Jordan’s books include Acting Solo, The Beckett Actor, Spike Jones Off the Record, and King Vidor’s The Crowd (one of 2014’s “10 Best Film Books” - Huff Post). He has written special material for The Grammy Awards; he has served as a consultant for BBC Radio and Chicago International Theatre Festival, and is a longtime board member of Orange County Playwrights Alliance.

Plays

  • Folly on 42nd Street
    This is a comedy of errors inspired by a true story, about how the greatest Irish play of the 20th century was turned into a misguided musical—and a monumental Broadway fiasco. The play is set in New York in 1956, during the time of “My Fair Lady.” Diva Cathryn Baxter has a tantrum when the director of her new show walks out as rehearsals are about to begin—only to be replaced by an adversary. Her ex-husband,...
    This is a comedy of errors inspired by a true story, about how the greatest Irish play of the 20th century was turned into a misguided musical—and a monumental Broadway fiasco. The play is set in New York in 1956, during the time of “My Fair Lady.” Diva Cathryn Baxter has a tantrum when the director of her new show walks out as rehearsals are about to begin—only to be replaced by an adversary. Her ex-husband, Lloyd Rogan, still carrying the torch, finances the show as a comeback vehicle for the two of them. A dying Fergus O’Shea, displeased with having his classic tragicomedy about The Troubles turned into a musical, attaches his hard-drinking Dublin actor friend Jimmy Gallagher as insurance. If it sounds like a recipe for disaster, not to mention a nervous breakdown, it was, Cathryn assures us.
  • Kvetcher in the Wry
    This offbeat play chronicles the evolution of Dizzy Moskowitz, from hit-and-miss comedian to anti-war activist to suicidal shlemiel. As he contemplates suicide Dizzy reviews the ups and downs of his life, including his starstruck adolescence and comedy act with his brother; the reluctant suppression of his Jewish identity in search of wider acceptance; his failed marriage; and the emergence of his social...
    This offbeat play chronicles the evolution of Dizzy Moskowitz, from hit-and-miss comedian to anti-war activist to suicidal shlemiel. As he contemplates suicide Dizzy reviews the ups and downs of his life, including his starstruck adolescence and comedy act with his brother; the reluctant suppression of his Jewish identity in search of wider acceptance; his failed marriage; and the emergence of his social conscience. The story unfolds as the self-destructive funnyman ponders the age-old question—to be or not to be?—and concludes with a playful twist. The play mocks theatrical convention with two actors playing all the supporting male and female roles, at times doubling within a scene and playing opposite themselves. “We really loved the surprises within the script and the way you played with levels of theatricality” - Jennie Webb, Theatricum Botanicum.
  • Picasso’s Moustache
    This is a surreal comedy about Salvador Dali’s life, his obsession with death, and his relationship with Pablo Picasso. The play is set in a hospital in Spain, in the mid-1980s, late in Dali’s life. Dali tosses in a restless sleep, having a nightmare—in it he argues with the ghost of Picasso over who is the greater painter, and which of them has sold out. Dali is certain he is dying; a doctor convinces him to...
    This is a surreal comedy about Salvador Dali’s life, his obsession with death, and his relationship with Pablo Picasso. The play is set in a hospital in Spain, in the mid-1980s, late in Dali’s life. Dali tosses in a restless sleep, having a nightmare—in it he argues with the ghost of Picasso over who is the greater painter, and which of them has sold out. Dali is certain he is dying; a doctor convinces him to try cryogenics—freezing his brain to thwart mortality. After deciding against an authorized biography and a surrealist film, he commissions a play about his life as a further means of immortalizing himself. Following a dream-dance with Death, he and Picasso collaborate on the play. Scenes include Dali painting his version of Leda and the Swan, with wife Gala being seduced by Zeus; young Dali butting heads with his tyrannical father; and an erotic ballet, partnering a bull with a lobster. The play-within-a-play by ends with a bizarre retelling the saga of Dali and Gala’s courtship. “Very funny and clever and well-written... a nice piece with a sardonic edge”
    - William Luce, playwright, The Belle of Amherst

  • Devil’s Tales
    Robert Louis Stevenson (or rather his ghost) greets the audience and introduces a trilogy of one-acts based on his short stories. In “Thou Shalt Not Covet,” Rosalind, a strange old woman of wealth, accepts an invitation from innkeeper Mabel to become her house guest, but soon takes ill and realizes death is near; covetous Mabel thwarts her husband's good intentions to honor Rosalind's dying wish, and...
    Robert Louis Stevenson (or rather his ghost) greets the audience and introduces a trilogy of one-acts based on his short stories. In “Thou Shalt Not Covet,” Rosalind, a strange old woman of wealth, accepts an invitation from innkeeper Mabel to become her house guest, but soon takes ill and realizes death is near; covetous Mabel thwarts her husband's good intentions to honor Rosalind's dying wish, and unleashes an evil spirit. In “A Life in the Balance,” Manners, a longtime customer of Miss Osbourne's antique shop, suddenly stabs her to death and is preparing to ransack the shop when a devilish female creature named Sloane emerges from the shadows to engage him in a debate about good and evil. In “A Curse in the Bargain,” African American teacher Darcy Campbell acquires a peculiar bottle, then suddenly inherits a small fortune and falls in love with a handsome young architect; all she has to do now is figure out how to rid herself of the bottle, and the little devil who lives in it.
  • Artistic Endeavors
    This dark satire of the art world pits an investigative journalist against an unscrupulous museum curator and a scrap metal thief who turns out to be a modern day Robin Hood. Curator Kenneth Nolan acquires an ancient Greek bronze without worrying about its tortuous history, and is ultimately arrested due to the investigation launched by journalist Jan Weinstein. The journalist also ferrets out waiter Freddie...
    This dark satire of the art world pits an investigative journalist against an unscrupulous museum curator and a scrap metal thief who turns out to be a modern day Robin Hood. Curator Kenneth Nolan acquires an ancient Greek bronze without worrying about its tortuous history, and is ultimately arrested due to the investigation launched by journalist Jan Weinstein. The journalist also ferrets out waiter Freddie Dominguez’s secret while she’s at it—recently cured of cancer, he steals art to finance cancer treatments for poor Latinos who can’t afford them.
  • Magic Box, Evil Eye
    This one-act play—set in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona—pits a young urbanite photojournalist against a one-time Navajo code talker, in a clash of cultures that turns the tables on theatergoer's expectations. The play questions the nature of integrity, and explores the ways we sometimes exploit each other despite our best intentions.
  • Old School Romance
    This one-act is comprised of three scenes. In the first, Jeff, a sailor from Brooklyn, celebrates V-J Day–Victory over Japan–in San Francisco with a nurse named Betsy. An impromptu kiss leads to a dinner date and more. In the second scene, we meet a pair of former high school classmates—Kaitlin, a disabled ex-dancer, and River, a newsman, as they get reacquainted over lunch. She’s been busy mourning her former...
    This one-act is comprised of three scenes. In the first, Jeff, a sailor from Brooklyn, celebrates V-J Day–Victory over Japan–in San Francisco with a nurse named Betsy. An impromptu kiss leads to a dinner date and more. In the second scene, we meet a pair of former high school classmates—Kaitlin, a disabled ex-dancer, and River, a newsman, as they get reacquainted over lunch. She’s been busy mourning her former life and short time in the spotlight, until he encourages her to reinvent herself, as he has. In the final scene Betsy, now a widow, and Anton, a widower, meet at an art auction on a cruise ship. She admits she’s been “waiting to die” since her husband passed away; he hasn’t thought about another woman since he lost his wife. They decide to take a trip to Thailand together, and she eventually agrees “you only live once.”
  • Channeling Glenn Miller
    An evening of short plays akin to David Ives’ “All in the Timing.” Confusion ensues in the surreal title piece when a pawnshop proprietor offers a musician a trombone that may or may not have belonged to World War II-era bandleader Glenn Miller. Or was it that other Glenn Miller, the one who ran the newsstand on the corner? In “The Email of E. Poe,” Kate is awakened by her dim boyfriend Wally when he gets an...
    An evening of short plays akin to David Ives’ “All in the Timing.” Confusion ensues in the surreal title piece when a pawnshop proprietor offers a musician a trombone that may or may not have belonged to World War II-era bandleader Glenn Miller. Or was it that other Glenn Miller, the one who ran the newsstand on the corner? In “The Email of E. Poe,” Kate is awakened by her dim boyfriend Wally when he gets an email from “some weirdo,” all in verse: “Once upon a midnight dreary...” Wally has never heard of Edgar Allan Poe—who’s sitting at his laptop with his pet black cat Annabelle Lee somewhere out in cyberspace, when he gets a playful response from Kate.

    “Midnight Frost” records a meeting of the minds between New England poets Robert Frost and E.A. Robinson in a Boston saloon, where a woman at a nearby table turns Robinson’s “Miniver Cheevy” into a jazz number. “Ireland Of The Memory” is a dramedy about Peter, a tourist who visits Ireland for the first time in nearly 20 years, and is dismayed at the vastly altered environment he finds. The ghost of William Butler Yeats reaches out from beyond the grave to reassure him, he’ll find the country’s beauty and charm still exists if he looks deep enough.
    In the one-act “Demon In Paradise,” Damon Runyon, the writer of “Guys and Dolls,” comes to Hollywood from his beloved Manhattan to produce a film based on one of his stories. To prove a point that L.A. is full of Runyonesque characters, he coaxes an outlandish story out of a train station waitress about her mixed-up love life.