Bruce Bonafede

Bruce Bonafede

Bonafede's first produced play, ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS, won the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival. The play's full-length version was subsequently produced at the Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays. It is licensed and published by Samuel French.

Other plays include:
- EYELESS IN COLONUS. Produced in Joshua Tree, California. Awarded “...
Bonafede's first produced play, ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS, won the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival. The play's full-length version was subsequently produced at the Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays. It is licensed and published by Samuel French.

Other plays include:
- EYELESS IN COLONUS. Produced in Joshua Tree, California. Awarded “Best Play” by the Broadway World Regional Awards in 2022.
- ELLIE. After qualifying as a finalist for the Gulfshore Playhouse New Works Festival 2022, ELLIE premiered at Desert Ensemble Theatre, Palm Springs, in March 2024.
- CRUSADE. Produced as part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival in 2019. Published by Next Stage Press in 2024.
- NORTH. Winner of First Place at the Little Theatre of Alexandria 2023 One-Act Contest. Will be produced in summer 2024 by the Arlington Players in Arlington, VA.
- THE DESERT OF LOVE. Staged reading at Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre in 2018.

10-Minute Play highlights:
- WAITERING FOR GODOT. World premiere as part of the "8 Tens @ 8" festival at Santa Cruz County Actors' Theatre in 2024.
- MANIFESTO. The Zoom production won “Best Zoom Theatre Film” at the Manhattan Repertory Film Festival in 2021, and "Best Dark Comedy" at the Washington DC International Cinema Festival in 2022. The play is currently in development as a film short.
- GREATER THAN NINA and HAVE GUN, WON’T TRAVEL. Both were produced by the New Short Play Festival in New York.
- MOONLESS NIGHT. Production during the pandemic by the Group Rep at Lonny Chapman Theatre in LA.
- 10-minute plays have been included three times (2019, 2020, 2021) in annual “Best of” anthologies published by Applause Books and Smith & Kraus.

Bonafede is based in Palm Springs, California. He is a Lifetime Member of the Dramatists Guild (since 1981) and a supporter of the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund.

NOTE:
None of Bonafede's plays may be produced, reproduced, or recorded in whole or in part in any way without the express written permission of Bruce Bonafede or his designated agents.

Plays

  • Advice to the Players
    FULL LENGTH. 90 minutes, no intermission.
    The shorter version of ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS received the Heideman Award at Actor Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival in 1985. It was then expanded to a 90-minute no-intermission full-length, which was produced at the Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays in 1986. The published script is available through Samuel French.

    Art and...
    FULL LENGTH. 90 minutes, no intermission.
    The shorter version of ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS received the Heideman Award at Actor Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival in 1985. It was then expanded to a 90-minute no-intermission full-length, which was produced at the Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays in 1986. The published script is available through Samuel French.

    Art and politics collide in this fictionalized account of an actual event, telling the story of two celebrated black South African actors who have traveled to America to perform but are caught up in the world's boycott of their country's apartheid system--a system they have struggled all their lives to overcome.

    The published script is available here: https://www.samuelfrench.com/s/1072/advice-to-the-players

    Or contact the author regarding production opportunities.
  • Eyeless in Colonus
    FULL-LENGTH. 90 minutes, no intermission.
    A play in dramatic verse and an original work—not an adaptation—EYELESS IN COLONUS examines fate and free will through a reimagining of the death of Oedipus.

    After twenty years in exile, Oedipus, now a blind old beggar, and his protector Theseus, ruler of Athens, enter the deepest part of the sacred grove of Colonus where the Oracle has said...
    FULL-LENGTH. 90 minutes, no intermission.
    A play in dramatic verse and an original work—not an adaptation—EYELESS IN COLONUS examines fate and free will through a reimagining of the death of Oedipus.

    After twenty years in exile, Oedipus, now a blind old beggar, and his protector Theseus, ruler of Athens, enter the deepest part of the sacred grove of Colonus where the Oracle has said Oedipus will die. But there they stumble upon Clio, a young girl who was not mentioned in the Oracle’s prophecy.

    Oedipus is a great solver of riddles—he won the throne of Thebes by solving the riddle of the Sphinx and lost it by unravelling the truth of his own identity--and now he sets out to unravel the mystery of why Clio is there. And as he does we learn who Clio is, why she is so important, and why Theseus is a great king. And Oedipus, through an act of justice, finally breaks free of his predetermined destiny and comes to terms with his tragic fate.

    EYELESS IN COLONUS was initially produced as part of the “Theatre Under the Stars” series in Joshua Tree, California. The production was directed by Howard Shangraw and won Best Play in the Broadway World Regional Theatre Awards, 2021.

    A 10-page sample is available for download. For a full script please contact the Author directly at bonafedecom@gmail.com
  • Crusade
    FULL LENGTH. 75 minutes, no intermission.
    Cast: 4M, 2F, + 1M voice only.

    It is the near-future and America is torn by civil war. Christian fundamentalists have won control of the federal government, banned all other religions, revoked the Constitution, and done away with the Bill of Rights. As a result, some units of the U.S. military are in revolt. As war rages, an Army patrol fighting in...
    FULL LENGTH. 75 minutes, no intermission.
    Cast: 4M, 2F, + 1M voice only.

    It is the near-future and America is torn by civil war. Christian fundamentalists have won control of the federal government, banned all other religions, revoked the Constitution, and done away with the Bill of Rights. As a result, some units of the U.S. military are in revolt. As war rages, an Army patrol fighting in the Rocky Mountains is forced to take refuge in a remote cabin owned by a former college professor who wants only to be left alone. The capture of a devout Christian soldier, and an impending attack on their base, cause the patrol to be caught between its mission and difficult moral decisions.

    CRUSADE presents a violent, terrifying, and all-too-possible future for America that could happen in our own lifetimes.

    CRUSADE was first produced as part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival in August 2019, a Rapid Lemon Production at Baltimore Theatre Project directed by Timoth David Copney. A 10-page sample is available for download.

    The published script is available through Next Stage Press.

    NOTE: ADULT LANGUAGE, PHYSICAL VIOLENCE.

    Reviews:
    https://baltimorefishbowl.com/stories/in-crusade-a-battle-over-the-future-of-the-u-s-may-already-be-lost/
    http://www.theatrebloom.com/2019/08/crusade-at-rapid-lemon-productions/
    https://dcmetrotheaterarts.com/2019/08/12/review-crusade-by-rapid-lemon-productions/
    https://backstagebaltimore.com/tag/crusade/
  • Ellie
    FULL-LENGTH. 2 Acts.
    Cast: 2M

    ELLIE centers on two older men—brothers—who are grieving the death of one of their wives. Their mourning sparks a confrontation that lays bare their life-long love/hate relationship, and leads to shocking actions that change their lives forever. A play about crime, punishment, and how men kill the thing they love.

    History: ELLIE was developed...
    FULL-LENGTH. 2 Acts.
    Cast: 2M

    ELLIE centers on two older men—brothers—who are grieving the death of one of their wives. Their mourning sparks a confrontation that lays bare their life-long love/hate relationship, and leads to shocking actions that change their lives forever. A play about crime, punishment, and how men kill the thing they love.

    History: ELLIE was developed through private readings with two professional actors culminating in a (free) public reading held locally. It was further developed through a Zoom reading in June 2021 as part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, directed by Timoth David Copney. It will receive its stage premiere in March 2024 at Desert Ensemble Theatre, Palm Springs, directed by Howard Shangraw.
  • The Desert of Love
    FULL-LENGTH. 2 Acts.
    An ensemble of characters -- two straight men, two gay men, a young straight woman and a 12 year-old girl, during a single night in a backyard in Palm Springs, dramatize love in its many forms. A dark comedy with equal parts humor and heartache. Run-time is 90 minutes plus intermission.

    Cast: 4M, 2F.
    The males are ages 25-45; one female is 26, one is 12 and...
    FULL-LENGTH. 2 Acts.
    An ensemble of characters -- two straight men, two gay men, a young straight woman and a 12 year-old girl, during a single night in a backyard in Palm Springs, dramatize love in its many forms. A dark comedy with equal parts humor and heartache. Run-time is 90 minutes plus intermission.

    Cast: 4M, 2F.
    The males are ages 25-45; one female is 26, one is 12 and can appear or be done voice-only.

    Developed at Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre in Southern California, this play received two fully staged readings there in late 2018).

    Broadway World review:
    https://www.broadwayworld.com/palm-springs/article/THE-DESERT-OF-LOVE-Captures-The-Heart-Of-Desert-Theatregoers-20181219
  • Madeline
    ONE-ACT. Cast: 1F, 1M
    Estimated run-time 45-50 minutes.

    The novelist Thomas Wolfe famously wrote "You can't go home again."
    And some people don’t mind that at all—it’s the last thing they want to do.

    Mona was one of them. She thought she escaped when she ran away from her small town at 15. Now nearing 30, she is living her life as best she can in a...
    ONE-ACT. Cast: 1F, 1M
    Estimated run-time 45-50 minutes.

    The novelist Thomas Wolfe famously wrote "You can't go home again."
    And some people don’t mind that at all—it’s the last thing they want to do.

    Mona was one of them. She thought she escaped when she ran away from her small town at 15. Now nearing 30, she is living her life as best she can in a Southern coastal city. But when her younger brother arrives with news, her past returns and she must once again fight the monster that will not leave her alone.

    BE ADVISED: ADULT LANGUAGE, CRIMINAL ACTS, PHYSICAL VIOLENCE.
  • North
    ONE-ACT. Cast: 4M, 2F.
    Estimated run-time 55 minutes.
    The author is grateful to Santa Fe Playhouse, where this play received a developmental staged reading in late 2018.

    Inspired by a real-life incident, North is a tragedy, a love story and, in the words of one director, “a mood poem of a piece…very haunting.” Leo, a very old man, refuses to relinquish control of his life in any...
    ONE-ACT. Cast: 4M, 2F.
    Estimated run-time 55 minutes.
    The author is grateful to Santa Fe Playhouse, where this play received a developmental staged reading in late 2018.

    Inspired by a real-life incident, North is a tragedy, a love story and, in the words of one director, “a mood poem of a piece…very haunting.” Leo, a very old man, refuses to relinquish control of his life in any way. He insists on caring for his wife Susan at home even though she is bedridden and suffering from extreme dementia. He sees the efforts of his grandson Michael to lessen his burden as a threat to his self-reliance, his manhood, and his wife’s well-being. But Leo too is suffering from the effects of extreme old age, and is losing his own grip on reality. Confronted by the past through a series of hallucinations that force him to relive the key moments of his life--good and bad--he fails to cope with the present danger of a killing cold in the dead of winter. And when he finally realizes he must accept help, it is too late to save this couple whose love has lasted for nearly 70 years.
  • War Island
    ONE-ACT. Cast: 7M.
    Run-time 30 - 35 minutes.
    Runner-up, 2017 One-Act Play Competition at the Little Theatre of Alexandria in Virginia.

    The title of this play was changed because of the pandemic. Its original title "Quarantine" was accurate but it was written before the pandemic; now readers assume it's about Covid. It's not. It takes place during the Vietnam...
    ONE-ACT. Cast: 7M.
    Run-time 30 - 35 minutes.
    Runner-up, 2017 One-Act Play Competition at the Little Theatre of Alexandria in Virginia.

    The title of this play was changed because of the pandemic. Its original title "Quarantine" was accurate but it was written before the pandemic; now readers assume it's about Covid. It's not. It takes place during the Vietnam War on an island in the western Pacific.

    Based on the legend of the Black Syphilis during Vietnam, this fast-paced, 30-minute drama explores a military coverup and the terrible ambiguities of war.
  • The Boat Man
    10-MINUTE PLAY.
    A man has died. Now what?
  • Waitering for Godot
    10-MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 2M, 1 any.
    A short absurdist play that answers the eternal questions: who was Godot and why did he keep Didi and Gogo waiting?

  • A Jimmy Carter Play
    2-minute play.
    By the time you read this synopsis you could've read this two-minute play, but anyway...

    The universe has run its course, but the indefatigable Jimmy Carter is still there, still building homes for people who don't have one. God can't make a new universe until he stops. What to do?

    Well, how about you give him what he wants?


  • Mark Twain Tonight! And Nude!
    10-MINUTE PLAY.
    Todd is a young playwright with a wildly exaggerated sense of his own talent, and he's performing his new one-man show MARK TWAIN TONIGHT! AND NUDE! at a small venue. Kelly, an actress friend, wants Adam to move Todd's show to the Theatre Centre, where Adam is Artistic Director. But Adam is far more interested in Kelly than in Todd's show. But not to worry--Kelly has a solution!
  • A Death in the Woods
    10-MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 3M.
    This play was developed at Coachella Valley Repertory and was later produced by Chain Reaction Theatre Project in the Twin Cities. It concerns a man haunted by the childhood memory of a personal act of violence and a life-changing betrayal.
  • Endangered Species
    10-MINUTE Play. Cast: 2M, 2F.
    Four people await their fate in wherever you go when your job faces extinction in a changing economy.
  • Greater Than Nina
    10-MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 1M, 1F.
    Moscow. 1925. A young Russian actress is selected to play the role of a lifetime. Literally.

    Published in THE BEST NEW TEN-MINUTE PLAYS 2021 (Applause).
  • Have Gun, Won't Travel
    10-MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 2M, 1F.

    Published in THE BEST TEN-MINUTE PLAYS 2020 (Smith & Kraus)

    In this send-up of the classic TV Western, a young schoolteacher seeks help to save her town, and learns that sometimes we have to be our own heroes.
  • Manifesto
    It's 1848 in Brussels, and Communism is suffering a difficult birth.

    A digital production of MANIFESTO won 'Best Zoom Theatre Film' at the Manhattan Rep 2021 Stories Film Festival, as well as "Best Dark Comedy" at the Washington DC International Cinema Festival. Produced by EDC World, directed by Kae Fujisawa.

    Karl Marx has been assigned by the Communist...
    It's 1848 in Brussels, and Communism is suffering a difficult birth.

    A digital production of MANIFESTO won 'Best Zoom Theatre Film' at the Manhattan Rep 2021 Stories Film Festival, as well as "Best Dark Comedy" at the Washington DC International Cinema Festival. Produced by EDC World, directed by Kae Fujisawa.

    Karl Marx has been assigned by the Communist League to draft a manifesto for the movement. He has, as usual, missed his deadline. Friedrich Engels is trying to get him to focus when they are interrupted by Marx's unhappy mistress Marianne, with whom Engels is in love. And so the founders of Communism, future heroes of the proletariat, find themselves caught up in a typically bourgeois romantic triangle. And being the bumbling intellectuals they are they mess the whole thing up.


  • Mom
    10-MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 2F, 2M.
    A woman receives very bad news. Fortunately she has her loving family to support her (if they can stop thinking about themselves for a minute).

    “In my humble opinion, it's probably the best Mother's Day play I've ever read.” -- an unnamed festival director.
  • Moonless Night
    10- MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 1M, 1F.
    Two unhappy people come as close to love as either of them ever will.
  • Say Goodbye to Hollywood
    10-MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 2M, 1F.
    SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD was initially produced at the North Park Playwrights Festival in San Diego and was listed in Smith and Kraus's "Best Ten Minute Plays of 2019". In the play, a Palm Springs writer goes to interview a former "B movie" star and learns that in the land of illusion even success may not be what it seems.
  • Someone Told Me It's All Happening at the Zoo
    10-MINUTE Play. Cast: 8
    (7 humans as animals, 1 human as a human.)

    This light comedy is intended for high school production, providing a range of amusing roles and many opportunities for creative costuming. It will be receiving its first production at a girls' school in Western Australia.

    Synopsis: As they plot to escape from the zoo, a group of different animals...
    10-MINUTE Play. Cast: 8
    (7 humans as animals, 1 human as a human.)

    This light comedy is intended for high school production, providing a range of amusing roles and many opportunities for creative costuming. It will be receiving its first production at a girls' school in Western Australia.

    Synopsis: As they plot to escape from the zoo, a group of different animals take on the personalities ascribed to them in Paul Simon's song. And it turns out that in the debate between freedom v. security, animals can be as conflicted as humans.
  • The Short Christmas Dinner
    10- MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 2M, 2F.
    The Short family sits down for nice Christmas dinner. But the rules for what they’re allowed to talk about leads the conversation in some unexpected directions.

  • Two Idiots in a Bar
    10-MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 2M + 1 any gender.
    Two guys walk into a bar, have a beer, and leave.
    Idiots.
  • The Human Condition and Other Jokes: A Monologue
    Run-time 3-4 minutes.
    The Monologist presents variations on a theme from Pascal.
    Serious not serious.