Bruce Bonafede

Bruce Bonafede

Bruce Bonafede is a playwright based in Palm Springs, California. He has been a member of the Dramatists Guild since 1981. He was a founding member of the Playwrights Unit in Washington DC in the early 1980s, and his first produced play, a short version of ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS, won the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville in 1985. The full-length version was produced at the Philadelphia Festival...
Bruce Bonafede is a playwright based in Palm Springs, California. He has been a member of the Dramatists Guild since 1981. He was a founding member of the Playwrights Unit in Washington DC in the early 1980s, and his first produced play, a short version of ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS, won the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville in 1985. The full-length version was produced at the Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays in 1986. Bonafede then took a brief, 30-year break from playwriting, returning to the theatre in 2016 when he couldn't put it off any longer.

LATEST NEWS:

- GREATER THAN NINA [ten-minute] will be included in the upcoming anthology “The Best New Ten-Minute Plays 2021” to be published by Applause Theatre & Cinema Books.

PAST NEWS OF NOTE:

- MOM [ten-minute] received a staged reading as part of "8 Wasn't Enough" at The Actors Studio of Newburyport in Massachusetts, November 2019. Directed by Sarah Gibby.

- GREATER THAN NINA [ten-minute] was produced as part of the New Short Play Festival at the John DeSotelle Theatre in New York, October 2019. Directed by Pierre Guy.

- ELLIE [full-length] received an independently-produced staged reading in Palm Desert, California, September 2019. Directed by Howard Shangraw.

- CRUSADE [full-length] was produced by Rapid Lemon Productions as part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, August 2019. Directed by Timoth David Copney.

- MOM [ten-minute] was produced as part of the 2019 Playwright Festival at City Theatre of Independence in Missouri, August 2019. Directed by Emily Ritoch.

- TWO IDIOTS IN A BAR [ten-minute] was produced at the Little Fish Theatre, San Pedro, California, April 2019. Directed by Bill Wolski.

- A DEATH IN THE WOODS [ten-minute] was produced by Chain Reaction Theatre Project in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, February 2019. Directed by Shelley Smith.

- SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD was listed in the anthology “Best Ten Minute Plays of 2019” published by Smith and Kraus.

- THE DESERT OF LOVE [full-length] received a staged reading at Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre in Rancho Mirage, California (now Cathedral City, California), December 2018. Directed by Andrew Harmon.

- THE SHORT CHRISTMAS DINNER [ten-minute] was produced as part of “Santa After Hours” at Out of Box Theatre in Marietta, Georgia, December 2018. Directed by Zip Rampy.

- NORTH [one-act] received a staged reading at Santa Fe Playhouse as part of the 3rd Annual Different Festival, October 2018. Directed by Karen Machon.

- SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD [ten-minute] was produced as part of the North Park Playwright Festival at North Park Vaudeville in San Diego, October 2019. Directed by Jeff Bushnell.

- QUARANTINE [one-act] was awarded third place in the 2017 Annual One-Act Playwriting Competition at Little Theatre of Alexandria in Virginia.

- ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS [full-length version] was published by Samuel French in 2015. The short version was originally published by Samuel French in 1986.

PUBLICATIONS
* Advice to the Players (one-act)- Samuel French, 1986
* Advice to the Players (full-length)- Samuel French, 2015
* The Best Short Plays-1986- Applause Books, 1986
* Literary Cavalcade Magazine- Scholastic, 1986
* Dialog (Poland)- 1987
* Best Monologues from the Best American Short Plays, Vol. 2- Applause Books, 2014
* Audition Monologues for Young Men- Meriwether Publishing, 2016
* Best Ten Minute Plays of 2019- Smith & Kraus, 2019

Plays

  • Advice to the Players
    FULL LENGTH. 90 minutes, no intermission.
    A shorter version of ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS received the Heideman Award at the Humana Festival in 1985. This full-length version premiered at Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays a year later and is now available through Samuel French.

    Art and politics collide in this fictionalized account of an actual event, telling the story of two...
    FULL LENGTH. 90 minutes, no intermission.
    A shorter version of ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS received the Heideman Award at the Humana Festival in 1985. This full-length version premiered at Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays a year later and is now 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.

    A short except of ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS is available here on NPX.
    The published script is available here: https://www.samuelfrench.com/s/1072/advice-to-the-players
  • Crusade
    FULL LENGTH. Cast: 4M, 2F, + 1M voice only.
    CRUSADE recently had its first professional production as part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival in August 2019. A Rapid Lemon Production at the Theatre Project.
    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-...
    FULL LENGTH. Cast: 4M, 2F, + 1M voice only.
    CRUSADE recently had its first professional production as part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival in August 2019. A Rapid Lemon Production at the Theatre Project.
    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/

    Synopsis: It is the near-future. Christian fundamentalists have won complete control of the federal government, banned all other religions, and rewritten the Constitution, doing away with the Bill of Rights. As a result, some units of the US military are in revolt. America is at war both in the Middle East and with itself. As civil war rages, an Army patrol fighting in the Rocky Mountains is forced to take refuge in a remote cabin now owned by a black-listed former college professor who wants only to be left alone. The capture of a Christian deserter causes the patrol to be caught between its mission and difficult moral decisions.
  • Ellie
    FULL-LENGTH. Cast: 2M
    ELLIE centers on two older men--brothers--who are mourning the death of one of their wives. But their mourning escalates into a confrontation that brings their lifelong love-hate relationship to a shattering climax. A play about crime, punishment, and the end of the patriarchy.
  • The Desert of Love
    FULL LENGTH. Cast: 4M, 1F + 1F voice only.
    This dark comedy was developed at Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre in Southern California and received a staged reading there in late 2018.

    Garrison is straight, Philip is gay, and they have been best friends for 20 years. Garrison has let his obsession with women ruin his life. Philip has finally found love and is celebrating one year of...
    FULL LENGTH. Cast: 4M, 1F + 1F voice only.
    This dark comedy was developed at Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre in Southern California and received a staged reading there in late 2018.

    Garrison is straight, Philip is gay, and they have been best friends for 20 years. Garrison has let his obsession with women ruin his life. Philip has finally found love and is celebrating one year of marriage to his husband Trey, a young actor who isn’t very good at pretending to be happy. Their friend Steve is going through the divorce from hell. Candace is in love with a man she can never be with but can’t give up. And Joy just needs her dad, flawed as he is.

    Together, during a single night in Garrison’s backyard in the California desert, this ensemble of six characters dramatize love in its many forms—romantic, parental, and philial—with equal parts humor and heartbreak.

    Broadway World review:
    https://www.broadwayworld.com/palm-springs/article/THE-DESERT-OF-LOVE-Captures-The-Heart-Of-Desert-Theatregoers-20181219
  • North
    ONE-ACT. Cast: 4M, 2F.
    NORTH received a staged reading in October 2018 at Santa Fe Playhouse.
    Synopsis: Inspired by a real-life incident, NORTH is a tragedy and a love story. Leo Ancona, a very old but still strong-willed man, refuses to relinquish control of his life in any way. He continues to care at home for his wife Susan, despite her being bedridden and suffering from extreme dementia....
    ONE-ACT. Cast: 4M, 2F.
    NORTH received a staged reading in October 2018 at Santa Fe Playhouse.
    Synopsis: Inspired by a real-life incident, NORTH is a tragedy and a love story. Leo Ancona, a very old but still strong-willed man, refuses to relinquish control of his life in any way. He continues to care at home for his wife Susan, despite her being bedridden and suffering from extreme dementia. He continually wards off the efforts of his grandson Michael to lessen his burden, which he sees 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 worst, and best, moments of his life, 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 seventy years.
  • Quarantine
    ONE-ACT. Cast: 7M.
    Run-time 30 minutes.
    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. Third Place Winner of the 2017 One-Act Play Competition at the Little Theatre of Alexandria.
  • 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.
  • Have Gun, Won't Travel
    10-MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 2M, 1F.
    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.
  • Someone Told Me It's All Happening at the Zoo
    10-MINUTE Play. Cast: 8 (7 humans as animals, 1 human as a human.)
    In this light comedy, as they plot their escape, the animals take on the personalities ascribed to them in Paul Simon's classic song. And it turns out in the debate between freedom v. security, animals can be as conflicted as humans.
  • 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.
  • Mom
    10-MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 2F, 2M.
    A woman receives very bad news. Fortunately she has her loving family around to support her. [This play was written as a tribute to the author's mom and all the mothers out there who are or have been taken for granted.]
  • Say Goodbye to Hollywood
    10-MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 2M, 1F.
    SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD was chosen as a Second Place Winner and was listed in Smith & Kraus's "Best Ten Minute Plays of 2019". In the play, a writer goes to interview a former "B movie" star and learns that in the land of illusion success may not be at all what it seems.
  • 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.
  • A Death in the Woods
    10-MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 3M.
    A man is haunted by the childhood memory of a personal act of violence and a life-changing betrayal.
  • The Short Christmas Dinner
    10- MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 2M, 2F.
    The Short family sits down for Christmas dinner. Now, what are they allowed to talk about?
  • Manifesto
    ONE-MINUTE POLITICAL COMEDY
    Brussels. 1848. Communism is having a difficult birth.
  • The Human Condition and Other Jokes: A Monologue
    Run-time 4 minutes.
    The Monologist presents variations on a theme from Pascal.
  • Moonless Night
    Two damaged people come as close to love as either of them ever will.