Bruce Bonafede

Bruce Bonafede

Bonafede has been a member of the Dramatists Guild since 1981. Longer plays include:
- ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS (Actors Theatre of Louisville Heideman Award-winner 1985. Full-length version produced at Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays 1986; published by Samuel French 2015).
- CRUSADE (Full-length. Produced at Baltimore Playwrights Festival 2019).
- THE DESERT OF LOVE (Full-length...
Bonafede has been a member of the Dramatists Guild since 1981. Longer plays include:
- ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS (Actors Theatre of Louisville Heideman Award-winner 1985. Full-length version produced at Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays 1986; published by Samuel French 2015).
- CRUSADE (Full-length. Produced at Baltimore Playwrights Festival 2019).
- THE DESERT OF LOVE (Full-length. Staged reading, Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre 2018).
- ELLIE (Full-length. Independent public reading 2019)
- NORTH (One act. Staged reading, Santa Fe Playhouse 2018)
- QUARANTINE (One act. Runner-up, Little Theatre of Alexandria One-Act Contest 2017).

His 10-Minute plays have been produced in New York, San Diego, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and San Pedro (LA).

Bonafede was born on eastern Long Island and was raised there and in Washington DC, where he studied at New Playwrights Theatre and was one of the founding members of the Washington Playwrights Unit in the early 1980s. He is now based in Palm Springs, California.

Plays

  • Advice to the Players
    FULL LENGTH. Run-time 90 minutes, no intermission.
    A shorter version of ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS received the Heideman Award at the Humana Festival in 1985. This NMNI version premiered at Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays a year later and is now available through Samuel French for the first time. The play is a fictionalized account of an actual event, telling the story of two celebrated black...
    FULL LENGTH. Run-time 90 minutes, no intermission.
    A shorter version of ADVICE TO THE PLAYERS received the Heideman Award at the Humana Festival in 1985. This NMNI version premiered at Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays a year later and is now available through Samuel French for the first time. The play is a 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. For the full script, please visit https://www.samuelfrench.com/s/1072/advice-to-the-players

    Of this full-length version, the Philadelphia Inquirer said: "…a play of remarkable distinction…rare among American dramas in that it boldly brings up a moral issue for examination in strong theatrical terms. This is not a little play about little people leading lives of no importance…Succeeds in making it all emotionally engrossing as well as intellectually stimulating…the drama is 90 intense minutes…that brooks neither an intermission nor a resolution…"
  • 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
    A DRAMA IN TWO ACTS. 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--or are her motives less noble? 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.
    If we are what we do, where do we go when our occupation is facing extinction?
  • 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: 7 animals, 1 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.
  • Mom
    10-MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 2F, 2M.
    This play was written as a tribute to the author's mom and all the other mothers out there who 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?
  • The Human Condition and Other Jokes: A Monologue
    Run-time 4 minutes.
    The Monologist presents variations on a theme from Pascal.