Bruce Bonafede

Bruce Bonafede

Bruce Bonafede is an award-winning playwright and has been a member of the Dramatists Guild since 1981. Full-length plays include "Advice to the Players" (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival Heideman Award-winner, Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays, published by Samuel French), "Crusade" (Baltimore Playwrights Festival), "The Desert of Love" (Coachella Valley...
Bruce Bonafede is an award-winning playwright and has been a member of the Dramatists Guild since 1981. Full-length plays include "Advice to the Players" (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival Heideman Award-winner, Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays, published by Samuel French), "Crusade" (Baltimore Playwrights Festival), "The Desert of Love" (Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre), and "Ellie." One-acts include "North" (Santa Fe Playhouse) and "Quarantine" (Little Theatre of Alexandria One-Act Contest). His 10-minute plays have been produced in New York, San Diego, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Los Angeles. He is 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: 5M, 1F, + 1M voice only.
    CRUSADE had its world premiere as part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival in August 2019. A Rapid Lemon Production.

    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...
    FULL LENGTH. Cast: 5M, 1F, + 1M voice only.
    CRUSADE had its world premiere as part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival in August 2019. A Rapid Lemon Production.

    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 caught between its mission and difficult moral decisions.

  • The Desert of Love
    FULL LENGTH. DARK COMEDY.
    Cast: 4M, 1F + 1F voice only.
    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...
    FULL LENGTH. DARK COMEDY.
    Cast: 4M, 1F + 1F voice only.
    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. And Candace is in love with a man she can never be with but can’t give up.

    Together, during a single evening in Garrison’s backyard in the California desert, this ensemble of five 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 as part of the 3rd Annual Different Festival at Santa Fe Playhouse.

    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...
    ONE-ACT. Cast: 4M, 2F.

    NORTH received a staged reading in October 2018 as part of the 3rd Annual Different Festival at Santa Fe Playhouse.

    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.


  • Greater Than Nina
    10-MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 1M, 1F.
    Moscow. 1925. A young Russian actress is selected to play the role of a lifetime.








  • 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.
  • Mom
    10-MINUTE PLAY. Cast: 2F, 2M.
    This short play asks two important questions: a) why do we take for granted what's important in life and forget the fragility of human existence? and b) why would the Jets punt on 4th and 1 when they're in Bills territory?
  • 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 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?
  • 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 Human Condition and Other Jokes: A Monologue
    Run-time 4 minutes.
    The Monologist presents variations on a theme from Pascal.