Ken Weitzman

Ken Weitzman

Ken’s current play, Halftime with Don, is slated for an NNPN Rolling World Premiere in 2017 at three theatres nationally. Previous productions include, among others, The Catch (The Denver Center Theatre Company), Fire in the Garden (Indiana Repertory Theatre), The As If Body Loop (Humana Festival), Arrangements (Atlantic Theatre Company). His devised work includes, Memorabilia (Alliance Theatre), Hominid (Out...
Ken’s current play, Halftime with Don, is slated for an NNPN Rolling World Premiere in 2017 at three theatres nationally. Previous productions include, among others, The Catch (The Denver Center Theatre Company), Fire in the Garden (Indiana Repertory Theatre), The As If Body Loop (Humana Festival), Arrangements (Atlantic Theatre Company). His devised work includes, Memorabilia (Alliance Theatre), Hominid (Out of Hand Theatre/Theatre Emory/Oerol Festival Netherlands), and Stadium 360 (Out of Hand Theatre). Plays-in-progress include Spin Moves (New Harmony Project), and seal boy (Keen Company Playwrights Lab, The Lark’s Meeting of the Minds). National Awards include The L. Arnold Weissberger Award for Playwriting for Arrangements, TCG Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award for The Catch, the Fratti/Newman Political Play Contest Award for Fire in the Garden, and South Coast Repertory’s Elizabeth George Commission for an Outstanding Emerging Playwright. Organizations who have commissioned Ken’s work include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Arena Stage, the Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Theatre Emory, Out of Hand Theatre, and South Coast Repertory Theatre. Ken’s is a Core Writer at the Playwrights Center of Minneapolis, a member of Meeting of the Minds at the Lark Play Development Company, and part of the Writers’ Lab at Keen Company. He was a former Writer-in-Residence for Out of Hand Theatre Company and board member for The New Harmony Project for six years. Ken’s plays have been published by Samuel French and Playscripts. Ken received his MFA from University of California, San Diego and has taught at UCSD, Emory University, Indiana University (head of MFA in Playwriting) and, currently, at Stony Brook University.

Plays

  • Memorabilia
    Inspired by The Glass Menagerie, reset as a contemporary, urban, young-adult play. Inspired, as well, by work with the amazing students in the Alliance Theatre's Collision Project.
  • Arrangements
    Winner of the L. Arnold Weissberger Award. In the dungeon-like basement of a flower shop, a strange yet beautiful friendship blossoms between amateur slam poet Robby and obese and outspoken Donna. By charting a series of intertwined relationships, this darkly comic play explores the relationship between chaos and order, consumption and abstinence, and the modern day notion that “we are what we eat.”
  • The As-If Body Loop
    Hebrew legend has it there are thirty-six people who must carry all the pain of the world. When Aaron discovers that his sister, who has suddenly fallen ill, might be one of them, he sets off on a comic misadventure to help heal her; a misadventure that includes everything from quantum physics to professional football as he wrestles with the question, is it ever really possible to heal another person?
  • Fire in the Garden
    In 1965 Norman Morrison, a Quaker from Baltimore, drove to the Pentagon and, in protest over the U.S. policy in Vietnam, doused himself in kerosene and lit himself on fire. In his arms as he did this, was his one-year-old daughter. Morrison died within minutes, Emily (his daughter) somehow survived. Fire in the Garden explores this act through the eyes of a father, present day, whose son is one week away...
    In 1965 Norman Morrison, a Quaker from Baltimore, drove to the Pentagon and, in protest over the U.S. policy in Vietnam, doused himself in kerosene and lit himself on fire. In his arms as he did this, was his one-year-old daughter. Morrison died within minutes, Emily (his daughter) somehow survived. Fire in the Garden explores this act through the eyes of a father, present day, whose son is one week away from his first birthday. The same age Emily was when Morrison took her to the Pentagon. As this new father struggles with the challenges of modern parenthood, he finds himself haunted, unsettled, and obsessed with Morrison’s act. Winner of the Fratti/Newman Political Play Contest.
  • Spin Moves
    1994, the inaugural year of the Women's National Basketball Association. Maja and her mother, Bosnian Muslims, have escaped the war in Bosnia for the U.S. but Maja's panic attacks prevent her from playing the game she's obsessed with, basketball. That is until a new coach suddenly appears at her high school. He helps Maja to face her fears but his unorthodox tactics alarm Maja’s war-scarred and...
    1994, the inaugural year of the Women's National Basketball Association. Maja and her mother, Bosnian Muslims, have escaped the war in Bosnia for the U.S. but Maja's panic attacks prevent her from playing the game she's obsessed with, basketball. That is until a new coach suddenly appears at her high school. He helps Maja to face her fears but his unorthodox tactics alarm Maja’s war-scarred and fiercely protective mother. Workshop as part of the Summer Play Festival but hasn't had its world premiere; world premiere rights still available.
  • Get Thorpe
    Play in progress. Based on the book, Carlisle vs. Army: Jim Thorpe, Dwight Eisenhower, Pop Warner, and the Forgotten Story of Football's Greatest Battle by Lars Anderson. In 1912, less than twenty years after the massacre at Wounded Knee, American Indians and the US Army were about to face off again, this time on the football field. Never before had an American Indian and an Armed Forces team been...
    Play in progress. Based on the book, Carlisle vs. Army: Jim Thorpe, Dwight Eisenhower, Pop Warner, and the Forgotten Story of Football's Greatest Battle by Lars Anderson. In 1912, less than twenty years after the massacre at Wounded Knee, American Indians and the US Army were about to face off again, this time on the football field. Never before had an American Indian and an Armed Forces team been allowed to meet in any sport--not surprising, given that many of these players’ fathers and grandfathers had murdered one another on the battlefield. Join Jim Thorpe, Pop Warner, and Dwight Eisenhower as they fight over the true story and true meaning of this historic game.
  • Sacrifice
    Play in-progress. Sexual abuse in a big-time college sports program. Two acts, two different time periods, 1987 and 2014, two very different approaches to the problem. Each act takes place in the office of the top administrator of each program: the Athletic Director's office.
  • The Catch
    America’s national pastime meets America’s financial meltdown. Through a mix of willpower, determination, and sheer optimism, a ruined dot-commer plots to regain his fortune. His plan: to catch a star slugger’s record-breaking home run ball. This tragic comedy explores our national obsession with instant wealth, optimism, sports and America's tragic flaw. Robert Reich on the success and possible...
    America’s national pastime meets America’s financial meltdown. Through a mix of willpower, determination, and sheer optimism, a ruined dot-commer plots to regain his fortune. His plan: to catch a star slugger’s record-breaking home run ball. This tragic comedy explores our national obsession with instant wealth, optimism, sports and America's tragic flaw. Robert Reich on the success and possible tragic flaw of American Optimism: "American optimism carries over into our economy, which is one reason why we've always been a nation of inventors and tinkerers, of innovators and experimenters and why we're the most productive economy in the world. Optimism also explains why we spend so much and save so little…Our willingness to go deep into debt and keep spending is intimately related to our optimism and our deepest assumptions about future peace, stability, and progress."
  • Reclamation
    "More than 25 million people in seven states - Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming - rely on the Colorado River for water and power. The combination of limited water supplies, increasing populations, warmer temperatures, and the specter of recurrent drought point to a future in which the potential for conflict among existing and prospective new water users will prove...
    "More than 25 million people in seven states - Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming - rely on the Colorado River for water and power. The combination of limited water supplies, increasing populations, warmer temperatures, and the specter of recurrent drought point to a future in which the potential for conflict among existing and prospective new water users will prove endemic, and the basin will face increasingly costly, controversial and unavoidable trade-off choices.” --The National Research Council, 2007 It’s 2025 in the American West, and water shortages are forcing entire towns (not deemed sustainable) to relocate to “conservation clusters”. A water manager and his hapless nephew try to strike deal for water with Winona a representative from a local Indian Reservation. But something very odd is in the air as the two men wait for Winona; they see a rabbit. And there haven’t been any rabbits around for decades. That a rabbit is a classic trickster animal in Native American lore is all the more unnerving.
  • Halftime with Don
    Retired NFL player Don Devers has had more surgeries than he can count, experiences violent outbursts, and relies on Post-It notes to offset his struggle with traumatic brain injury. Just when things seem their darkest, a desperate longtime fan arrives at his doorstep. With the help of Don’s daughter Stephanie and Ed’s wife Sarah, both pregnant and plotting from the sidelines, the fan and his hero discover...
    Retired NFL player Don Devers has had more surgeries than he can count, experiences violent outbursts, and relies on Post-It notes to offset his struggle with traumatic brain injury. Just when things seem their darkest, a desperate longtime fan arrives at his doorstep. With the help of Don’s daughter Stephanie and Ed’s wife Sarah, both pregnant and plotting from the sidelines, the fan and his hero discover they may be able to help one another in a way that neither of them could possibly expect.