Rachel Bykowski

Rachel Bykowski

Rachel Bykowski, a Chicago native, writes plays to explore the many facets of womanhood. Her full-length plays have been featured with The National New Play Network (NNPN) in a workshop at the Kennedy Center for the MFA Playwrights’ Festival in 2016. She was a top 20 finalist for CulturalDC’s Source Theatre Festival in 2017, received Honorable Mention for the Jane Chambers 2017 Student Playwriting Award, and...
Rachel Bykowski, a Chicago native, writes plays to explore the many facets of womanhood. Her full-length plays have been featured with The National New Play Network (NNPN) in a workshop at the Kennedy Center for the MFA Playwrights’ Festival in 2016. She was a top 20 finalist for CulturalDC’s Source Theatre Festival in 2017, received Honorable Mention for the Jane Chambers 2017 Student Playwriting Award, and was the runner-up for the 2018 Todd McNerney Playwriting Award. Her play, Tight End received its world premiere with 20% Theatre Company Chicago and will receive its regional premiere with Majestic Rep Theatre in Las Vegas. Rachel’s other full-length plays have been workshopped with Chicago companies like Cock and Bull Theatre, the Women’s Theatre Alliance, and the Chicago Dramatists. Her play The Big Fuckin’ Giant was featured in a workshop with Relative Theatrics in Laramie, Wyoming for their Playwrights’ Voiced Festival. Rachel’s ten-minute plays have been produced in the Midwest and West Coast including Renaissance Theaterworks, Fury Theatre, Arc Theatre, Commedia Beauregard, San Diego Theatre Lab, and Actors’ Theatre of Louisville Apprentice Company. She is also published in RiverSedge Arts and Literary Journal. Rachel is a playwriting affiliate with NNPN and a member of the Dramatists Guild. She received her BFA in playwriting from the Theatre School at DePaul University and her MFA from Ohio University. www.rachelbykowskiplays.com

Plays

  • 25 Light Years From Now
    Time travel is possible when there’s stars and regrets. In 1942, Josie and Fran meet at their secret rendezvous point to talk of the stars, love, and their future together. However, their love is tested when Fran reveals that she is leaving to help the War effort with the WAAC (Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps). Josie, unable to move past her family’s painful history with war, deserts Fran and they never speak...
    Time travel is possible when there’s stars and regrets. In 1942, Josie and Fran meet at their secret rendezvous point to talk of the stars, love, and their future together. However, their love is tested when Fran reveals that she is leaving to help the War effort with the WAAC (Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps). Josie, unable to move past her family’s painful history with war, deserts Fran and they never speak again until Josie hears of Fran’s death in the War. 25 years later, Josie, now a mother, receives a letter from a woman in Italy who found an old photo of her recently deceased mother and Josie together. The woman is Fran’s grown daughter, Isabella. Josie sets off to Italy, leaving her daughter, life, and the present behind to revisit the past one more time as she attempts to fix her broken heart from 25 years ago.
  • How to Chop Down an Infected Ash Tree
    A radio, horror play about Mama and her daughter Biddy. You see, this is Mama's house, Mama's land, and Mama's forest. Been that way since Gran-nana laid claim on this plot of earth. But now, trespassers have come: first it was the wild boars, then the hunters, finally it's borer beetle gnawing and chewing its way into the roots of all of Gran-nana's ash trees. Only one way to get rid...
    A radio, horror play about Mama and her daughter Biddy. You see, this is Mama's house, Mama's land, and Mama's forest. Been that way since Gran-nana laid claim on this plot of earth. But now, trespassers have come: first it was the wild boars, then the hunters, finally it's borer beetle gnawing and chewing its way into the roots of all of Gran-nana's ash trees. Only one way to get rid of an infection. Mama teaches Biddy, when a tree has gone bad, gotta chop it down.
  • Rev
    A Midwestern, middle class story about what makes you call a piece of land, home. Camaro Gibson loves only three things in this life: strawberry glazed donuts, her Daddy, and Route 66. Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago in her Daddy’s car repair shop, Camaro dreams of hitting the road. Taking historic Route 66 all the way to where the water meets the land and she’s not talking about Lake Michigan....
    A Midwestern, middle class story about what makes you call a piece of land, home. Camaro Gibson loves only three things in this life: strawberry glazed donuts, her Daddy, and Route 66. Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago in her Daddy’s car repair shop, Camaro dreams of hitting the road. Taking historic Route 66 all the way to where the water meets the land and she’s not talking about Lake Michigan. Start in Chicago, south to Springfield, then St. Louis, cut through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and in ten days, there you are… the West Coast with the ocean at your feet. Camaro has never seen the ocean before, only in her Daddy’s stories. She is determined to break out of the Southside and take him back to his home.
    Camaro keeps her daddy’s heart in the repair shop: a 1967 Chevy Camaro engine. For the last ten years, since her daddy passed away, she has been trying to get that baby to rev. Today might be the day, if it wasn’t for the customers still coming in and a lot full of cars that need a lot of work. Something keeps her showing up everyday. Whether it’s the motor oil, diesel fuel, or rusty carbonators, she keeps plunging her hands in the grease because it feels like home.
  • Flesh, Blood, & Glass
    Introducing “The Strongest Man in the World!” His hands are registered weapons. He can bend steel or punch a hole through a foot of concrete. Anything he grasps doesn’t stand a chance! He was born with this privilege, but now he faces his greatest fear yet: holding a delicate, glass figurine. He won’t leave from his seclusion until he can hold the glass figure. However, if he doesn’t learn soon, he’s going to...
    Introducing “The Strongest Man in the World!” His hands are registered weapons. He can bend steel or punch a hole through a foot of concrete. Anything he grasps doesn’t stand a chance! He was born with this privilege, but now he faces his greatest fear yet: holding a delicate, glass figurine. He won’t leave from his seclusion until he can hold the glass figure. However, if he doesn’t learn soon, he’s going to miss the birth of his daughter.
  • Bodies
    Sergeant W. is one of the few, the proud...a mother fucking Marine. She's trained, she's disciplined, but now she is home and the fighting still continues. She has witnessed first hand the power of an automatic assault rile and decided the best way to respect the weapon, is to leave it in the combat zone. However, the assault rifle has found her way back into Sergeant W.'s life and longs for W....
    Sergeant W. is one of the few, the proud...a mother fucking Marine. She's trained, she's disciplined, but now she is home and the fighting still continues. She has witnessed first hand the power of an automatic assault rile and decided the best way to respect the weapon, is to leave it in the combat zone. However, the assault rifle has found her way back into Sergeant W.'s life and longs for W. to hold her again. Its got a new body and name, a semi-automatic AR-15, but for Sergeant W. the violence is still the same.
  • Tight End
    Ash (believe me, you do not want to call her “Ashley”) Miller’s dream is to catch the winning touchdown pass for the Westmont High Titans’ Homecoming game. Football is in her blood. In order to make the team, Ash will have to prove she is one of the guys even if that means sacrificing her body for the love of the game.
  • The Big Fuckin' Giant
    Darren is the Big Fuckin’ Giant. He is ranked 3rd in the nation for collegiate wrestling and the leading athlete at the Alpha Psi fraternity. The day before the NCAA conference, Darren announces to his teammates, Chris and Bill, he is leaving wrestling. However, a promise he made to Chris, the runt of the team, keeps Darren on the mat for one more night. Darren must help Chris become an official “Alpha” by...
    Darren is the Big Fuckin’ Giant. He is ranked 3rd in the nation for collegiate wrestling and the leading athlete at the Alpha Psi fraternity. The day before the NCAA conference, Darren announces to his teammates, Chris and Bill, he is leaving wrestling. However, a promise he made to Chris, the runt of the team, keeps Darren on the mat for one more night. Darren must help Chris become an official “Alpha” by using a Judy blow-up doll. The more Darren starts to embrace the fraternity ritual, the harder it becomes for him to leave the mat.

    The Big Fuckin' Giant specifically analyzes white, male privilege and how it contributes to violence against women.
  • Always
    ALWAYS explores the relationship between a single father and his daughter. The character of Daughter has locked herself in the bathroom after a mortifying experience with her first period. It is now up to the character of Father to help support his daughter and help her realize her own strength and courage as she enters this new phase in her life.
  • The House the Grants Built
    Lisa and her daughter Rebecca are busy cleaning out the basement of their Great, Great, Great Grandmother, Rebecca May Grant's house. This house has been in the Grant family since 1850. History was made here. This house saw three generations of women fight for women's rights in the Suffrage Movement. Now, the Great, Great, Great Granddaughter, Rebecca, is ready to carry her namesake into Congress as...
    Lisa and her daughter Rebecca are busy cleaning out the basement of their Great, Great, Great Grandmother, Rebecca May Grant's house. This house has been in the Grant family since 1850. History was made here. This house saw three generations of women fight for women's rights in the Suffrage Movement. Now, the Great, Great, Great Granddaughter, Rebecca, is ready to carry her namesake into Congress as she prepares to run for Senator of Maryland. Rebecca would make her foremothers proud being liberal, pro-choice, and for all women's rights. However, the deeper Lisa and Rebecca dig into the clutter of the basement, the more family secrets they discover that they would have preferred left hidden.
  • Blueberry Pie
    A short, one woman play about Lizzie who stands in front of a potential lover and decides if he deserves her grandmother's secret blueberry pie recipe.
  • For California...With Love, Norma Jeane
    California “Callie” Clarke is an undergraduate film student attending the university of her dreams. Only 50 students are accepted into Knox University’s Film program; 25 will be cut by the end of the first year. If that were not enough, the University’s tuition is far from cheap. In order to pay the high tuition, Callie gets in front of the camera as Norma Jeane, her internet porn persona. She juggles her life...
    California “Callie” Clarke is an undergraduate film student attending the university of her dreams. Only 50 students are accepted into Knox University’s Film program; 25 will be cut by the end of the first year. If that were not enough, the University’s tuition is far from cheap. In order to pay the high tuition, Callie gets in front of the camera as Norma Jeane, her internet porn persona. She juggles her life as Norma Jeane and as Callie trying to prove she belongs in the elite film program. When her identity as Norma Jeane is discovered, Callie decides to fight against the rampant slut shaming and prove the value of her art and body.
  • Making Charlie or A Girl Named Charlie
    Charlie is finally the starting pitcher for the St. Joseph’s Wolves high school baseball team. Pitching is all Charlie wants to do. Pitching a no-hitter means control and all Charlie wants is control of that mound. But Charlie has a secret that makes him different from the rest of the boys on the field. Charlie is actually a girl who has been pretending to be a boy since childhood. When St. Joe’s welcomes Amy,...
    Charlie is finally the starting pitcher for the St. Joseph’s Wolves high school baseball team. Pitching is all Charlie wants to do. Pitching a no-hitter means control and all Charlie wants is control of that mound. But Charlie has a secret that makes him different from the rest of the boys on the field. Charlie is actually a girl who has been pretending to be a boy since childhood. When St. Joe’s welcomes Amy, an ace softball pitcher with the fastest pitch in their division as the first and only girl on the team, Charlie must now defend her place on the mound.