Eric Mansfield

Eric Mansfield

Eric (he/him/his) is an Emmy Award-Winning TV Journalist, Retired Army Officer, current PR professional and Dramatist Guild member who is continuing his passion for storytelling through playwriting and other creative outlets.

Eric's first full-length play, LOVE IN RESERVE, debuted on Nov. 5, 2021, as a mainstage Equity production at Rubber City Theatre in Akron, Ohio. This play was...
Eric (he/him/his) is an Emmy Award-Winning TV Journalist, Retired Army Officer, current PR professional and Dramatist Guild member who is continuing his passion for storytelling through playwriting and other creative outlets.

Eric's first full-length play, LOVE IN RESERVE, debuted on Nov. 5, 2021, as a mainstage Equity production at Rubber City Theatre in Akron, Ohio. This play was previously named a 2020 national semi-finalist for the Bridge Award from Arts in the Armed Forces, and the play's production earned Eric the "Best New Play from a Local Playwright Award" from Cleveland Critics Circle for 2021.

In addition, Eric's full-length play WHITESVILLE debuted on March 31, 2022, at the Akron Civic Theatre's Knight Stage in conjunction with the Millennial Theatre Project.

Some of Eric's other works have been staged in Cleveland, Boston, Western PA and various college settings. Eric's short plays have been read at the Mid-American Theater Conference and various online festivals.

Eric's inspiration comes from his own life experiences either from being deployed with the military or from being a front-line TV News journalist in Cleveland, Ohio. He considers himself a modern dramatist writing contemporary stories with intelligent characters in the style of such playwrights as Aaron Sorkin.

Born in Akron, Ohio, Eric earned his B.A. in Journalism from the University of Dayton and his M.A. in Public Relations from Kent State University. He is currently pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing (Playwrighting) from Kent State.

A 20-year career as a broadcast news anchor-reporter (18 of those years with WKYC-TV) concurrent with 20 years of service in the Ohio Army National Guard, including deployments to Iraq and other hotspots, gives Eric a unique life experience to share as a creative writer.

He is often tinkering with multiple short and full-length play scripts along with several screenplays.

Eric looks forward to learning from other creative writers and welcomes feedback and engagement.

Plays

  • Love in Reserve
    Army wife Kate Strong is counting down the final days for her husband Ray's return home from the Iraq War when she views a news report of a deadly attack at Ray's base camp, Camp Freedom. Unable to get information of whether Ray is dead or alive, Kate cries herself to sleep fearing the worst. Over the course of the night, Kate is visited three times by visions of Ray - a past, present, and (possible)...
    Army wife Kate Strong is counting down the final days for her husband Ray's return home from the Iraq War when she views a news report of a deadly attack at Ray's base camp, Camp Freedom. Unable to get information of whether Ray is dead or alive, Kate cries herself to sleep fearing the worst. Over the course of the night, Kate is visited three times by visions of Ray - a past, present, and (possible) future version of the man she fell in love with in high school and married the day he deployed. Through these interactions, the audience learns how they fell in love, the unique challenges of being a military couple and how overwhelming it is to be separated during war.

    This love story crescendos with sharp feelings, dramatic moments, and even some comedic levity all while draped in the constant uncertainty of whether Ray is already dead. Clues to Ray's fate will keep the audience guessing until the play's emotional climax, which delivers a new appreciation and admiration for military couples.

    Love in Reserve had its word premiere as an equity production on Nov. 5, 2021, at Rubber City Theatre in Akron, Ohio and was named "Best New Play by a Local Playwright" for 2021 by the Cleveland Critics Circle.

    Original Cast:
    Kate - Paige Felger
    Ray - Christian Achkar
    Officer - Lysander Mills
    Directed by Dane C.T. Leasure

    Script sample below in 'supporting materials.' For full scripts and licensing information, contact Next Stage Press.
  • Whitesville
    A white police captain, his wife, and their two adopted black teen children face family and community turmoil in the immediate aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. The Clayton family has always closed ranks when it came to emotional challenges, including facing off with those who would confront their mixed-race family, but this time they are struggling to see eye-to-eye.

    Winesville, or "...
    A white police captain, his wife, and their two adopted black teen children face family and community turmoil in the immediate aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. The Clayton family has always closed ranks when it came to emotional challenges, including facing off with those who would confront their mixed-race family, but this time they are struggling to see eye-to-eye.

    Winesville, or "Whitesville" as it's known across rural Indiana, quickly becomes a powder keg as the town's small population of black residents can remain silent no longer and begin calling for reform. When a curfew and other measures only lead to growing unrest, outside protestors and state police converge on Whitesville for one final, massive protest that most fear will turn deadly, leaving the Clayton family with a night of choices that will change each of them forever.

    NOTE: This play is the product of an ongoing collaboration between the playwright and multiple community members, including many men and women of color, who offered their insights and experiences in helping to craft a story with authentic characters and language. Thanks to those who have been part of this journey, especially director Francine Parr, who gave of their time and talents to examine real issues about race in America with the hope of inspiring difficult conversations long after the final curtain
  • The Baron of Brown Street
    Logline: A homeless man living under an Akron, Ohio bridge struggles with tough life choices as a parade of strangers invade his simple life following a news story of how he forgave the street punks who set him on fire and laughed while he burned. (inspired by true events)

    Synopsis: Lenny King, a homeless man living alone in a tent under Akron’s Brown Street bridge, becomes an overnight celebrity...
    Logline: A homeless man living under an Akron, Ohio bridge struggles with tough life choices as a parade of strangers invade his simple life following a news story of how he forgave the street punks who set him on fire and laughed while he burned. (inspired by true events)

    Synopsis: Lenny King, a homeless man living alone in a tent under Akron’s Brown Street bridge, becomes an overnight celebrity after a newspaper story details Lenny’s kind heart in forgiving three teens who set him on fire and laughed at his pain. Enduring the physical and emotional scars of a man abused by life and his own bad decisions, Lenny must now fend off strangers looking to exploit him for their own publicity, including a quick-buck attorney, nosy photographer, judgemental local church members, pushy developers and others. Still, the news article also brings others from Lenny's past looking to help him and to reconnect.

    With each new visitor to what had been his quiet oasis, Lenny fights to retain what’s left of his privacy and dignity while providing life lessons to those who make ignorant assumptions about the homeless.

    Light-hearted, gritty, and yet dramatically poignant, The Baron of Brown Street turns the tables on those quick to pass judgment based on where someone chooses to lay their head while providing deep insight into the heart of a man torn between continuing his simple life of homeless depression or choosing one last chance at redemption.
  • 5-2, Eyes of Blue
    Genre: Modern Romantic Comedy

    LOGLINE: Struggling to succeed as a stage actress because of her youthful looks and size, Cindy keeps her acting dreams alive by using her baby face for a different acting role -- helping police, including the cop who might be the man of her dreams, to catch predators via an undercover sting operation.

    SYNOPSIS: Cindy Goodweather, 26, won every acting...
    Genre: Modern Romantic Comedy

    LOGLINE: Struggling to succeed as a stage actress because of her youthful looks and size, Cindy keeps her acting dreams alive by using her baby face for a different acting role -- helping police, including the cop who might be the man of her dreams, to catch predators via an undercover sting operation.

    SYNOPSIS: Cindy Goodweather, 26, won every acting honor while earning her theatre degree at Juilliard, but professional stage opportunities have proven elusive as she simply looks too young to be taken seriously.
    Frustrated by a problem others only wish they had and running out of money to continue living in NYC, Cindy accepts an offer from Eddie, a handsome young detective, to use her acting chops in an undercover sting operation. When her success at helping police to catch predators leads to widespread publicity, Cindy must choose between a life on the artificial stage saving teen girls and the bright lights of the theater stage where she longs to follow her dreams and showcase her talents to applauding crowds.
  • Lockdown
    A busy midwest high school is thrown into chaos when a shot rings out in the hallway. Ducking for cover, a guidance counselor, history teacher, PTA president, senior class officer and football coach hide together in the counselor's office.

    While trying to stay quiet, most of the group believes they know which student must be on a killing spree. But when that student enters the office to hide...
    A busy midwest high school is thrown into chaos when a shot rings out in the hallway. Ducking for cover, a guidance counselor, history teacher, PTA president, senior class officer and football coach hide together in the counselor's office.

    While trying to stay quiet, most of the group believes they know which student must be on a killing spree. But when that student enters the office to hide with them, the group is forced to back up their suspicions about the teen they think they know.

    Under the constant fear of a gunman in their school, maybe even hiding among them, the group must own not only own their prejudices but also the deep secrets each has connected to guns. Do their personal histories with violence justify school leaders prejudging students they think might be dangerous?

    When a gun is found hidden in the office, the group must confront their own fears in a moment that will change each of them forever.

    Script sample below. For full scripts and licensing information, contact Next Stage Press. https://www.nextstagepress.com/lockdown/
  • The Board
    When a new West Point graduate visiting NYC wanders into a conversation between two veterans playing chess in the park, he gets a life lesson he wasn't expecting and that might just keep him -- and his fellow soldiers -- alive.

    This play debuted as part of the 2021 Veterans Play Festival at Salem State University in November. More at: https://www.essexcountycreates.org/event/veterans-10-...
    When a new West Point graduate visiting NYC wanders into a conversation between two veterans playing chess in the park, he gets a life lesson he wasn't expecting and that might just keep him -- and his fellow soldiers -- alive.

    This play debuted as part of the 2021 Veterans Play Festival at Salem State University in November. More at: https://www.essexcountycreates.org/event/veterans-10-minute-play-festival-2021/

    This play has been chosen for a reading at the Fringe Festival of the 2022 Mid American Theatre Conference (MATC) in February in Cleveland.
  • A Ringing Phone Must Be Answered
    On the day he was fired from his job, Jonah becomes consumed with knowing who called his assistant, Simon, leading both characters into a life-changing standoff in the office.
  • Witnesses To The Execution
    Three journalists meet to decompress at an overnight diner after filing their early-morning stories as witnesses to the state of Ohio’s most recent midnight execution -- the lethal injection of a man who raped and murdered two teen girls 20 years ago.

    Still processing what they had just witnessed as part of their jobs, each must weigh the value of being a paid observer to a legal act of violence...
    Three journalists meet to decompress at an overnight diner after filing their early-morning stories as witnesses to the state of Ohio’s most recent midnight execution -- the lethal injection of a man who raped and murdered two teen girls 20 years ago.

    Still processing what they had just witnessed as part of their jobs, each must weigh the value of being a paid observer to a legal act of violence that the public never witnesses. Is there really value in journalists being seated with family members when someone is put to death? How will the experience of being in the death chamber change them?

    Can they ever really move on from something they can never unsee?

    A heated debate over pancakes and coffee forces each reporter to reconsider not only the merit’s of society’s decision to use the death penalty but what they themselves are enduring as willing members of the fourth estate.
  • Letter Box
    A middle-aged couple going through letters from their dating years re-live tender moments only to discover a connection both had missed along the way.
  • Father of the Groom
    On his wedding day, a groom and his father have a heart-to-heart discussion about successes, failures, and what’s really important in life, yet as the conversation unfolds, it’s clear their chat isn’t what it appears to be.
  • The Confession
    Seasoned detective Joan Banks enters the interrogation room seeking the truth of why a young man decided to come forward on his 18th birthday and confess to a string of unsolved crimes.
  • Do Something
    Floyd has always seen the world clearly through his white, middle-class, heterosexual, suburban eyes until he pauses to consider the day-to-day lives of the women in his life and the misogyny they endure in part because he hasn't done anything to help.

    As Floyd speaks to the audience, silenced women appear one by one screaming helplessly hoping to wake him to see the real world around him.
  • Date Night
    David’s obsession with his ex-girlfriend leads to an emotional showdown at their favorite diner that redefines the idea of ‘dinner theater.’
  • The Wardrobe
    A college student's rush to change clothes for class becomes an emotional roller coaster of frustration, pain and reflection.
  • Monologue Man
    A high school senior's stress gets the better of him as he tries to choose a monologue for his audition to Juilliard. Switching quickly and creatively from one famous monologue to the next, Micki must come to grips that the biggest audition in his life will not define his life.

    This play will give a single young actor a chance to live 15 classic characters in rapid fashion all while moving...
    A high school senior's stress gets the better of him as he tries to choose a monologue for his audition to Juilliard. Switching quickly and creatively from one famous monologue to the next, Micki must come to grips that the biggest audition in his life will not define his life.

    This play will give a single young actor a chance to live 15 classic characters in rapid fashion all while moving around his bedroom in a battle of man vs. self.
  • Once a Cheater
    Six people arrive to a timeshare pitch only to learn they have a hidden secret in common that could destroy all of their lives and possibly cost the lives of their loved ones. That is, unless they can successfully play the Waiting Game.
  • Chapter and Verse
    Logline: Having served hard time for a teen mistake, Melanie seeks a “Second Chance” to restart her life that hinges on overcoming those who want her punishment to continue and family secrets that will challenge her faith in people and herself.

    Synopsis: Melanie Meek has waited 10 years for the day she could apply for a “Second Chance” program that would expunge the criminal conviction that sent...
    Logline: Having served hard time for a teen mistake, Melanie seeks a “Second Chance” to restart her life that hinges on overcoming those who want her punishment to continue and family secrets that will challenge her faith in people and herself.

    Synopsis: Melanie Meek has waited 10 years for the day she could apply for a “Second Chance” program that would expunge the criminal conviction that sent her to prison at 17, just a few months shy of when she would have graduated from high school with honors.

    Steadfast that she was “just in the car” and didn’t know that her boyfriend was about to kill a teen clerk in a holdup, Melanie must face off with the victim’s twin sister, who doesn’t believe Melanie has really learned her lesson.

    With the court hearing just hours away, Melanie sees her foundation rocked with the truth about the father she never knew and a secret her sister has kept since that fateful day that sent Melanie to prison.

    CHAPTER AND VERSE examines the harsh reality that families endure when a teenager is in the wrong place at the wrong time and the generational impact a single bad decision can make on all of those involved.

    Note: This play was written as part of my MFA workshop and was inspired by real circumstances from families I met during my 20-year career as a journalist.
  • Future-In-Laws
    10-minute comedy. Two couples meet at an NYC Airport baggage carousel and realize they are on their way to the same location since -- surprise -- their daughter and son are dating. What they didn't realize, is what their children have really been saying about them.
  • The Black Dress
    Hope Sampson keeps her little black dress -- an outfit she has worn just once -- in the front of her closet as it brings her deep joy every time she sees it, but it's what happened in the years immediately after that night that provides greater meaning to what "the black dress" symbolizes for Hope's life.
  • Dinner With Damages (A 10-Minute Zoom Drama)
    Three couples are excited to see one another for a New Year's Eve dinner party, but they’ll struggle to reconnect when a secret that one couple has been keeping threatens to destroy all of their relationships.
  • Roommates
    This 10-minute "odd couple" dramedy finds Grace and Kendra seeking common ground on the day they become roommates in their freshman college dorm. (Written in collaboration with Joe Soriano for the 2021 Avenue Arts 24-hour Theatre Festival in Canton, OH).