Cassandra Rose

Cassandra Rose

This bisexual playwright has had over 300 of her plays performed in Chicago and beyond. That includes the hundreds of micro-plays that made up all five years of The Dictionary Project, a self-produced project in which each play was created for and inspired by a very specific audience member. A person would buy a play, pick a page number that corresponded to a page in Cassandra’s dictionary, and within the year...
This bisexual playwright has had over 300 of her plays performed in Chicago and beyond. That includes the hundreds of micro-plays that made up all five years of The Dictionary Project, a self-produced project in which each play was created for and inspired by a very specific audience member. A person would buy a play, pick a page number that corresponded to a page in Cassandra’s dictionary, and within the year Cassandra would write them a play (one page, three pages, or ten minutes long) about one of the words found on that dictionary page. Her other short work has been produced by Broken Nose Theatre, City Theatre, Cold Basement Dramatics, Jackalope Theatre Company, Nothing Special Productions, The One Minute Play Festival, and The Whiskey Radio Hour. Her longer plays include The Amen Trilogy, At His Best, Billy to his Friends, Children of Troy, and The Volunteer. She has dramaturged shows at Jackalope Theatre Company, Redtwist Theatre, Raven Theatre, and Strawdog Theatre Company. And Cassandra sometimes starts theatre companies; she is the artistic director of the Chicago Theatre Marathon and was a founding member of the now-defunct Cold Basement Dramatics. Girl gets around. Cassandra earned her BA in playwriting from Columbia College Chicago. Instead of grad school, Cassandra is one of six inaugural Tutterow Fellows at Chicago Dramatists.

Plays

  • The Amen Trilogy
    Secularly-raised Julie doesn't know how many good days she has left. That's why she's brought her three best friends to this abandoned church in Chicago. They all left their faiths for various reasons, so who better for Julie to ask about god? These four friends spend the day putting their own queer, feminist, and atheistic spins on Judeo-Christian mythology's most famous (and infamous)...
    Secularly-raised Julie doesn't know how many good days she has left. That's why she's brought her three best friends to this abandoned church in Chicago. They all left their faiths for various reasons, so who better for Julie to ask about god? These four friends spend the day putting their own queer, feminist, and atheistic spins on Judeo-Christian mythology's most famous (and infamous) characters. The Amen Trilogy is seven-hour epic with a picnic. Originally commissioned by Chicago Dramatists as part of their Tutterow Fellowship
  • The Volunteer
    In March 1981, Roger Fisher published an article detailing a new, more personal form of nuclear deterrence: The nuclear launch codes would be surgically placed behind a volunteer's beating heart, meaning a president would have to kill one person before killing millions. In this new, surprisingly timely play, Fisher's proposal becomes an alternate 1980s reality.
  • Children Of Troy
    Siblings Izzy Edelmar and Paul Sterling live in a family steeped in history. Even Izzy's ten-year-old son, Derek, can see the correlation between how Izzy and Paul look at each other and what befell the last of King Priam's children. Izzy's husband might not have as keen an eye as Derek, but he knows enough to want teenaged Paul gone. In this modern take on the Greek tragedy, Izzy must confront...
    Siblings Izzy Edelmar and Paul Sterling live in a family steeped in history. Even Izzy's ten-year-old son, Derek, can see the correlation between how Izzy and Paul look at each other and what befell the last of King Priam's children. Izzy's husband might not have as keen an eye as Derek, but he knows enough to want teenaged Paul gone. In this modern take on the Greek tragedy, Izzy must confront her past or be doomed to repeat it
  • At His Best
    The morning of her wedding, a woman wakes up next to a man who asks her, "Are you still going to marry him?" Twentysomething years later, another girl, also getting ready for her wedding at the end of the week, opens the door to a man that says, "I used to know your mother." Two times are connected by one man's secrets. And the ghost of the house is not happy about his return.
  • Interview With Freddie Mercury (one act)
    17th of July, 1986. Freddie Mercury is on the tail end of his last tour with Queen. Duncan, a kid who's only 17, has somehow ended up in Freddie's backstage dressing room with a tape recorder. This fictional interview explores who can and can't come out as gay, and why. Previously a ten-minute radio play
  • Road Kill (one act)
    Gail can't leave the dead alone. Which is how she's ended up with an internship in the taxidermy department of the local museum. But soon she discovers that the dead aren't willing to leave her alone either. A radio play
  • Shift (one act)
    Every morning, Alex wakes up in a different person’s body. And every night, someone is finding her and killing her. Dr. Margrave might be the only one who can save her. Previously a ten-minute play commissioned for Bechdel Fest 5 with Broken Nose Theatre
  • Phrases in a Phone Booth (Monologue/Solo)
    Late at night, Emma calls her sister to try and explain why she had to run away from home.
  • The Dictionary Project Volume I: The 1 Page Plays
    A knight prepares to do battle for a woman who no longer loves him. An astronaut records her final thoughts as she floats endlessly. An owl and a pussycat discuss their upcoming nuptials. These and other storylines make up the 30 micro plays that were written in 2013 for Cassandra's closest friends.
  • The Dictionary Project Volume II: The 1 Page Plays
    Hemingway roasts Fitzgerald over drinks. Two turkey vultures discuss what'll happen when they die. A ranger takes his kids through their final- and most dangerous- survival challenge yet. These and other storylines make up the 40 micro plays that were written in 2014 for Cassandra's closest friends.
  • The Dictionary Project Volume III: The 1 Page Plays
    Rasputin helps keep the son of the Tsar alive. A harbinger of doom is starstruck by the four horsemen. A character named Cassandra struggles to put more of herself on the page. These and other storylines make up the 35 micro plays that were written in 2015 for Cassandra's closest friends.
  • The Dictionary Project Volume IV: The 1 Page Plays
    A dude and a bro get drunk after the Cubs win the World Series, only to be hungover when Trump is elected president. An astronaut is revived from suspended animation. A poet begs you to not confuse their wants with needs. These and other storylines make up the 38 micro plays that were written in 2017 for Cassandra's closest friends.
  • American Breakup (10 min)
    Originally EXCEPTION, part of The Dictionary Project, Volume I. When an ex shows up on a woman's doorstep drunk at 4 AM, the following argument can't help but be in the style of David Mamet
  • Covet (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume I. A woman slaves late into the night to make baked goods for something that keeps calling her Mommy.
  • Dirk & Guido & The Lost Year of Bristol (10 min)
    Originally CURRENT, part of The Dictionary Project, Volume I. Dirk and Guido: The Swordsmen! recap the adventures that Guido had while he was away from the Bristol Renaissance Faire
  • Missive (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume I. When a band of military messengers disgrace Hermes, the God of Messengers, they are cursed. One by one the messengers leave with terrible news, never to return. It is up Gyles to set things right again.
  • Painted Lady (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume I. After Lord Thornton Grishenwald and Lady Eloise Bucksley attend a fancy masquerade party, they must deal with the heartache of their new acquaintance Sir Reginald Drake III.
  • Reaganomics (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume I. Something has cracked in Ronald Reagan. His entire world is now as colorful as the movies he used to make. Unfortunately for Reagan, that color is starting to bleed.
  • Brainsick (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume II. In this homage to Sarah Kane, a girl is trapped in a hotel room with her owner, a nasty bout of bacterial meningitis, and a toothbrush.
  • Butterfly Kisses (10 min)
    Originally VOYEUR, part of The Dictionary Project, Volume II. Gerald is an avid butterfly collector. So when he brings monarch butterfly Marco a queen in the form of Louise, Marco can't help but be smitten.
  • Chekhov's Date (10 min)
    Originally APARTMENT HOUSE, part of The Dictionary Project, Volume II. In this send up to Anton Chekhov, a couple tries to work out whether or not they, in fact, just went on a date.
  • Persona (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume II. A woman goes on a date with another woman for the first time in her life, despite the fact she's not quite sure who she is yet.
  • Calculate (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume III. A boat trip up the coast of California in the 1850s makes Tucker Monroe realize there's no such thing as a clean start.
  • Physical (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume III. Three academically gifted high school graduates become hopelessly entangled in a sex scandal
  • Reveal (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume III. When Colonel Davenport falls over dead, only Detective Graveling can determine who the killer is.
  • Timesick (10 min)
    Originally BARGE, part of The Dictionary Project, Volume III. Astronaut Jackie Purdue grapples with timesickness when her crew's mission goes sideways. Also available as a radio play
  • Heavensward (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume IV. Madame Georgette de Honore is attempting the impossible. She has taken her dirigible into the atmosphere, the stratosphere, and above-the-sphere itself. But if an old friend doesn't change her mind, and soon, it could all come crashing down.
  • Hue and Cry (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume IV. Miss Chloe is all a-tizzy over her most recent letter from Mr. Cameron Stillwater. Perhaps a little roleplaying with her servant Elizabeth will help sort things out.
  • Let's Find Out! (10 min)
    Originally ANGER, part of The Dictionary Project, Volume IV. The new game show Let's Find Out! endeavors to discover if its contestants have the know-how to succeed. When two of their contestants feel pretty confident about their chances in surviving a nuclear holocaust, their host puts them to the test. Also available as a radio play
  • Ragged (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume IV. 1913 Chicago: On her way home from grocery shopping, Doris finds herself at a rally for the upcoming Women's March on Washington. Should Doris stay home, or should she join in the fray?
  • Synchronicity (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume IV. Two Irish missionaries are trying and failing to build a church in Scotland. One of them proposes a grisly solution.
  • The Ballad of Robert E. Lee (One Act)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume V. Hey kids! Did somebody say that Robert E. Lee isn't that racist? Then do I have a song for you!
  • A Clearing in the Woods (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume V. A knight and a princess navigate their way through their one and only shot at honesty
  • Please Stay Here (10 min)
    Originally AUTHORIZATION, part of The Dictionary Project, Volume V. David gets a call from a suicide helpline. One that's authorized to make outgoing calls, when necessary. Also available as a radio play
  • Sanguinolent (10 min)
    Originally part of The Dictionary Project, Volume V. Dora's mistress has returned to the country estate just in time for the solar eclipse. Yet Christine's intentions are much darker than the changing sky. Christine wishes Dora to use her powers as the witch daughter of the estate to give her a child. But what is given shall never be returned.
  • Addressing the Nation (10 min)
    Stevie calls on Audrey to help them pick out a dress to wear in public for the first time. But when the president bans trans people from serving in the military, Stevie will have to decide whether or not now is the best time to dress up and step out.
  • Art House (10 min)
    Frankie's gallery opening is going fantastic. So why is she hiding and smoking in the alley? Frankie and Ridley come to blows about what it means to be a successful artist.
  • The Big Three Oh (10 min)
    Three best friends get together to celebrate Cora's 30th birthday, before it's too late.
  • Caligula (10 min)
    Late at night, all alone, a handsome stranger approaches a very drunk Kira. He's got a simple question for her: In this kill or be killed world, which would you rather be?
  • Dancers at Rest (10 min)
    Two ballet dancers are put through their paces as their strict dance teacher watches over them. This doesn't stop their minds from wandering. An adaptation of the Degas painting of the same name
  • From A Great Height (10 min)
    A groom is visited on his wedding day by a guardian angel that can't let go
  • Margret (10 min)
    A couple decides to have a child. But when they learn that their child to be has a serious genetic disorder, a new decision has to be made.
  • The Playground (10 min)
    In the middle of the night, a high school teacher comes face-to-face with his desire to sleep with one of his students.
  • Simone the Private Fly: The Birthday Surprise (10 min)
    Simone the Private Fly wants two things for her birthday: peace and quiet. But when a letter appears on her door from The Ransomer stating that Simone's best friend has been kidnapped, it's up to Simone to solve the case!
  • Subterfuge (10 min)
    From the inside out. In an interrogation room, Reece has just had the shit kicked out of her. Her interrogator, Officer Ian Morovic, waits patiently until his boss is done with Reece's boss on the other side of the wall. In this tragic drama, two pieces in someone else's chess game connect in unexpected ways.
  • Wake (10 min)
    A man's wife has been in a coma for months with no signs of improvement. The doctors want him to make a decision. So he goes to a bar. Also available as a radio play
  • Washington In Winter (10 min)
    Funding has been cut, and America's real-life tradition of reenacting Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas eve has been canceled. But one family's George Washington refuses to let the past die.