Frank J. Avella

Frank J. Avella

Frank J. Avella is the recipient of a 2019 International Writer & Artists Retreat Residency at Arte Studio Ginestrelle in Assisi, Italy and a 2018 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship.

LURED, his play about the Russia persecution of gays, was a semifinalist for the 2018 O’Neill Playwrights Conference and had its world premiere production at Theater for the New City in November, 2018 where it...
Frank J. Avella is the recipient of a 2019 International Writer & Artists Retreat Residency at Arte Studio Ginestrelle in Assisi, Italy and a 2018 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship.

LURED, his play about the Russia persecution of gays, was a semifinalist for the 2018 O’Neill Playwrights Conference and had its world premiere production at Theater for the New City in November, 2018 where it played to full houses and garnered critical acclaim. The play was featured in the OnStage! American Theater Festival in Rome, Italy in January, 2019. Upon completion, LURED was chosen to play the Dream Up Festival at Theater for the New City in 2016 (6 sold-out performances) as well as the 36th Annual William Inge Theater Festival in 2017. The play was a 2017 Cimientos IATI Theater Playwright semifinalist. Frank was awarded a 2018 Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Grant for LURED. Visit Luredtheplay.com.

Frank received a 2015 Fellowship Award from the NJ State Council on the Arts for his play, CONSENT, which confronts bullying and homophobia and was a 2019 semifinalist for the O’Neill. The play was awarded a 2016 Helene Wurlitzer Residency Grant & Chesley/Bumbalo Foundation Playwright Award. CONSENT was also a 2012 semifinalist for the O’Neill, a finalist for the 2015 New Works of Merit Playwriting Award, a semifinalist for the 2016 Road Theatre’s Summer Playwrights Festival, a semifinalist for the 2018 Hidden River Arts Playwriting Award and was workshopped at the Celebration Theatre in L.A., in October 2012. In 2013, CONSENT was selected for staged readings at the Identity Theater and Urban Stages in NYC. The play received honorable mention in the Stage Play category of the 85th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition (2016) and had staged readings at Abingdon Theatre Company and the Leslie-Lohman Museum (2016).

In January of 2017, CONSENT was chosen for the 27th Annual Fullerton College Playwrights Festival from over 500 submissions from all over the world. CONSENT was also given a staged reading in October of 2018 at SUNY New Paltz and a TNC Scratch Night in April 2019. The world premiere is slated for February 2020.

The CONSENT screen adaptation was a quarterfinalist for the 2019 Creative Screenwriting Screenplay Contest.

VATICAN FALLS, a play set against the backdrop of the Catholic sex abuse scandal, was selected for the 2017 Planet Connections Festivity and Frank was nominated for Outstanding Playwriting. The play was a semifinalist for the 2014 Newborn Festival, received Special Mention at the 2013 O’Neill and has had numerous staged readings and workshops in New York, Cincinnati and Rome, Italy. IL VATICANO CADE, the Italian translation, was scheduled to world premiere in Rome on May 10, 2011 at Teatro Vascello but was cancelled the night before opening amidst great controversy and claims of death threats. The play has now had 7 world premiere cancelations in 3 different countries in the last decade.

Frank’s short play, CATAMITUS, about a film director accused of sexual misconduct, was accepted into the Emerging Artists Theatre New Works Series in October of 2018.

His play, FOR MAMMA was chosen for a Scratch Night at TNC in 2017 and was featured in 2017 Healing Voices Onstage: Caregivers Stories presented by Writers Theater of NJ.

Frank has written 19 full-length plays; 10 have been produced (7 in NYC). ORVILLE STATION, was one of three finalists for the 2014 NJ Playwrights Contest, a finalist for the 2015 12 Years Theater New Play Podcast Series (Pittsburgh) and a finalist (final round) for the 2014 Kitchen Dog Theatre New Works Festival (Dallas) and has been presented in Los Angeles at the Echo Theater and in NYC at the Dramatists Guild via the Friday Night Footlights Series.

ORVILLE STATION has been published in the United Kingdom by Lazy Bee Scripts: http://www.lazybeescripts.co.uk/Scripts/script.aspx?iSS=2503

Frank has also written NEMESIS, MAD (B Street Theatre New Comedies Festival semifinalist, 2019), LESS THAN 2 DEGREES, the Hollywood satire, SCREW THE COW as well as many one-acts & screenplays including a short film titled MULTITASKING. He has adapted his plays CONSENT, SCREW THE COW and UNHINGING for the screen and penned an original screenplay, 3 OF 10.

Frank wrote the book for BLUEBIRDS IN MY BELFRY, a musical about Hollywood star Betty Hutton, that bowed in Sanford, NC in January 2008 and sold out every performance.

Produced stage works include: GREENER, THE BUBBLE, IRIS, ABOUT CHRISTINE, LEXY, MICHAEL’S #1 FAN, 3 CAINS and UNHINGING.

Upon reviewing IRIS in 2005, the Cincinnati Post wrote: “Avella’s plays tend to send earthquakes through his audience's comfort zones.” Cincinnati Newswire: “IRIS is a powerful look at what we call a family, and what ethics govern what is considered acceptable in a private sexual relationship.” IRIS was updated in 2018 and received a staged reading at the Dramatists Guild.

Frank proudly served on the Advisory Board and Festival Committee for In Scena! Italian Theater Festival, produced by Kairos Italy Theater, in NYC in 2013 and 2014 and 2017.

Frank did his grad work at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is a current member of the Playground Experiment and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.

https://newplayexchange.org/users/5582/frank-j-avella

Plays

  • Vatican Falls
    VATICAN FALLS, a fictional work based on factual accounts and events, takes on the Catholic sex abuse nightmare by chronicling the journey of one survivor amidst the backdrop of the (still) ever-growing scandal. The epic work bounces back and forth in time and location from Boston in 2002 when the scandal first broke to Benedict being elected Pope in 2005 to his stepping down and Francis becoming Pontiff…and...
    VATICAN FALLS, a fictional work based on factual accounts and events, takes on the Catholic sex abuse nightmare by chronicling the journey of one survivor amidst the backdrop of the (still) ever-growing scandal. The epic work bounces back and forth in time and location from Boston in 2002 when the scandal first broke to Benedict being elected Pope in 2005 to his stepping down and Francis becoming Pontiff…and beyond.

    The story centers on Riccardo, late 20s, an Italian-American based in Rome, Italy. Riccardo is a member of SCAR (Survivors of Catholic Abuse Refuge), a group of survivors who initially band together to seek an apology from the Vatican but decide retribution is the only way to counter the Church’s unrepentant complicity in the scandal. These strong-willed militants apprehensively turn to terrorism.

    Seemingly by chance, Riccardo meets the stunning Claudia, a devout Roman. After an unconventional courtship, they fall in love. Alas, neither is who they appear to be. Claudia is a Vatican operative whose sacred mission is to keep tabs on Riccardo. And he has orders to watch her every move.

    As the play unfolds, we meet Riccardo’s paradoxical abuser, Father David, and become privy to his turbulent home life with his pious but troubled mother, Teresa. Riccardo must come to terms with his abuse and how his relationship with Father David forever permeates his identity, psychologically, sexually and spiritually. In confronting his past, Riccardo must also decide how far he is willing to go to exact revenge on an impervious institution, realizing his choices could cost him his dignity and humanity.

    VATICAN FALLS is a play about power, conscience and forgiveness. The play does not condemn the Church as much as it takes it’s leaders to task for decades of allowing the rape and torture of children to go on unpunished.

    The play examines retaliation as a means to affect change and how violence is never the answer and can destroy, physically as well as psychologically.
  • Consent
    CONSENT chronicles the story of a 17-year-old boy trying to get along in today’s America—an increasingly divided country where the fates of kids who are ‘different’ seem to be at the mercy of geography.

    Seth is a unique individual who frequently questions rules and accepted modes of behavior. He lives in a small town that expects conformity and capitulation. Seth is also coming to terms with his...
    CONSENT chronicles the story of a 17-year-old boy trying to get along in today’s America—an increasingly divided country where the fates of kids who are ‘different’ seem to be at the mercy of geography.

    Seth is a unique individual who frequently questions rules and accepted modes of behavior. He lives in a small town that expects conformity and capitulation. Seth is also coming to terms with his sexuality. All these things make him the target of bullying by his fellow students.

    Seth's mother, Diane, has returned to town after a two-year, three-month absence. She desires a relationship with her son and in reconnecting with him discovers some disturbing details about his current living situation, specifically, his relationship with his baseball coach.

    Seth crushes on fellow schoolmate, Brian, who happens to be the main bully’s brother. Brian returns Seth’s feelings and the two begin to get to know one another, sexually and otherwise.

    Seth's relationship with Brian is discovered by Brian's brother, leading to a series of unfortunate events that shake Seth to his core.

    CONSENT speaks to the responsibilities we all have to teach our children to celebrate their differences instead of denigrating them. The play also warns against taking advantage of the trust teens place in the adults they look up to. CONSENT explores the myriad of reasons gay teens feel compelled to consider suicide and provides a twist to a much too prevalent story.
  • Lured
    In Russia, in the last several years, gays have been persecuted, with the blessing of the Russian government and Russian-Orthodox Church. Much of the action in LURED is based on factual accounts and events.

    Valentin, an angry young gay man is about to seek revenge on two members of Occupy Pedophilia, a group that targets LGBT people in an attempt to destroy their lives, often maiming and/or...
    In Russia, in the last several years, gays have been persecuted, with the blessing of the Russian government and Russian-Orthodox Church. Much of the action in LURED is based on factual accounts and events.

    Valentin, an angry young gay man is about to seek revenge on two members of Occupy Pedophilia, a group that targets LGBT people in an attempt to destroy their lives, often maiming and/or killing them. Valentin has very personal reasons for his actions. He along with two friends turn the tables on Sergei, a seemingly heartless lug who aided in tormenting Valentin’s boyfriend, Dmitry.

    The piece then flashes back to the day of Dmitry’s being lured to a near empty apartment and tortured. The woman in charge, Tatiana, is steadfast and determined.

    The play then picks up with the Valentin/Tatiana confrontation.

    In Russia, in the last several years, gays have been persecuted and tortured, with the blessing of the Russian government and Russian-Orthodox Church. Much of the action in LURED is based on factual accounts and events.

    I’ve set out to ambitiously ask a number of political/social and cultural questions relating to the human rights violations in Russia, and I hope, in doing so, to reflect light on other countries as well, including the USA, especially with the possibility of a Trump presidency looming.

    I’ve set about to try and understand how good people can be brainwashed into believing that someone’s sexual orientation could really be at the root of economic and social strife. The Putin propaganda machine has been hard at work since he took office brainwashing Russian citizens to deflect against the government’s responsibilities and, instead, blame “deviants” influenced by the immorality of the “west” for all of Russia’s woes. And Putin’s propaganda law is nothing more than a license for homophobia, giving vigilante groups carte blanche to hunt down LGBT people as prey.

    LURED is unrelentingly honest and downright brutal in its depiction of what is going on in Russia. I have been in touch, at length, with Tanya Cooper at Human Rights Watch via phone and email during the writing of the play and she provided me with a 100-page dossier. The play reveals some of the shocking ways in which vigilante groups are involved in LGBT persecution.

    The reason behind the frank and severe depictions in LURED is to foster dialogue, not only about real and dangerous horrors happening in the world, but also how these things can happen anywhere to any group of people. Scapegoating and discrimination is the way genocide usually begins.

    I also try and examine how a country that is one of the least religious in the world, can still follow the dictates of the Church (in this case the Russian Orthodox Church) because of how steeped into the culture the institution remains.

    But LURED goes a few steps further and adds a fictional twist to the harsh realities, as the play wonders if revenge is ever an option? How much must people be maltreated and oppressed before they decide to fight back? The piece does not advocate revolution or retribution, but it does make a case for organized resistance. It also shows how easy it can be to dehumanize oneself once a people are pushed to their limits. There are no easy answers, but so many difficult questions.

    Finally, and most urgently, LURED examines hate and how it is not a learned trait but, to paraphrase the song, must be “carefully taught.” In the wake of current events, sadly, LURED has become too timely for comfort. If we can, in some way, galvanize people into caring more and taking some action, then we feel like we have contributed. As a writer, it’s the only way I know how to affect change.

    Frank J. Avella
  • Iris
    Iris is a child of artificial insemination and the play opens as she is about to have her very first encounter with her biological father, Nick. They meet. They chat. They kiss.

    Confounded and confused by her attraction to Nick, Iris visits her ultra-unorthodox therapist, Hallie. They analyze. They assess. They shop. They decide NOT to make any immediate decisions. But…Iris's headstrong...
    Iris is a child of artificial insemination and the play opens as she is about to have her very first encounter with her biological father, Nick. They meet. They chat. They kiss.

    Confounded and confused by her attraction to Nick, Iris visits her ultra-unorthodox therapist, Hallie. They analyze. They assess. They shop. They decide NOT to make any immediate decisions. But…Iris's headstrong nature and madcap imagination lead her to a taboo step that will change her already-lunatic life forever.

    As the play unfolds we follow the development of a wholly unorthodox yet loving relationship. We also meet two new characters that impact Iris and her life in significant and unpredictable way. As the revelations mount, each character must come to terms with very personal and, in some cases, deeply repressed issues.

    IRIS challenges the notion of what defines a family and questions those who would judge others for who they choose to love.
  • Mad
    MAD follows five actors who are about to embark on a controversial new Broadway play titled RUINED, which itself is about a tortured film director, hounded by the media and forced to flee the U.S. after he is accused of sexually assaulting a minor. Central to the work is the struggle a young closeted-gay movie star, Bridge Bannon, who must contend with keeping his sexuality a secret so he can continue to...
    MAD follows five actors who are about to embark on a controversial new Broadway play titled RUINED, which itself is about a tortured film director, hounded by the media and forced to flee the U.S. after he is accused of sexually assaulting a minor. Central to the work is the struggle a young closeted-gay movie star, Bridge Bannon, who must contend with keeping his sexuality a secret so he can continue to pursue his passion. He has chosen to marry an ambitious actress who has her own ideas about the path both their careers and lives should be on. As the play and reality begin to merge, Bridge finds himself in a desperate situation when he falls in love with another man and his wife decides to go public about his secret.

    MAD explores how our culture loves to raise celebrities to monarchical heights only to delight in seeing them crash and burn and how the media feeds this particular ritual. The play also asks controversial questions about what defines consent in a sexual situation. The play also wonders if being forced to hide ones true nature is worth the price of fame and the power that comes with it.
  • Unhinging
    UNHINGING shows how unlikely bonds can form between very different individuals and explores how sexual attraction can blind people to more important and lasting truths.

    Andy, a neurotic, gay schoolteacher, journeys to his favorite Village Bistro and impatiently awaits the arrival of his Grindr date. He is immediately hit on by Phil, a rather forward waiter. Moments later, Chris, Andy's...
    UNHINGING shows how unlikely bonds can form between very different individuals and explores how sexual attraction can blind people to more important and lasting truths.

    Andy, a neurotic, gay schoolteacher, journeys to his favorite Village Bistro and impatiently awaits the arrival of his Grindr date. He is immediately hit on by Phil, a rather forward waiter. Moments later, Chris, Andy's online date, arrives and is confused by Andy's surprised reaction to the fact that she's a she. The three spar. Chris, a gal with a history of pursuing men who are unattainable, tries to engage Andy in conversation, but soon finds herself being given motherly advice in the bistro ladies' room by Evelyn, Phil's uber-liberal mother, who also happens to own the establishment.

    Left alone, Phil and Andy realize they have shared mutual passions, especially in movies. But Phil's sex-crazed ex, Denny, arrives on the scene just in time to stir things up. In an attempt to break out of bad habits, Chris agrees to meet Dan, a sweet Southern boy with an odd sexual past. All the while Evelyn tries to keep everyone from...well, unhinging...

    UNHINGING, above all, is a comedy that wonders why so many of us are so hellbent on self-sabotage.
  • For Mamma
    “For Mamma” is genre-mashup that hopes to foster dialogue about race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class and prejudice in the U.S. in 2016.

    Set in North Jersey, the play unfolds in a slightly non-linear fashion, broken into 12 scenes, taking place during the span of 12 months. The sets demands are minimal and the piece requires 4 actors (one case of deliberate doubling).

    Frank, a...
    “For Mamma” is genre-mashup that hopes to foster dialogue about race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class and prejudice in the U.S. in 2016.

    Set in North Jersey, the play unfolds in a slightly non-linear fashion, broken into 12 scenes, taking place during the span of 12 months. The sets demands are minimal and the piece requires 4 actors (one case of deliberate doubling).

    Frank, a 41-year-old struggling, biracial novelist applies for Medicaid for his ailing 90-year-old Mamma with the help of novice attorney, Edgar, 35. They meet with Pia, late 40s, the caseworker in charge. Pia is not very sympathetic to Frank's case, a complicated one where Frank is trying desperately to hold onto his family home.

    The initial appointment shows Pia to be bigoted, jaded and quite aware of the power she wields. She deliberately provokes Frank, calling him “Semi-spook,” and questioning his veracity, warning him that she will be diligent during the investigation process.

    Edgar assures Frank he has nothing to worry about since he's been Mamma's caregiver for over 5 years and qualifies for the “caregiver exemption” (where the lookback period is waved). Frank worries anyway. There is an initial unspoken attraction between the very married and seemingly hetero Edgar and the decidedly single Frank, who has devoted himself solely to his Mamma for years. Mamma has started to show signs of dementia and is convince that her favorite game show host, Mark Montgomery, has a crush on her via the TV.

    Frank begins to panic as the process drags on and Mamma's health begins to decline. Meanwhile, he and Edgar begin a sexual relationship. Frank advocates for Mamma at the rehab facility where she is recovering and Mamma imparts stories about how she met Frank's black father and how most members of her Italian family weren't crazy about their union, but she went against their wishes and married him anyway.

    The Medicaid investigation takes an unexpected turn as Mamma’s health deteriorates and Frank makes a drastic decision that will change his life forever.

    “For Mamma” explores how assumptions can destroy lives and ponders notions of true prejudice vs. learned modes of bias behavior.
  • Orville Station
    Lenny is a 25-year-old screenwriter wannabe living in a small town in NJ. He has completed one script that was met with universal rejection and has allowed fear and his family to rule his life.
    Lenny hangs out with his two best friends from high school, Xan, a rich, arrogant slacker and Janine, Xan's abrasive girlfriend, who Lenny has crushed on since high school.

    Seemingly content...
    Lenny is a 25-year-old screenwriter wannabe living in a small town in NJ. He has completed one script that was met with universal rejection and has allowed fear and his family to rule his life.
    Lenny hangs out with his two best friends from high school, Xan, a rich, arrogant slacker and Janine, Xan's abrasive girlfriend, who Lenny has crushed on since high school.

    Seemingly content with life in the small (fictional) town of Orville, NJ, the trio travel to NYC each weekend for fun. Orville happens to have the dubious distinction of most train deaths per year-usually suicides-in New Jersey (stats based on a real North Jersey town).

    Into their complacent lives burrows Chizzy, a good looking, mysterious, potentially-dangerous young man who instantly befriends Lenny and convinces him that he must do, “something drastic” if he ever wants to succeed as a real writer. Lenny takes him quite literally and his “drastic” action causes major ripples in the lives of all the characters-especially Lenny, who is just a train ride away from escaping the comfortable but inert groove he's created for himself.

    Orville Station deals with themes of longing and desire as well as the fear and anxiety that come with change. Dreaming is safe but actively pursuing that dream can provide the ultimate terror for some.
  • Less Than 2 Degrees
    LESS THAN 2 DEGREES explores the lives of a handful of extremely damaged individuals, living in Manhattan, whose paths intersect and intertwine via happenstance and deliberate manipulation.
    Marty, a wealthy anesthesiologist, lives with and keeps young, naive Danny. His life is shaken when his estranged younger brother Brian, who he sexually abused for a long period of time, comes to town. Brian is a...
    LESS THAN 2 DEGREES explores the lives of a handful of extremely damaged individuals, living in Manhattan, whose paths intersect and intertwine via happenstance and deliberate manipulation.
    Marty, a wealthy anesthesiologist, lives with and keeps young, naive Danny. His life is shaken when his estranged younger brother Brian, who he sexually abused for a long period of time, comes to town. Brian is a successful attorney by day/sex addict by night--battling a host of demons. Marty stalks Brian, unearthing repressed feelings and unleashing a series of events that will change them both.

    Simultaneously, Danny meets Meth-addict Christof and falls for him as well as the drug. Thanks to Brian, Marty finds out about Christof. Brian seeks help via Marty's therapist, Kitty. She has no idea she is treating both brothers, nor does she know how she fits into Brian's ultimate plan.

    All five lives are altered by the play's end via a chilling climax.
  • Michael's #1 Fan
    Robert is in a limbo of sorts. Waiting. For Lily. Only she can decide his fate. Robert and Lily have the daunting duty of enlightening the audience about the sequence of events that have brought them to such a perilous place.

    As MICHAEL'S #1 FAN unfolds, flashing backwards and forwards, we are introduced to the family members and townsfolk who dominate the lives of Robert and Lily,...
    Robert is in a limbo of sorts. Waiting. For Lily. Only she can decide his fate. Robert and Lily have the daunting duty of enlightening the audience about the sequence of events that have brought them to such a perilous place.

    As MICHAEL'S #1 FAN unfolds, flashing backwards and forwards, we are introduced to the family members and townsfolk who dominate the lives of Robert and Lily, beginning with the boisterous, adulterous Hank, Robert's brother and Lily's fiancé and Lee, Robert's frail and peculiar older sister.

    Unlucky in love, Robert seeks the advise of his long dead Aunt Bonnie. We then move on to the local Ice Cream Shoppe where Robert has a date with a maverick reporter named Don. Their waitress is the town gossip and omnipresent know-it-all, Kristi. At the end of Act One, Robert comes face to face with the bone-chilling, octogenarian serial killer, Monstrous Molly. Robert slowly unearths shocking truths and revelations about his lineage and experiences unthinkable betrayals within his trusted inner circle.

    The “Michael” in MICHAEL'S #1 FAN is Michael Sarrazin, a promising young film star-wannabe of the late 60s/early 70s. Robert looks to an autographed photo of Sarrazin for guidance as he awakens to his devastating real world.

    Is Robert spiritually broken beyond repair?
  • #bullied
    #bullied explores the life of a small-town gay teen that is bullied, attempts suicide, but then decides to fight back.

    The play chronicles the story of a 16-year-old boy trying to get along in today’s America—a divided country where the fates of kids who are ‘different’ seem to be at the mercy of geography and where adults rarely behave appropriately. At the heart of the piece is an unapologetic...
    #bullied explores the life of a small-town gay teen that is bullied, attempts suicide, but then decides to fight back.

    The play chronicles the story of a 16-year-old boy trying to get along in today’s America—a divided country where the fates of kids who are ‘different’ seem to be at the mercy of geography and where adults rarely behave appropriately. At the heart of the piece is an unapologetic gay teen love story.
  • Nemesis
    Nemesis examines the all-consuming nature of revenge as one young girl makes it her mission to
    destroy the father she never knew.

    Paul is a misanthropic, blocked writer who fills his time picking up unattractive men in gay bar
    parking lots. One night he encounters, Tyler, a ridiculously attractive 18-year-old on the prowl--for
    him. Initially apprehensive, Paul soon finds...
    Nemesis examines the all-consuming nature of revenge as one young girl makes it her mission to
    destroy the father she never knew.

    Paul is a misanthropic, blocked writer who fills his time picking up unattractive men in gay bar
    parking lots. One night he encounters, Tyler, a ridiculously attractive 18-year-old on the prowl--for
    him. Initially apprehensive, Paul soon finds himself taken with Tyler and feeling a hope he hasn't
    felt since childhood. Alas, the boy is part of a scheme to con Paul, led by his biological daughter,
    Bree. Although they've never met, Bree blames Paul for all of the misfortune in her life, including
    an upbringing that involved a drug-addicted mother.

    Bree's elaborate plot also involves hustling Paul's neurotic significant other, Luke. Bree poses as
    Jane Fonda's cousin in order to solicit Luke's bizarre “life-instructor” services. When Bree finally
    comes face-to-face with Paul, things take a startling turn.

    Nemesis blends harsh realism with black-comedy melodrama, revealing the humanity of its deeply
    damaged characters in unexpected ways and suggesting an atypical type of salvation.
  • 3 Cains
    Cain Gardner is suffering from a chaotic kind of dissociative identity disorder.

    Thirty-five year old playwright Cain Gardner is an emotional wreck! His wife, Jen, has left him. He has a seemingly permanent case of writer’s block. AND, the demons from his dysfunctional childhood are beginning to creep up on him. As Cain’s mind begins an implosion, he is confronted with images of himself at ages...
    Cain Gardner is suffering from a chaotic kind of dissociative identity disorder.

    Thirty-five year old playwright Cain Gardner is an emotional wreck! His wife, Jen, has left him. He has a seemingly permanent case of writer’s block. AND, the demons from his dysfunctional childhood are beginning to creep up on him. As Cain’s mind begins an implosion, he is confronted with images of himself at ages twenty-five and fifteen. Angry at what they have become these past-Cain-alters refuse to vanish without explanations about what brought them to such a frightening state.

    Cain and Jen are both haunted by their past as well as their present. As they come together to attempt to figure it all out—things take a turn for the uber-surreal.

    In order to survive, Cain goes on trial for murder. But this is no ordinary courtroom. It’s more reality-TV/game show-based where anything can and will happen. Fresh hell rules the day and with the media lurking outside, the circus/trial/show must go on--with the future of several characters at stake. In the end nothing and no one is necessarily what they appear to be, but they are all there to save Cain. Or are they?
  • The Bubble
    Quentin, a cocky director, is doing his damnedest to guide Zoe, a temperamental thespian, towards greatness in the stage melodrama, CIVIL WAR WHORE. No, wait! Quentin is really romancing the high-strung ingénue, Alice, in the TV musical version of the same play. Hold it! Quentin is actually about to get nasty with eager actor Steve in the porn version-Cut that! Quentin is now bewitched by the Brasilian...
    Quentin, a cocky director, is doing his damnedest to guide Zoe, a temperamental thespian, towards greatness in the stage melodrama, CIVIL WAR WHORE. No, wait! Quentin is really romancing the high-strung ingénue, Alice, in the TV musical version of the same play. Hold it! Quentin is actually about to get nasty with eager actor Steve in the porn version-Cut that! Quentin is now bewitched by the Brasilian bombshell Fernanda who is busy seducing Lorenzo, the “bisexual with no character development…” Okay, stop! Really. Enter, The Writer, who keeps changing the script, the genre and even the medium he is writing in.

    Act One of THE BUBBLE journeys into the mind of Phil, a determined playwright on the verge of a meltdown, as he gives mental birth to these crackpot characters that, eventually declare mutiny on him. Phil must quickly reevaluate his work, his process and a few personal issues.

    In Act Two, the focus shifts to the rehearsal process where parallel characters are immersed in theatrical politics. The troupe includes: Fred, the dictatorial director; Lawrence, the dimwitted hottie; Xavier, the bombastic mandiva; Adam, the cheery costume designer; Callas, the directionally-impaired leading lady; Chloe, the Sapphic seductress and the Other Phil, who we, curiously, never see.

    The work culminates in the play itself (Act Three) where we become privy to Phil's family funneled through his own 'dundercloddish' version of who they are.

    THE BUBBLE examines the creative process and explores the contents of one writer's wacky head in an attempt to find meaning in his work and, perhaps, come to certain personal realizations.


  • Greener
    Set entirely in a cemetery, GREENER, examines the lives of six extremely close high school mates who gather together to celebrate their 10-year reunion after one of them has committed suicide.

    The play bounces back and forth in time from the present to moments from high school (Junior year).

    The play begins as Mitchell, known has ‘Mr. Emperor-Sir’, returns to town from New York...
    Set entirely in a cemetery, GREENER, examines the lives of six extremely close high school mates who gather together to celebrate their 10-year reunion after one of them has committed suicide.

    The play bounces back and forth in time from the present to moments from high school (Junior year).

    The play begins as Mitchell, known has ‘Mr. Emperor-Sir’, returns to town from New York City, having quit his job as a journalist. He meets up with his old friends, Pietro, an abrasive but caring gay cop, Lon, their daffy yet disturbed buddy and Avalee, Lon’s very pregnant, very psychic wife. We soon learn that Lon’s identical twin, Bon, committed suicide not so long ago. Rounding out the group is the surprise entrance of Mitchell’s ex-gal, Sherri.

    As the plot unfolds, Mitchell and Sherri do everything they can to prove they do not belong together, ultimately demonstrating the opposite as truth. Avalee hones her psychic abilities and plans her future--without Lon or her unborn child. Pietro introduces the group to his 17-year old boy-toy, Cal, whose grandmother died under questionable circumstances. Lon analyzes the possible reasons for his brother Bon’s death, and reaches certain chilling conclusions.

    Act One culminates in a frighteningly surreal seance bursting with shocking revelations and introducing many new questions.

    Act Two attempts to answer many of those questions while creating a slew more, allowing the audience to make their own decisions about where some truths lie. Bouncing back and forth and forth and back in time, we take a peek into the world of these six close friends, attempt to figure out where everything went wrong and watch as their lives and the play reaches a shattering and unsettling conclusion.

    Peppered throughout the work are six dead boy monologues. Each tell a different tale of demise from the perspective of a dead 19-year old.. Macabre, comic, sad and hopeful, these moments lend a key to the mystery of Greener.
  • Screw the Cow
    SCREW THE COW satirizes Hollywood, a place and state-of-mind that already exists at a level of extreme surreality.

    Sydney Feingold, a very prominent and intimidating studio head, has just greenlit two new projects from two vastly different directors.

    Rik Moran is an up-and-coming, craft conscious writer/director whose indie film, GO TO HELL, is being hailed as gritty and...
    SCREW THE COW satirizes Hollywood, a place and state-of-mind that already exists at a level of extreme surreality.

    Sydney Feingold, a very prominent and intimidating studio head, has just greenlit two new projects from two vastly different directors.

    Rik Moran is an up-and-coming, craft conscious writer/director whose indie film, GO TO HELL, is being hailed as gritty and groundbreaking.

    Santino “Sonny’ Bugiardo is an idiosyncratic Italian helmer whose film about the son of the brother of Christ is causing controversy.

    Rik’s gal, Clara Monroe, has just been cast as Mary Magdalene in the Bugiardo project thanks to Sydney’s “personal secretary” Jimmy-Gerard who manipulates most of the decisions made at the studio. JG has his own personal reasons for causing trouble for Rik and Clara that have everything to do with his desire to have Rik—in every way.

    The film follows the lunatic world of moviemaking as both directors capture their vision on film and then watch their work marketed, screened, festivaled and judged—critically, commercially and finally by their peers via the ultimate prize: Oscar.

    Along the tarnished road to gold god glory, lives will be altered, destroyed and reborn while careers will be made, broken and repaired.

    SCREW THE COW depicts how far “artists” are willing to go for fame, fortune and power and how much of their soul they are willing to sacrifice.
  • Lexy, a tragedy
    Lexy is a successful Park Avenue therapist whose life is about to radically change.

    After seven years together, Lexy’s sexy significant other, Miriam, walks out on her. Her best friend, Jag, does her best to help her cope.

    Soon, via Jag, Lexy is reintroduced to Adam, an English teacher with fond memories of Lexy from their days in high school, twenty years ago. Adam pursues Lexy,...
    Lexy is a successful Park Avenue therapist whose life is about to radically change.

    After seven years together, Lexy’s sexy significant other, Miriam, walks out on her. Her best friend, Jag, does her best to help her cope.

    Soon, via Jag, Lexy is reintroduced to Adam, an English teacher with fond memories of Lexy from their days in high school, twenty years ago. Adam pursues Lexy, who has never really had an interest in men.

    Adam’s star student, Scott, has suddenly started to regress and is showing signs of violent behavior. Apprehensive at the outset, Lexy agrees to treat Scott and together they confront the dark demons that have forced him to detach.

    Lexy finds herself falling for Adam. As their relationship blossoms, Miriam returns and causes heaps of trouble for everyone; especially Scott.

    A transformed Lexy must now look to her past to understand her present situation and plot her future. Will it include Adam or Miriam? And what lengths will Miriam go to in order to get Lexy back?

    LEXY challenges the accepted norms in our lives and pursues alternative views to “black and white” issues. It’s a play about the power and danger of memory. Lexy and Scott must make choices based on revelation and realization. One will choose a new road. The other will not.

    Note: There is an alternate, more comedic version of this script which had one additional character (a female) and is much less a tragedy. The focus in the comedy is divided between Lexy and Adam and Lexy and Scott. The original play blended both the comedic and dramatic elements.
  • Lexy, a comedy
    Lexy is a successful Park Avenue therapist whose life is about to radically change.

    After seven years together, Lexy’s sexy significant other, Miriam, walks out on her. Her best friend, Jag, does her best to help her cope.

    Soon, via Jag, Lexy is reintroduced to Adam, an English teacher with fond memories of Lexy from their days in high school, twenty years ago. Adam pursues Lexy,...
    Lexy is a successful Park Avenue therapist whose life is about to radically change.

    After seven years together, Lexy’s sexy significant other, Miriam, walks out on her. Her best friend, Jag, does her best to help her cope.

    Soon, via Jag, Lexy is reintroduced to Adam, an English teacher with fond memories of Lexy from their days in high school, twenty years ago. Adam pursues Lexy, who has never really had an interest in men.

    Adam’s star student, Scott, has suddenly started to regress and is showing signs of violent behavior. Apprehensive at the outset, Lexy agrees to treat Scott and together they confront the dark demons that have forced him to detach.

    Lexy finds herself falling for Adam. As their relationship blossoms, Miriam returns and causes heaps of trouble for everyone; especially Scott.

    A transformed Lexy must now look to her past to understand her present situation and plot her future. Will it include Adam or Miriam? And what lengths will Miriam go to in order to get Lexy back?

    LEXY challenges the accepted norms in our lives and pursues alternative views to “black and white” issues. It’s a play about the power and danger of memory. Lexy and Scott must make choices based on revelation and realization. One will choose a new road. The other will not.

    Note: There is an alternate, more dramatic version of this script which does not include the character of Alana.
  • Less Than Six Degrees (formerly M4M4NOW)
    LESS THAN SIX DEGREES is a peek into the lives of eight gay men, and one woman, depicting the dangers, delusions, distractions and demon-driven desires inherent in the need to meet someone in our tech-obsessed, speed-of-sound society.

    This sexually-charged work explores many current and controversial lifestyle choices being made by gay men today. Infidelity for one character produces barely an...
    LESS THAN SIX DEGREES is a peek into the lives of eight gay men, and one woman, depicting the dangers, delusions, distractions and demon-driven desires inherent in the need to meet someone in our tech-obsessed, speed-of-sound society.

    This sexually-charged work explores many current and controversial lifestyle choices being made by gay men today. Infidelity for one character produces barely an afterthought, while for another can be life altering. Crystal Meth provides a vital escape for one character while doing permanent damage to another. And HIV status is sometimes discussed after a sexual encounter.

    The characters represent a microcosmic cross-section of gay Manhattan yet they aren’t necessarily who they initially appear to be.

    The writer cannot write but can brilliantly spew clever and perceptive insights.
    The attorney, by day, is an S&M sex addict by night.
    The therapist hides her own need for mental help.
    The promiscuous gym rat longs to merge love and sex.
    The arrogant doctor is obsessed with the brother he spent years molesting.

    As the boys slink and storm into and out of each other’s lives—via coincidence, karmic happenstance or sheer will--only one thing is certain: the search will continue.

    LESS THAN SIX DEGREES is about the lengths men will go to for companionship, the games they play in pursuit of sexual fulfillment and the consequences they must ultimately face.
  • About Christine
    Unknown twentysomething playwright Tony Scarpellini is desperate to interest 40-year old Daytime Emmy-winning soap vet Jeanetta Jamison in his new play, PENNIES FOR CHRISTINE. His actor/best friend, Nando, is convinced she’ll say no.

    Unbeknownst to Tony, Jeanetta has finally read his play and, tired of doing daytime, had decided it has potential. Jeanetta’s overbearing mother, Sylvia, cannot...
    Unknown twentysomething playwright Tony Scarpellini is desperate to interest 40-year old Daytime Emmy-winning soap vet Jeanetta Jamison in his new play, PENNIES FOR CHRISTINE. His actor/best friend, Nando, is convinced she’ll say no.

    Unbeknownst to Tony, Jeanetta has finally read his play and, tired of doing daytime, had decided it has potential. Jeanetta’s overbearing mother, Sylvia, cannot disagree more and will stop at nothing to make certain Jeanetta does not ruin her career.

    A determined Jeanetta decides to pay Tony a visit and before she can tell him why she’s come, she finds herself drugged, bound and cuffed to a coffee table!

    After a justified tantrum by Jeanetta, the two begin speaking to one another about PENNIES FOR CHRISTINE. Jeanetta explains that she likes the play and actually came to his door to agree to do it. She pleads for him to let her go. Tony fears this would mean prison for him and refuses.

    Jeanetta accuses Tony of writing too safely and not follow through with his daring themes.

    Tony challenges Jeanetta about her personal life and about allowing her mother to control every aspect of that life.

    A twisted psycho-sexual relationship develops between the two and an act of pity leads to a violent sexual confrontation as Act One ends.

    Act Two opens with Tony accusing Jeanetta of raping him, something she scoffs at. Tony and Jeanetta must deal with the repercussions of their actions.

    What does the future hold for this unlikely pair? Will they become creative collaborators? Best friends? Arch nemeses? Torrid lovers? Will they go back to being dispassionate strangers? Or will they simply kill each other...?
  • Catamitus
    Tanner, a fairly successful TV actor, visits his former mentor and lover, Dylan, to confront him about their past relationship. Dylan is a famous film director now caught up in a host of sexual misconduct allegations while Tanner has demons linked directly to his past with Dylan.
  • Confusion
    Gaetano and Tom, a couple, haven’t connected with one another in quite a while. And both have been having sex with other guys. Gaetano finally confronts Tom about their lack of intimacy.
  • Cunning
    Galia and Tom, a couple, haven’t connected with one another in quite a while. Galia finally confronts Tom about their lack of intimacy.
  • Evil in His Mind
    Based loosely on factual accounts, “Evil in His Mind” centers on Alejandro, now 28, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who alleges that a parish priest molested him 13 years ago in Plainfield, New Jersey. After the accusation, the priest, Father Luis Garcia, then 40, fled to his native country of Ecuador. Now, all these years later, Alejandro has filed charges against Garcia (there is no longer a statue of...
    Based loosely on factual accounts, “Evil in His Mind” centers on Alejandro, now 28, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who alleges that a parish priest molested him 13 years ago in Plainfield, New Jersey. After the accusation, the priest, Father Luis Garcia, then 40, fled to his native country of Ecuador. Now, all these years later, Alejandro has filed charges against Garcia (there is no longer a statue of limitations when it comes to sexual abuse in NJ).

    The one-act explores the events that happened those 13 years ago as Alejandro confronts a now ailing Father Garcia and forces him to tell his account of the events, hoping to get at the truth and some kind of closure. Alejandro enlists the help of himself at the age of 15, who has a clearer memory of what happened. He has also brought along another being that was present when the alleged rape took place: God.

    It is God who is able to get Father Garcia to admit certain things that will hopefully enable Alejandro to find some kind of peace. But in the end, it’s possible that Alejandro is even more haunted once everyone has had their respective says.

    The piece deals with memory, responsibility, and the forever-lingering, life-altering damage caused by sexual abuse.

    “Evil in His Mind” is a genre-mash-up blending intense drama with black comedy and social satire.

  • Godforsaken
    GODFORSAKEN finds the last two Survivors on earth, both male, one an optimist, one a nihilist, trying to figure out what exactly happened and why they are still alive.

    Initially, Survivor #2 is certain Survivor #1 exists only in his head. After a deviation in what has become a mundane theme, Survivor #2 begins to think Survivor #1 may
    actually exist.

    As the two come to an...
    GODFORSAKEN finds the last two Survivors on earth, both male, one an optimist, one a nihilist, trying to figure out what exactly happened and why they are still alive.

    Initially, Survivor #2 is certain Survivor #1 exists only in his head. After a deviation in what has become a mundane theme, Survivor #2 begins to think Survivor #1 may
    actually exist.

    As the two come to an outrageous conclusion, a Mutant Female enters the situation and wreaks havoc on their insular world, threatening their existence.
  • Godforsaken Pink
    Two females wake up to fine they're post-apocalyptic survivors. Or are they?

    Sequel to GODFORSAKEN but also a stand alone.

    If both are presented together, there is a GODFORSAKEN PINK version most suitable. See below under script sample
  • Spumoni To Go
    An Italian-American brother and sister compete for the same dude on the beach.
  • The Dead Boy
    A white male teen rants about his suicide from the afterlife.
  • Roman Orgy Lounge
    Gaetano and Tom, a young couple, haven’t connected with one another in quite a while. Gaetano finally confronts Tom about their lack of intimacy, at a sex bar.
  • Consent '88
    CONSENT examines the many types of bullying gay teens face, both obvious and subtle.

    The work is set in 1988 and focuses on Seth, a troubled 16-year-old, trying to come to terms with his sexuality in the face of ridicule and prejudice. In addition, the play honestly depicts Seth’s sexual awakening as he crushes on his bully’s younger brother and discovers that his feelings may be reciprocated....
    CONSENT examines the many types of bullying gay teens face, both obvious and subtle.

    The work is set in 1988 and focuses on Seth, a troubled 16-year-old, trying to come to terms with his sexuality in the face of ridicule and prejudice. In addition, the play honestly depicts Seth’s sexual awakening as he crushes on his bully’s younger brother and discovers that his feelings may be reciprocated. Seth is also involved in a disturbing relationship with his baseball coach and must deal with the return of his estranged mother. He soon finds his life spinning out of control and attempts suicide. Seth survives and, defiantly, decides to fight back.

    A teen friendly version of CONSENT, retitled #bullied was created specifically to reach teen audiences.

    This third reworking of CONSENT, sets the play in 1988.

    I am happy with all three versions as they each have something to say but take differing approaches.
  • Mamma
    Frank, a 41-year-old struggling, biracial novelist cares for his ailing 90-year-old Mamma who has started to show signs of dementia and is convince that her favorite game show host, Mark Montgomery, has a crush on her via the TV.

    Mamma's health begins to decline. Frank advocates for Mamma at the rehab facility where she is recovering and Mamma imparts stories about how she met Frank's...
    Frank, a 41-year-old struggling, biracial novelist cares for his ailing 90-year-old Mamma who has started to show signs of dementia and is convince that her favorite game show host, Mark Montgomery, has a crush on her via the TV.

    Mamma's health begins to decline. Frank advocates for Mamma at the rehab facility where she is recovering and Mamma imparts stories about how she met Frank's black father and how most members of her Italian family weren't crazy about their union, but she went against their wishes and married him anyway.
  • Brad's Story
    A deranged young man chronicles the sequence of events that led up to the night he committed a heinous crime.
  • By the Way, My Name's Sharon
    A young female serial killer chats with one of her corpses.
  • Rage
    A woman dies and goes directly to hell.
  • Just Like Sisters
    On the eve of her son's graduation, Liza and her mother Charlotte have a revealing night that proves cathartic for the both of them.