James Christy

James Christy


Full length plays: A GREAT WAR: Production, Iron Age Theatre, September 2015, Barrymore Nomination, Best New Play; AT LIBERTY HALL: workshop production Premiere Stages, Fall 2014, 2nd place, Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Youth Play Competition; LOVE AND COMMUNICATION: Playpenn Playwrights Conference, July 2010, production by Passage Theatre in October 2010, winner, the Brown Martin Barrymore Award in...

Full length plays: A GREAT WAR: Production, Iron Age Theatre, September 2015, Barrymore Nomination, Best New Play; AT LIBERTY HALL: workshop production Premiere Stages, Fall 2014, 2nd place, Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Youth Play Competition; LOVE AND COMMUNICATION: Playpenn Playwrights Conference, July 2010, production by Passage Theatre in October 2010, winner, the Brown Martin Barrymore Award in 2011; EGYPTIAN SONG: finalist Eugene O’Neill conference 2016; NEVER TELL: Broken Watch Theatre Company, August 2006, published by Playscripts Inc., April 2007. PUT THEM AWAY: finalist, New Jersey Playwrights contest from William Paterson University, 2013.

Honors/Awards: Dramatists Guild Fellow 2016/2017; Winner, Actors Theater of Louisville's Heideman Award for best short play 2001; Winner, Brown-Martin Barrymore Award, 2011.

“Mr. Christy has a real gift for contemporary, insightful, darkly funny dialogue that reflects believable human interaction.” – Anita Gates, NY Times August, 2006 re: NEVER TELL
"A powerful new play... to pull out the rug from an audience and make it gasp even once is an achievement; to do it twice is close to miraculous."—Peter Filichia, NJ Star Ledger, October 2010, re: LOVE AND COMMUNICATION

Plays

  • AT LIBERTY HALL
    The story of an unlikely pair of American immigrants, At Liberty Hall follows two high school students who've just moved to New Jersey: Christian Rosario, a funny but unfocused 10th grader from Queens by way of the Dominican Republic; and the subject of Christian's 10th grade history project Alexander Hamilton, now 16 and sweating his application to what will someday become Princeton University. This...
    The story of an unlikely pair of American immigrants, At Liberty Hall follows two high school students who've just moved to New Jersey: Christian Rosario, a funny but unfocused 10th grader from Queens by way of the Dominican Republic; and the subject of Christian's 10th grade history project Alexander Hamilton, now 16 and sweating his application to what will someday become Princeton University. This time-bending story finds common threads of humor, honor and awkward dating in the experiences of a someday-Founding Father and a kid from the DR looking for a way out of the projects.
  • NEVER TELL
    An ensemble drama that centers around two enigmatic creations: a controversial video installation that includes documentary-style footage of a rape; and a computer program with vast business potential. Two best friends are pulled in opposite directions as the art dealer who presents the installation becomes a media celebrity while the computer programmer’s work is stolen in a surreal corporate power play.
  • DISSENT
    Supreme Court Justice John Clark has been fighting the growing legal power of corporations his whole career. And now, in the year 2045, in a nation ravaged by drought, inflation and food insecurity, this battle has come to a head. A progressive president enacts an ambition farming bill offering direct food assistance to those in need. The program is already feeding millions of Americans. But the future of the...
    Supreme Court Justice John Clark has been fighting the growing legal power of corporations his whole career. And now, in the year 2045, in a nation ravaged by drought, inflation and food insecurity, this battle has come to a head. A progressive president enacts an ambition farming bill offering direct food assistance to those in need. The program is already feeding millions of Americans. But the future of the program is in doubt as a case against the bill is being heard by a divided Supreme Court.

    Lauren Keppinger has no job, her nerves are shot and she hasn’t left her house in six weeks. She hasn’t worked since she quit her job at a food lobbyist over two years ago. And now her journalist husband has written an article about the rampant boozing and whoring of Justice Clark. After an online introduction, Clark and Keppinger form an unlikely alliance, pursuing a desperate plan that shows just how far past the law they’re willing to go to get the result they want.

    After an online introduction, Clark and Keppinger form an unlikely alliance, pursuing a desperate plan that shows just how far past the law they’re willing to go to get the result they want.
  • LOVE AND COMMUNICATION
    “A face touched by God.” Samuel Holden is by all accounts, a spectacularly beautiful child. His parents, school administrators, therapists and lawyers fighting about the best way to treat his autism all agree on that. And practically nothing else.

    His father Rob will do anything necessary – anything -- to get Samuel into a private school with a years-long waiting list. For his mother Megan, the...
    “A face touched by God.” Samuel Holden is by all accounts, a spectacularly beautiful child. His parents, school administrators, therapists and lawyers fighting about the best way to treat his autism all agree on that. And practically nothing else.

    His father Rob will do anything necessary – anything -- to get Samuel into a private school with a years-long waiting list. For his mother Megan, the answer is a relatively new therapy patented by a charismatic doctor. As these increasingly desperate efforts take them in different directions, their marriage -- and their relationship with their son -- hang in the balance.
  • A GREAT WAR
    Germany, 1918. Erich, a young corporal, storms into an office, demanding to see the Supreme commander of German forces. A clerk calls out to soldiers who are supposed to be guarding the door. There’s no reply. He sees blood on Erich’s uniform. The Commander is not in. Erich, showing his weapon, says he will wait.

    Flashback to 1914, Germany preparing for war. Erich and Gisela listen as a...
    Germany, 1918. Erich, a young corporal, storms into an office, demanding to see the Supreme commander of German forces. A clerk calls out to soldiers who are supposed to be guarding the door. There’s no reply. He sees blood on Erich’s uniform. The Commander is not in. Erich, showing his weapon, says he will wait.

    Flashback to 1914, Germany preparing for war. Erich and Gisela listen as a charismatic young Officer named Cuttner speaks fervently in support of the war. Erich enlists, asking Gisela if she’ll marry him when he returns from war. Asks that she care for his father, an ex-Rabbi who is one of the few voices against the war.

    The ambitious Officer Cuttner gets an assignment working for General Von Schlieffen, the nation’s leading military planner. The General is preparing an aggressive plan war strategy. He drafts Cuttner to help him finish the plan. Eventually Schlieffen introduces Cuttner to the Kaiser.

    We follow Erich’s experiences in the war. He’s is a natural soldier, immediately a leader among his troops, fearless, and over time, seemingly indestructible. In a series of offensives he’s able to move forward into enemy territory by himself as the majority of his fellow soldiers are killed or wounded. Cuttner is the commander of Erich’s battalion. He uses his connection with Schlieffen and the Kaiser to move quickly up the ranks.

    As the 2nd act begins the war is in its fourth year. In a series of letters home we hear Erich’s depression as his inexplicable survival seems to have morphed from a blessing to a curse.

    As the outlook for Germany in the war worsens Cuttner is promoted to commander of forces and immediately orders a final offensive, a repeat of Von Schleiffen’s original offensive.

    Cuttner assigns Erich to personally deliver the orders to the field generals. Erich reads the orders, quickly seeing not only that the attack plan is doomed, but that the rationale for the initial attack was based on miscalculations and outright lies.

    Learning that the war he has dedicated his life to has been fought under false pretenses, Erich abandons his mission and journeys back to central command to meet Cuttner. Their final confrontation illustrates the jarring imbalance between the planning of war and its execution.
  • EGYPTIAN SONG
    Nalal and Zahia are boy/girl twins growing up in rural Egypt in the 1920s. Zahia has a gorgeous singing voice and from an early age sings Nahal to sleep at night. She begins singing at religious ceremonies and word quickly spreads about her voice. The twins are raised by their domineering (but loving) widowed mother. She hopes to marry Zahia to Achmed, son of a local landowner.

    Zahia gains a...
    Nalal and Zahia are boy/girl twins growing up in rural Egypt in the 1920s. Zahia has a gorgeous singing voice and from an early age sings Nahal to sleep at night. She begins singing at religious ceremonies and word quickly spreads about her voice. The twins are raised by their domineering (but loving) widowed mother. She hopes to marry Zahia to Achmed, son of a local landowner.

    Zahia gains a wider following, singing at weddings across the region. Her uncle brings her to the events, where she goes dressed as a boy. Zahia also works in the back of her mother’s store sorting produce. She befriends Hamdy, another worker in the store. While they aren’t allowed to speak, they pass notes. Hamdy provides Zahia with bits of Western magazines, where she’s drawn to images of Josephine Baker.

    As Zahia gains attention as a singer, her mother decides that her marriage prospects are more important and forbids her from singing. Zahia is crushed. While she used to confide in her brother Nahal, he’s become more conservative as he aligns himself with the Achmed.

    Hamdy invites her on a risky outing to listen to music on a phonograph at a wealthy neighbors’ home. She impulsively agrees. They listen to a Josephine Baker record and dance, chastely. But they are seen coming out of the house.

    When Nahal learns what’s happened, his confrontation with his sister lays bare the conflict between their filial bond and his perception of his family’s honor.