DC Cathro

DC Cathro

DC Cathro is a Chicago-based playwright, actor, and director from the Washington DC metropolitan area. His musical "Till," written with award-winning composer Leo Schwartz, was one of three winners in the 2016 Main Street Musicals Festival, selected by Gregory Mosher, and was also accepted into the 2019 New York Musical Festival (NYMF). "The Book of Merman," another musical written with Leo...
DC Cathro is a Chicago-based playwright, actor, and director from the Washington DC metropolitan area. His musical "Till," written with award-winning composer Leo Schwartz, was one of three winners in the 2016 Main Street Musicals Festival, selected by Gregory Mosher, and was also accepted into the 2019 New York Musical Festival (NYMF). "The Book of Merman," another musical written with Leo Schwartz, enjoyed a five-month run Off-Broadway. In 2014, he became the only playwright to have two shows in the Pride Films and Plays Festival in Chicago, IL; "Pen, A Musical" (with Schwartz) and the comedy "Family Holiday." DC's works have been read at theatres and festivals across the U.S., including The William Inge Festival in Independence, Kansas, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and St. Luke's Theatre, Off-Broadway in New York City.

NOTE: Plays below are alphabetical, grouped in the following order:
Full Length Plays


  • Chai
    Full length. Chai (his nickname), an African American teen, hates his real name, so his girlfriend raises the money for him to legally change it. Chai's mother, however, is completely opposed to the idea.
  • Family Holiday
    Full length. RJ goes home for the holidays and a nice relaxing time with his family and best friend. They, however, have other plans. Secrets are revealed and RJ is stuck in the middle of this fast-paced holiday farce for modern times.

  • Finger
    Full Length. Seventeen year old Vee discovers something strange inside a small box, and embarks on a dangerous search for the owner.
  • Reason for Return
    Full length. Gail's dress shop falls on hard times after a tragedy in the community. She and her daughter Abby try to deal with the repercussions but things spiral downward and come to a head when Gail discovers that Abby may have unwittingly caused it all.

  • ReConnect
    Full length. "ReConnect" is a funny and poignant series of six one-acts that center on the reunions of eleven different people and the surprise, pain, and awareness that reconnecting brings. Mother and daughter, teacher and student, friends, lovers and more. (Note: contains "That Kiss" and "Roadkill")
  • Teaching Professor Langstrom
    Full length. Professor Langstrom’s concern about a student’s welts and bruises develops into a relationship neither was expecting.
  • The Book of Merman: A Musical
    Musical Comedy. Book by Leo Schwartz and DC Cathro, Music and Lyrics by Leo Schwartz. Full length. Two Mormon missionaries knock on the door of Ethel Merman in this funny and touching musical.

  • Pen: A Musical
    Book by DC Cathro, Music by Leo Schwartz, Lyrics by Leo Schwartz and DC Cathro. Full Length Musical. Unhappy from a recent breakup and looking for a distraction, Paul starts corresponding with a pen pal in another state. Soon, what began as an innocent flirtation evolves into an emotional attachment that neither of them expected. The problem? Paul’s pen pal is a prisoner, incarcerated for 13 more years.
  • TILL: A Musical
    Book by Leo Schwartz and DC Cathro
    Music by Leo Schwartz
    Lyrics by Leo Schwartz.
    Full length musical. Emmett Till, a young black boy away from home for the first time, is caught up in the horror of the Jim Crow South when he is kidnapped and lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Based on a true story, TILL explores the short life of Emmett and the powerful love of his mother, Mamie.
  • Car Games
    35 pages. A young man and woman are on a long drive. Tension is high, so she tries to distract the man from their destination by engaging him in a series of car games, until the audience finds out where they are headed, and why.
  • Commemorative Edition
    21 pages. A coming-of-age tale about a boy's crush on his coach during the time of the 1984 Olympic Games.
  • Fixed
    41 pages. A woman tries to connect with her goth tattoo artist. Both are damaged. Can they fix each other?
  • That Kiss
    21 pages. Monica hasn't seen Kelly since college, so she's taken aback when Kelly shows up on her doorstep in a wedding dress to profess her love.
  • And Be Gay
    5 pages. Randy returns from a rally, dejected because his plan for the counter-protestors was foiled.
  • The Artist Formerly Known as T
    7 pages. T, a rapper, is confronted by his manager and pushed to change his name. It seems someone else has the same name and it's causing problems.
  • The Bag Under the Bed
    10 pages. Verne and Elle have different ideas on how to spice up their sex life.
  • The Bearer
    2 pages. A father and son remember dead celebrities and the impact they left on their lives.
  • Big Black Giraffe
    5 pages. Joey is in a panic because something that looks like a big, black giraffe is attacking the city... But Vickie remains skeptical.
  • Boots Up the Chimney
    10 pages. Steven answers a video call from Buddy, who claims to be his half-brother, with news about their father.
  • Chase
    5 pages. Chase comes home, visibly distraught. The actress playing Chase has no lines, but throughout the scene we discover what she's going through.
  • Christmas Stories
    11 pages. Billy and Violet are exchanging gifts with Violet's Mom, but the stories behind the presents are the real gifts in this short holiday comedy.
  • Competition Postponed Due to Weather
    4 pages. Julie's horse show has been cancelled, so mom is trapped with a bitter 12-year-old in a hotel room.
  • The Creek
    10 pages. Two couples reminisce after a class reunion, but tensions surface when a long held betrayal is revealed.
  • Daddy Mack
    12 pages. Mack and Marty have an online relationship, but Marty wants it to be real.
  • Daddy Mack (Video Version)
    11 pages. Mack and Marty have an online relationship, but Marty wants it to be real.
    (Written to be performed online ie. Zoom, Messenger, etc.)

  • Damaged
    9 pages. Klein badgers Casey about why their roommate, Declan, only seems to date a very particular type of man.
  • A Day in the Life of a Former Zombie
    9 pages. Donnie's co-workers find out he was in a horror movie back in college, but when they watch it some of them take issue with his character.
  • Donna
    2 pages. As a riot rages outside, Donna tries to shut out the chaos... Until it comes crashing into her world.
  • Elizabeth
    14 pages. Cassie and Karl are locked in a hospital room after the birth of their daughter... Because she's different.
  • Every Four Years
    5 pages. Frannie is waiting for her absentee ballot to show up in the mail and threatens her son James with drastic measures if she doesn't receive it soon.
  • Fever (Radio Play)
    10 pages. Angel wants to go out dancing with Deke, but Mama is afraid of what might happen.
  • Fever (Stage Play)
    10 pages. Angel wants to go out dancing with Deke, but Mama is afraid of what might happen.
  • A Field of Beautiful Weeds
    5 pages. The present and the past collide in this short piece about a woman finding what she loves over who she loves. Inspired by the song "But a Girl" by the musical artist Brenda Xu.
  • The Fine Art of Critiquing the Hang of the Shoe
    8 pages. Dax wore out a pair of shoes, and Quentin doesn't really understand why they have to drive to a different neighborhood to throw them away.
  • First Lesson
    5 pages. A violin student reveals to his teacher the tragic and touching reason he's learning the instrument.
  • The First Pescatarian (Based on the Ancient Texts)
    8 pages. Caveman Rockefeller struggles with hunting, so he looks for an alternative food source for himself and Phoebe.
  • Flying Solo
    9 pages. When Martin finds out his wife cheated on him, he sells his entire Star Wars collection to become his hero.
  • The Forecast Calls for Showers
    7 pages. Diana finds out that her teenage boys are watching her neighbor in the shower, and tempers start to flare when she tries to put a stop to it.
  • Front Porch
    9 pages. Candace and Paul return from their vacation to the scene of a tragedy that struck while they were away.
  • Game Night
    11 pages. Two couples are enjoying a bottle of wine at a silly game night, but the game gets serious when one player pushes things too far.
  • Goldfish
    8 pages. A chance encounter at some motel vending machines turns into something sinister.
  • Hadley's Son Finds the Truth
    13 pages. Hadley is getting ready for Thanksgiving when her teenage son finds something he wasn't supposed to find... His birth certificate.
  • Harry Vs James or The Cigarette Butt Incident
    7 pages. Harry and James explain to their wives why they ended up in the hospital and the police station, respectively.
  • Hate the Game
    7 pages. J.J. made the touchdown, but wants to hide an injury from his mother who thinks football is dangerous.
  • The Hero Formerly Known as Force Majeure
    4 pages. Confessions of a former super-hero turn into the fantasies of a bombing victim in this dark monologue play for either a man or a woman.
  • Hobie's Car Key Tattoo
    12 pages. Tru wants to hide out from his roommate, who is high and wants to tattoo him. Justin and Robb have little sympathy for his plight, once they find out what Tru has been up to.
  • How Jamie's Hatred of Smoking Brought About the End of Civilization as We Know It
    11 pages. It might be the end of the world, and Jamie confesses to Linda that, because of a cigarette butt, it's all his fault.
  • If You've Been in an Accident...
    9 pages. Young teen Danny has a locally famous dad, but he's not happy about his newfound notoriety.
  • I Knew Him
    8 pages. Brad is playing Hamlet and after a show gets an unexpected visitor at the stage door, the mother of an unusual "cast member."
  • The Incredible Story of Jacob and Dylan and the Not-Gay Kiss
    11 pages. How exactly did Jacob and Dylan get way up there, and why did they end up in a kiss?
  • Interview
    8 pages. Wayne seeks out a homeless man to interview for a school project, but the truth come out in a dirty park restroom.
  • Into Me (A Love Story)
    7 pages. A most unlikely, beautiful, and dangerous love story.
  • It's August
    7 pages. Clive gives Sammy her first Christmas gift of the year... in August.
  • It's Totally Not
    9 pages. Margie is convinced that she's magical, but Duane remains skeptical.
  • Juror #3
    9 pages. Candace, the mother of a convicted killer, pays a visit to Jackie, who served on the jury that convicted her son.
  • Lifesavers
    8 pages. Teens Victor and Corrine, on their way home from a date, hide out from street riots in a nursery. Written for the 2019 "Quarantine Bake-Off" project.
  • Limits
    A man tries reporting his rape to the police, but the circumstances lend doubts to his claim.
  • Magic Michael
    10 pages. Mia is going through some old boxes and comes across Michael's magic tricks. Is there really magic in what she finds?
  • Massage Envy
    9 pages. Derek thinks his wife is cheating. Tony is giving him a massage. They both want a "happy ending." One of them gets it.
  • MJX
    9 pages. Should an artist's actions affect the way their art is perceived? Two alcoholics from different worlds, Blake and Carter, have opposing opinions on the matter.
  • Next Door
    10 pages. A short play inspired by the 2016 William Inge Festival. A troubled couple moves in next to William Inge's boyhood home in Independence, KS.
  • Oops!
    7 pages. Fairy Godmother is the only one who can help J.D. stop having so many klutzy accidents, but J.D. isn't ready to help her earn her wings just yet!
  • Orange
    9 pages. Ray sees the world differently. If only he could make Cora understand... so he enlists the help of an orange.
  • The Origin of the Bob's Big Boy Triplets
    10 pages. Bryan inherits a house and a huge unexpected legacy.
  • Phase 3: Mandusa
    8 pages. Super-hero wannabe Mandusa is tested to see if he's got what it takes to join The Hero Initiative.
  • A Precious Moment with Bonnie and Neil
    6 pages. Bonnie is thrilled with the birthday gift she found for Neil. Neil... not so much.
  • To Protect and Serve
    10 pages. Margie's husband, Roland, is wheelchair-bound and now works from home, and Margie has trouble dealing with his job now that it's under her own roof.
  • Roadkill
    11 pages. Bud comes to say goodbye to Charlie, his ex. It seems he knows how he's going to die, and it may be soon, but Charlie isn't buying it.
  • Saying It
    2 pages. A couples' intimate thoughts during an intimate moment.
    (Note - this piece is 22:30-23:20 in the video, link inside.)
  • Scissor Stars
    11 pages. Buck and Gina are struggling, but when Gina gets what may be her big break, Buck lashes out.
  • The Snake on the Steering Wheel
    6 pages. Lila is concerned about the deteriorating mental faculties of her partner, Jenny, so she proposes an idea.
  • Spirited
    8 pages. A woman returns a Ouija Board to a local toy store... because it WORKS.
  • Sports, Weather, Murder
    2 pages. Bey is annoyed that her mother calls to check up on her every time there is a shooting in Chicago.
  • That'sh Classhified
    8 pages. Carter and Criswell interrogate Wendell, who has a very tall tale about his dental trauma... And how did he end up in Russia anyway?
  • The Rules of the Sisterhood
    4 pages. The rules of The Sisterhood are very strict...So are the consequences for breaking them.
  • The Things You Find Behind the Family Bible
    9 pages. Emily and her son Sam both discover they use the same hiding place... From each other.
  • The Things You Find Out Between the First and Second Date
    9 pages. Shawna helps her mom Toni get ready for a second date, and ends up filling her in on some fascinating information about the guy.
  • Tina is Weird
    9 pages. Julie is convinced that Tina is either a robot or an alien, and that is why she is so weird. Dallas thinks Julie is weird for trying to convince him of this.
  • Unbelievable
    9 pages. Lynch and Laura are trapped in their car as some creepy, unbelievable stuff is happening outside all around them.
  • Uncle Dog's Banjo
    6 pages. LaKoya tries to sneak Uncle Dog's beloved banjo to him in jail, but Maw finds out.
  • Under Multicolored Lights
    9 pages. Robert and Polly's relationship is crumbling when their child is found in the middle of an intersection, watching the traffic light change. A holiday drama.
  • Untitled Play That We Promise is Really Good
    7 pages. Glynn has free tickets to a play, but Cam changes their mind about going when they hear that the play is "Untitled."
  • Up With Family
    10 pages. Two siblings go in together on a present for their father, but it's really an attempt to help a failing marriage.
  • Verna and Jeannie
    10 pages. Two elderly cousins, following the funeral of one of their husbands, confide in each other about the biggest secrets they have... including his cause of death.
  • Your First Pet and the Street You Grew Up On
    9 pages. Donald surprises Lizzie with a birthday present that shocks and angers her, and he wants to know why.