Liz Coley

Liz Coley

Liz Coley [Member Dramatists Guild] is a published novelist, short story writer, and award-winning playwright living in Cincinnati. Her work has been read and produced from West to East in CA, TX, OH, MI, NY, MA, London, and Japan. CASTAWAYS (60 min 2F, 1M, 1 any) was voted Audience Favorite and Judges' Choice in 2021. The premiere of MOVING IN, MOVING OUT, MOVING ON (100 min 2F, 3M) was nominated for...
Liz Coley [Member Dramatists Guild] is a published novelist, short story writer, and award-winning playwright living in Cincinnati. Her work has been read and produced from West to East in CA, TX, OH, MI, NY, MA, London, and Japan. CASTAWAYS (60 min 2F, 1M, 1 any) was voted Audience Favorite and Judges' Choice in 2021. The premiere of MOVING IN, MOVING OUT, MOVING ON (100 min 2F, 3M) was nominated for best new play by BroadwayWorld Columbus. In development and on submission is the timely HENRY X (100 min 23 named roles in Fakespearean verse, minimum 6 actors). Please contact if interested in reading, workshopping, or producing any of her work. For educational use and unticketed events, royalties are negotiable.

Her 2013 novel Pretty Girl-13 (HarperCollins) sold internationally in 12 translations, appears on 2 "best of" lists by the American Library Association, and won the Eliot Rosewater award for best book of 2015-16.

Plays

  • HENRY X
    [100-minute Two Act play]
    HENRY X is the history of a tragic future in which Harry, Duke of Sussex, must be recalled to England to take the throne. The politics of monarchy and marriage clash as Harry and Meghan unexpectedly find themselves "so close in ends and yet opposed in means."

    This tale of politics, marriage, idealism, and ambition is told in traditional blank and rhymed...
    [100-minute Two Act play]
    HENRY X is the history of a tragic future in which Harry, Duke of Sussex, must be recalled to England to take the throne. The politics of monarchy and marriage clash as Harry and Meghan unexpectedly find themselves "so close in ends and yet opposed in means."

    This tale of politics, marriage, idealism, and ambition is told in traditional blank and rhymed verse. With 23 named parts, the work can be multicast with 6-10 actors.

    A little genre bending with black comedy, tragedy, and history all in bed together with a corpse.
  • MOVING IN, MOVING OUT, MOVING ON
    [Full-length Family Drama]
    Empty nesters Amy and Dan are moving in right next door to her parents to help her mother Nan cope with some recently diagnosed memory issues. Nan is fighting a quiet battle for agency over her own life and death; she prefers to dwindle and leave on her own terms. Don't we all? With the best of intentions, Amy's "border collie" instinct to herd people into...
    [Full-length Family Drama]
    Empty nesters Amy and Dan are moving in right next door to her parents to help her mother Nan cope with some recently diagnosed memory issues. Nan is fighting a quiet battle for agency over her own life and death; she prefers to dwindle and leave on her own terms. Don't we all? With the best of intentions, Amy's "border collie" instinct to herd people into safer spaces might just drive Nan over the edge!

    Threading the narrative is tidying-guru Marie Kondo’s rather cold-blooded advice to give thanks and discard a thing that fails to bring us joy. But what if that thing is life itself?

    And then there's that mischievous elevator.
  • CASTAWAYS
    [60-min One Act play]
    Castaways is an absurdist tragicomedy linking the miserable hopefulness of the shipwrecked with the patient despair of the institutionalized. Consider Gilligan's Island meets Waiting for Godot in a memory care unit. Two elderly women who self-identify as Ginger and Mary Ann of doomed SS Minnow (whether that is true or not!) experience their days marooned in memory care as an...
    [60-min One Act play]
    Castaways is an absurdist tragicomedy linking the miserable hopefulness of the shipwrecked with the patient despair of the institutionalized. Consider Gilligan's Island meets Waiting for Godot in a memory care unit. Two elderly women who self-identify as Ginger and Mary Ann of doomed SS Minnow (whether that is true or not!) experience their days marooned in memory care as an extension of their time on the island.
  • PLANTING GRANDMA
    [Full-length Family Drama]
    Gathered home to their father’s deathbed vigil, middle-aged siblings Bran and Roni plan to undertake his last unfinished business, laying Grandma’s long-neglected ashes to rest. Taking a shovel to the past creates a deeper hole than they bargained for, unearthing family history and exposing personal fears the siblings and their mother have kept buried.
  • A LEASE ON LIFE
    [10-minute LGBTQ drama]
    Although love drives the practice of international surrogacy, more than one family pays the price.
  • AFTER YOU
    [10-minute comedy]
    A blind date takes a very unexpected turn when it turns out Renee's best friend knows exactly who she needs in her life.
  • AMBUSH
    [5-minute comedy; all teenaged cast]
    In a betrayal scene heavily referencing Julius Caesar, the unkindest cut of all is the conspiracy within the conspiracy. Jules emerges victor over the manipulative Britta, with a little help from the rebellious Cassie.
  • BLUE HEXAGONS
    [5-minute drama]
    A husband and wife struggle with a vital decision.
  • BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME
    [10-minute romantic comedy]
    A man who considers his life very ordinary rewrites his story the only way he knows how, with professional help.
  • CATCH AND RELEASE
    [5-minute comedy TYA]
    An older fish who has been around the pond a few times counsels his hungry young friend about personal safety and resisting temptation. However, good intentions and resolutions sometimes fail in the face of a well-baited hook.
  • COMING BACK
    [40-minute mystery radio play]
    Grant Washington promised he was coming back, so where is he? Three months after college student Caleb's older brother goes missing on a solo hike, Caleb assembles a team of friends to follow his cold trail and search the Edge of Appalachia, with very little to go on.
  • COMPOUND INTEREST
    [10-minute comedy]
    An attempted bank robbery brings an unexpected opportunity into Bonnie the teller's humdrum life.
  • DON'T GO BACK TO NORMAL
    [6-minute romantic comedy]
    A man and a woman who have known each other only virtually during the pandemic face the turning point of taking their relationship and their sourdough to a new level.
  • END MEETING FOR ALL
    [10-minute play for Zoom]
    Carlee falls asleep in her Zoom class and wakes to find a better world, only a window away.
  • END OF THE LINE
    [10-min family eco-drama]
    A climate scientist, Carol has become fatalistic about the climate apocalypse. But her daughter Marly and prepper husband Grant are planning for the beginning rather than the end.
  • GRAPE AND GRAIN
    [10-min comedy]
    George is determined to solve a problem with roots deep in history with the help of an ancient potion. Is this finally the recipe for peace?
  • GREAT NEWS
    [10-minute drama]
    Having adapted to COVID quarantine and a new stay-at-home way of life, a young family discovers the return to "normal" might not be great news.
  • HOME OFFICE
    [10-minute comedy]
    A mom tries to juggle two unusual telephone jobs, her own COVID quarantine, two kids, and a husband from her home office.
  • HOW TO CUT AN ONION WITHOUT REALLY CRYING
    [10-minute family comic drama]
    A year after their mom's death, four siblings meet remotely from their kitchens to prepare her signature bolognese and figure out what to do with the other substantial legacy she left them.
  • IN LINE
    [10-minute social sci-fi drama]
    Give us this day our daily bread - In the future, does universal basic income bring freedom or control? Two generations see it differently.
  • ITS OWN PLACE
    [10-minute sci-fi drama]
    Time dilation is a mixed blessing for a critically injured starship pilot facing new options.
  • LAST CALL
    [5-minute sci-fi drama]
    One night, a man walks into a bar . . . again and again . . . trying to get it right.
  • LOOKING FOR MISTER SWIPE RIGHT
    [10-minute comedy]
    Two best friends attempt to find her match on Tinder. Sometimes it turns out Mister Right is standing on your left.
  • MARCH MOURNING
    [10-minute family drama]
    It's March, and the Christmas tree is still up and shedding needles. Monica is grieving everything her trans son Landon is shedding.

    As this kitchen table drama opens, Monica resists pressure to take down the Christmas tree and move onto the new season. In fact, she is struggling with her trans son Landon’s decision to complete his gender affirming surgery....
    [10-minute family drama]
    It's March, and the Christmas tree is still up and shedding needles. Monica is grieving everything her trans son Landon is shedding.

    As this kitchen table drama opens, Monica resists pressure to take down the Christmas tree and move onto the new season. In fact, she is struggling with her trans son Landon’s decision to complete his gender affirming surgery. When Landon commits a nearly unforgivable attack on Monica’s memories, the family must come to terms with the relationship between the past, the present, and the future.
  • ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
    [10-minute romantic drama]
    A separated couple reconciles in the darkness of the next pandemic. The new virus causes blindness, but even that consequence can't overcome human behavior.
  • ONE AT A TIME
    [10-minute LGBTQ drama]
    A young woman struggling to come out to her parents finds a very unexpected ally in Grampa.
  • ONE PERFECT DAY
    [10-minute drama]
    In the last minutes of his life, a woman takes her husband on the trip of a lifetime.
  • PRIVACY ACT
    [10-minute comedy]
    When Melanie is set up on a blind date by her employer instead of a trusted friend, Melanie's family takes the lead in checking the guy out. Amazing what you can find out about people these days! Is this based on reality?....My lips are sealed. A mother never reveals her sources.
  • SAILING ON
    [5-min romantic comedy]
    It's worth taking stock of your marriage, at least every forty years or so.
  • SIX LITTLE LOVE STORIES
    [60-minute collection]
    Follow love’s course from hello to goodbye, with occasional detours.

    This set of six 10-minute plays may be performed as a whole, with a cast of 2 MF couples (with triple casting) to 6 MF couples, tracing the life cycle of relationships: where we meet, whether and why we stay together; how we say goodbye. Includes: After You, Looking for Mister Swipe Right, Compound...
    [60-minute collection]
    Follow love’s course from hello to goodbye, with occasional detours.

    This set of six 10-minute plays may be performed as a whole, with a cast of 2 MF couples (with triple casting) to 6 MF couples, tracing the life cycle of relationships: where we meet, whether and why we stay together; how we say goodbye. Includes: After You, Looking for Mister Swipe Right, Compound Interest, The Wall, The Compliment, One Perfect Day.
  • SPROUTS
    [10-minute family comedy]
    While Drew and Candace experience the challenges of growing their own organic sprouts in a quart jar, their human sprout, Spencer, grows before our eyes from seedling to awkward adolescent to independent young adult.
  • STORYCORPSE
    [10-minute comedy]
    In a place outside of time and space, two couples with deeply entwined lives record the story of their lives for posterity.
  • THE COMPLIMENT
    [10-minute drama]
    A long-married couple in a tense and transactional phase of their relationship take a look in the mirror to find themselves again.
  • THE INTRUSION
    [6-minute mental health drama]
    A man's anxious, self-critical intrusive thoughts are embodied and in human form, they challenge him to make it through another night.
  • THE MONOLOGUE
    [5-minute comic youth monologue]
    A boy, that all-in child actor we know and love, excuses the audition-from-heck on the drive home. Comedy for us, tragedy for him.
  • THE QUIET ROOM
    [3-minute educational drama]
    A bullying situation, in which a person’s self-identity is denied. A metaphor for all cases in which this happens, whether on the basis of race, gender, ability, or other.
  • THE TASTE TEST
    [10-minute comedy]
    Finding the right man is a matter of taste when a winery owner is looking for her perfect match.
  • THE WALK TO TODDLEDOWN
    [20-min drama]
    How far will Claudia have to go to get the chance to tell her husband of 40 years what's really on her mind?
  • THE WALL
    [10-minute drama]
    What might have beens and broken hearts.
  • THORNS
    [10-minute drama]
    Separated by COVID, a husband and his wife (in ICU) interpret their isolation in fairy tale metaphor as they reach for each other in side-by-side monologues.
  • WAITING FOR THE FAT LADY
    [5-minute dark political comedy]
    A disillusioned voter is desperate to hear it straight from the Fat Lady: "It's over."
    content warning: profanity, vast quantities of alcohol
  • WALLFLOWER BLOSSOMING
    [5-minute monologue]
    How far would you drive (with your cat Gordon) to meet your soulmate?
  • WE HAVE AN OPENING FOR A FURY
    [10-min political dark comedy]
    Three famously aggrieved women receive an invitation of mythic proportions.
  • WHAT IN THE WORDLE?
    [10 min dark comedy]
    Is it just a game or a five letter oracle? Jamie is pretty sure those five letters spell doom.