David Lee White

David Lee White

David Lee White is a New Jersey based playwright and educator that has worked with Passage Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Dreamcatcher Rep, PlayPenn, Rider University and Drexel University as well as many other theatres and theatre programs in the NJ/NY/PA area. His work runs the gamut from crowd-pleasing comedy, political satire, oral-history based docudrama, musical theatre, educational theatre and mental health...
David Lee White is a New Jersey based playwright and educator that has worked with Passage Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Dreamcatcher Rep, PlayPenn, Rider University and Drexel University as well as many other theatres and theatre programs in the NJ/NY/PA area. His work runs the gamut from crowd-pleasing comedy, political satire, oral-history based docudrama, musical theatre, educational theatre and mental health advocacy. He has also worked to promote NJ area playwrights by organizing developmental opportunities through The Passage Play Lab and The Witherspoon Circle.

In 2016, David was commissioned by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Stage Exchange Program and Passage Theatre to create the play FIXED, based on interviews with mental health care professionals and people suffering from bi-polar and schizo-affective disorders. The play premiered at Passage Theatre in May, 2017. Previously, his play BLOOD: A COMEDY was seen at Passage Theatre (2009) and Dreamcatcher Rep (2012). His play SLIPPERY AS SIN also received its world premiere at Passage in 2011. The one-act play WHITE BABY was originally produced at Passage Theatre, then at Emerging Artists Theatre in NY. His solo show PANTHER HOLLOW was performed at Dreamcatcher Rep, The United Solo Festival in NY, The New Jersey Fringe Festival, Passage Theatre, Arcade Comedy Theatre in Pittsburgh, Point Park College and Drexel University. In 2015, David created the show FIVE MINUTES TO PLACES for the McCarter Theatre Education Program’s Comedy Conservatory.

David also worked with Passage’s Artistic Director June Ballinger to create the mainstage shows TRENTON LIGHTS and PROFILES, which made use of interviews with Trenton residents on the topics of race, identity and history in Trenton, NJ. Since 2005, he has been creating oral-history based plays with Trenton area teens based on social and cultural issues. IF I COULD IN MY HOOD I WOULD… was about inner-city gangs, FIRE GIRLS took on the issue of girl-bullying and URBAN CENTRAL examined the 1967 race riots that took place a Trenton Central High. Subsequent shows in this vein include GET OFF THE BUS and BOBASHELA. He created “Stoop Theatre” with the Trenton High drama club and created the show THIS TRENTON LIFE which was the subject an Emmy-Award nominated broadcast on PCK Media’s STATE OF THE ARTS. He continues to teach playwright to students at Trenton Central High through McCarter Theatre’s education program.

David currently has several other works in development. His play WAYS TO BE HAPPY received a reading in the Hive Exposed series in NY in March of 2015. Other plays include THE FESTIVAL QUARTET (readings at Bristol-Riverside Theatre and Writer’s Theatre of New Jersey) and ROCKET SEX MAGIC – a comedy about real life rocket scientist/occultist Jack Parsons (reading at Writer’s Theatre of New Jersey) His musical LIVE STREAM, with composer Sarah Donner and co-creator Adam Immerwahr, was workshopped at Bristol-Riverside Theatre as part of their America Rising series. A second musical, THE ANGRY GRAMMARIAN with composer Jeffrey Barg, was recently given a reading at Pulley & Buttonhole Theatre. In the summer of 2017, David created the show ALIEN 8 with composer Kate Brennan for McCarter Theater’s education program. David and Kate are also currently writing a one-act musical for Dreamcatcher Rep to be performed in the Spring of 2018 and they will return to McCarter’s education program in the summer of 2018 for a new full-length musical.

For fourteen years, David Lee White was the Associate Artistic Director and Resident Playwright at Passage Theatre in Trenton. He also ran the Passage Play Lab which aided in the development of plays by New Jersey-based playwrights. In 2016, the Play Lab became an independent entity known as The Witherspoon Circle, which helps develop, workshop, publish and raise awareness of New Jersey area Playwrights. David also served the curator of the Rider University New Play Festival , was an instructor at PlayPenn in Philadelphia and is currently on the theatre faculty at Drexel University.

Plays

  • FIXED
    *Fixed was originally commissioned by the NJPAC Stage Exchange, a program of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center – John Schreiber, President & CEO*

    What would you sacrifice for the people you love?

    Ronnie doesn’t want help. Valerie and Daryl don’t want to reunite. But high school vows bind pretty tightly. Broken promises and dark humor fill David Lee White’s new play about...
    *Fixed was originally commissioned by the NJPAC Stage Exchange, a program of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center – John Schreiber, President & CEO*

    What would you sacrifice for the people you love?

    Ronnie doesn’t want help. Valerie and Daryl don’t want to reunite. But high school vows bind pretty tightly. Broken promises and dark humor fill David Lee White’s new play about friendship, mental illness, and facing the truth.
  • Rocket Sex Magic
    In 1947, Jack Parsons came up with a plan to change the world using rocketships, ancient sorcery and group sex.

    It worked.

    Windom (Winnie) Wayland is a psychoanalyst living on a desert military base near Pasadena, California with his wife Betty. He struggles with marital strife, a suicidal patient, and the desire to live a more “normal” life. His world is turned upside-down when...
    In 1947, Jack Parsons came up with a plan to change the world using rocketships, ancient sorcery and group sex.

    It worked.

    Windom (Winnie) Wayland is a psychoanalyst living on a desert military base near Pasadena, California with his wife Betty. He struggles with marital strife, a suicidal patient, and the desire to live a more “normal” life. His world is turned upside-down when the military asks him to evaluate Jack Parsons – a rocket scientist with dreams of space travel who his responsible for some major technological breakthroughs. After his first meeting with Parsons, Winnie is whisked away into a world of the occult, mysterious phenomena, and sexual promiscuity that threatens to redefine the world he thought he knew.
  • BLOOD: A COMEDY
    Jacqueline Stanzi is a college professor, a lifelong atheist and the matriarch of a family that includes a snarky bi-sexual son who runs porn websites and a promiscuous daughter engaged to a born-again Christian. Jacqueline is also battling dementia and has recently been relieved of her duties at the college for teaching intelligent design in a biology class. On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, Jacqueline...
    Jacqueline Stanzi is a college professor, a lifelong atheist and the matriarch of a family that includes a snarky bi-sexual son who runs porn websites and a promiscuous daughter engaged to a born-again Christian. Jacqueline is also battling dementia and has recently been relieved of her duties at the college for teaching intelligent design in a biology class. On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, Jacqueline decides that what her family really needs is a good old-fashioned healthy dose of religion. It’s just too bad that she has absolutely no knowledge of how to make that happen. Or does she? As the evening wears on, memories of a secret past come to light, forcing the siblings to reassess their past, as well as the future of their family.
  • SLIPPERY AS SIN
    An "old dark house" mystery about our war on facts. It's 1931 and Dorrington, America's most brilliant detective, is trapped on an island with some of the country's most elite socialites. As the evening wears on and backstabbing plots are revealed, Dorrington becomes convinced that the house is under siege by Diabolicus - a master criminal that no one has ever seen, Dorrington realizes...
    An "old dark house" mystery about our war on facts. It's 1931 and Dorrington, America's most brilliant detective, is trapped on an island with some of the country's most elite socialites. As the evening wears on and backstabbing plots are revealed, Dorrington becomes convinced that the house is under siege by Diabolicus - a master criminal that no one has ever seen, Dorrington realizes that he must do whatever it takes to convince the others that Diabolicus is responsible - even if he doesn't even exist.
  • WAYS TO BE HAPPY
    Several years after the country falls under the sway of criminal corruption, Maddie (a former activist turned WaWa clerk) finds herself stuck in her dead-end job, without hope and unable to move forward. When a gun-toting convenience store burglar convinces her to embrace the new America and turn to crime, Maddie embarks on a surreal journey involving a punk rocker, an philandering academic, a former child...
    Several years after the country falls under the sway of criminal corruption, Maddie (a former activist turned WaWa clerk) finds herself stuck in her dead-end job, without hope and unable to move forward. When a gun-toting convenience store burglar convinces her to embrace the new America and turn to crime, Maddie embarks on a surreal journey involving a punk rocker, an philandering academic, a former child actor and a man in a giant penguin suit. WAYS TO BE HAPPY is a post-Trumpian comedy about rediscovering hope when you're surrounded by insanity.
  • The Festial Quartet - a play for Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Bass
    Eighteen year old Amy was the best piano player at Festial High School. After her tragic death, her four best friends – the Festial Quartet – join their Christian youth leader, Michael, to prepare for her memorial. When Amy’s grieving mother asks Michael to save the Festial Quartet’s souls, their fragile psyches begin to crack, forcing one of them to reveal a secret she’s been harboring for two years – a secret...
    Eighteen year old Amy was the best piano player at Festial High School. After her tragic death, her four best friends – the Festial Quartet – join their Christian youth leader, Michael, to prepare for her memorial. When Amy’s grieving mother asks Michael to save the Festial Quartet’s souls, their fragile psyches begin to crack, forcing one of them to reveal a secret she’s been harboring for two years – a secret that will change everyone’s perception of adolescence, adulthood, friendship and faith.
  • Entree (one act)
    Two divorcees go on their first match.com date and run into one of their exes.
  • Chocolate Chip Fridays (one act)
    A young, corporate executive has to interview the job applicant from hell
  • Dream Tim (one act)
    A college professor lectures his class about his recent break-up, using his ex-boyfriend as a visual aid.
  • Back Fire (one act)
    Two people meet at their 30 year high school reunion only to discover they’re not who they think they are.
  • White Baby (one act)
    A young, married couple tries to adopt a baby from a very eccentric social worker.
  • The Ask (one act)
    He's a wealthy widower. She's volunteer fundraiser for a small, non-profit. She's there to ask for a donation. He's there because he thinks it's a date. Cringe.