Drama - two women (Black and Asian), two men (White and mixed Hispanic/White).
Winner, 2016 Elliot Norton Award for "Outstanding New Script".
A career-launching prize is at stake, the winner's name sealed in an envelope. As a quartet of visual arts students prepare their graduate thesis exhibition, the gloves come off when one of them suggests that racial and gender identity will influence the prize committee's selection more than the merits of each artist's work.
"It's a topically fresh play of ideas, yes. But it's also a tightly wound drama..." - Boston Globe (link here)
"On the surface, the plot could easily become pedantic. However, Mr. Halberstadt's writing is taut and direct... he avoids excessive description and soliloquies and instead allows action to provide depth..." - Edge Media Network (link here)
"Sometimes the sign of good work is the discussions that follow the play, and like the Huntington's 'Disgraced' earlier this season, this one will leave you and your companions with something to talk about." - Events Insider (link here)
The Launch Prize is being presented 3 - 20 March 2016 by Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston (link here) in Deane Hall at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion in the Boston Center for the Arts, directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene, featuring Katharine Chen Lerner (Kim), Bari Robinson (Sebastian), John Tracey (Austin), and Angela K Thomas (Michelle).
Photos of the Bridge Rep production by Andrew Brilliant.
Dark comedy - two men, three women, one undefined gender. Unspecified racially diverse casting required.
Mommy and Daddy Patterson have raised Sonny and Daughtery to live a sheltered life, comforted by thoughts of storks delivering babies, Santa Claus and the all-too-obvious lie that they are not adopted. The perpetually-recycled soul of the family pets watches on as the family inches closer and closer to moral (and literal) bankruptcy and Daughtery challenges Mommy's answers to life's bigger questions. Oh, and then the house burns down.
"Your inner kid will get a nostalgic kick of innocence recalled, even as your inner adult smiles sheepishly in recognition of the sins and failings that mark, and mar, maturity." - Edge Media Network (link here)
"...a corrosive coming-of-age story, an evening that allows us to laugh and cringe at these little fictions we tell our loved ones." - Talkin' Broadway (link here)
That Time the House Burned Down was presented by Fresh Ink Theatre in April 2016 at Boston Playwrights' Theatre, directed by Stephanie LeBolt, featuring Karina Beleno Carney (Mommy), Scot Colford (Daddy), Ally Dawson (Daughtery) Lizzie Milanovich, (Karma), Marc Pierre (Sonny), and Noah Simes (And A Half).
Photos by Louise Hamill.
Family drama - three teenage boys (one is trans), one teenage girl.
When 19-year-old Devon Fleeter and his younger brothers flee from their parents, who have been punishing the boys' allegiance to middle child Joshua's gender transition, they find sanctuary in an off-the-grid apartment far from "home". They find that safety is not without its own challenges, and confront the growing pains that come with learning what it means to be a man.
"Riveting... urgent... [the play] displays an impressive sense of theatrical direction pusuing empowerment for the trans community." - Boston Theatre Wings (link here)
"Moving and thought provoking..." - White Rhino Report (link here)
"...a family drama that's marked by sadness and anxiety, elevated by poignance, and enlivened by rough-housing humor." - Edge Media Network (link here)
Boston Teen Acting Troupe presented i don't know where we're going but i promise we're lost 30 July - 16 August, 2015. The production was directed by Jack Serio and features Brian Ott (Devon), Aaron Piracini (Josh), Alec Shiman (Ty) and Emily White (Annie). Original "beermelon" music was composed and performed by Covey.
Photos by Jen Myronuk.
Dark comedy - gender-nonspecific speaking roles for sixteen and a small ensemble.
Chaos ensues at the Zuzzolo Zoo when Brutus, the zoo's most entertaining primate, puts on an unusual show for his guests. The Primate Specialist struggles to preserve the health and safety of her chimp companion, while the rest of the staff and visitors stand by and...watch.
Brute was performed at Pingree School in South Hamilton, MA from 7 - 9 November, directed by Arlynn Polletta with the following cast (in order of appearance): Nina Lubeck, Jenn Vargas, Nick Laezza, Lydia Umholtz, Max Kelly, Luke Caruso, Lydia McGinn, Martina Rethman, Hannah Voteur, Andrew Coughlin, Sarah Netland, Muna Abdulle, Leorah Wood, Rachel Fonseca, Emily Whalen, Alexis Lynch, Cady Netland, Ani Pula, Ilana Mack, Rachel Trowbridge, Joel Fernandez, Henry Shcarfe.
Dark comedy - two women, one man.
In the wake of their mother's death, Jenny and Not Jenny reunite after thirteen years of estrangement. The twin sisters navigate the fraught ancient history they share and the murky recent pasts they don't share- which only becomes more complicated when they are joined by their younger brother Jimmy who has more than a few grudges to bear and secrets to spoil.
“…a dark comedy whose characters might feel at home in a play by Edward Albee or Tracy Letts… the dialogue is heavy with sarcasm and cutting remarks and light on warmth.” - Broadway World
"funny and poignant" - Boston Events Insider
"intense, intimate and beautifully acted" - Boston Arts Diary
not Jenny was presented by Bridge Rep of Boston from Dec 6 - 15 in Deane Hall at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. The production is directed by Rebecca Bradshaw and featured Adam Lauver (Jimmy), Amie Lytle (Jenny) and Philana Mia (Not Jenny).
not Jenny was presented as a workshop as part of Room to Live Plays at Boston University in August 2012. The workshop was directed by Hondo Weiss-Richmond and featured Melissa Carter (Jenny), Jesse Garlick (Jimmy) and Antonia Lassar (Not Jenny).
Comedy - four men.
Neil's attempt to set up his best friend Brandon with someone from Grindr goes from bad to worse when they invite his boyfriend Don's "innocuous work crush" Pierce to stop by. A heated debate unravels all four's loaded opinions about what it means to be a man who sleeps with men in today's culture of technology-based connection and social disconnection.
Grindr (and other concerns) was presented by The Survivalists on 18-19 August 2014 in Brooklyn, New York. The production was directed by Sidney Erik Wright and featured Ethan Angelica (Don), David Coleman (Brandon), Jonathan Hendrickson (Neil) and Jay Malsky (Pierce).
Photographs of this production by Andrew Kluger
Three audience members at a time are led into the backseat of my Toyota Corolla, where an actor (or two) sit up front and take them for a (literal) ride for 15 minutes. These (very) short plays are being mounted all around the greater Boston area once a month, produced by Nicholas Medvescek.
"Me Monster" was presented in Jamaica Plain on 14 February 2016, featuring Michael Ciszewski and Ben Heath.
"Triple Word Score" was presented in Harvard Square on 26 January 2016, featuring Rachel Belleman and Tonasia Jones.
"Teddy" was presented on 13 December 2015, featuring Will Madden and Chelsea Ruscio.
Dark comedy - one woman.
Peggy indulges a laundry list of grievances in a series of unlikely and explicit analogies as she presents a lesson to her sixth-grade math class, played by the unwitting audience.
"Peggy's Properties" was a regional semi-finalist at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Region 1 Festival in Fitchburg, MA. A reading was presented, directed by Gregg Henry and featuring Liisa Yonker (Peggy).
"Peggy's Properties" has been presented with Boston Playwrights' Theatre in Boston, MA (directed by Jeff Mosser and performed by Obehi Janice), The Brick in Brooklyn, NY (performed by Kirin McCrory), StrangeDog Theatre in Montclair, NJ (directed by Brendon Votipka and performed by Allyson Condrath) and tea in a big mug productions in New York, NY (directed by Mickey Lee Nelson and performed by Samantha Steinmetz).
Romantic comedy - four men, one woman (although suggested doubling involves only two men).
A hopelessly romantic man falls for Becky, an imaginative costume designer with an affinity for trolling the local paper's Missed Connections and posing as the advertisements' subjects. They both fall down a quirky and romantic rabbit hole as they confront their own tendencies towards anonymity.
"w4m" was presented by KNOW Theatre in Binghamton, NY in July 2013. The production was directed by Josh Sedelmeyer.
"w4m" was also presented by Boston Actors Theater in Boston, MA in July 2012. The production was directed by Jack Crory and featured Lori Pasqualino (Becky), Stewart Evan Smith (Wyatt et al) and Nathan Wainwright (Man).
"w4m" was developed for Boston University's Writers at the Black Box in November 2011 and presented with the following cast: Sam Eckmann (Man), Lindsey Hamby-Real (Becky) and Nick Sanchez (Wyatt et al).
Dark comedy - one woman, one man.
Chloe, a failed restaurateur, gripes about her vanishing fiancée to Marek, the midnight cashier at her super market, who has suffered the disappearance of his own fiancé. After the pair stumble upon an impossible coincidence, they dive together into the bizarre mystery that brings them together in an unlikely friendship.
His Husband and Her Wife is a presently un-optioned full-length play in one 75-minute act for two actors (1M 1W)
Dark comedy - two men (Black and White), one woman.
Benny and his widowed grandmother Constance enjoy a placid living arrangement together until he brings home Darius, a one-night-stand he meets online. When Darius introduces himself to Constance under false pretenses, Benny is forced to face his own insecurities and risk losing the little family he has left.
My Grandson the Power Bottom was presented as a staged reading by Fresh Ink Theatre in September 2013. The reading was directed by Sarah Gazdowicz and featured Tyler Catanella (Jamie), Cheryl McMahon (Constance) and Jöan Mejía (Darius).
Drama - three women.
The painter Elaine de Kooning struggles at the thought of continuing her art career while preparing for an ill-timed exhibition of her portrait of JFK, so she calls upon an old enemy to help seal the deal on a major life decision.
"Hell By Fire, Hell By Ice" was presented at Gallery 263 in Cambridge, MA, in September 2014. The production was directed by Noah Simes and featured Shanaé Burch (Shirley), Kathy-Ann Hart (Elaine), and Sally McAllister (Lee).
The play will be published in The New England New Play Anthology: Volume 1 in August 2016.
Dumb Questions is my first stab at writing prose, not counting emotional opuses from my teenage years.
Marcy Brooks, a jaded staff member in Thoreau College's Admission Office, is in constant conflict with the voice of what she'd rather be saying to the high school students she meets during "recruitment season". When the dysfunctional office requires Marcy to travel with Jayson, an eager and uncorrupted alumnus of the college, she becomes less and less able to hold her tongue, to hilarious and eviscerating results. Dumb Questions is simultaneously a love letter and hate mail to the world of college admission.
Read it on a janky blog here, or e-mail me at email@example.com if you want the .pdf.
Straight up: I honestly don't know what to do with a novella, so if you've got ideas, I'm all ears.