synopsis: Is God really an elephant? Or maybe an eagle or a crow? Or do elephants play with God? An amateur playwright
attempting to explore his relationship to God with a live audience finds himself hauled off by the FBI as a suspect.
A suspect for what? he asks. Let us do the questioning and you just give the answers FBI Joe retorts
menacingly. Is the playwright a terrorist they want to know? Is God a terrorist, we want to know? Are the FBI agents
terrorists and members of a terrorist organization? This is a comedy without good answers, but the play doesn't end
well for anyone involved in questioning.
length: One Act (in Three Scenes).
playwright comment: There have been alot of songs and a number of plays written on the theme of "who are the real terrorists?" Obviously people aren't born to terrorism. What are the forces that drive some to become so fixated that they commit unthinkable acts including suicide by bomb. In this comedy the bad guys behave predictably. Only God can't contain his emotions and goes "out of control."
play history: there have been no readings of this play
- Fool's Gold
synopsis: Sally, an undergraduate aspiring playwright, takes a class in playwriting based upon William Shakespeare. She goes
all out in her effort to mash together important, but not primary, characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear--
all major tragedies. But following the professors requirement to include a fool, she gives her Fool two role: director and the Fool around
whom the play revolves. With a kaleidoscopic play within a play within a play, confusion abounds--including that of the the professor,
the students in Sally's writing class and even the actors brought in to act in the play within a play. The Director/Fool can't solve the riddle
when a big part of the confusion is caused by an "out of place and out of control" Colin Powell, who plays both himself and Othello.
length: full length play
playwright's comment: Most Shakespeare plays have a clever fool who effects both comic relief and presents brilliant insights about the foibles of characters he sends up--often the King he serves. Here's a Fool employed by an undergrad playwright in dual roles--more roles than she can handle--both as actor and director. The themes of the play warp time and tie together major Shakespeare tragedies with our contemporary self-inflicted tragedies: unipolar wars, massive diasporation, unimaginable human suffering and social collapse. Fools Gold is a comedy of tragic proportions.
play history: there have been no public readings of Fool's Gold.
- The Trial of Mordechai Pentateuch
Synopsis: An elderly Jewish survivor from the Holocaust is about to be tried in Israel. Why? Because he dares to fraternize
with Palestinian families and young men in the West Bank, territories controlled by Israel's military. The State intends
to make an example of Shlomo so that others will not follow his path. But the prosecutor and defense lawyer are
old law school chums and their charged interaction on this case will lead to unexpected and Kafkaesque consequences.
Length: Full Length two act drama
Author's Comment: I think The Trial will resonate with anyone who has visited the occupied Palestinian territories or experienced any totalitarian military occupation regardless of the purveyor or the victims. I hope the Trial will be thought provoking to all. No one gets off free in this one, but, in any case, the Zionist State of Israel fails to fulfill it's claim to represent either Jewish history, precepts or Jews as a people. The Palestinians do a better job of that.
Reading History: I organized an informal reading of this play before an audience of 20 friends in July 2011 and used written and oral feedback as the basis for major revisions in the script. It has never been produced.
- Zara's Faith
synopsis: Police murders of unarmed young Black men are nothing new, but if you were Zara, a disabled Jamaican-American grandmother who brought up her grandsons after their parents died, would you/ could you stand up and, with community and Black police support, expose a racist political conspiracy?
reading/performance history: Zara's Faith received 3 staged readings by the Lower Bottom Playaz of Oakland, CA under the direction of Ayodele Nzinga in June and November of 2016. I gained contact with Ayodele through our mutual friend, Mary Ratcliff, long time editor of the Bay View a national Black newspaper headquartered in San Francisco's Bay View-Hunters Point community.
author comments: Zara's Faith, my first play, was written in 2001-2 starting right after I resigned the medical director position at Center for Elders' Independence where I had cared for hundreds of disabled elders from 1992-July 3, 2001. Zara was one of those elders (she was still alive, warm, jocular and feisty at that time in 2001 that I began the play), but the story in the play is 100% fiction.
- Lost and Found
synopsis: In this brief comedy two men and a woman sit around a fake campfire in a fake desert discussing how they got there
and how lost they are in a foreign land that lacks definition. They have lost their homeland. They are in transit but they
don't know to where and two of them don't much remember where they came from. ""Somethins happenin here, what it is
ain't exactally clear, there's a man with a gun over there, telling me I got to be ware; hey children what's that sound
everybody look what's goin down."
length: a 3 minute play (actually more like 5)--a comedy
playwright's comment: I wrote this play for a contest sponsored by Inferno Theater in Berkeley, whose managing director I know.
performance history: Lost and Found was one of three brief plays selected for professionally directed staged readings as part of the second Diasporas Festival of the Inferno Theater on May 8-10, 2016. The play was very well received, but it's really just a sketch, an updating thought about diasporas. I have included this play fragment as a kind of interlude within the play, Fools Gold.