Piper Plays Year One
CONGRATULATIONS: Piper Plays celebrates our first year!
Congratulations to all our playwrights, actors, and directors that participated in our 2012 Piper Plays emerging playwriting program.
Out of a nationwide search of more than 300 plays, 9 short plays were chosen by Artistic Director John P. McEneny and Literary Producer Philip Suraci to be produced at BAX (Brooklyn Arts Exchange) with performances held June 15, 16, 17 2012. Three finalists were chosen for excellence by a panel of educators and artists.
On July 11, 2012, the three finalists (Thomas A. Atkinson’s Dancing Turtle, Christopher Dimond’s The Blasphemy of Bees, Sean O’Donnell’s Brechtian Alienation) received encore performances of their plays at the Old Stone House where the audience voted for their favorite. Congratulations to Thomas A. Atkinson who was awarded $500.
All nine plays that competed in our June festival will be published in our inaugural anthology — Piper Plays: Smart Plays for Young Actors, Vol. I. In addition, we are happy to announce that four additional plays were found to be so exceptional that they will also be published in the anthology as well. They are Steve Koppman’s Tall Tale, Kelby Siddons’ War Paint, Mark Eisman’s Dark Knight, Tarnished Silver, and Kathleen Barber’s Bookends
Piper Plays hopes to provide directors, teachers, actors and students challenging smart theatre which will be both entertaining and enlightening for audience and participants alike.
Piper Plays: Smart Plays for Young Actors, Vol. 1 will be available on-line through print-on-demand early 2013.
The inaugural anthology of Piper Plays: Smart One-Acts for Young Actors will include the following plays:
1) Dancing Turtle—by Thomas M. Atkinson
(Drama) This play invites the audience into the inner life of a girl—damaged at birth—that is both painful and glorious, as she navigates the first longings of adulthood at an Appalachian Festival.
4 Characters: Molly, age 16; Mary, her idealized self; Molly’s mother, age 40; Native American man, age 20
2) The Blasphemy of Bees—by Christopher Dimond
(Comedy/Drama) Seventh grader Arthur Reckhouse is desperate to win his Catholic school’s science fair. His project, however, a proof that God does not exist, gets him into hot water with the school’s powers-that-be. Arthur defies authority and moves forward with the project in secret, regardless of the consequences. As he competes with his arch nemesis, the school’s reigning science fair champion, the reasons behind Arthur’s apparent atheism are revealed. This dark comedy examines the points where faith, science, and awkward middle school romance collide.
5 Characters: 2 kids, age 12; 3 adults
3) Brechtian Alienation—by Sean O’Donnell
(Comedy) A group of determined students force a reluctant teacher to watch their self-written play to get into a student play festival. Their play is a mash-up of “Little Women” and “Trojan Women.”
6 Characters: 5 kids, age 12; one teacher in her 20’s
4) The Queen of Cocoa Puffs and The Captain Crunch King— by Corey Pajka
(Comedy) Some of the greatest battles in history are unrecorded. Some of the bloodiest wars are fought right at home. When a pair of sovereign siblings sit down for breakfast with two hearty appetites and one cereal box between them, a battle cry is heard across the kingdom of New Brunswick. There will be blood—and perhaps orange juice.
4 Characters: 2 kids, age 8; their mom; Narrator
5) Dandelions for Angels—by Marco Santarelli
(Drama/Comedy) Centers on a critical time in the lives of two teenagers struggling with something far beyond their years. Tom, trying to come to terms with his mother’s death, has joined a troupe which performs in hospitals. After one such performance, he meets Stacy, who suffers from a long-term illness. They form an immediate and strong relationship, and Tom begins to heal his guilt over his mother’s death as he brings Stacy dandelions and promises to visit her even as her illness progresses. Although they leave their dialogue to return to their own routines, they do so with a sense of peace and contentment, as they attempt to close the door on their previous struggles.
2 Characters: Tom, age 18; Stacy, age 17
6) Fall of Duty—by Jeane Iribarne
(Drama/Comedy) Dave and Tony are young computer programmers who work in a basement designing games. The basement provides the perfect, low-light environment for the boys, that is until the power goes out—for seven days! How will the boys cope? Naturally, they re-enact scenes from their favorite games (including “Call of Duty,” “World of Warcraft,” etc.), discovering some surprising things about the games and themselves in the process.
11 Characters: 2 young men; 9 video game characters
7) Burying Barbie—by Christopher Dimond
In this dark comedy, Rachel, a morbid young girl, stages elaborate funeral ceremonies for her Barbie dolls. Together with her imaginary friend, she must bury the dolls as, one by one, they die of elaborate forms of cancer. As she approaches the final doll, her worried mother attempts to put a stop to the game and, in the process, discovers the disturbing truth behind her daughter’s unusual behavior. The play examines what it means to lose, to grieve, and to heal.
3 Characters: Rachel, age 7; Rachel’s Mom, age 35; Chuck, Rachel’s imaginary friend, age 37
8) Handy Man—by Steve Koppman
(Comedy) Mitch, age 14, has been roped into helping Mrs. Gobler, mother of his friend, into helping her with her groceries after knocking over her shopping cart. She then prevails upon him to do one chore after another while offering him unsolicited advice. The two of them, both isolated people, make a certain connection.
3 characters: 2 Boys 14; Mom age 50
9) Cravings –by Tatiana Suarez Pico
(Comedy) A young teen boy speaks his deepest thoughts about a beautiful older girl while sitting in a café with his mother.
1 to 3 characters (may be done as a monologue) Boy age 14; Girl age 17; His mother, age 40
10) Tall Tale—by Steve Koppman
(Comedy) Dave tells Jerry his characteristic story of conquest the night before which is, as usual, totally unbelievable—not even a good effort. He is sick of Jerry’s poorly told tales. Just back from his first year of college, Dave has gained an appreciation for the elements of storytelling and tries to convey such to Jerry. Jerry, a quick learner, tries to embroider his next story with such telling detail that Dave is entranced. “Tall Tale” asks if it’s important that a good story be really true.
Characters—2 boys age 17 and 18
11) War Paint—by Kelby Siddons
(Drama) A group of camp counselors, on their last day of sleep away summer camp, play a harsh game of hide and seek—settling scores, making confessions and moving on suppressed passions.
9 Characters: 3 counselors, age 18; 5 C.I.T.’s, age 15-17; and one camper age 14
12) Dark Knight, Tarnished Silver—by Mark Eisman
(Drama) The play takes place in a suburban kitchen and a juvenile detention facility as a teen girl tries to understand why another teen has murdered his stepmother.
4 characters: girl, age 17; 2 boys, age 17; young woman, age 26
13) Bookends—by Kathleen Barber
(Drama) In a home in 15th century England, Mary can read and do sums; she helps her father grow rich. One day, Mary reads a word that shatters the world of her father, her family, and herself. Mary is confined to an empty storage room when she refuses to recant the knowledge she has obtained. Mary’s younger sister, Rose, comes to plead with Mary to restore the world she has destroyed.
2 characters: Mary, age 19; Rose, her younger sister