My writing is a cocktail of clashing elements. It combines menace and lightheartedness, science and mysticism, sophistication and childishness. A mentor described my plays as an opulent mansion with a wild animal running loose inside – an kinetic mixture of the elegant and the feral. I write about dark side of innovation, about who washes out and who gets left behind. I’m interested in stories about striking it rich and striking out, about changing communities, about wanting to change the world but failing to change human nature. I write with burning political conviction, but with no interest in advancing a political agenda. I want to delight and surprise, and I want the audience to feel deep empathy with the people we are often poised to hate.
Damascus | 2M, 1W
There’s an explosion at the Minneapolis airport. Everyone is on high alert. With all the planes grounded, a stranded teenager pleads with a Somali-American Super Shuttle driver to drive him to Chicago so he can get home. As the two men cross the Midwest in the dead of winter, they discover that not everything is what it seems. Damascus investigates the seductiveness of extremism, the fine line between caution and paranoia, and the assumptions we make about homeland and security.
Borealis | 3M, 3W, Flexible Casting.
When a cryptic but ominous letter arrives from her brother on the oil fields, thirteen-year-old Cozbi sets off for Valdez, Alaska to find him. Armed with a book by Donald Trump and an axe, Cozbi battles her way through an Arctic wilderness in pursuit of her missing brother, squaring off against a host of monstrous Ass-Hats on each rung of the corporate ladder. Part mythic journey, part workplace satire, the play is a darkly comic adventure about family obligation, career aspiration, and what we leave behind to make our way to the top.
Don't Be Evil | 3M, 1W
In this dark comedy about interrogation and innovation, a computer programmer is arrested after the search engine he designs answers “yes” to the question “is the government of the United States evil?” Desperate, he strikes a deal with his captors, agreeing to resign the software in exchange for his freedom. As they work to understand the search engine’s answer and how to change it, both the programmer and his persecutors begin to question their faith, their ability, and whether it is possible to do something good in the service of something evil.
Campo Maldito | 2M
Angry ghosts are disrupting business at a tech startup in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. When the young CEO hires a Santeria priest to purify the office, he gets a lot more than what he bargained for. Campo Maldito is a darkly comic fable about the cost of gentrification, the casualties of capitalism, and the price you pay when you piss off the dead.
Romulus Kilgore's Mobile Happiness Bazaar | 4M, 1W, Flexible Casting
Are you unhappy? Of course you are. Just look at yourself. But Romulus Kilgore has what you need to feel better, and he’s selling it at competitive prices. An interactive, snake-oil medicine show for the troubled soul, Romulus Kilgore’s Happiness Bazaar is an impishly comic exploration of how we buy peace of mind.
Photo credit: Jim Carmody (Romulus Kilgore's Mobile Happiness Bazaar)