Our Picks for 2019 Fall Plays
Spring musicals season is winding down, which means it’s time to kick back, open a script, and start thinking about your fall play.
We chatted with our Licensing reps about some great new plays perfect for sparking a conversation in your community. Check out their suggestions by category below!
Plays & Musicals:
About Current Events
Brownsville Song (B-Side for Tray) by Kimber Lee
(Drama / 2m, 2f, 1 girl(s))
Moving fluidly between past and present, this bold new play tells the story of Tray, a spirited African- American 18-year-old and his family, who must hold on to hope when Tray’s life is cut short.
The Gun Show by EM Lewis
(Drama / 2m or f)
An intimate look at playwright EM Lewis’ relationship with American’s most dangerous past time: firearms. With brutal honesty and poignant humor, this examination leans neither right nor left.
Smart People by Lydia R. Diamond
(Dramatic Comedy / 2m, 2f)
On the eve of Obama’s first election, four of Harvard’s brightest are interested in different aspects of the brain, particularly how it responds to race. This sharp, witty play explores not only America’s complicated relationship with race, but the characters’ own search for love and success.
On the Exhale by Martin Zimmerman
When a senseless act of violence changes her life forever, a liberal college professor is drawn to the very weapon used to perpetrate the crime. Peering down the barrel of a uniquely American crisis, she begins to suspect that when it comes to gun violence, we’re all part of the problem.
Southern Comfort by Julianne Wick Davis, and Dan Collins
(Musical Drama, 6m, 5f)
When Robert Eads, a transgender man in Georgia, is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, he surrounds himself with his chosen family as they prepare for the joyful Southern Comfort Conference. Based on the 2001 Sundance documentary, this touching musical is about seeking acceptance for who you are in your own skin.
Hannah and the Dread Gazebo by Jiehae Park
(Comedy / 2m, 4f)
Inside the FedEx box are two things: a 100% bona-fide-heart’s-desire-level wish, and a suicide note. Hannah tracks the package back to Korea, where her grandmother recently jumped from the roof of the Sunrise Dewdrop Apartment City for Senior Living onto the wrong side of the Demilitarized Zone. Oops.
Frontieres Sans Frontieres by Phillip Howze
(Drama / 4m, 4f)
Three orphaned, stateless youths have built a simple life out of recreation and mischief making, but their world is rocked as a parade of immodest strangers slowly invade, offering gifts of language, medicine, art, and commerce. A comic spectacle to challenge the pretense of altruism and civilization, the play asks what happens when generosity looks a lot like self-interest?
Plays: featuring Stellar Women
Athena by Gracie Gardner
(Dramatic Comedy / 3f)
Mary Wallace and Athena are brave, and seventeen, and fencers, and training for the Junior Olympics. They practice together, they compete against each other, they spend their lives together, and they wish they were friends.
Grand Concourse by Heidi Schreck
(Drama / 2m, 2f)
Having dedicated her life to religious service, Shelley runs a Bronx Soup kitchen with unsentimental efficiency, but lately her heart’s not in it. Her brisk nature masks an unsettling fear that her efforts are meaningless.
Imogen Says Nothing by Aditi Brennan Kapil
(Comedy / 7m, 2f)
A revisionist comedy in verse and prose featuring Imogen, a character who only appears in the first folio of Much Ado About Nothing, speaks no lines, and is probably a typo. A feminist hijacking of Shakespeare that investigates the voices that have been absent from our canon, and the consequences of cutting them.
Peerless by Jiehae Park
(Dark Comedy / 2m, 3f)
Asian-American twins, M and L, have given up everything to get into College. So, when D gets “their” spot instead, they figure they’ve got only one option: kill him. A darkly comedic adaptation of Macbeth about the ambitious and cut-throat world of high school during college admissions.
Fade by Tanya Saracho
(Dramatic Comedy / 1m, 1f)
When Lucia gets her first TV writing job, she feels a bit out of place on the white male-dominated set. Lucia quickly becomes friends with the only other Latino, Abel. But as Abel shares his stories with Lucia, he finds they are winding up in her TV scripts.
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie, Sarah Punshon, and Johann Hari
(Dramatic Comedy / 4m, 4f)
Two friends, Tommy and Tuppence, meet at a restaurant. When they try to dine and dash, they somehow get caught up in a crime that could start a new world war.
Seminar by Theresa Rebeck
(Dramatic Comedy / 3m, 2f)
Four aspiring young novelists sign up for private writing classes with Leonard, an international literary figure. Under his unorthodox instruction, some thrive while others flounder.
Plays: for Pop Culture
Puffs by Matt Cox
(Comedy / 5m, 5f, 1m or f)
For seven years, a certain boy wizard went to a certain Wizard School and conquered evil. This, however, is not his story. This is the story of the Puffs… who just happen to be there too. A tale for anyone who has never been destined to save the world.
Night of the Living Dead Live by Christopher Bond, Trevor Martin, Dale Boyer,
Mike Trebilcock, and Jamie Lamb
(Dark Comedy / 4m, 2f)
A comedic tribute to the historic 1968 film. A fun, hilarious re-imagining of the cinematic classic in black and white.
The Oregon Trail by Bekah Brunstetter
(Comedy / 2m, 3f)
Jane’s trapped in her middle school computer lab playing “The Oregon Trail” for what feels like hours. The game becomes life and rips us back to 1848 where we travel in a covered wagon with Jane’s great-great-grandmother.
Kingdom Come by Jenny Rachel Weiner
(Dark Comedy / 1m, 4f)
Our new, digital world is upended in this all-too relatable comedy about what happens when the feeling are real, but the people are not.
Ben Hur by Patrick Barlow
(Comedy / 3m, 1f)
Based on the timeless stories of one of the best-selling books of the 19th century, this stage adaptation follows an amateur theatre troupe as they produce the tale of the fictional Jewish prince and merchant, Judah Ben-Hur.
Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood by Ken Ludwig
(Comedy / 6m, 2f)
Packed with thrills, romance, and laughter, Sherwood tells the enduring story of a hero, and of the people, who take on the ruthless powers that be.
Plays: about American Families
Vietgone by Qui Nguyen
(Comedy / 3m, 2f)
An all-American love story about two very new Americans. It’s 1975 and Saigon has fallen. He lost his wife, she lost her fiancée, but now in a new land they might find each other.
Dot by Colman Domingo
(Comedy / 4m, 3f)
A twisted, hilarious new play which grapples unflinchingly with aging parents, midlife crises, and the heart of a West-Philly neighborhood.
Native Gardens by Karen Zacarias
(Comedy / 2m, 2f)
Gardens and culture clash, turning friendly neighbors into feuding enemies in this hilarious comedy of good intentions and bad manners.
For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday by Sarah Ruhl
(Dramatic Comedy / 4m, 2f)
When Ann thinks of her father, she remembers playing Peter Pan in her hometown theater in Iowa, particularly when her father would bring her flowers. Her father’s death sparks a conversational wake between Ann and her siblings that includes everything from arguments over politics to when each sibling realized they grew up.
The Realistic Joneses by Will Eno
(Dramatic Comedy / 2m, 2f)
Neighbors Bob and Jennifer, and John and Pony realize they have more in common than their identical homes and their shared last name. As their relationships begin to irrevocably intertwine, the Joneses must decide between their idyllic fantasies and their imperfect realities.
The Harvest by Samuel D. Hunter
(Drama / 4m, 3f)
In the basement of a small evangelical church, a group of young missionaries prepare to go to the Middle East. One of them – a young man who recently lost his father – has purchased a one-way ticket, but his plans are complicated when his estranged sister returns home.
For more suggestions, or help licensing a show, contact us here.
photo: Joan Marcus