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Here's my primary output, plays. I tend toward comedy, though I like to bite periodically. I like making fun of humanity for our vanity, and I like staring too hard at my personal problems. First and foremost, I think of my job as a playwright being to entertain.

Scene from 2004's San Francisco production of Living With The Savage
Chris Symonds and Sarah Mitchell in the Isis Theatricals production of Living With The Savage.

To help you find what you're looking for, each entry includes:

  • Running time
  • Genre
  • Cast breakdown
  • Publication and production history.
  • A short synopsis

And if anything makes you say, "huh, I'd like to read that," then you're in luck: The full play is just a link away. If you're interested in producing something, or have questions about the plays, don't hesitate to contact me.
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One-Acts

I'm a short play writer. I love evenings of one-acts, seeing my voice mixed in with the voices of other writers, other visions of the theatre. It's certainly where I've enjoyed the most success.

Six Dead Bodies Duct-Taped To A Merry-Go-Round
Co-written with Lindsay Mariana Walker
Published in The Best American Short Plays 2010 - 2011 , Applause Books.
(20 Minutes; Drama; 2M, 2W)

Eric Holzschuh and Kevin T. Bennett in Six Dead Bodies Duct-Taped to a Merry-Go-Round
The first cast of Six Dead Bodies Duct-Taped to a Merry-Go-Round, Eric Holzschuh and Kevin T. Bennett.
A young veteran who has just returned from the Afghanistan War can't get a hold of his wife to finish his last leg of the journey home. He accepts a ride from a cantankerous trucker who's got an ulterior motive for the cadavers he's supposed to be delivering to UCLA medical school.

Bile in the Afterlife
Published in Bay One-Acts Festival Anthology, 3WM Press (2002).
Finalist in the 1999 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival One-Act Play Competition (1999).
5th place in the Last Frontier Theatre Conference Play Lab (1998).
(30 Minutes; Comedy; 3M, 1W)

Osiris In The Afterlife, 2003
Wayne Mitchell as Osiris in Bile in the Afterlife.
After dying in a business meeting, Bile Talon discovers that the ancient Egyptians were right about what happens to us when we die. Things are looking run-down, though: cremated ashes litter the ground, and Osiris has put on weight. Bile has little choice but to take over and run things his way.

Domestic Companion
Published in House to Half, Pretty Things Press. (2005)
Finalist in the Love Creek Playwrights' Festival (1997).
1st runner-up in the American College Theatre Festival Playwriting Competition, Pacific Northwest Region (1996).
(30 Minutes; Comedy; 2M, 1W)

Frustrated by her boyfriend Cato's snoring, Lindsey was tricked into injecting him with cat DNA by Kane, her stalker boss. The snoring has disappeared, but there are all sorts of complications to this rash misapplication of genetic engineering. Highly farcical and suitable for high schools.
Scene From Domestic Companion, 1995
Eric R. Brown and Beckie Hawkins in the initial UAA production of Domestic Companion.

Living With the Savage
Published in Bay One-Acts Festival Anthology II (2003).
(35 Minutes; Comedy; 2M, 2W)

Two erudite children have the world view shattered when their matriarchal mother brings home a literal loincloth-wearing, spear-wielding Savage to be her lover.

    • Workshop Production, University of Namibia (October 2015)
    • Production, Three Wise Moose and Anchorage Community Theatre (October 2011)
    • Production, Teatro del Naville BOA Italia Festival II; Bologna, Italy (May 2005)
    • Production, PWSC; Valdez, Alaska (March 2005)
    • Production, Isis Arts Collective's Summer Shorts at the EXIT Theatre; San Francisco (July 2003)
    • Production, Three Wise Monkeys BOA Festival at the Eureka Theatre; San Francisco (March 2003)

Cover Art For The War of Virginia and Alabama
Aireekah Laudert's cover art for my JAC Publishing script of The War of Virginia and Alabama.
The War of Virginia & Alabama
Published by JAC Publications
(20 Minutes; Comedy; 1M, 2W)

A brother brings his fifteen-year-old fiancé home to meet his domineering sister. Set in the mythical South.

    • Production, PWSC; Valdez, Alaska (November 2015)
    • Reading, Blue Roses Infusion Series; New York (February 2013)
    • Production, Circus Theatricals Best of the Festival; Los Angeles (October 2010)
    • Production, Circus Theatricals 14th Annual Festival of New Plays (May 2009)
    • Reading, Mid-America Theatre Conference Playwriting Symposium's Ten-Minute Play Showcase; St. Louis (March 2005)
    • Reading, Three Wise Monkeys' Short Leaps Festival; San Francisco (August 2004)
    • Workshop Production, Alaska Overnighters; Anchorage, Alaska (December 2003)

Oh, Nancy!
(20 Minutes; Farce; 3M, 1W)
Nancy is going out to dinner with her boyfriend and her photography professor, because they both love her and want to clear the air. Unfortunately, the waiter has been pining for her since she stole his virginity in grade school. She can only choose one of them… the question might be "who," but it's also "will she."

A scene from In a Red Sea.
Shane Mitchell flanked by Charlotte Kopp and Elle Janecek in In a Red Sea.
In a Red Sea
Honorable Mention in Turnip 15-Minute Play Festival (production received Best Director and Honorable Mention Best Actor, 2004).
Audience Choice Award at Last Frontier Play Lab (2002).
(15 Minutes; Comedy; 1M, 3W)

Reginald is seeing a shrink because he has a problem he can't put his finger on, but as he relives his past relationships for Maureen, his attractive psychiatrist, it becomes apparent that the problem is a patterned behavior.

The Fears of Harold Shivvers
Best New Play in Anchorage (2005) by critic Catherine Stadem on KCHU's Stage Talk.
(20 Minutes; Drama; 3m, 2w)

Harold beat a lame squirrel to death when he was five. He's never been the same.

    • Reading, University of Southern Mississippi (January 2009)
    • Production, Impact Theatre Winter One-Act Festival; Off-Off Broadway (February 2007)
    • Production, PWSC; Valdez, Alaska (May 2005)
    • Workshop Production, Alaska Overnighters; Anchorage, Alaska (January 2005)

Scene From Cacophony Amore
John & Heather Snelders in Cachophony Amore.
Cacophony Amore
(20 Minutes; Farce; 3M, 3W)
Sarah is trying to get to a second date with dreamy coffee-shop owner Kevin, but her stalker boss, drunk bi-curious best friend, and life in general seem determined to stop her.

    • Production, PWSC; Valdez, Alaska (February 2010)
    • Reading, Circle East; New York City (February 2010)
    • Workshop Production, Alaska Overnighters; Anchorage, Alaska (August 2009)

America's Next Saddest Family
(20 Minutes; Comedy; 3M, 4W)
Two ex-wives and an estranged adult son are auditioning for the game show where families can become instantly rich, as long as their life story is the saddest one in America (that week).

    • Workshop Production, Alaska Overnighters; Anchorage, Alaska (August 2016)

Set Design for Bile In The Afterlife
Set design by Brian Gatlin for Bile In The Afterlife.
Dead Middle-Aged Whore
(20 Minutes; Historical Comedy; 3M)
Based on the Tennessee Williams poem Cinder Hill.
Three men in in the early 1900s Pacific Northwest decide what to do about the potential fortune that may be buried in the yard of the town prostitute. She died last night, and no one knows; to be righteous or greedy has always been the question.

    • Workshop Production (as a part of "Tom's Children," plays based on Tennessee Williams' poetry), Blue Roses Theatre; New York City (January 2011)

Alyson & the Great Bagel Mistake
(30 Minutes; Comedy; 3M, 3W)
Everyone is sick of Austin's crap, no one more than him. His friends ridicule him, his ex haunts him, and the woman of his dreams remains barely real before his eyes. Can he find true love? Does he even want that?

    • Production, Pier One Theatre; Homer, Alaska (June 2012)
    • Reading, Circle East; New York City (February 2010)
    • Workshop Production, Alaska Overnighters; Anchorage, Alaska (August 2007)

Ryan Buen in Boyd Was Waiting
Ryan Buen offending people at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference Fringe Festival with Boyd Was Waiting.
The You'll-Never-Have-a-Second-Wife Club
(20 Minutes; Comedy; 1M, 4W)
Elisabeth thought she was going to an abandoned woman's support group, but it turns out this klatch is more interested in fatal solutions to the men who have hurt them.

    • Workshop Production, Alaska Overnighters; Anchorage, Alaska (August 2008)

Ten-Minute Plays

You can't write short plays and not have some of them end up this length… and since the ten-minute form has sort of become the herpes of the American theatre… who am I to pretend I've not been infected.

The Gaping Void of Human Loneliness
(10 Minutes; Comedy; 2M, 2W)
Time is melting together for an aging bachelor as he nears the end of his time on earth, but there's still time for him to find someone somewhere in this lifetime… well, probably not.

    • Workshop Production, Alaska Overnighters; Anchorage, Alaska (November 2014)

Scene From Cacophany Amore
Gianna Giusti in Cacophony Amore.
The Call
(10 Minutes; Comedy; 3M, 2W)
Family dinner is interrupted when the religious parents of the girl the son has been hooking up with arrive, looking for an apology.

    • Production, Herman Torkelson's Armada sketch comedy, Out North Theatre; Anchorage, Alaska (February 2015)

Self-Inflicted
(10 Minutes; Absurdist Comedy; 1M, 1W)
Trenton's job is getting really bad, and he's taking it out on himself in increasingly violent ways.

    • Production, Fairbanks Drama Association's Short and Sweet: 8x10 Festival Favorites; Fairbanks, Alaska (October 2012)
    • Reading, Three Wise Monkeys' Short Leaps Marathon; San Francisco (August 2005)

Skid Marks
Co-written with Schatzie Schaefers
(10 Minutes; Dark Comedy; 1M1W)

Scene From Oh, Nancy! 1995
The TBA Theatre production of Oh, Nancy!.
Early in the morning, a distraught bride-to-be breaks in on the remnants of her fiancé's bachelor party to ask her brother for a little advice on male underwear.

The Tie
(10 Minutes; Drama; 1M,1W)
A failing stand-up comic takes out his lack of a sense of humor on the woman he lives with.

Burning
Published in literary journal Crawdad (2007).
Winner of Write Angle's Ten-Minute Play Award (2007).
(10 Minutes; Political Comedy; 2M, 1W)

Scene From The War of Virginia and Alabama
Paul Brynner and Sara Waisanen in the inaugural Alaska Overnighters production of The War of Virginia and Alabama.
Should he burn the flag? Will it light? Why does anyone care if he does?

    • Reading, Northwest Playwrights Alliance Salon; Portland (December 2007)
    • Production, Theatre Limina's Summer Shorts Festival; St. Paul (June 2005)
    • Production, Alleyway Theatre's Buffalo Quickies; Buffalo, New York (April 2004)
    • Production, Impact Theatre's Impact Briefs V: Shock & Awe (August 2003)
    • Reading, Three Wise Monkeys Short Leaps Festival; San Francisco (July 2003)

What a Drag It Is
(10 Minutes; Comedy; 2M, 1W)
The Senior Center Crafts Fair was a terrible idea for Austin and Sarah's first date, and that's before he accidentally pisses off an old wizard.

Strange Far Place
(10 Minutes; Horror; 1M, 3W)
Angelique is determined to find the ancient power that hides in the remotest ice, but will her mind survive what lurks below?

    • Workshop Production, Alaska Overnighters; Anchorage, Alaska (January 2016)

A scene from Living With The Savage.
The Isis Theatricals full cast of Living With the Savage.
…for the wrong one
(10 Minutes; Drama; 1M, 2W)
A great single woman from his past appears, but Thomas is really waiting for the young attractive young meth-head he's trying to hook up with.

    • Unproduced.

ONE-PAGE PLAYS

Brevity, the soul of wit,
Is on display here.
Only showing the good ones.

Diarrhea
Published in The Festival of Awkward Moments, Volume 1, Freshwater Theatre Company. (2011)
(Drama; 2M)

It's the "of the mouth" variety.

    • Production, Freshwater Theatre's Festival of Awkward Moments; Minneapolis (May 2011)
    • Readings, Java Theatre; Rhode Island and Maryland (April 2005)
    • Production, University of Idaho's 3rd Annual DNA Festival of Very Very Very Short Plays and Film (March 2005)

Dawson Moore and Kyra Meyer in Heart Poor
Performing Heart Poor in the Last Frontier Theatre Conference Fringe Festival with Kyra Meyer.
Heart Poor
(Romance; 1M, 1W)
Jogging with the one you love can be very therapeutic.

    • Reading, Blue Roses Infusion Series; New York (February 2013)

Immortal
(Comedy, 2M)
This old man thinks he's immortal! He's probably not.

The Penultimate Act of Frank the Cat
(Drama; 1M, 1 dead cat)
A dying house cat's last moments.

The Surprise
(Comedy; 2M)
Sure, he's an asshole, but he's fifty, everybody deserves a party when they're fifty…

The Peach
Semi-Finalist in Lamia Ink! One-Page Play Competition (2002).
(Comedy; 2M)

He says he's over her. He says he's never going back. He means it this time.

    • Reading, Three Wise Monkeys' Short Leaps Festival; San Francisco (August 2005)

At the Cliff
(Drama; 1M, 1W)
Being stranded on a remote island is a matter of perspective.

The Toilets Are Coming
(Comedy; 2M)
And the end of days comes… from automatic flush toilets. Who knew?

Scene From Boyd Was Waiting
The Don't Blink Festival production of Boyd Was Waiting.
Boyd Was Waiting
(Comedy; 2M, many women)
She's getting married, why not just tell everyone everything?

    • Performance, Don't Blink One Page Play Marathon; Anchorage (October 2010)

RETIRED PLAYS

These are plays that have been produced, but I'm really not looking to have them produced anymore. The reasons why vary, and I've included them in the descriptions, because I like making fun of myself.

David's One Miracle
(10 Minutes; Historical Drama; 3M, 3W) David Koresh sings a rock song, then shares the news with his followers that all the wives are now his wives, meeting with mixed results. This is totally worth reading, and check out the kind of awesome song, but there are just deeper, better works on this fascinating false prophet, and I'm really not sure how one gets the rights to a song by a guy like this… and I wouldn't want to pay anyone who owns them for them…

    • Workshop Production, Alaska Overnighters; Anchorage, Alaska (January 2012)

A Scene From Love's Lumberings Remembered
The TBA Theatre production of Love's Lumberings Remembered at the 2013 Last Frontier Theatre Conference.
Laundry Day
(15 Minutes; Science Fiction; 2M, 3W)
Four roommates squabble over their apartment complex's arcane rules for the laundry room, while just around the corner awaits the end of everything they know. I think it's beautiful and weird, but there's a flatness to an audience's experience of this one.

    • Workshop Production, Rough Theatre's Daytrippers; San Francisco (September 2001)

Love's Lumberings Remembered
(10 Minutes; Drama; 1M, 1W)
A man runs into a woman he liked too much to call back after their first date, and she's still a little pissed about it. I've seen this done well, and it's not got too much to say other than "be brave instead of cowardly," and I usually think my stuff aspires to more than that. I mean, not *always*…

Secret Stuffing
(25 Minutes; Science Fiction; 2M, 1W)
A brother and sister are visiting the taxidermist to have their recently deceased father stuffed. There they run into a stripper friend of the brother. The first 24-hour script I wrote, it's got good stuff in it, but it's really two plays strung together. I could play with it, but really, on to the next thing.

    • Production, Unidentified Theatre Company One-Act Marathon; San Francisco (March 2002)
    • Workshop Production, Rough Theatre's Daytrippers; San Francisco (May 2000)

A Scene From The War Of Virginia and Alabama
Gabby Franklin, Sydney Jenkins, and Zane Hodgkins in the PWSC production of The War of Virginia and Alabama.
Better Living Through Chemistry
(60 Minutes; Drama; 3M, 3W)
A girl decides to join a bunch of friends who are dropping acid, much to the chagrin of her straight-edge boyfriend. Some writing I like, but this was meant to be a screenplay, and then when my friends didn't want to make it, I turned it into an awkward play.

The Making of Eye Contact
(45 Minutes; Comedy; 2M, 1W)
An author gets lots inside the story he's trying to tell about this hooker he met. There's a good monologue or two in here, and some funny jokes, but it's a draft of my literal first produced plays, and some of it is cringe-inducing.

    • Reading, Venue 9's Page to the Stage; San Francisco (April 1999)
    • Production, Cyrano's Off-Center Playhouse; Anchorage, Alaska (December 1996)
    • Production, Toast "Crust Festival;" Anchorage (April 1994)
    • Production, University of Anchorage Alaska Second Stage (October 1993)

Poster for Libidoff
LibidOFF
(90 Minutes; Science Fiction-Comedy; 3M, 2W)
Feeling enslaved by his libido, Bile attempts to conquer his sex-drive through the use of lust-killing patches. They work, but even without a sex drive he misses sex, so he begins mixing Viagra into the picture… The stand-alone prequel to the award-winning one-act Bile in the Afterlife, I've seen it done well (& and not well), and don't need to see it again.

Happy Loving Couples are a Thing of the Past
(10 Minutes; Science Fiction; 2M, 1W)
In the future, being part of a couple is no longer considered healthy, and grandpas are assigned by the government. While I love this play, I've written enough better ten-minute pieces since that I'd rather focus on them.

Sand & Granite On Liberty
(30 Minutes; Drama; 2M, 1W)
Scene From Bile In The Afterlife, 2003
The Italian production of Bile in the Afterlife.
Sandy, an educated Southern gentleman, is taken prisoner by Grant, a ruffian seeking enlightenment. Grant quickly realizes his mistake, but his mentally slow girlfriend, Jane, thinks of Sandy as her pet bird. Strong language, violence, and adult content. This play is from the period where I was a victim of my last conversation, writing about whatever I heard most recently in class.

This Really is the End
(20 Minutes; Science Fiction; 1M, 5W)
It's setting in that there is no one left in the world but them, and their defenses are almost gone. Five women and the last gay man on earth face the end. Possibly the worst piece I've written in a 24-hour format!

    • Workshop Production, Alaska Overnighters; Anchorage, Alaska (August 2006)

Reading of The Making of Eye Contact
The Last Frontier Theatre Conference reading of The Making of Eye Contact.