A play about Renaissance alchemy and the power and price of knowledge, Burn Your Bookes retells the magical, strange, and sordid tale of Edward Kelley -- medium and alchemist to Hapsburg Emperor Rudolph II -- and his step-daughter Elizabeth Jane Weston -- one of the few women poets of the 16th Century.
In its one-act version, Burn Your Bookes won the 2007 Prague Playwriting Contest and received a production at the Divadlo Minor in Prague. Its full length version was produced in 2010 at Taffety Punk Theatre Company in Washington, DC.
Esther Williamson (Jane Dee) and Daniel Flint (Edward Kelley) in the Taffety Punk Theatre Company production of Burn Your Bookes. Photo by Teresa Castracane.
Nero/Pseudo is a play in which the true story of an ex-slave and lyre player who impersonated the Emperor Nero in 69 AD (ripped from the pages of Tacitus and other historians) collides with the world of glam rock.
The play features 10 new glam songs written with two of the most notable alternative rock musicians of recent years: Jon Langford (Mekons, Three Johns, Waco Brothers, Skull Orchard) and Jim Elkington (Tweedy, The Zincs, Horse's Ha).
Nero/Pseudo was developed as part of Emerging Artists Theatre's New Works Festival (NYC, 2013) and was produced in 2014 by WSC/Avant Bard in Washington, DC.
Bradley Foster Smith (Pontus) in WSC/Avant Bard production. Photo by Theresa Wood.
In 1989, thanks to the generosity of A.E. Hotchner (author, Hemingway biographer, and co-founder of Newman's Own), Washington University in St. Louis founded an award for graduate and undergraduate playwrights at the school.
My first play, Untangling Ava, was the winner of the inaugural A.E. Hotchner Playwriting Festival and received a full production (directed by Jeffrey Matthews) in the Drama Studio at the university in May 1989.
Work in Progress
I have just finished a new full-length play called Three Suitcases. It traces the confluence of art, exile and politics in 1939 New York City, through the lives of Beat writer William Burroughs, his first wife, Ilse Burroughs, and German playwright and anti-fascist activist Ernst Toller.
My other new play, set in Washington, D.C. , is called OBE (Overcome By Events) . It looks at the confluence of journalism and the surveillance state.
OBE (Overcome by Events) recently received two staged readings in The Rose Theatre's "First Draft" series.
The photo above is of Abigail and John -- a short play I wrote for Pinky Swear Productions in 2015 featuring Allyson Harkey and Steve Lichtenstein. (Photo: Pam Leahigh.)