Screen and teleplays
FIVE DAYS FOUR NIGHTS
Semifinalist - Big Apple Film Festival Screenplay Competition 2021
Quarterfinalist - Screencraft Drama Competition 2021
ROMANTIC DRAMA: A screenplay for an original feature film, an intimate, emotionally charged, brutally honest drama and authentic romance called FIVE DAYS FOUR NIGHTS. This is CLOSER meets RABBIT HOLE meets SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE meet BETRAYAL. Exploring themes of love, marriage and longing; grief, trauma, mental illness and racism; and the human capacity for healing, empathy and reconciliation, the piece authentically depicts how trauma is ever-present in our lives and considers the very human question of what draws people together, and what can tear them apart.
Logline/Synopsis: In the summer of 2022, with the country almost back to “normal" after the pandemic, JESSE and DON, a doctor, have a marriage in a wealthy Connecticut town that's been crumbling since they lost their daughter three years ago. Writing a novel to help herself heal, but still traumatized by her daughter's death and its impact on her relationship with her husband and other daughter, she goes to a writer’s conference in Massachusetts, and encounters GEORGE, a wry professor/novelist with trauma of his own, an eight year old daughter, and a deeply conflicted interracial marriage to the brilliant, bipolar DYAN. After George casually disparages “autobiographical fiction,” Jesse self-protectively lies about her loss as the source of her novel-in-progress, and their “literary flirtation” (let's call it foreplay with words?) deepens into a life changing love affair when she reveals the truth a few days later.
SAVING ELIJAH - Pilot for a Limited Series TV Show - Teleplay
GHOST STORY, PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER, FAMILY DRAMA. One hour pilot script plus a narrative outline for the 8-hour series. Written with WGA-nominated screenwriter, Christopher Carlson, (www.christopherccarlson.com), Adapted from my novel, Saving Elijah.
Logline: When Dinah’s autistic 6 year old, Elijah, lapses into a coma, the desperate, fiercely loving mother makes a Faustian bargain to save him with a shape-shifting, demonic ghost, who appears at first as someone from a dark corner of her past, exploiting her grief, guilt, self-doubt, and fear. When the boy awakens, astonishingly, he’s no longer autistic. As the bargain comes due and the series progresses, psychologist Dinah battles a clever, relentless tormenter, eventually surrendering her therapy practice, her marriage and family, and her sanity. Meanwhile, Elijah evolves into a spiritually and artistically gifted child with supernatural powers that draw the attention of the world and ultimately enable the boy to save his mother through the power of love. Everything, however, has a price.
THE MULTIPLE / DIE TOTDENKERIN - Screenplay
PSYCHODRAMA/THRILLER, 100 minutes. Feature film script. Written with Christopher Carlson (www.christopherccarlson.com). Adaptation based on my acclaimed novel, "A Reasonable Madness." Translated into ten or so languages, the book became a best seller in Germany under the title Die Totdenkerin, which means "The Death Thinker." and this adaptation was first commissioned by German film Producer, Network Movie, and the German public broadcaster, ZDF. We have reserved the rights for an English language feature film that will not only be riveting but very, very human. We're calling it THE MULTIPLE.
Logline: After a gifted artist and clairvoyant confesses to "telekinetically" killing her husband’s lover, a dual investigation ensues -- while the police examine evidence to determine who actually did the murder, a psychiatrist probes the confessor’s profoundly fractured psyche to determine if she possesses the frightening power of psychic “death-thoughts" she claims, or if he’s falling prey to the seductive powers of a manipulative, cold-blooded multiple personality prepping him to be her next victim.
FIVE DAYS, FOUR NIGHTS - Stage play
Full length drama - 90-95 minutes, 4 characters
Represented by: Marta Praeger, Robert Freedman Dramatic Agency, Inc., NYC email@example.com.
Description: Jesse’s long, traditional marriage to a successful doctor in a wealthy Connecticut town is crumbling under the weight of grief after the death of their daughter three years ago. She’s trying to write a novel based on her loss to help herself heal. At a five-day summer writers conference, she meets George, a wry, conflicted professor whose own marriage is also deeply strained as he tries to cope with his jealous, volatile and brilliant wife. George and Jesse each present a cultivated facade, as strangers often do, and after George casually disparages “autobiographical fiction,” Jesse self-protectively lies about the personal source of her novel-in-progress. Free of the burden of her bereavement, Jesse allows herself to engage in a kind of literary flirtation with George that profoundly deepens when she finally reveals the truth about her terrible loss. Employing a unique, dramatic structure of short scenes moving forward through the days and nights of the conference that alternate dramatically with scenes of the two conflicted marriages going backwards through the years, we witness George and Jesse’s growing attraction, desire, and mutual empathy, as well as the devastating marital circumstances that have left them both vulnerable to a potentially life-changing love affair.
A brutally honest, adult drama about marriage, longing, grief, trauma, mental illness, what attracts people to one another and keeps them together, and what tears them apart.
CANCELLED DUE TO COVID: Staged reading: March 23rd, 2020, 700 PM; Palace Theatre, Stamford, CT
WINNER/FINALIST: "Athena Reads," July 3, 2019, Dramatists Guild, New York City https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz_gt_EnUd9/
STAGED READING: January, 2018 - Theatre Artists Workshop, Norwalk, CT
SEMI FINALIST: 2018 Garry Marshall New Works Festival, Los Angeles, CA
STAGED READING, August 2018, Silent Echo Theatre Company, Sisters, OR
THE ANGEL OF FORGETTING - Stage play
Full length drama - 100 minutes, two acts, with one intermission, 12 characters (4 are doubled)
Represented by: Marta Praeger, Robert Freedman Dramatic Agency, Inc., NYC firstname.lastname@example.org.
Description: Elderly Russian immigrants Klara and Sasha Grigoriev are loving parents and dogged atheists, still deeply affected by the trauma they experienced as children in Vitebsk, Belarus during World War II. As the play opens, their adult son, Dennis, is doing his “psychic” act “communicating with the dead” in front of a live television audience, and his twin sister, Ava, a school social worker, publicly accuses him of being a fraud. Accusation becomes confrontation at the Grigorievs’ sixtieth anniversary party, but when Ava presents a surprise letter from a long lost relative, it reveals a family secret so shocking that patriarch Sasha has a deadly heart attack,. and a schism opens within this profoundly troubled family that appears irreconcilable. Then an Angel of the Ninth Order of the Third Hierarchy intervenes. A family drama with a psychological and supernatural mystery at its core, “The Angel of Forgetting” explores themes of grief, memory, cultural identity, the consequences of trauma, and the personal nature of spiritual experience.
WINNER: March Forth Productions Summer Reading Salon Contest, August 1st, 2016, at "The Lambs," NYC, with a talkback moderated by dramaturg, Eric Webb.
TOP TWENTY/SEMI FINALIST, 2016 Colonial Players, Annapolis, MD; 2015 Strange Sun Greenhouse Competition, NYC; Panndora's Box New Theatre Festival, Long Beach, California.
READING - Lark Theatre, New York City. April 2015
An interview with March Forth Productions about my writing process and my play, "The Angel of Forgetting" can be found here:
http://www.marchforthproductions.org/#!interviews/il1mk (scroll down, or click on the INTERVIEWS tab on this blog, and scroll down to the second headline.)
20 minute drama -- 4 characters
Synopsis: On their fortieth anniversary trip to the Big Apple, an elderly couple, Brian Cole, who served as a medic during the Vietnam War and later became a psychiatrist, and his wife, Beth, stop into a Chelsea antique shop called "TIME WARP ANTIQUES AND ODD EFFECTS" where the proprietor, one CG Young, guides them through a strange and profound encounter with several versions of their past. A science fiction fantasy about trauma, shame, fate, and the multiverse. Inspired by Jean Paul Sartre's extraordinary play, "No Exit."
WINNER: 2020 St Louis Actors Studio Neil Labute New Theatre Festival
THE BASEMENT OF EVERYTHING YOU NEED - Stage play
The Basement of Everything You Need," is a twelve minute dystopian drama about a wealthy, long married couple who've engineered their own survival of an unidentified planetary disaster, in a place where all their needs will be taken care of for as long as they live. But confronted with the emotional and ethical toll of surviving and no way out, they're playing out their own deadly psychological game, possibly even going mad. Pictured below, the brilliant actors Allan Zeller and Stephanie Hazard performing as Jodi and Peter in the Theatre Artists Workshop 2017 Playwrights Festival.
THERE YOU ARE - Stage play
Drama - 18 minutes, one act - 2 characters
Description : A short version of the full length play described above, "Five Days, Four Nights." A romantic two-hander about two strangers, a professor and a nurse, both long married, both working on novels, who meet at a summer writer’s conference and are deeply attracted—to each other, to each other's sorrow, and to each others’ fiction. When the professor receives a phone call from his sister about a family emergency, their encounter becomes something much more.
WINNER: - St. Louis Actor's Studio Labute New Theatre Festival, July 24th - August 2nd, 2015. "Delightful and poignant. A real sense of romance." Ladue News.
YOU SHOULD TAKE A LOVER - Stage play
Comedy - 10 minutes, one act - 3 characters.
Description: A clueless wife and her cynical sister try tp determine who among the dinner guests deliberately moved a small sentimental figurine the wife calls "The Bernie."
Theatre Artists Workshop, Norwalk, Connecticut April 28th-30th, 2015
Silent Echo Theatre Company "Now You're Talking" Festival,"Sisters, Oregon, February, 2015
Pictured below left: Veteran actors Wendy Long
and Carolyn Marble take on "The Bernie"
in "You Should Take a Lover"