A listing of plays, a summary and casting requirements. Any of them may be downloaded and copied free. Enjoy!
Boy Friends ( 3 men, 30s-50s )
Workshopped at both the Road Theatre's L.A. Summer Playwrights' Festival and Brooklyn Gallery Players Black Box Festival in 2013, the hilarious story of three strangers who have but one thing in common: the birth of their sons a minute apart at the same hospital four years previously. At that time they made a solemn vow of lifelong friendship and that vow is now tested as rumors of infidelity surface. A meek action-adventure novelist, a conservative smoking-gun talk show host, and a free-spirited art curator meet weekly for play dates with their sons; now they face their biggest challenges: themselves. A continuous 80-minute comedy romp to remind us that some boys never leave the playground.
The Hologram ( 2 women, 2 men, 30s-40s )
The murder-mystery hit in the 2013 Gallery Players Black Box Festival. When a woman who's a billionaire computer-genius dies, she leaves her entire estate to her novel-writing husband, who's spent fifteen years trying to finish his opus. To receive her inheritance, he need only fulfill a single condition: live with her hologram for a full year and never leave her mansion. A comedy/mystery/ghost story for two men and two women in their mid-30s to late-40s. Murder, mystery and a brilliant revenge are wrapped up in delicious modern comedy.
Branded ( 2 men 30s-50s, 1 woman 40s, 1 boy late-teens )
A semi-finalist for the 2013 Eugene O'Neill Theatre Festival. The story of a woman who nearly dies from an AIDS-like disease before a miracle drug rescues her. She performs a testimonial for the drug and her vivacious charm makes her an overnight celebrity. She becomes the "face" of a pharmaceutial company, bringing her great wealth, but when she begins advocating that the drug be given away free to save lives, threatening the profits of Big Pharma, she learns that every drug has a cost--not only financially. A comedy/drama inspired by G. B. Shaw.
Father Mike ( 5 women, 2 men, 20s-50s )
Workshopped the Utah Shakespeare Festival's New American Playwrights Project and the Gallery Players Black Box Festival, this sure-fire comedy set in 1955 concerns a Catholic family struggling with its faith. It has a cast of seven and these are some of the unsolicited comments from those in attendance in Utah:
"One of my VERY favorites was the new play, Father Mike. The actors were perfect for their parts. They read, on the first day, as if they'd been rehearsing for weeks. The play itself is better than a lot of "finished" plays as it is NOW. This play is 99% ready for Broadway, honestly. Because this was so exceptional, I've decided to only come in the future when I can see the new plays." Jan Casalena
EXIT INTERVIEW ( 3 men, 2 women, 20s-40s )
Meet Doug Wilson, currency trader on Wall Street. Doug is surprised to learn that he's suddenly been 'downsized' and thrust into a bare room for his exit interview. In forty-one quick scenes, Doug's life is replayed as he learns what took him to this point, and what he might do to escape his termination. A ripping, fast-paced script for three men and two women who can become twenty-three different characters. A reading workshop was staged at Gallery Players of Brooklyn directed by Michael Chamberlin. It featured Bradford Cover, Michael Willis and Kraig Swartz.
The Altruist ( 4 or 5 men, 3 women, 20s-50s )
Called "gangbusters hilarious" when presented for the 2011 Los Angeles Summer Playwright Festival, the play is in classical rhymed couplets and tells the story of a billionaire French hedge fund manager who decides to spend his fortune running for president. His dysfunctional family must shape up for the political effort, but they're in no mood to change their free-spending, partying ways. The race is on to see if a billionaire's money can buy him the presidency before his family sabotages the effort. For 5 (or 4) men and 3 women. This script is recently, and highly, improved after presentations by both the Road Theatre Company in 2011 (directed by Joel Swetow), and a workshop by the Gallery Players of Brooklyn (directed by Brad Malow). Plenty of laughs and lessons for politicians in the age of the one-percenters.
Railroad Bill ( 2 black men, 1 white man, 1 woman any race )
World Premiere Production at the Chester Theatre Company in the Berkshires, directed by Regge Life. Here is what critics had to say about this hilarious racial comedy:
"A magical evening of summer theater . . . TJ Edwards has succeeded in setting into frantic motion a set of compelling and corrupt dramatic personae . . . Unlike other productions I've seen this summer, Railroad Bill had me hooked from beginning to end. I laughed out loud and reflected on the interface of American literary life, race and relentless obsession with money all the way home." Helen Epstein – The Arts Fuse
"An amazingly timely play." Donna Bailey-Thompson – In the Spotlight
"Great entertainment...Railroad Bill is a play of ideas whose twisting plotline is punctuated by frequent laugh lines. The audience is usually a tantalizing step or two behind what's really going on. TJ Edwards has written four characters of the kind that make actors salivate just reading the script. The play is a sharp satire on greedy commerce and an exuberantly un-PC examination of racial pride and prejudice, couched in a comedy-thriller format in which almost no one is quite what they seem. Chester Theatre's founding commitment to smart small-scale plays with big-time themes has only gotten stronger."
Chris Rohmann – Valley Advocate
"I want to tell you of a play we saw last week at the New American Playwrights Project. The play is Father Mike. We saw it at its first staged reading on August 14 and the audience reaction was stunning! Two hours of non-stop laughter, reaction and engagement, and during the talk back with the author afterwards we were fighting each other for the mike to get our two cents worth in. We LOVED it. And can't wait to see it on stage. It is a play with amazing universal appeal. I heard so many people saying "you're telling my story!" You don't have to be Catholic, it works equally well for any religion (or any strong family inclination; in my family it wasn't religion, it was education, but the themes are the same). It touches something inside us, I think most likely feelings of longing and ambivalence, love and conflict, left over from childhood. Longing to be understood, longing to connect, to be authentic--in conflict with the longing to belong, be loved and accepted by our parents (or our children.) . . . I think it speaks to some very basic issues so many of us face, and maybe for a change on stage we'd like to see something we can engage with fully, with our hearts and memories, without its being hugely convolutional so we have to work to appreciate it. Not light, just absolutely straightforward, with DELICIOUS humor in almost every line. And poignant. This would be a hit the way "Rabbit Hole" was. Word would get around, you'd be sold out, you'd be holding it over." Elizabeth (Betsy) Pollak