the plays

Home
Bob Jude Ferrante Home

Synopses & Cast
Synopses & Cast

Reading Copies & Rights
Reading Copies & Rights

Resume & bio: Play writing
Resume & bio: Play writing

Resume: Directing
Resume: Directing

Play writing in the 00's
Play writing in the 00's


Sanctuary: Playwrights Theatre

Sanctuary: Bookstore

La Ronde, the Playwright's ring
La Ronde, the Playwright's ring


By Title


By Length
[STOP da music]

>>full-length plays<<

Top A New Theory of Vision (Comedy)

Off-Off-Broadway: Produced by Sanctuary: Playwrights Theatre (New York, NY)

cast

6 (2 F, 4M)

set

Unit set

length

1.5 hrs.

about

Lee Krebs, professor of philosophy, specializes in the works of George Berkeley. When a bright but socially awkward young student proposes a simulation project that brings the philosopher back to life, Lee's ghosts are brought to life with it. A New Theory of Vision asks the question - if life is a dream, are we responsible for its impact? And how are we to do good?

Top The New Life (Comedy)

Off-Off-Broadway: Commissioned 2004 by Praxis Theatre Project

cast

12 (6 F, 6M)

set

Multi-media stage

length

2 hrs.

about

An "art rock" sci-fi thriller set 125 years hence, it's a wild ride of a play where immortality, Italian poetry, terror, and the emergent intelligence of networks interfold DNA-like into the noir classic D.O.A. Complex and multi-layered, the play's flexible casting options mean you can perform it with a cast as small as 8 or large as 22. Likewise, you can make it a tour de force of technical theatre, or perform it simply on a bare platform with human-generated effects.

Top subCity (Serious Comedy)

Off-Off-Broadway: Sept 2000 by NY Play Development

Staged Readings: Apr. 1998 78th Street Theatre Lab (NYC); Sept 1999 Dramatists Guild (NYC), Dec 1999 FatChance productions (NYC), July 2000 Abingdon Theatre Co (NYC)

Published: The Best Stage Scenes 1997

cast

3; (1 F, 2 M)

set

Unit set (Subway tunnel).

length

1hr. 45 mins

about

A time-jumping comedy about architecture, sexuality, the priesthood and right livelihood. In a collapsed subway tunnel we find Alex—a busted-down architect, and Wall—a gay tunnel-worker who prefers the dark. Which will get them first... falling concrete blocks... oxygen gone... gas... or their shared past?

[I want to read this play.]

Top The Buffoon Piece (Comedy)

Staged Reading April 1999 at 78th St. Theatre Lab (NYC)

Published: The Best Stage Scenes 1997

cast

10; (3 F, 7 M)

set

Commedia Dell’Arte stage

length

2 hrs. 20 minutes

about

The compromises of art -- and the art of compromise. 

Italy, 1937. For 500 years, kings and tyrants came and went but life’s unchanged in tiny Volpe Nero. Alessandro and his father, of Italy's last Commedia Dell’Arte troupe, scrape a meager existence from tradition's crumbs, That's all about to change. As Mussolini and Hitler forge their tragic alliance, two fugitives from a Fascist prison camp arrive seeking refuge — with  Blackshirts and a vengeful clown in hot pursuit. Father and son clash: do what’s safe, or do what’s right?

note: the Buffoon Piece is available both in straight drama format and as a play with music—13 original songs.

[I want to read this play.]  

Top Eve of Crimes (Serious Comedy)

about

A  woman is never what you think.

Eve of Crimes is three one-act plays—Memory Motel, Freefalling and The Last Days of Paradise—that form a 100-minute “evening” of theatre. Each play studies a central, female character, who must make a criminal decision to solve a problem.  Each of the three plays is also available for production separately.

[I want to read this “evening.”]  

Top Flowers of War (Drama)

Off-Off-Broadway: Nov 1992, Mosaic Productions (NYC)

cast

8; (4 F, 4 M)

set

Environmental ("bomb shelter")

length

2hrs. 25 mins.

about 

Iraq: February, 1991. High-tech weaponry from eight nations hammers Baghdad’s smokestacks and high-rises to dust. In one nameless shelter huddle eight cold, tired, angry Iraqis. To keep their sanity, they propose a storytelling contest. The result: Eight war stories, full of war's sadness, horror, and sometimes even laughter. 

Flowers of War is a "Fantasia on American Themes" — you won't get the characters you see to resemble the Iraqis you have been conditioned to expect!

[I want to read this play.]  

Top Hemlock, a Greek Diner Tragedy (Black Comedy)

Regional: Summer 1997 by Extra Virgin PC (Dallas TX)
Staged reading: Oct 1998 at 78th Street Theatre Lab (NYC)

Published: The Best Stage Scenes 1996

cast

7; (1 F, 4 M, 2 M/F)

set

Realistic diner

length

2 hrs.

about

As humanity rockets toward Millennium, strange red-garbed men known only as Cardinals complete plans for universal domination by capturing Socrates, Greek philosopher and David Chagall, Bronx diner owner. Can our intrepid men free themselves from the clutches of the mother of all conspiracies... and save the cosmos? HEMLOCK is a black, black, black comic fantasy that skewers end of millennium paranoia, western philosophy, conspiracy theories, time travel, and Catholicism.

Gretchen Swen (Producing Artistic Director of Dallas own Extra Virgin PC) says: Hemlock... brings together the death of Socrates and the Inquisition via a Greek diner in present-day [Bronx], NY. This truly original work is an uproariously-funny, trans-historical nightmare that marries Vaudevillian farce with Orwellian-style musings on rationality, institutionalized religion, and the failure of humanity to live up to the precepts of Christianity and Western enlightenment culture... a frenzied, thought-provoking ride...”

Jimmy Fowler at the Dallas Observer gave Hemlock one of his “Jimmy” awards, saying:
“... Extra Virgin Performance Cooperative has chosen to debut a brittle, sinister, but consistently funny script... ”
“... devilish wordplay and intellectual acrobatics... ”
“... a gigantic Rorschach on which you can project all kinds of personally biased interpretations. Thanks to the muscularity of Bob Jude Ferrante's dialogue and Extra Virgin's airtight production, this is a strength.”
“... Hemlock shoves a piping-hot dish of contradictions in your face and asks you to savor each one. Luckily, both the playwright and Extra Virgin have full grasp of the recipe... chances are you won’t stop ’til your plate is clean.” [Show me the full text of the review.]

[I want to read this play.]  

Top T’kuna (Comedy)

cast

6; (3 F, 3 M), optional chorus

set

beach, moveable grass huts and palm trees

length

2 hrs.

about

On a small uncharted Caribbean island hides a Utopian society with grass huts and computers, piercing rituals and antibiotics and... well... funny ideas about marriage, life and death. One afternoon Dystopia pays a visit—a strange American washes ashore. Was his coming accident? Or was he sent for a sinister purpose?

[I want to read this play.]

Top The Big Clog (Radio Comedy)

cast

5; (2F, 3M)

set

None

length

70 minutes

about

Vito, il capo di tutti capi, is missing—and possibly dead. His Family, hot to settle issues his Will, hires Sam Gamgee, hard-boiled gumshoe, to track him. Simultaneously a satire of The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Lord of the Rings, 1940s film noir, 1950s television comedy, and perhaps a dozen other Pop Culture signifiers, The Big Clog is a hilarious car crash of a radio comedy, combined with a real mystery story that will have your audiences riveted to the stage even as they're rolling in the aisles.

[I want to read this play.]

>>one-act & 10-minute plays<<

Top Flick See Gears in the Sparklight (Comedy)

cast

3; 3F

set

Unit set or bare stage.

length

10 minutes

about

A collection agent, just trying to do her job collecting on a bad debt, goes through increasingly mad cycles that affect, through time displacement, all parts of her life, crashing headlong to a final point of meeting.

[I want to read this play.]  

Top The Just Magi-Straight of Wexwall (Comedy)

cast

10, 5F 5M (most roles can be doubled!)

set

Unit set or bare stage.

length

15 minutes

about

A rollicking one-act verse comedy with song tells an age-old fable for the New Age. In a land ruled by a corrupt, capricious  king, a traveling poet/janitor gains through the magical powers of wine the  wisdom to become the one judge that can bring a new age of enlightenment and peace.

[I want to read this play.]  

Top Passing On I (Comedy/Drama)

cast

5, 2F 3M

set

Bare stage with Noh-style trimmings.

length

15 minutes

about

A comedy/drama with three songs that borrows its style from the Japanese Noh and Kyogen forms. The ghost of a soldier killed in battle returns to his village to make final peace with his mother. But will he be drawn to avenge his death with the rich landowner who started the war in the first place?

[I want to read this play.]  

Top The Punishment (Drama)

cast

5, 3F 2M

set

Bare stage

length

10 minutes

about

Somewhere in time and space, four people await a fate they can only dread, for crimes they're not sure they committed. The couple argues about who's to blame. The young man seeks the answer. And the old woman knows what it is—and it's something nobody suspects!

[I want to read this play.]  

Top Freefalling (Comedy/Thriller)

cast

5, 2F 3M

set

Bar (can be done ‘site-specifically’ in a real bar)

length

25 minutes

about

Bartender Maureen Bacon finds out her ex-boyfriend—mob boss Bob McMahan—wants to seize custody of their daughter Barbara. In a hail of bullets, Maureen stages a final, desperate fight to free Barbara from McMahan’s clutches forever.

[I want to read this play.]  

Top Karaghioz Saves the Day (Comedy)

cast

6, 3F 3M

set

Bare stage

length

10 minutes

about

The horrible specter of War throws its long shadow across the land. And, this time, the fate of the world is in the hands of our shadow-puppet hero Karaghioz and his trusty-though-nervous friend Hagavid, all for the hand of a beautiful—and of course rich—princess.

[I want to read this play.]  

Top The Last Days of Paradise (Drama)

cast

4, 2F 2M

set

Unit set (basement)

length

40 minutes

about

A strange woman is incarcerated at The Tombs... a dank, dismal, medieval New York jail and a reluctant Public Defender gradually digs to discover the truth about the “Apart” and the heart of their mystery... “what son of a bitch killed your dream?

[I want to read this play.]  

Top Memory Motel (Serious comedy)

Published: The Best Stage Scenes 1999

cast

5, 1F 4M

set

Unit set (church confessional, parking lot, motel room)

length

40 minutes

about

Tabitha only wanted to be someone—anyone. Then one late night chance meeting changed her forever. Now she’s locked a priest in a confessional until he’ll help prevent her becoming what she can’t avoid.

[I want to read this play.]  

Top Men’s (Comedy)

Off-Off-Broadway: August 2001 Luminous Group (NYC); October 2002 Shock Troupe (NYC). 

Regional production: July 2000 Main Street Arts (Nyack NY)

College production: May 2001 St. Andrew’s College (Aurora ON)

Published: The Best Stage Scenes 1999

cast

2, 1F 1M

set

Single (Men’s room door)

length

10 minutes

about

“I don’t know! This lady just started banging on the door to the men’s room... don’t ask me why!” Two strangers—one spurned, the other widowed— fight, flirt, and finally find each kindness in each other while standing at the door of a restaurant Men’s room.

[I want to read this play.]  

Top Scene Analysis for Fun & Profit (Comedy)

Awards: Finalist, 2003 Heideman Award, Actor's Theatre of Louisville 

Regional production: Jan 2002 Heartlande Theatre Co (Ann Arbor MI); May 2002 Sauk Theatre (Jonesville MI)

Published: The Best Stage Scenes 2000

cast 2, 1F 1M

set

Single (Dining room of suburban home)

length

10 minutes

about

A hilarious short piece shows a married couple’s argument about a possible infidelity, as it zooms between a 10,000 foot view and right in your face.

BackStage called Scene Analysis "a shining moment."

[I want to read this play.]  

Top Tragedy, a comedy (Serious comedy)

Off-Off-Broadway: April 2002 Emergence Theatre Co (NYC)

cast

4; (1F, 3M)

set

Single set

length

40 minutes

about

Harry Stevens has a good life. He loves his job teaching mentally-retarded kids. His marriage is stable. He’s got a good home. But... A routine check-up turns dire. God shows up. Won’t leave. Best friend Bernard starts praying in the living room. Won’t leave either.

[I want to read this play.]  

Top The Well Dried

cast

3; (2F, 1M)

set

Courtroom (or bare stage)

length

10 minutes

about

She is a warrior, trained in the art of killing. But today she's on trial for showing compassion to the enemy. The judge stands over her sternly. What will be her fate?

[I want to read this play.]  

Top Le Mot Juste (Serious Comedy)

cast

3; (2F, 1M)

set

Single set

length

10 minutes

about

She awakens in a strange world surrounded by dictionary pages blowing in the wind. She has but one word to say it to express all meaning. What word does she pick?

[I want to read this play.]  

>>short scenes and monologues<<

Top Twinges (Rapidfire Comedy)

Off-Off-Broadway: Mar 1998, Grove St. Playhouse (NYC); May 2002 Trilogy Theatre (NYC); May 2002 Streetlight Productions (NYC); Aug-Sept 2002, Shooting Star Theatre (NYC)

Regional: Jan 2002, Heartlande Theatre Co (Ann Arbor MI); May 2002 & May 2003, Sauk Theatre (Jonesville MI)
Staged reading: Apr 1996, 78th Street Theatre Lab, NYC
International: Nov 2001, KIMEP English Language Theatre (Almaty Kazakhstan)
Published: The Best Men’s Stage Monologues 1996, The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 1996 The Best Men’s Stage Monologues 1999 & The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2000

cast

3; (1F, 2M)

set

None

length

75 minutes

about

Twinges is an evening of twenty short plays, each with a peculiar comic bite. [For a taste, see below:]

Elias Stimac of BackStage calls Twinges "comical success... laugh inducing, eye opening, or thought provoking--and sometimes all three at once." 
[Read the rave review in BackStage]

Arlene McKanick of Off-Off-Broadway Review says Twinges is "worth seeing!"
[Read the review in OOBR]

A few words from actors who have worked with this material

“Audience” was a fitting end to the evening, and the audience really seemed to enjoy to breaking of the fourth wall — Nathan Fleming Director KIMEP English Language Theater, Almaty, Kazakhstan

“I used the 'Fun City' monologue at an audition at Park Square Theater (a prestigious theater company in downtown St. Paul, MN) for the play Born Yesterday, and I got a part!” — Barb Keith, actress

“I recently read 'Donnyworld.' I thought it was one of the funniest things I have ever read.” — Luke Leek, performer

“Thank you so much for the copy of Twinges , it is a very fun play.” — Samantha Wilson, actress

“The scene [Atlantis, The Lost Continent] from Twinges is great. It would be an honor to perform it as part of my audition.” — Jonathan Kapner, actor

“[Fun City] is quite possibly the funniest monologue known to man.” — Audrey Leigh Francis, actress

[I want to read this Twinges thing, whatever the hell it is!]

Talking Cure (2F 3M)

An angry shock-jock gets comeuppance from an unexpected source. 

Pompeii (1F)

"You bump into this guy, a local. He’s really... stoned. Try to talk to him. He doesn’t answer. He crouches. And covers his face. Like this."

L'Audience (3M)

Two inept French art thieves (need I say more?) try to steal The Audience, the world's largest oil.

Nixon (2M)

"I was just worried about... about... The energy, man. The cracker energy. You know, like imbuing itself. Into our very fibers, or our, like, beings."

Fun City (1F)

A desperate prostitute is finally driven to (gasp!) acting.

Audience with the Godfather (2M)

The godfather discourses on plumbing. 

The Ittle Bittle Spat (1F 1M)

Hey, honey? Whatcha got in the bag on the car floor?

Atlantis, The Lost Continent (1M)

Canned lunch meat — a Mystery of the Ages!

The Phlegm Expert (2M)

Excuse me, whatever are we talking about again?

Sinatragate (1M)

"I’m confused... I used to be unconfused. Certainty isn’t something of which I can be certain. Certainty is for certain people. But not me."

Bea and Dee (1F 1M)

Sex therapy, by the book? No... Sex Therapy (buy the book).

Recursive Playhouse (1F 1M)

What's this I hear about a play in a play on a play under a play?

Interview with Norman, Aphrodite's Husband (2M)

A totally like wow peek into the love and lipstick of the Gods.

You're Somebody (1F 2M)

Not every actor's nightmare.
But most.

O'Toole of Scotland Yard (2M)

"Devilishly clever... notice that strange tattoo, Davis... a serpent and a head of red-leaf lettuce... the mark of a Hindu fakir, of the Rumaggadan sect... a cult of fanatics who sought inner peace through tying knots!"


If your browsers playing music, the piece youre now hearing is called Maries Song, original music from the play Hemlock, 1996, bob jude ferrante.
To stop the music, click the STOP button on your browser.
Top