Plays

Full-Lengths (Selected)

TECTONIC MÉLANGE (100 minutes, drama)

(2F, 2M)

When Tara, a petroleum geologist, surveys for minerals in a small town in North Dakota, she uncovers more than she expected- including deep community tensions and a darker side of herself.

[2017] Reading, Circle City New Play Festival
[2016] Workshop, Arkansas New Play Festival
[2016] Winner, University of Arkansas Kernodle New Play Award
[2016] Semi-Finalist, Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference
[2015] Reading, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s First Light Festival
[2015] Workshop, The Playwrights’ Center
[2014] EST/ Sloan Commission

GREAT WHITE (90 minutes, drama)

(3F, 1M)

Fourteen-year-old Brooke is in trouble. Her sixteen-year-old sister, Ivy, is manic and increasingly violent, and their mother, Gail, refuses to acknowledge the danger. As Brooke struggles to hold her family together, she copes by tracking a great white shark. This leads her to Luis, a troubled fifteen-year-old boy intent on swimming out to meet the shark in the ocean. As their friendship deepens, Brooke becomes increasingly aware of the shark drawing closer in her own life: that her sister, in a manic fit, might kill her. Set in present-day southern Florida, between coastal floods, Great White is a coming-of-age drama that explores unremitting love for family, and the consequences of inaction.

[2017] Honorable Mention, The 2016 Relentless Award, American Playwriting Foundation, NYC
[2016] Reading, The Great Plains Theatre Conference, Omaha, NE
[2015] Finalist, The Bay Area Playwrights Festival
[2015] Reading, Workhouse Theater Company, Minneapolis, MN
[2015] Reading, Strange Sun Theater, NYC
[2014] Workshopped at The Playwrights’ Center

THE MAN IN THE SUKKAH (95 minutes, drama)

(2F, 2M)

What does it mean to take someone into your home? The Man in the Sukkah is a tale of intergenerational trauma, buried secrets, and questing for identity. Southern Gothic and secular Judaism collide on a former plantation in rural South Carolina where the woods have more ghosts than trees. A married couple, Harris and Elaine, try to heal the wounds of their respective pasts by taking in a troubled teenager, Aviva, as their foster daughter. Aviva rebels against Elaine by insisting on living in the yard in a sukkah (a temporary hut with three walls used during the Jewish festival of Sukkot). The sudden appearance in Aviva’s sukkah of a mysterious man from Elaine’s past sends further tremors through their lives. With Aviva at stake, Elaine and Harris must confront a perilous question: can they overcome the downward pull of history and their troubled upbringings to become good parents?

“Deborah’s play embraces the mystical, the dark, the frightening, in a way that would have made the Yiddish masters proud. And she does it in a completely modern and theatrical voice. ”
-David Winitsky, Artistic Director, Jewish Plays Project

[2015] Jewish Ensemble Theatre’s 2015 New Play Festival (one of four winners)
[2014] Workshopped at The Playwrights’ Center
[2014] Finalist, PlayPenn
[2014] Finalist, Cutting Ball Theater’s Risk Is This
[2013] Workshopped at Jewish Play Project’s OPEN: Festival of Jewish Plays
[2013] Finalist, The Kentucky Women Writer’s Conference Prize for Women Playwrights
[2012] The Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award (co-winner)
[2012] Winner of the Richard Maibaum Award, University of Iowa
{2012] Finalist, Jewish Play Project’s National New Play Competition
[2012] Student Production at The University of Iowa’s New Play Festival

THE ALEPH COMPLEX
(90 minutes, drama / comedy with shadow puppets)

(2F, 1M)

To save herself from her chronically incessant thoughts, Nicky converts them into sounds so she can fall asleep to the sound of rain. This works until, during a bout of crippling social anxiety at college, a thought about her mother turns into a vicious storm. Nicky outruns the storm all the way home, where she returns to her old job at the Container Store and to Mom, who hasn’t left the apartment in five years. While searching for self-help books she meets Borders Guy, the mysterious keeper of the last Borders bookstore on the planet, who introduces her to the Aleph, a Borges-inspired point of overwhelming omniscience he guards in the back of the store. Through a chain of “self-help” both comic and poignant, Nicky, her mother, and Borders Guy struggle to smash down the walls that enclose their lives.

[2015] Honorable Mention, The Kilroy’s List
[2014] Runner-up of Red Theater’s National Playwriting Competition
[2013] Workshopped at The New Harmony Project
[2013] Finalist, The Woodward/ Newman Drama Award
[2013] Student production at University of Iowa’s New Play Festival

BOMBER’S MOON (90 minutes, drama)

(1F, 1M)

During the first week of the London Blitz, Katrin, an American socialite, after a devastating discovery is propelled onto the streets during the blackout. Caught in an air raid, she seeks shelter in the basement of an abandoned music shop. She’s followed by Lloyd, a displaced, working class East Ender. Over four charged, complicated nights sheltering together in the music shop, they become enmeshed in each other’s lives.

[2017] Reading, Williams Street Repertory Theatre, Crystal Lake, IL
[2015] Reading, Workhouse Theatre Company, Minneapolis, MN
[2014] Workshop, The Playwrights’ Center, Minneapolis, MN

PORTMANTEAUX  (90 minutes, drama / dark romantic comedy)

(1F, 1M)

Liza, a recent college graduate and composer, works a manic number of odd jobs. When she’s not Duck Tour guiding, selling ads for a magazine about creepy places in Pennsylvania, catering, or tutoring, she creates soundscapes of her isolated existence in her now roommate-devoid, shelled-out apartment. Her life-agenda is thrown into disarray when she collides with Dale, a young anarchist with a diametrically opposed concept of life. Through a series of misadventures ranging from an ill-fated attempt to fly a kite, urban spelunking, and an epic rideshare journey, Dale and Liza alter each other’s worlds. An exploration of life-altering intersections, virtual proximity, and that oh-so fine line between independence and isolation.

[2014] Workshop production at The Overtime Theater in San Antonio
*Critic’s Pick in the San Antonio Current
[2012] Finalist, The Phoenix Theater’s Hormel New Works Festival
[2012] Finalist,  Firehouse Theatre Project’s New Play Festival
[2011] PlayLabs play at The Great Plains Theatre Conference
[2009] Workshopped at WordBRIDGE Playwrights’ Laboratory

FREEZEFRAME (75 minutes, drama)

(2F, 2M)
 
An experimental drama that focuses on four disconnected college students and the reversal of the earth’s magnetic poles.

“The lyrical dialogue is striking.” – Backstage

[2015] Finalist, Risk Is This, Cutting Ball Theater
[2006] Produced at the Young Playwrights Festival XXIV by Young Playwrights Inc. (in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Playwrights Horizons)
[2007] Student production, Drexel University
[2006] Student production, Wichita State University
[2006] Winner, Wichita State University’s National Student Playwriting Award
[2005] Reading, Young Playwrights Inc. (at the Abingdon Theater)
[2005] Winner, Young Playwrights Festival National Playwriting Competition

One-Acts (selected)

PERCEPTION PLAY
(15-20 minutes, horror / dark comedy)

(1F, 1 M or F)

A young woman enters a Turrell installation at an art museum in Pittsburgh. It’s pitch black. She thinks she’s alone. And then she hears breathing.

[2013] Premiered at FlushInk Theater in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada as part of UnHinged: A Festival of Disturbing Theater
[2013] Commissioned by Generous Theater Company and initially presented at GUMBO, a festival of new works exploring the connections between neurobiology and art at Baltimore Theatre Project

SPINAL ALIGNMENT (15 minutes, drama / comedy)

(1F, 1M)

After a brief 2 AM dating site meet-up at the Midtown East McDonalds, Sheila goes with Donovan to his grungy apartment. Their casual encounter quickly morphs into an existential crisis as they struggle to connect.

[2013] Published in The Book of EstroGenius 2011
[2011] Premiered at EstroGenius Festival at Manhattan Theater Source

Short Works (selected)

PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF HIS PEARS, OR LUSCIOUS BUTTS

(Two minutes, dark comedy)

(1F, 1M)   (FULL SCRIPT)

Two star-crossed pears discover their horrific fate.

[2012-2013] Produced in Portland, Oregon and Ontario, Canada

THE STARFIRE DANCE (ten minutes, drama)

(2F, 2M)

At the Frank Sinatra Piano Lounge at Greenbriar, a retirement home, Frank,70, is reunited with Adele, 68, who he believes is an old flame. Frank tries desperately to remind Adele of the night they met. The only problem: it’s not that Adele doesn’t remember, it’s that she’d rather forget.

[2014] World Premiere as part of Fusion Theatre Festival’s “The Seven,” at the Cell  Theater, Albuquerque, NM
[2013] Finalist for City Theater’s National Short Play Award
[2013] Reading, CityWrights Conference, Miami, FL

PAINTED DESERT (ten minutes, drama)

(1F, 1M)

Cody, an unemployed guitarist, finds himself stuck in the middle of the desert with hundreds of hoodoos, a perpetually setting sun, a dozen orphan shoes and his ex-girlfriend, Eva.

[2012] Produced at The Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival at the Beckett Theater
[2011] Produced at Theater Masters 2011 National MFA Playwright Festival (at the Wild Project, NYC) and in Aspen, Colorado
[2011] Finalist, The Heideman Award