Plays

Full-Lengths (Selected)

PRESERVATION (85 minutes, drama)

(2F, 1M)

In a small town, in an archival library, there’s a vault. Inside the vault, there’s a box. Stella, Lydia’s dying grandmother, has convinced her that inside the box is a buried family secret that could alter their lives. But the founder of the library funded it under the stipulation that the box never be opened. Lydia and Stella need vindication. Stan, the library’s archivist, needs to protect the library and the founder’s integrity at all costs. Lydia isn’t going away. And Stan isn’t backing down. Preservation is a dark, comedic thriller that explores what happens when protecting the dead comes at the cost of the living.

[2018] Upcoming student production at NYU’s Atlantic Acting School, Atlantic Theatre Company’s Stage 2, NYC
[2018] Reading, Valiant Theatre, New Orleans, LA
[2017] Workshop, The William Inge Center for the Arts, Independence, KS

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.

[2018] Second Place Winner, The Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women
[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

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

BOMBER’S MOON (90 minutes, drama)

(1F, 1M)

After a devastating discovery during the first week of the London Blitz, Katrin, an American socialite, 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, Lloyd and Katrin become enmeshed in each other’s lives.

[2018] Upcoming Production, Williams Street Repertory Theatre, Crystal Lake, IL
[2017] Reading, Williams Street Repertory Theatre, Crystal Lake, IL
[2015] Reading, Workhouse Theatre Company, Minneapolis, MN
[2014] Workshop, The Playwrights’ Center, Minneapolis, MN

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. When Harris and Elaine take in a troubled teenager, Aviva, as their foster daughter – Aviva rebels 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

[2018] Jewish Plays Project Best of Series, NYC
[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

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, San Francisco, CA
[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)

A PICKLE (55 minutes, drama/ comedy)

(1F)

For the second year in a row, the Minnesota State Fair rejects Doris Rubenstein’s traditional kosher dill pickles. When Doris confronts the judges, it becomes clear that they don’t understand her traditional Jewish brining process. They also inform her they have “a difficult time judging recently arrived immigrant groups.” Doris realizes there’s more than pickles fermenting, there’s hell to raise. A PICKLE is a darkly comedic look at prejudice and the power of Chutzpah (outrageous gumption). Based on a true story.

Winner of  Minneapolis’ 2017 BroadwayWorld Regional Award for Best Original /  New Work

“A thought-provoking examination of prejudice, wrapped in some serious comedy.” –2017 MN Fringe Reviewer

“Sometimes a pickle is more than just a pickle. Sometimes it’s a symbol of one’s cultural heritage, a symbol of inclusion. Such is the true story of Doris Rubenstein’s pickles. In a nearly perfect hour of theater, playwright Deborah Yarchun has written the story as an engaging one-woman show… It’s no wonder this show sold out all of its performances and won the encore slot.” — Cherryandspoon.com

“…the show talks prejudice without being preachy, and the comedic dialogue is impressively colorful.” – The Star Tribune

[2018] Production, The Twin Cities Jewish Humor Festival
[2017] Production, Really Spicy Opera, at the Minnesota Fringe Festival and Bryant Lake Bowl
[2014] Workshop,  The Playwrights’ Center


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