Plays

Full-Lengths (Selected)

DRIVE (95 minutes, drama)

(4F, 2M)

A community of truckers in a small town in Iowa are forced to shift gears when they lose their jobs to self-driving vehicles. When Gloria becomes the only trucker in town still employed, resentments begin to surface. Tensions escalate as they grapple with a mystery: Haygen, a driver with close ties to all of them, has disappeared. Set in a future not far down the road, DRIVE explores our collective fears surrounding the next stage of automation and what happens when individuals in a country where we’re so defined by our work are forced to reevaluate what drives them.

[2020] Virtual Reading, VoxFest, Dartmouth College
[2020] Winner, Dartmouth’s Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award for Playwriting
[2020] Reading, Centenary Stage Company, Hackettstown, NJ (UPCOMING)
[2020] Finalist, Seven Devils Playwriting Conference
[2019] Reading, Martha Vineyards Playhouse, Vineyard Haven, MA
[2019] Reading, The Civilians’ FINDINGS Series, NYC
[2019] Shortlisted, Alpine Fellowship Theatre Prize, International

Download DRIVE on NPX

THE CALM BEFORE (80 minutes, drama)

(1F, 1M)

THE CALM BEFORE is a two-character drama set in Rockport, TX the night Hurricane Harvey makes landfall. Ellen desperately attempts to get her recalcitrant disabled father, a conservative 65-year old former Navy SEAL, out. As the hurricane bears down – difficult parts of their past and their current ideological differences play out; the two brace themselves for a night of tough winds, tough love, and confronting uncomfortable truths.

[2019] Reading, Capital Repertory Next Act New Play Summit, Albany, NY
[2019] Workshop, The Blank Theatre’s Living Room Series, Los Angeles, CA
[2019] Semi-Finalist, Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference
[2019] Semi-Finalist, Premiere Stages, Kean, NJ

Download THE CALM BEFORE on NPX

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.

[2019] Reading, Nora’s Playhouse, NYC
[2018] Reading, Capital Stage Company, Playwrights Revolution, Sacramento, CA
[2018] Reading, Yellow Rose Productions, Knoxville, TN
[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

Download GREAT WHITE on NPX

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.

[2020] Monologues published in The Best Men’s Monologues from New Plays
[2019] Winner, Women in the Arts & Media’s 2019 Collaboration Award, NYC
[2019] Winner, Jewish Ensemble Theatre’s JETFest, Detroit, MI
[2019] Finalist, Kitchen Dog Theatre’s New Works Festival, Dallas, TX
[2018] Finalist, Woodward/Newman Drama Award, Bloomington Playwrights Project
[2018] 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

Download PRESERVATION on NPX

*ATLAS, THE LONELY GIBBON (80 minutes, dark comedic thriller)

(2F, 2M)

ATLAS, THE LONELY GIBBON is a dark comedic thriller set in the future. Irene, a 28-year-old journalist, has recently had her job downgraded to editing AI (Artificial Intelligence)-generated articles. Her husband, David, is a cybercrime journalist, a niche that has kept him employed in a dying journalism field. Irene becomes alienated by technologies he introduces into their home for work that possess a sometimes comforting, but creepy and increasingly dangerous presence. Because of David’s job, their apartment is targeted by hackers and their everyday household appliances (all connected to the internet) have been turning on them. This is particularly challenging for Irene, because she now works from home. To cope with her challenging marriage and increasingly threatening space, Irene fixates on a VR (virtual reality) show about an isolated ape at a monkey sanctuary. David introduces a set of lifelike bionic arms into their home and Irene’s world is shaken when the arms take on a life of their own; instead of calling her husband, she begins a new type of relationship. ATLAS, THE LONELY GIBBON explores where we’re heading as a society and the complex benefits and destructive possibilities of a fully wired world.

[2020] HBMG Foundation’s National Playwright Winter Retreat
[2020] Marblehouse Project Residency, Acceptance

*Newest work

Download ATLAS, THE LONELY GIBBON on NPX

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.

[2020] Monologues published in The Best Men’s Monologues from New Plays
[2020] Monologue published in The Best Women’s Monologues from New Plays
[2018] 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

Download BOMBERS’ MOON on NPX

HANS & SOPHIE (75 minutes, drama)

Created with Illana Stein & Sean Hudock

(1F, 1M)

An intimate and resonant portrait of resistance, faith and conviction in the darkest of times. Using personal letters, coded correspondences, and diaries, this two-character drama is inspired by the true story of siblings Sophie and Hans Scholl, German students who led a covert resistance movement against The Nazi regime until they were caught by the Gestapo and executed for treason on February 22, 1943.

[2020] Outstanding New Play, Dallas Fort-Worth Critics Forums Awards
[2020] World Premiere, Amphibian Stage Productions
[2019] Workshop, Amphibian Stage Productions
[2019] Reading, Drama League First Stage Residency
[2019] Finalist, SPACE on Ryder Farm Creative Residency

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

Download TECTONIC MELANGE on NPX

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] Theatre Ariel’s 2018-2019 Salon Series, Philadelphia, PA
[2018] Jewish Plays Project Best of Series, NYC
[2015] Jewish Ensemble Theatre’s 2015 New Play Festival (one of four winners)
[2014] Workshop, The Playwrights’ Center, Minneapolis, MN
[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

Download THE MAN IN THE SUKKAH on NPX


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.

[2018] Reading, Swandive Theatre’s Veggie Stock Reading Series, Minneapolis, MN
[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

Download THE ALEPH COMPLEX on NPX

JENGA (90 minutes, drama)

(2F)

Yelena returns to her childhood home for the first time in twelve years only to discover that her older sister Simone has transformed it into a “Burning Man-inspired” (and booby-trapped) game-room of fairy wings and glitter. As monstrous noises filter in from an offstage room, the two sisters battle in a series of escalating games over whether or not to finally confront a violent incident from their past.

[2019] Babes with Blades Fighting Words Festival, Chicago, IL
[2012] Student Production, University of Iowa

Download JENGA on NPX

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] 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

Download PORTMANTEAUX on NPX

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