THE PLAYS All plays may are available for purchase here
You will find below descriptions of all of Michael's plays, including length as well as set and actor requirements. If one looks interesting, click PREVIEW and you will be able to read an excerpt (generally, the first 10 pages).
Michael will be happy to email PDF copies of his unpublished plays to members of the theater community, strictly for perusal purposes (reading only, not for production). To receive information about producing Michael’s plays, please do so through his CONTACT page on this site.
One Damn Thing
Registered WGAw No. 1133133
A full-length play in two acts. 122 pages. One set. 2 Men, 4 Women.
Broke and broken down, famed poet Edna St. Vincent Millay struggles to fulfill a paid commission she desperately needs. At the summit of her powers, “Vincent” received the first Pulitzer Prize ever awarded to a female poet. Now, on the last night of her life, she is torn between the twin distractions of drugs and booze, the comic hectoring of her personal journal come to life, the colorful past conjured by her overactive imagination, and that “one damn thing” ... writing a Thanksgiving Day poem for The Saturday Evening Post.
The Ideal Candidate
Registered WGAw No. 1279943
A full-length play in one act. 48 pages. One set. 1 Man, 1 Woman.
When young Kate Smolensky arrives for an all-important job interview, she is not prepared for Mr. Mooshegian, an officious, impersonal middle-management "company man" who seems better prepared to conduct an interrogation than an interview. In a battle of wits and wills, all of Kate’s expectations soon become thwarted at every turn as it becomes increasingly apparent that this is no ordinary job interview. This two-person play, set in the very near future, is born of contemporary fears and paranoia, when wiretapping, warrantless searches and enhanced interrogation are now present in the lives of both the guilty and the innocent.
Registered WGAw No. 1145459
A full-length play in two acts. 110 pages. One set. 2 Men, 1 Woman.
With justice at stake, when does the need to lie outweigh the demands of truth? For Brent (an aviation mechanic and “regular guy”), rescuing Conrad – the longtime friend of live-in girlfriend Alex – from a vicious gay bashing is instinctive heroism. But Conrad’s determined pursuit of justice at all costs, Alex’s troubled past and Brent’s impulsive physicality put all three on a path where scruples surrender to misrepresentation and mistakes. Degrees is a play that explores these questions and more as three people with conflicting agendas try to do what is right, but in the process lose themselves ... degree by bitter degree.
Registered WGAw No. 2084115
A full-length play in one act. 69 pages. One set. 2 Women.
It’s four o’clock on a February morning in the small attic bedroom of an old Missouri Ozarks farm-house. Fifty-year-old Amelia desires nothing more than to sleep just a few more hours but her elderly mother, Ethel, comes knocking on the bedroom door. What’s so important it has to be talked about tonight? Does it involve Ethel’s plans to sell the farm? Or does it concern Amelia’s brother, Gideon, and the night he “up and left us” 20 years ago? Or might it have to do with the mysterious grey bird that appears at the kitchen window, hours before a death in the family?
Claims: A Modern Tragedy in Two Acts
Registered WGAw No. 1213961
A full-length play in two acts. 102 pages. Transitional set. 2 Men, 2 Women, 1 Teen Male.
As an insurance claims adjuster in Columbus, Ohio, Lou Webster daily determines the value of a lost or stolen item. Recently, Lou has had to also adjust to many displaced personal possessions in his own life. Faced with an ex-wife and her younger fiancé living in his old house, Lou is now simply unwilling to let go of his last, most valued treasure ... the love and respect of his teenage son. Struggling to reverse his son’s low opinion and his own high cholesterol, how far will this divorced dad go to repair a deteriorating relationship and protect his boy, regardless of the actions he must take or the resulting ultimate consequences?
Registered WGAw No. 1877638
A full-length play in two acts. 92 pages. Flexible staging. 2 Men, 2 Women.
This is the story of four people and what happens when they face several life-altering decisions in the span of just 24 hours – one of them doesn’t make it out alive, and no one makes it through completely intact. Fontanelle challenges nearly every traditional theatrical literary form, and experiments with new and unexpected ways of conversation. This, in a play that explores our own growing inability to communicate, the elusiveness of simple human connection, the interconnectedness of seemingly random events, and the haunting fragility of life in the face of devastating circumstances.
The Wild: A Horror Story in Two Acts
Registered WGAw No. 2101987
A full-length play in two acts. 102 pages. One set. 4 Men, 1 Woman, 1 Teen Female.
To honor the dying wish of the family matriarch, a widow, his two grown children, a granddaughter and "significant others" trek 12 grueling miles to return to the family's camping spot of nearly three decades earlier. But much has changed, including a now polluted and dying stream (their only source of water), record-breaking temperatures and an adult child no longer willing to tolerate a father's abuse. The woods hold its own surprises as well, including poisonous snakes, a ravenous bear and spirits ... both intoxicating and incorporeal.
Registered WGAw No. 2472278
A full-length play in one act. 69 pages. One set. 2 Men, 1 Woman, 1 Teen Female.
It's a dark and stormy night outside room #7 of The Blue Moon Motel. The unusual play Blue Moon is a mysterious thriller-comedy about abduction, familial betrayal and impossible choices, combined with tales of earwax-eating cats and dangerous pilgrimages through lightning storms to locate Original Recipe chicken. But now, what secrets do the Russian captors hold that may impact the events of the evening? And what (or who) are we waiting for?
Car Plays: 9x10
Registered WGAw No. 2399712
Nine 10-minute, site-specific plays.
The audience is seated two-by-two in cars as stories unfold just inches away. These are The Car Plays, a Los Angeles phenomenon that has become a worldwide sensation. Contained in these pages are nine Car Plays written by one of the dozens of participating playwrights.
Just a sampling ...
In a 1940s potboiler, a private eye tries to make time with an alluring dame, if only the writer would stop changing the story.
The audience is shocked when a bound teenage girl is dropped in the backseat by a man with even more shocking secrets.
A divorced dad’s camping trip with his teenage son deviates from his plan when he discovers their true relationship.
A choleric circus clown and a 1950's diner waitress welcome the audience to a carpool waiting on its even odder fifth passenger.
An interracial young couple witnesses the beating of Rodney King, altering both of their lives in unexpected ways.
The One-Person Play That Tells the True Story
of the Making of an American Terrorist
Registered WGAw No. 2492123
A full-length play in one act. 52 pages. One set. 1 Male.
In a story told by a single actor portraying 15 characters, we discover the early years and education of Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. A certified genius, Ted prematurely enters Harvard as a 16-year-old shy and socially awkward freshman. But it’s his participation in a three-year “experiment” conducted by the Harvard psychology department that reveals Ted’s concerns about an ever-evolving technological future. Kaczynski leaves Harvard with a conviction that man’s dependence on technology must be stopped ... and a plan for how to do it.
Wild Beasts Among You:
A True Story of the Warsaw Zoo
Registered WGAw No. 2257109
A play in three acts. 162 pages. One set. 17 Men, 9 Women (double casting possible)
On the morning of September 1, 1939, Germany invades Poland and bombs the Warsaw Zoo, killing and releasing hundreds of animals. Caretakers Jan and Antonina Zabinski soon find that their home on the zoo grounds – as well as many of the now-abandoned animal cages – prove to be effective hiding places for their Jewish friends and neighbors ... until the Nazi SS decides to take up residence. This is a play about the all-too-brief childhood of one little boy; strange alliances and unforgivable betrayals; and a dead zebra in the living room.
Registered WGAw No. 2492123
A full-length play in one act. 59 pages. One set. 14 Men, 6 Women.
On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles and “The Mercury Theatre on the Air” presented their weekly radio play. On this particular Sunday evening, the night before Halloween, it was an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. The Germans had just invaded Czechoslovakia, the Depression was still raging and there were other daily terrors. It was this atmosphere of insecurity that enabled Welles and his company of actors, technicians, musicians and producers to innovate one of the most famous hours of programming in broadcast history. Orson Welles proved, unwittingly, that when we are in an environment where people are easily frightened, fear becomes contagious. And when people are afraid, they are at their most vulnerable.
An Act of Kindness:
A Play of Tragic Consequences for Carrie Buck
Registered WGAw No. 2568900
A full-length play in one act. 118 pages. Bare stage. 5 Men, 2 Women.
A timely and gripping true story of one of the darkest moments in American history, An Act of Kindness introduces us to the 17-year-old Carrie Buck and Aubrey Strode, the Virginia attorney who took on the three-year court battle to have her involuntarily sterilized under the reasoning of the growing eugenics movement. It is a story with many villains and some surprising heroes, performed on a bare stage by seven actors in 28 roles. The resulting injustice – played out before the U.S. Supreme Court – led to the sterilization of more than 70,000 Americans and served as the blueprint for Nazi sterilization experiments.
Registered WGAw No. 2512309
A full-length play in one act. 78 pages. One set. 3 Men, 1 Teen Male.
It's 1979 and a career-waning Tennessee Williams is visited in his Key West bungalow by longtime contemporaries Gore Vidal and Truman Capote. Both visitors arrive, unexpectedly, to cheer Tenn after his having suffered a month of burglaries, a gay-bashing and the murder of his gardener. But neither Gore nor Tru – adversaries in a bitter 30-year feud – anticipated seeing the other. Based on real events, this is a play in which each line is funnier than the last in a night of rivalries, recriminations and revelations – fueled by memories and liquor – as the three titans of literature battle for supremacy.
An American Century
Registered WGAw No. 2399712
A full-length play in one act. 89 pages. One set. 3 Men, 2 Women, 1 Girl.
Middle-aged Harry has a simple life. He eats soup; his mother waxes the dining table; his wife performs torch songs; his grown daughter endlessly watches reality TV. But his mother has invited an unwelcome visitor to join her under the dining table; his wife now thinks she's the disowned daughter of Judy Garland; and his daughter has a boyfriend whose touch she prefers to Harry's. And who is this little girl wanting to know so much about the family? Oh, and where is the constant piano music coming from? It's all a bit too much for Harry, who would prefer to sit alone in the dining room while enjoying soup in his tattered rabbit suit.