FULL LENGTH PLAYS.

Motivation is the heart and soul of a character's action or inaction, and it is grounded in a character's ultimate desire. When a desire doesn't align with an external or internal force, conflict arises. This is the place that a play is born. 

 

ROADKILL

Genre: Amercian Gothic; Dark Comedy

Characters: 3m, 5f to play 5-6m, 7-8f 

DAY IS A DANCER

Genre: Southern Tragi-comedy

Characters: 3m, 5f  to play 5-6m, 7-8f 

LAST FLIGHT OF THE MERCENARY

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Characters: 3m, 2f

FROM THE SUBDOCTION ZONE

Genre: Tragi-Comedy 

Characters: 3m, 5w, 1 voice

(some lines in Spanish)

NEW 

NIGHT OF THE DRAGON FIRE

Genre: Tragi-Comedy

Characters: 4m, 5w, 4 children

NEW 

THE ASTRONOMER

Genre:  Science/History - Comedy

Characters: 3m, 2w

A GENTLEMEN'S PACT

Genre: Satirical Comedy

Characters: 2m, 3w

          ROADKILL   is set in a lone coffee shop off a Wyoming country highway 50 miles from the nearest town. The characters move in and out of a desolate diner, not realizing they are connected to the strange murder of a fat woman in a watermelon print dress who lies dead in an outside restroom. The action unfolds in reverse chronological order, placing the audience in the position of an investigator who knows the outcome before the reason. 
           While the movement of the play is in reverse chronological order, escalation towards the climax is not and the audience is quickly tuned into the fact that each scene carries remnants and the aftermath of a scene that they have not yet seen. In this way -- every prop, costume, line of dialogue and relationship carries an exaggerated importance, an importance it wouldn’t otherwise have been given.

Maxum Mazumdor New Play Award

Blank Theatre Living Room Series

          DAY IS A DANCER takes place in 1974 in a fictional Mississippi town not far from where R&B got its start. It’s a town with a history of plantations and segregation.The town might not be aware, but it’s caught between a history rich with identity and a transformation into something vague and undefined. Like adolescence, this town should be something to get past and get through, but only a few people get the chance. In this story --  a young white woman attempts to escape her suffocating family and prejudice roots by falling in love with the black sax player in the neighboring house. When a corrupt politician and ignorant journalist frame the black musician for murder, she must decide between her freedom from a world she doesn't belong to and saving his life. This isn’t a play about race as much as it is about people who have no voice in their own lives. It's about culture and time, and being connected to a way of life that we are born into and that is part of who we are.

Susan Smith Blackburn Nomination

Finalist Henley Rose Award (under the title Bad Moon Rising)

Awarded workshops with Skylight, OCPA, Stage Door.

Presented at Stage Door Players

          LAST FLIGHT OF THE MERCENARY is a romantic comedy that merges science and love when a bride-to-be from NYC comes to a bed and breakfast on Vancouver Island with plans to marry the perfect man. But the stars don’t shine overhead and every wedding hosted at the house has turned out disastrously. With the hope of putting an end to the misfortunes, the physics professor who runs the B&B decides to revisit the first wedding that went askew – her own.  The play intertwines the real stuff of quantum mechanics with true love and nights without stars. (The play has also been produced under the title Starry Night)

New Science Driven Play Award

Finalist Ashland

Finalist AACT

Semi-finalist Humanitas

Skylight Incubator Series

Tangent NewVember Reading Series

          FROM THE SUBDOCTION ZONE takes place on a farm in Iowa and in the ruins of an earthquake ravaged Peru at a time when  satellite communications and cellular technology were beginning to make inroads. This play shows how 1992 wasn't too unlike 2019 as both were a time of innovations in communication technology which changed relationships with a family, with a community, and with God. The play is about a young man who returns to his family's Iowa home after disappearing 15 years before.  The scenes jump back and forth in time, giving the audience a theatrical approach to seeing how the family's dynamics evolved. The cast is ensemble with the young man as the focus, but each as their own protagonist. The perspective is from the mother's point of view.

NJ Playwright's Theater

          NIGHT OF THE DRAGON FIRE is set in a fading beach house on a Caribbean island. The story is about a woman who is sent a mysterious and valuable artifact by her anthropologist husband before he disappeared in the South Pacific. When a mysterious man arrives at her house to rent a room, his strange tale reveals the reason for the husband's disappearance and skews the family's dynamics.

         Everything at work under the surface of the play is intended to illuminate the subtleties of how women find their place in a man's world.  The story weaves into one fabric the actions and specific objectives of five female characters and in the final measure of the play, each make choices that re-define who they are, and each begin anew in their personal world. Most interesting is that what appears to be true gives way to its opposite:  For example -- There are cell phones, but the adapters to charge them don’t always work. The doctor is really an artist. The innocent children are savage. A person’s soul is in his feet. Even photosynthesis is a ruse that tricks us into believing the sun is necessary for life when in fact it is a carcinogen.   

This play is brand new and has had some development with the Antaeus Theater Company in Los Angeles.

          THE ASTRONOMER is about a real-life woman astronomer from Nantucket, Maria Mitchell, who is up against the Vatican’s official astronomer, Father Francesco De Vico, when he usurps her recognition as the first scientist to sight a comet through a telescope. When she arrives at the Vatican Observatory with her spirited Quaker cousin, the two women find themselves in the midst of a civil uprising in which the Italian people seek the Pope's blessing in overthrowing Austrian rule. Maria is confronted with giving up her role as a scientist in order to take her proper place as lover, wife and supporter of the dreams made by men.

This play is brand new and has had some development with the Antaeus Theater Company in Los Angeles.

          A GENTLEMEN'S PACT  takes a wry look at fidelity, friendship and 21st century marriage when two university professors, Bill (English) and Arthur (political science) wrestle with how to resolve the upheaval caused by Bill's startling announcement that he wants to marry Arthur's wife, Evelyn. The one-upmanship between the two men is thrown off-course when Evelyn turns the tables and increases the stakes making it clear that she is not something to be negotiated. As the evening progresses, a visit from Arthur’s ex-wife, and then from their daughter, complicates an already stressful triumvirate. As the characters find themselves in a world without norms, the veneers slip away and everyone is stripped of expectations, stereotypes, role models and pretenses. Finally reduced to their raw selves, each is left to discover who they are and the purpose they serve in each other’s lives.

The play is based on a half-hour multi-award-winning one-act of the same name.

KAREN HOWES

I DELIVER 

I SOCIALIZE

I ANSWER

We Thought You'd

Never Ask

© 2020 by KAREN HOWES. Writer, Educator, Outreach