For an overview of the anthology download a pdf of Martin Denton's Introduction as it appears in the book.
SUGARBABY by Frank Cwiklik
A young woman runs away from home in search of the real America — and finds it — in this brilliantly epic satire of contemporary values in the USA. It premiered at Horse Trade Theater Group’s Red Room Theatre in June 2003. Frank Cwiklik is a playwright, director, and designer whose works include Bitch Macbeth, The Fugitive Girls, Who in the Hell is the Real, Live Lorelei Lee? and OOBR Award winners The Stranger (2001) and Antony and Cleopatra (2002).
WTC VIEW by Brian Sloan
A smart and incisive drama depicting life in Lower Manhattan just after 9/11, as seen through the eyes of a young man who advertises for a new roommate on the night before the terrorist attacks. First produced at the 2003 New York International Fringe Festival; named one of the top two shows of the year by Gay City News. Brian Sloan is an independent filmmaker whose works include Pool Days, which was part of the hit film Boys Life (1994), I Think I Do (1998), and Boys Life 4 (2002). This is his first full-length play.
UNITED STATES: WORK AND PROGRESS by Christy Meyer, Jon Schumacher, and Ellen Shanman
A fascinating docudrama about three members of the Humanoid Robotics Group at MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Originally presented by Singularity at HERE Arts Center in October 2002, the play received funding and development support from the Drama League Directors Project’s New Directors/New Works program. Playwright-performers Christy Meyer, Jon Schumacher, and Ellen Shanman hail from Texas, Iowa, and New York respectively. All three are actors, directors, and playwrights. Schumacher received the Excellence in Direction Award at the 2003 New York International Fringe Festival.
THE SHADY MAIDS OF HAITI by John Jahnke
The Haitian slave uprising of 1803 is the backdrop for this potent and disarming examination of sexual, racial, and gender politics. It was first produced by The Hotel Savant at Walkerspace in September 2002. John Jahnke trained as a ballet and opera student at the California Institute of the Arts and was a member of Reza Abdoh’s Dar a Luz company before developing his own theatre projects. As playwright and director, his works include Lola Montez in Bavaria…, Mercurius, and the upcoming Funeral Games.
CATS CAN SEE THE DEVIL by Tom X. Chao
A bizarrely eclectic puppet show morphs into a kaleidoscopic tour inside the mind of an obsessive performing artist in this hilarious send-up and celebration of fringe theatre. It premiered at the 2003 New York International Fringe Festival and was revived by Horse Trade Theater Group in October 2003. Tom X. Chao studied fiction writing with T. Coraghessan Boyle at USC. He’s been writing and performing in his own plays for several years, among them The Negative Energy Field and Can’t Get Started.
SURVIVOR: VIETNAM! by Rob Reese
This ripe, ribald parody of reality television puts a group of eager contestants in the middle of the War in Vietnam, where they vie for a $1 million grand prize. Produced by Amnesia Wars Productions at Peoples Improv Theatre in May 2003. Rob Reese was born in Nashville, studied theatre and improv in Chicago, and then came to New York in 1997, where he founded Amnesia Wars. A performer, producer, director, teacher, and playwright, his adaptation of Frankenstein was recently seen in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
FEED THE HOLE by Michael Stock
Six twenty-somethings fill the void of their meaningless lives through sex, drugs, & Crunch-Ohs in this affecting, articulate, and incisive dramatic comedy. First presented by Sideway Theater Company at Altered Stages in April 2003. Michael Stock won the Excellence in Playwriting Award at the 2001 New York International Fringe Festival for Hustle. Other plays include The Ice Lid and the upcoming Pyramus and Thisbe, which was commissioned by Hofstra University.
AUNTIE MAYHEM by David Pumo
This warm, wise, and funny play is about a gay man and his partner who become foster parents to three gay/transgender teens. It was originally presented by The Fourth Unity at the Bank Street Theatre in May 2003, and was subsequently nominated for a GLAAD Media Award (Outstanding New York Theatre—Off Off Broadway). David Pumo has devoted much of his adult life to working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens. This is his second full-length play.
THE MONSTER TALES by Mary Jett Parsley
In this lovely and fantastical fable, a young woman discovers her singular humanity when a monster appears from under her bed one night. Developed with an Emerging Artists Grant from the Durham Arts Council, it premiered at Actors’ Playground where it was produced by Boomerang Theatre Company. Mary Jett Parsley is from North Carolina. Her other plays include Hiss, which was published in 30 Ten-Minute Plays for 2 Actors from Actors Theatre of Louisville’s National Ten-Minute Play Contest.
SUN, STAND THOU STILL by Leegrid Stevens (né Steven Gridley)
A hitchhiker, a cop, a lady selling apples, and a man journeying eternally westward cross paths in this rich, enigmatic drama of escape and discovery. Produced by Spring Theatreworks at Altered Stages in June 2003. Steven Gridley is literary manager for Spring Theatreworks. Directing credits include Match and The Wild Ass’s Skin (both published in Plays and Playwrights 2002); plays include Albatross at Sea, Echo’s Longing, and the upcoming Post Oedipus.