Plays and Playwrights 2002 share button
Martin Denton
Format Paperback
Dimensions 5.54 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.78 (d)
Pages 350
Publisher New York Theatre Experience, Incorporated, The
Publication Date January 2002
ISBN 9780967023434
Book ISBN 10 0967023432
About Book
This book includes: 

The Death of King Arthur by Matthew Freeman

The classic legend brought to the stage with a contemporary sensibility in an epic verse drama of adventure, romance, and ambiguous nobility. Originally produced by Gorilla Repertory Theatre in Central Park in October 2001.  Matthew Freeman is an actor, director, and playwright. He has appeared in numerous plays for Gorilla Repertory Theatre. He directed several of the one-acts comprising Washington Square Dreams, which was published in Plays and Playwrights 2001.


Match by Marc Chun

In this exquisite one act play, random chance brings five ordinary people together on a bright blue May afternoon, with extraordinary results. Produced at the Cherry Lane Alternative in July 2001, and as part of the Vital Signs festival of new works at the Vital Theatre in November 2001.  Marc Chun is a native of the San Francisco Bay area. Match is his first play.


Woman Killer by Chiori Miyagawa
Two Brooklyn families are torn apart in this startling new drama about the nature and origin of evil, inspired by a 1721 Bunraku puppet play from Japan. Premiered at HERE in a production by Crossing Jamaica Avenue, in September 2001. Chiori Miyagawa was born in Japan. She is the author of several plays, including Awakening and Jamaica Avenue. She divides her time between managing the Playwriting Fellowship program for New York Theatre Workshop, teaching at Bard College (where she manages the undergraduate playwriting program), and directing the theatre company Crossing Jamaica Avenue.


The Wild Ass’s Skin by J. Scott Reynolds

A spare, elegant, intensely theatrical realization of Balzac’s novel about a destitute young man and the magic animal skin that may bring him his heart’s desires. Originally produced by Handcart Ensemble at the American Theatre of Actors in August 2000.  J. Scott Reynolds is originally from Washington State. He is the co-founder and artistic director of Handcart Ensemble, where he directed his own translation of Racine’s Andromaque, Goldoni’s The Mistress of the Inn (also acted), and his most recent work, David and Bathsheba.


Halo by Ken Urban

Tales of life and love squandered in late twentieth century New Jersey are intertwined in this provocative and challenging dramatic pageant. Premiered at the 2001 New York International Fringe Festival at The Present Company Theatorium, produced by Screaming Venus.  Ken Urban teaches English at Rutgers University. His other plays include I ? KANT, Bodies Are Floors, and Burners, which have been presented by theatres in New York, New Jersey, and California. He also writes scholarly articles on theatre for journals such as PAJ, and he frequently reviews theatre for nytheatre.com.


Shyness Is Nice by Marc Spitz

A hilarious and profane farce about two 30-year-old virgins, their supposedly cool heroin-addicted pal, an Australian prostitute, and her pimp. Originally produced in May 2001 at Westbeth Theatre Center.  Marc Spitz is the author of several plays, including I Wanna Be Adored, Retail Sluts, and “…Worry, Baby.”  He is the co-author of We Got the Neutron Bomb: An Oral History of Los Angeles Punk Rock (Three Rivers Press, 2001). He is a Senior Contributing Writer at Spin Magazine.


Reality by Curtiss I’ Cook

A thought-provoking comedy/murder mystery set in a world where not even the playwright can be sure of getting out alive. Originally presented by Tupu Kweli Theatre Company at the Grove Street Playhouse in March 2001.  Curtiss I’ Cook,  is an actor, director, and playwright. He has appeared on Broadway in Miss Saigon and is currently featured as Banzai the Hyena in The Lion King. His most recent play was Greenwood, which he directed at The Present Company in New York City


The Resurrectionist     Kate Chell

An exciting drama of seventeenth century England about a strong-willed young woman caught up in a web of grave robbing and murder. Originally produced by Yazoo City at The Gershwin Hotel in June 2001.  Kate Chell is originally from Annapolis, Maryland. The Resurrectionist is her first play.


Bunny’s Last Night in Limbo by Peter S. Petralia

A boy discovers his sexuality in this quirky and innovative one act: coming of age in suburbia has never been quite like this. The original production was by proto-type at HERE in March 2001. 

Peter S. Petralia has been involved in virtually all facets of the theatre during the past eight years, as a writer, performer, director, designer, and administrator.  He is a co-founder of proto-type, which will produce his upcoming play Cheap Thrills in April 2002.


Summerland by Brian Thorstenson

A lonely young man and his mother search for happiness, and for their destinies, in this stunning play about an America where everything still seems possible. Premiered in San Francisco in 2000 and in New York City at Wings Theatre in January 2001.  Brian Thorstenson is an actor, poet, and playwright who lives in San Francisco, California. His previous plays include The Trick, Cul-de-Sac, and Heading South.


Mario Fratti

Most people all over the world know some plays by the great American playwrights Lillian Hellman, Maxwell Anderson, Clifford Odets, Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, David Mamet, Sam Shepard, Terrence McNally. What about the other one hundred young playwrights who write with passion and hope and present their plays in small theaters Off Off?

As a drama critic I see many of them. Some have value, validity, promise. I write names and titles in my diary and hope to see their work again, somewhere. Unfortunately some of them disappear forever in the fog of obscurity.

There is fortunately another drama critic, the young Martin Denton, a colleague of mine, who has done something about it. He started collections of the best plays off off. He has already published three elegant volumes. Well, they contain thirty five new plays. The best off off. And finally 35 new names are on the theatre map of New York. The writers will feel encouraged and will persist in their activity as dedicated lovers of new dramas, new visions of the world. All this thanks to Martin Denton and his collaborators Rochelle Denton and Nita Congress.

I have read these plays carefully. They are all interesting. I find sixteen of them exceptionally good. Which ones? Buy the books.
Italian Weeklies

Paula Shulak

There are two verse plays included which is unusual in and of itself, but the excellence of their poetry also is astounding. “The Death of King Arthur” by Matthew Freeman is a masterful rewriting of the familiar Camelot story which depicts in a totally new way the psyches of the characters we know so well. ...Equally well done is J. Scott Reynolds' poetic version of another classic, this time a novel by Balzac. “The Wild Ass’s Skin” is easy to read, thought provoking and contains some of the cleverest comic verse that I have read. A morality play of the highest order, we learn a lesson as we laugh. ...I thoroughly enjoyed “The Resurrectionist” by Kate Chell and “Summerland” by Brian Thorstenson. The former takes place in 17th Century England when it was commonplace for grave robbers to sell bodies to doctors for the study of the new science of anatomy. This fascinating topic is the background for the coming of age tale of a strong young woman whose plight unfolds before us. (Incidentally this script “reads” very well which is not always the case since plays are written to be performed.) “Summerland” is also about coming of age, but in the entirely different modern setting of rugged South Dakota. It presents a young man learning about his manhood with the firm guidance of his pioneer great grandmother in the background. ...

“Match” by Marc Chun should really be seen to be fully appreciated but the ability of its author shines through even on paper. It is a brilliant juxtaposition of four subplots with an ingenious interweaving of lines from the four stories going on simultaneously. It is almost too difficult to describe but onstage it must be nothing short of miraculous I am sure. What an impact this show must have! Add to that the fact that the play deals beautifully with the questioning of life and death, especially after September 11, and you have a recipe for sure success. Finally, the play entitled “Reality” by Curtiss I’Cook is my favorite. An all black cast adds to the impact of this fascinating look at the question of what is real? The internal twists and turns of the plot keep the audience (or the reader) on their toes as we delve back and forth between two or three kinds of reality and replay the same scenes two or three times until they are “right”. There is a strong message here which is worth waiting for and you are engrossed in the action from beginning to end.
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