Found – Finalist, Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition, 2011
The Last Seder – Public Reading, Theatre Aquarius, 2003; Finalist, Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition, 2010
The Bleeding Season – Winner, Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition 2007; Public Reading, Toronto Theatre Committee, 2008
Caravan – In-house Reading, Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal, 2005
Knightlife – In-house Workshop, Public Workshops (In the Works Festival), Odyssey Theatre, 2008
ANGEL IN HELL: Tragedy in 3 Acts; 9 major characters; 6 men, 3 women (for at least 5 actors, 1 actress)
In the final months of World War II, young Swedish aristocrat Raoul Wallenberg is sent by the government of neutral Sweden into occupied Hungary as a credentialed diplomat tasked with saving as much of Budapest Jewry as possible from certain death at the hands of his dreaded nemesis, SS Lieutenant-Colonel Adolf Eichmann. Desperate to preserve Europe’s last significant Jewish population from the gas chambers and crematoria of Auschwitz, Wallenberg relies on sheer ingenuity and expediency to bypass bureaucratic red tape and remain one step ahead of archenemy Eichmann and his fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross allies. Using protective passes and safe houses to rescue Jews from boxcars and forced marches, Wallenberg miraculously seems to be winning the race against time, until the Arrow Cross stage a sudden coup and ascend to power, unleashing their reign of terror. Empowered anew, Eichmann targets the crammed Jewish ghettoes for liquidation in a last-ditch effort to complete the Final Solution. With the advancing Soviets besieging Budapest, a wave of mindless murder engulfs the capital, threatening to reverse all the hard-won victories of the single greatest hero of the Holocaust.
KNIGHTLIFE: Drama/Fantasy in 3 Acts; 7 major characters; 4 men, 3 women
Toby Lane dreams for a living. As an accomplished comic book writer/illustrator, he has made a successful career for himself by expressing his active imagination to the delight of the comic-buying masses. But now Toby’s world is shattered as a result of a terrible car accident which leaves him in a wheelchair, doped up on painkillers and worse, unable to sleep or dream. Haunted by the event and by his painful past, Toby languishes and looks to be reaching the brink of despair. When his lovely and compassionate occupational therapist Maliha suddenly enters his life, the embittered artist is finally forced to challenge his debilitating physical and psychological condition and work his way back to good health and active creativity. Finding her spirit and kindness uplifting, Toby soon falls deeply in love but cannot move forward with his intentions until he confronts real life inner demons by way of his vivid dream realm. Standing in his way is talented video game designer Jun, the man behind the wheel at the time of the tragic accident and the archenemy who now threatens to steal the heart of the object of Toby's affection.
HEROICA: Fantasy in 2 Acts; 7 major characters; 5 men, 2 women
A young and inexperienced Hero is called to his adventure, a quest for his legendary father whom he has never met, and must set out on a perilous journey filled with unknowns to discover the secret of his origins. Along the path to wisdom the Hero must traverse diverse realms of mythical proportions and will encounter beings of incredible might and knowledge, some of whom offer assistance while others only present significant challenges or pose serious danger. All of these figures will claim the Hero as their own and expect his exclusive fealty. Ultimately, the Hero must navigate carefully within this powerful and magical kingdom of dreams, faith and lore, progressing through a series of stages until he finally reaches his destination and uncovers the life-affirming answers he’s sought all along. When his quest is satisfied, the Hero must decide his true destiny by choosing what is to be done with his newfound insights and prowess. Whatever his fate will be, the one thing certain is that the journey has profoundly transformed him forever.
ANXIOUS NATION: Drama in 2 Acts; 5 major characters; 3 men, 2 women
The modern age is full of troubling, worrisome phenomena such as the War on Terror, Avian flu, internet security and the forces of globalization. Against this contemporary backdrop of current anxieties is the Carson family, made up of a dynasty of three strong-willed men from different generations and perspectives, each of them reacting to the times in his own unique fashion. Vincent is a retired, decorated Canadian war veteran now confined to a wheelchair more from depression than debilitation; his son Kent, an assistant deputy minister in the department of National Defence who has little time for his family; and Derek, a popular student campus activist increasingly leaning toward revolution and anarchy as a means to combat globalization, corporatism and social injustice. Adding fuel to the fire are friendly neighbor Louise, a well-meaning, retired registered nurse turned professional worrier, and Sultana, a non-practicing Muslim caught up in a Western life of independence, drugs and promiscuity. When a devastating terror attack hits the nation’s capital, the moment of truth hits hard, revealing each character’s true colors and inevitably changing lives forever.
FOUND: Drama in 3 Acts; 2 major characters; 2 men
A retired Canadian university professor befriends an elderly Jewish woman and her grandson. Years later, the older man not only publicly confesses to being a former Nazi in Hitler’s elite Waffen SS, but breaks an oath of silence regarding a witnessed massacre of Jewish concentration camp prisoners by his former superior officer in the dying days of WWII. Some 55 years after the fact, and haunted by conscience and regret, the professor is in the midst of finally bringing the criminal to justice in a German court, but finds himself the target of bitterness and suspicion at home and abroad from the Jewish community as well as of threats from his fellow ex-Nazi oath-takers. Having been a friend and supportive ally for several years, the Jewish grandson must carefully balance his concerns and questions with his own sense of conscience. Based on a true story.
CARAVAN: Drama in 2 Acts; 6 major characters; 3 men, 3 women
The story of the crucial alliance between blacks and Jews in the Exodus from Egypt, circa 1250 B.C.E. Joshua is the deputy commander of the formative nation of Israel as they struggle through the Sinai peninsula towards the Holy Land. Not only must he deal with the dire needs of his starving, thirsting people, their array of animals on the trek through this wasteland and growing dissent among rebels who insist upon returning to Egypt, but he must also look to the needs and concerns of those “mixed multitude” of strangers who voyage among the Hebrews, notably the Kushite Africans. Led by their priest Malaku, they are eager to return to their own homeland in Nubia to install the last living member of the royal family on his rightful throne. Prince Taharqa, however, has stubborn plans of revenge on Egypt while his sister Quara has plans for love with Joshua himself. With the help of his loyal friend Caleb, Joshua must steer a course through the desert for his people even as he steers a course through the landscape of his own heart for himself. Inspired by biblical/historical events, it is a multicultural tale of conflict and cooperation between peoples of different origins and how their mutual survival hangs in the balance.
THE BLEEDING SEASON: Drama in 2 Acts; 5 major characters, 1 minor; 5 men, 1 woman
During the First Intifada in Israel (1987-1993) Koby Mandola was an ambulance paramedic and his best friend Talia Gidoli was a police officer. Fresh out of the army, together they dealt with the violence and casualties that seemed without foreseeable end. Ten years later arrives the Aksa Intifada (2000-2005), and Talia is now a Mossad agent who, with her partner Levy Tzion, tracks down a key Hamas operative in Canada who shared his childhood with Koby in Khan Yunis before the uprisings so severely polarized Israelis and Palestinians. Facing each other under such special circumstances, both sides confront their choices and hold the other to account in a mutual crucible of principle, memory and faith.
OBSCENE: Tragedy in 3 Acts; 4 major characters, 3 minor; 6 men, 1 woman
Bendago Brown is a mysterious homeless man in downtown Toronto who reluctantly agrees to discuss his circumstances and life with Julian Biggs, a young, Jewish/Ethiopian reporter working on his first front page story. Despite the adamant cautions of the local Priest and beat cop who claim Ben is mentally unstable and volatile, Julian soon realizes there is much more to his subject than anyone knows. Ben sees a higher purpose in Julian’s arrival in his life and so chooses to reveal his secrets and source of his faith. In doing so, he turns the tables on Julian, forcing him to face his true identity and responsibilities which Julian thought buried for good. A story of spiritual and character redemption, and about what man has to lose when everything material is already long gone.
THE LAST SEDER: Tragi-comedy in 2 Acts; 5 major characters, 2 minor, 10 extras; 3 men, 4 women, 10 male extras
Samuel Silver was raised an Orthodox Jew by his religious parents. Now 20, he has long since abandoned religious life and is secretly set to marry a black girl who is Anglican, from a family of French separatists. While his mother Rina is glad he is happy, she suspects the two young adults will soon become very serious about each other and greatly fears the repercussions this betrayal will cause in the family. Her husband Allan is in complete denial altogether, not knowing much and wanting to know even less. The arrival of various family members, and the old quarrels they bring along, offers Sam a slight reprieve. But all these tried conflicts are blown away as the family delves into the Passover seder, the ultimate story of Jewish survival, wherein Samuel is irked into finally revealing half-way through the ceremonial meal that he is indeed marrying a girl named Flora, and the wedding will be the very next day.
ROUND THE SQUARE: Drama in 2 Acts; 4 major characters, 8 minor; 9 men, 3 women
Soran, Tom and Dell were like brothers at NYC’s Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. Soran dreamed of being a produced playwright just as Tom and Dell hoped to forge successful careers as actors. But tensions arose and grudges formed when Dell dropped out to pursue the entrepreneurial route his parents condoned, and Tom became engaged to a woman who did not meet the approval of his friends. Time has passed and the trio has gone their separate ways, chasing success. The price has been that their once invincible relationships and even their personal romances have greatly suffered and continue to deteriorate. As all three come to realize that their career pursuits and life ambitions have relegated them to very solitary, isolated lives, they informally reunite and discover the clear opportunity to help each other overcome insecurities despair whether facing failure or success. The only problem is getting past old grievances and forgoing selfish, egotistical habits and attitudes that originally divided them.
When Seleucid tyrant Antiochus IV Epiphanes forces pagan Greek religion and culture on his Judean subjects, the Jewish priest Mattityahu and his five sons led by the valiant Judah Maccabee instigate guerrilla warfare against the Syrian Greeks, overcoming overwhelming odds to restore religious freedom and political independence to the Jewish people for the first time in centuries.
THE GREAT REVOLT
Jewish Zealots rebelling against Rome are soon crippled by senseless civil war even as Roman general Vespasian and his son Titus reconquer Judaea and imperil Jerusalem and its Holy Temple, forcing the Jews to make their last stand for freedom on the desert fortress of Masada, whose besieged defenders boldly defy the world's greatest empire.
Mighty warrior Bar Kokhba, proclaimed Messianic King, leads a Judaean revolt again Rome, defying incredible odds with his success and bringing Hadrian's empire to its knees until spiritual failures and Rome's finest general effect a reversal of fortune with consequences resonating into the present day.
Syrian warrior queen Zenobia of Palmyra revolts against Rome, defying the emperor Aurelian while risking life and realm for her dream of an Arabian empire.
MASTER OF LEGENDS
At the close of the eighth century, Frankish king Charlemagne dispatches a Jewish storyteller to forge an pact with the Abbasid caliph of Bagdad, Harun al-Rashid, whose Golden Age is threatened by political intrigue and social injustice. Based on a true story, this is the epic tale of a man who by making legends became part of history, and by making history became a legend.
DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH
Moses Maimonides. Sultan Saladin. King Richard the Lionheart. Before the Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, and Emancipation, three remarkable figures towered over their era like giants, each guardian serving and preserving his religion, empire, and way of life.
Hoping to hasten the messianic redemption, medieval Castilian kabbalist Moses de León circulates an ancient mystical text, the Zohar, lost for more than a millennium until unearthed in a Galilean cave. When fierce controversy erupts over the extraordinary work’s authenticity, it falls to a skeptical rival, Galilean kabbalist Isaac of Akko, to discover the mysterious origins of a masterpiece.
STRANGERS & SOJOURNERS
As the medieval age comes to a close, rabbinic sage and statesman Isaac Abravanel enters the royal service of Isabella and Ferdinand who, in their quest to unite a nation and complete the 800-year Reconquest of Spain, establish an Inquisition to purge the Church of heretics, wage holy war against the Moors, expel the Jews en masse, and dispatch a Genoese seafarer to discover a New World.
An elite team of American archaeologists mysteriously disappears while investigating Egyptian ruins at the turn of the 20th century; 50 years later, a Smithsonian antiquities expert pairs with an Israeli colonel to learn what the team was searching for and the secret of their momentous discovery.