Shorts

Plays under 15 minutes:


Better a Beggar

A young woman sulks in the kitchen during her sister's engagement party. When her sister tries to draw her back out into the party, their rivalries and resentments come to the fore, and the two end up sparring, not just verbally, but with everything they can get their hands on in the kitchen. 



2 women

Better a Beggar was commissioned as a part of The Lady Cavaliers' "Fighting the Clock" series at the Bouwerie Lane Theatre. 



Canceling Christmas

Based on the true story of the Canterbury Christmas riots of 1647, Canceling Christmas imagines what might have happened when citizens first heard the news that a puritanical British parliament had banned the celebration of Christmas.

5 actors

Canceling Christmas was performed in 2009 by LiveWire Chicago Theatre as part of its annual VisionFest of new plays. It was subsequently published in The Louisville Review.


Corpse

A reporter interviews a family about recent happenings in a small town. Meanwhile, a corpse appears in their midst, but is seen only by a young child.

1 female
5 males

Corpse was performed in 2009 as a part of Turtle Shell Productions' Summer Play Festival.



Darkness

Two men kidnap an alleged terrorist and decide to take justice into their own hands.

1 woman
2 men

Darkness was commissioned by the Epiphany Theater Company. 



First to Draw Blood

Alvild prefers a life of piracy to submitting to an arranged marriage. But her betrothed is not willing to give up.

2 women
2 men

First to Draw Blood premiered in 2012 as a part of Mortal Folly Theatre's Broadside! event.




Housekeeping

A traveling businessman gets more than he bargained for when he admits a woman into his hotel room for housekeeping.

1 woman
1 man

Housekeeping was originally performed by Aching Dogs Theatre in 2011 at the Hudson Theatre Guild.



The Lake Isle of Innisfree

An estranged father and son ride the ferry home after celebrating St. Patrick's Day in the city. Both search for beauty in a world that has betrayed them.

2 men

The Lake Isle of Innisfree was originally performed as part of Sundog Theatre's Scenes From the Staten Island Ferry in 2006. 



Leap of Faith

Seeking love, a woman bursts into a room and offers unconditional commitment to a total stranger. This short play explores the absurdity of relationships in a fun and touching manner.

1 woman
1 man

Leap of Faith was originally performed as part of the Seattle Fringe Festival. It was later published in the literary journal Yemassee.



The Machine Stops

It was an ordinary Thursday in NYC. Suddenly, all cell and satellite service went out. New Yorkers were stuck with land lines and dial-up.

3 women
2 men

The Machine Stops was originally produced on June 2, 2012, as a part of a 24-hour theater project by Momentum Repertory Company.



The Mating Habits of New Jersey Wildlife


Under special laboratory conditions, two scientists study Vinnie and Ruth, both natives of New Jersey, as they begin their courtship. This short, frantic play sends up stereotypes and lampoons the trials and tribulations of modern dating.

2 women
2 men

The Mating Habits of New Jersey Wildlife was commissioned for Dance Space Center in New York City. 



The Rainbow


Two strangers meet for a picnic -- sans their mutual friend -- using a certain book to find each other. Together, they try to figure out what might still be possible.

1 woman
1 man

The Rainbow premiered at the American Globe Theatre and was later named as a finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville's 2012 Heideman Award. It is anthologized in The Best American Short Plays: 2012-2013 published by Applause.



Reflection

Two friends meet for coffee and discover they may not remain friends for long.

1 woman
1 man

Reflection premiered at The Gene Frankel Theatre in New York as part of an evening of short plays presented by Lightyear Production.



The Sign in the Scarlet Prison

Two women. A cell. A mysterious cross in blood. And a deadly lesson in swordplay.

2 women

The Sign in the Scarlet Prison was originally produced by the Lady Cavaliers at the 2002 Women-at-Arms Festival at Theater for the New City. It was performed again in 2012 as a part of Mortal Folly Theatre's Broadside! event.


The State of Colorado v. Tennessee Williams

Though the State of Colorado has banned the smoking onstage of even non-addictive, non-carcinogenic fake cigarettes, it is perfectly legal to smoke marijuana off stage. The logical outcome? Four actors and an intrepid stage manager decide to perform The Glass Menagerie without the onstage smoking, but only after getting stoned out of their minds first.

5 actors

The State of Colorado v. Tennessee Williams premiered in 2014 as part of the Bad Theater Fest at the Treehouse Theater in New York City. The play was subsequently published in Canyon Voices online literary magazine.



The Trade

A young couple meets to discuss their relationship. But there are rules to this conversation. Very specific rules. The two soon discover that love cannot boil down to a simple game of trading cards.

1 woman
1 man

The Trade premiered on June 4, 2015 at the Gallery Players' 18th Annual Black Box New Play Festival in Brooklyn.



The True Author... Revealed

It's the truth that could only be known by the 19th century! The true author of the plays formerly attributed to Mister William Shakespeare revealed to the world for the first time by Miss Delia Bacon! Based on a true story, this one-woman play depicts an eccentric woman delivering a mad lecture in England under the patronage of Nathaniel Hawthorne, then American consul to Liverpool. As the lecture continues, we see her gradually slip into insanity.

1 woman

The True Author... Revealed premiered in 2009 and is anthologized in The Best American Short Plays: 2008-2009 published by Applause.



When Ladies Go A-Thieving

Three pickpockets in Seven Dials, London, compare their spoils one dark evening in 1841. Doll, having recently read the last installment of a cheap, popular novel, persuades her two companions to act out a duel from the story. As past resentments come to the surface, however, their play takes a deadly turn.

3 women

When Ladies Go A-Thieving was originally performed as a part of The Turnip Theatre Company and American Globe Theatre's 10th Annual Fifteen Minute Play Festival. It was revived in 2012 as part of Mortal Folly Theatre's Broadside! event.


For more information, e-mail armstrongwrites(at)gmail(dot)com.