BPF Play Development Workshop Readings

12:00 PM: The Man in the Closet by Elizabeth Jordan

Directed by George Andre Tittle

Elizabeth Jordan’s 10-minute play, The Man in the Closet, directed by George Andre Tittle, dramatizes the effects of dementia as three grown children attempt to remove a gun from their delusional father.

1:00 PM: Tying the Knot by James L Beller Jr

Directed by Terry Moritz

When the 35-year old Michael announces to his mother, Arlene, that he is getting married, it is the happiest day of her life. But when he tells her he’s marrying Pauline and not his ex-boyfriend, David, Arlene is not merely shocked she is outraged. Turning the stereotypical parental reaction on its head, Arlene uses every arrow in her quiver to try to prevent this disaster and make sure her son marries the right man and not the wrong woman. This no-holds-barred comedy traces Michael’s relationship with David from meeting to break-up and beyond, and explores Michael’s journey to forgiveness and commitment.

3:00 PM: Long Live the Pig! by Barbara Barnow

Directed by Miriam Bazensky

Two sisters, Sarabeth and Susanna, want to spare their Jewish parents by preserving the secret that they no longer keep kosher. However, their mom’s real concern is that the girls marry soon and to Jewish men, particularly since one daughter dates only gentiles and the other rarely dates.

Can a “nice Jewish boy” – or two – make everyone happy? Probably not.

Elizabeth Jordan

The Man in the Closet is Elizabeth Jordan’s second play to be read at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival. In 1996, her one-act play, Kinships, was given a reading. Although she has had public readings of various other plays, only two of her plays have been produced: A Grave Situation, which later went on to the Maryland One-Act Play Festival in Rockville in 1993; and Boundaries (directed by Ben Kamine), which won second place in a short play festival at the Times Square Arts Center in NYC in 2011. Elizabeth also has written screenplays while working with a screenplay analyst in Hollywood. In 2004, after one of her screenplays – William and Harold – received a “Consider” rating, she took the play to London where she hired eight professional actors to give a reading in her London hotel. Currently, she has been working in Washington, DC, with the Playwrights Forum, where she is concentrating on an adaptation of Shakespeare’s All’s Well that Ends Well, set in Chicago and New York City in the 1950s. Elizabeth is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

James L Beller Jr.

James L. Beller, Jr. is a playwright, director, and actor, and has worked at such theatres as Studio, Studio Second Stage, Signature, Classica, Source, and the Warehouse. His full-length play Ethan Now won the award for best drama at the Capital Fringe Festival. Tying the Knot (or a more perfect union) was named as a semifinalist to the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Tying the Knot is dedicated to his husband, Christopher Wolf, with whom he forms his “more perfect union.”

Barbara Barnow

The first play Barbara wrote was, “Martians From Outer Space,” a musical which she also directed, choreographed and produced as well as starred. Although the reviews were mixed, all agreed that it was a tour de force for a 10 year old. After a considerable hiatus which included a marketing career and published technical papers and poetry, she has returned to playwriting. “Long Live The Pig!”is her second play as an adult; two other plays are in progress.

BPF Play Development Workshop Readings

11:00 AM: The Expositionary by Richard Pauli

Directed by Hillary Mazer

A brilliant but disturbed young man undertakes to demonstrate that in art as in life it’s the journey, not the arrival, that really matters. And also that it’s a very bad idea to aggravate a crazy person.

1:00 PM: Revisions by Diandra Leslie-Pelecky

Directed by Miriam Bazensky

Sometimes, a set of fresh eyes on your story opens up a world you would never have found on your own.

Diana, a headstrong, successful romance novelist, gets the opportunity of her life: adapting one of her books into a movie. Her first draft is a disaster and the studio brings in a script doctor. Elliott (roguish, opinionated and more than a little profane) authored some of the highest grossing action movie sequels ever, and swears he can fix anything.

Their attempts to meet the studio’s deadline are complicated by constant phone calls from Diana’s famously insecure novelist husband and Elliott’s unorthodox approach to collaboration. He pushes, probes, attacks and tweaks her, seemingly more interested in saving her than her script. As he wins her trust, a fascinating story of love, obsession, betrayal and loss emerges – and not just on paper.

When Diana’s husband exposes the real reason Elliott agreed to work with her, it threatens to destroy their relationship, their script and their hopes for redemption – unless they can realize that the shadows they most need to escape are not those cast by others, but their own.

3:00 PM: Logan Square by William Costanza

Directed by Mike Moran

So what’s this play about? ….It’s about the life and times of Frankie “The Finger” Ponarelli, a mid-level Chicago mobster who has seen better days. The story takes place in 1970s when the turbulent political landscapre and new economic realities force Frankie to find ways to meet the demands of his boss Ross “The Candyman” Spatafore and Frankie’s even more demanding wife, Dolly.

Richard Pauli

Rich began writing for theater in 2009, while working a day job as a senior writer for Hallmark Cards. Since then, he has enjoyed full productions of his short works “Garden Variety” and “Honor Among Thieves” at The Barn Players (KS) 6 x 10 Play Festival in 2009 & 2010; subsequent full productions of “Garden Variety” at the Fells Point Corner Theater 10 x 10 Festival in 2013 (Baltimore MD), The 2014 Puzzle Theatre Festival in NYC (where it was voted audience favorite), and 4th Street Theater’s 2014 6 x 10 Festival (Chesterton IN); and productions of two ultra-short plays, “American Dream” and “Fans,” in the EMP Collective’s Second Annual Baltimore One-Minute Play Festival in February, 2014. Rich has also had a number of staged readings of his work, including staged readings of two short plays, “Jack Makes a Deal” and “Hanging Offense,” at Leawood Stage Company (KS) in the fall of 2011. His full-length comedy, “The Adventures of Noah,” had a staged reading in November, 2013 at the Single Carrot Theatre in Baltimore, MD, as part of the Dramatists Guild Baltimore Footlights reading series; and in June, 2014, his ultra-short play “Swan Song” and his poem “The Condemned” were presented as part of Playsmiths Flash Fest 2014 at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City. Rich is delighted to be writing plays and to be able to refer to himself in the third person in biographical blurbs. Rich is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Diandra Leslie-Pelecky

Diandra Leslie-Pelecky earned bachelors’ degrees in physics and philosophy from the University of North Texas, a Ph.D. in physics from Michigan State University and a certificate from UCLA’s Professional Program in Screenwriting. She was selected twice for the American Film Institute’s Catalyst workshop. She likes to write (fiction and non-fiction) about things that go fast: race cars, electrons, viral epidemics, rockets, robots, cheetahs and life. www.drdiandra.com

William Costanza

Bill’s plays have appeared in Chicago, New York, Loas Angeles, San Diego, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Texas, and Maryland. His play POSTCARDS was given a reading at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival in 2007 and received its world premiere at the Detroit Repertory Theatre in 2013. His play LILY’S GIFT won the Backdoor Theatre National Award and was a semi-finalist for the Panowski Award. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America and is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Forensic and Legal Psychology at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. Bill is a Chicago native and grew up in a neighborhood known as Logan Square.

BPF Play Development Workshop Readings

11:00 AM: Staff Attorney by Nicholas Cartier

Directed by Daniel Douek

An insider portrait of the world of big firm law that grapples with vexing questions of race, merit and diversity, Staff Attorney is the David and Goliath story of a legal battle between a young African-American woman and one of the countryÍs oldest and most powerful law firms. When recent Harvard Law grad Deanna Williams joins forces with her former law professor to sue the white-shoe law firm of Foster & Carlyle, accusing it of hiring African-Americans in dead-end legal jobs to create a facade of diversity, the firm will stop at nothing to protect its reputation – even if it means destroying hers in the process. A legal drama of constantly shifting perspective, Staff Attorney explores the wounds inflicted on a young woman who may be both victim and opportunist and the lengths to which she’ll go to not only seek justice but revenge.

3:00 PM: To Kill A King by Joshua Ford

The true story of the Memphis Sanitation Workers’ strike of 1968 that led to the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mayor Henry Loeb, a staunch conservative and recent Episcopalian convert, refuses to negotiate, despite the Black community’s support of the strikers. As a planned march approaches, an energetic Black union steward, a Jewish rep and a local preacher try to resolve things with the Mayor, unaware of the tragedy that awaits.

Nicholas Cartier

Born in Baltimore, Nick Cartier grew up outside of Boston, studied philosophy in college, and then worked as a reporter before going to law school. He’s currently a lawyer at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Staff Attorney is his first play. He also writes screenplays and is one of the current finalists in the Writers Store’s Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest.

Joshua Ford

Joshua Ford is a Helen Hayes Award-nominated playwright, whose comedy Miklat premiered at Theater J in 2002 and went on to run at regional and Jewish theaters across the United States. To Kill a King is his first play in twelve years during which time he was busy serving in multiple positions at the Washington DCJCC including director of the Washington Jewish Film Festival and Chief Program Officer. He has continued to write and has been a contributor to The Blog at 16th and Q, EJewishPhilanthropy and his personal blog notforprofitdad.wordpress.com. He is a graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa, where he majored in American Studies. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

BPF Play Development Workshop Readings

11:00 AM: Commander by Mario Correa

Directed by Steve Goldklang

1:00 PM: Glass House by Jonathan Sachsman

Directed by Daniel Douek

3:00 PM: Saving Myself for Steve Martin by Ann Wixon

Directed by Miriam Bazensky

How hard can it be for a divorced woman to get laid by a guy that’s not a schmuck? It turns out not so easy. Will our hero get lucky? Or will she have to save herself for Steve Martin?

Ann Wixon

Ann V. Wixon is a native Washingtonian. She is a copywriter and an award-winning playwright. She was Playwright in Residence for American Ensemble Theater (July 2010-July2011) and is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America.