As the Civil Rights movement is brewing, a controversial children’s book about a black rabbit marrying a white rabbit stirs the passions of a segregationist State Senator and a no-nonsense State Librarian in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama. Meanwhile, the story of two childhood friends — an African-American man and a woman of white privilege, reunited in adulthood — provides a private counterpoint to the public events swirling in the state capital. Political foes, star-crossed lovers, and one feisty children’s author inhabit the same page in a Deep South of the imagination that brims with humor, heartbreak and hope. Inspired by true events. By 2023, it will have been seen in at least 40 cities around the U.S. Six actors, one set, two acts. Cast: 2 white women, one age 50-60s, one age 32; 3 white men, two age 50s-60s, one late 20s; 1 African-American man, age 32. Now published by Dramatists Play Service. Learn more here:
In the Great Plains of Nebraska, two actresses of a certain age are returning to their dying hometown. Jane’s in from L.A. to check up on her ailing mother. Andrea’s back from New York to bury her father. Can childhood friends overcome past hurts to find hope in a place they left behind? Fall in love with a new American comedy about the urge to be creative, the itch to move away and the power of coming home. Rolling world premiere in 2022-23 in Tennessee, Iowa and Alabama. Cast: 4 women (two in their 40s, one 70s, one teen), 2 men (30s and 50ish). Licensed from the author. Learn more and ask for a free perusal copy.
Constance has just lost her husband, Mike, after 60 years of marriage. But his sudden death isn’t the only grief inside her as she prepares for his wake. The sting of losing her son, Henry, to HIV/AIDS 15 years earlier is aroused again with the arrival of a stranger at her home: Henry’s partner, also named Henry, has come to express his condolences — and to make a connection with the mother-in-law he never knew. As the booze flows, are the surviving widow and her grown daughter, Amy, ready to raise a glass to the unexpected guest? Two Henrys is a humor-laced drama about guilt and grief, perceptions and prejudices and the urge to find family. First developed in Pioneer Theatre Company’s Play-By-Play Reading Series and seen around the country in developmental stagings. A semi-finalist in the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference in 2015 and 2016. Cast: 2 women (daughter age 50 and mother in late 70s) and 1 man (late 40s). Seeking a world premiere opportunity. Learn more and ask for a perusal copy.
Tennessee Williams Drank Here
A bold new drama set in a popular Mississippi restaurant steeped in unsettling history. In the days after Hurricane Katrina, the estranged members of the Hardy family come together to help fix the damage to their world-famous Mississippi establishment, The Forrest House. The unearthing of long-buried secrets challenges the status quo of three generations of restaurateurs, revealing conflicting views about heritage, community and responsibility. One set, three acts, six actors. Cast: 3 women: 30s, 60s, 70s; 2 men: 30s, 60s. Commissioned by Florida Studio Theatre, it’s now seeking developmental opportunities. Ask for a free perusal script. https://bykennethjones.com/contact/
Ten Minutes On a Bench
Ah, look at all the lonely people! Assorted would-be lovers have signed onto the latest dating app, “Ten Minutes on a Bench,” which puts them on timed speed dates on a park bench in their area. One set — a bench! 11 scenes. 22 characters. A cast of anywhere between 4 and 22 people. At turns hilarious, heartbreaking and humane, a comedy about strangers meeting their match — or at least getting to a second date. Seeking development or a premiere opportunity. Ask for a perusal copy. https://bykennethjones.com/contact/
It’s July 4, 2016, and alumni of Evergreen Elementary School’s class of 1976 have gathered for the 40th anniversary of their graduation from sixth grade. A handful of former classmates in their early fifties — a jock, an artist, a cheerleader, a brain and an overachiever — find themselves in their old music room, where memories of past teachers, tensions and traumas are conjured like half-remembered songs. In the summer before the election of Donald Trump, the concerns of a divided America dovetail with the anxieties of the past to spark an unforgettable reunion that calls into question the Spirit of 76. A semifinalist in the 2019 Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference. Cast: 3 women (Asian age, 52; African American, age 62; Caucasian, age 52), 3 Men (Caucasian, early 50s). Seeking developmental opportunities. Ask for a perusal copy.
Naughty / Nice
A musical. One pianist. Four actors (two men/two women). Twenty or so characters — misfit “kids” who are desperately seeking Santa. Darkly comic. Satiric. Wildly melodic. Not for kids. Music by Gerald Stockstill, lyrics by Kenneth Jones, book by Jones & Stockstill. A finalist in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival of New Musicals. Now published by stagerights.com in full-length and cabaret versions.