Selected Full-Length Plays

Charlotte’s Letters (6W/1M)

Winner, Rising Artist Playwriting Award
Winner, 1st Place Henley Rose Award
Winner, NEWvember Festival Dublin
Selected for The Irish Rep’s New Works Reading Series
Semifinalist, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference
Selected for The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2022 and other honors

A fresh new take on the Brontës, intertwining Charlotte Brontë’s two years as an unpublished young woman at a Belgian school—where she became increasingly close to her married tutor/employer, Monsieur Heger—with biographer Mrs. Gaskell’s struggle to salvage Charlotte’s posthumous reputation and feminist novels. In Victorian England the books of recently deceased author Charlotte Brontë’ are now widely banned for being too passionate. Mrs. Gaskell intends to prove that Charlotte was innocent and her reclusive life, blameless–but when an alarming letter arrives from Brussels, Mrs. Gaskell is forced to investigate just how much of Charlotte’s novels–including the bestselling but scandalous Jane Eyre–was based on her own life. A vividly theatrical play about love, friendship, and the making of art and identity.

Juggling with Mr. Fields (1W/3M)

Finalist, Southwest Theatre Productions New Play Contest
Staged Reading: Twilight Theatre Productions

In 1940s Hollywood wealthy, irreverent, aging and nearly-alcoholic movie star W.C. Fields–shunned by film studios and eager for work–grudgingly hires a young English manservant to help get his life in order, while Fields’ live-in girlfriend Carlotta and rising-actor friend Anthony Quinn vie for his attentions. But new servant Rodney brings a secret, unwanted link to the past, in this imagined look at the hidden side of an iconic film star, and poignant drama about longing and belonging.

Slanted Light (2W/3M)

Bechdel Group Shortlist

Joanna is a struggling poet and single parent working part-time in a funeral home–an odd choice, considering that Joanna can see dead people. When a dead teenage boy follows her home and ensconces himself in her attic, Joanna and her teenage daughter Miranda must learn some hard truths about living and dying. (Play 3 in The Ghost Trilogy of standalone plays)

Paranormal Love (2W/5M)

Winner, MTWorks Newborn Award
Honorable Mention, Panndora’s Box New Works Festival
Finalist, NEWvember New Plays Festival and other honors

Kevin and David were a loving couple, but now Kevin is dead and stuck in a boring afterlife with little to do but eat popcorn and watch the living. When David decides to marry Lila, a woman, Kevin seizes the chance to wrap up unfinished business–making sure David is happy, and reuniting two living friends, Joe and DeeDee, once best friends now mysteriously estranged–which Kevin attempts with the aid of two unusual dead friends, Craig and Waldo–until things begin to go wrong. A play about love, loss, and the power of memory. (Play 1 in The Ghost Trilogy of standalone plays)

 

Fertile Ground (3W/1M)

2022 Semifinalist, Eugene O’Neil Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference
2022 Semifinalist, Princess Grace Award in Playwriting/Fellowship at New Dramatists
2022 Semifinalist, Panndora’s Box New Works Festival

Novelist Leigh wants a baby but struggles with unexplained miscarriages. Her younger sister Olivia, a parent and psychologist on the tenure track, is having difficulty finishing her new study of maternal filicide due to one of her subjects, whose motivations are disturbingly unclear. Leigh’s husband Max wants to be done with fertility treatments so that he and Leigh can move on. As Olivia and Max begin leaning on each other for support, Leigh begins writing a new novel about filicide, and fact and fiction begin to collide and will have devastating consequences. A new play about motherhood, including its darker side.

Ellery (5W/1M)

Bechdel Group Selection
Selected for
The
Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2017 (Smith and Kraus)

Becca’s life sucks–she hates her psychic abilities and is suddenly being haunted by her dead but still-critical mother and dead grandmother, for reasons none of them understands. When a dead young woman appears and pleads confusingly for help, Becca turns away–but unwittingly gives her best friend the chance to pursue a dangerous course that could harm Becca and another living woman. Mom Linda and Grandma Ida see and come to the rescue, but can ghosts help? A play about living responsibly and being different. (Play 2 in The Ghost Trilogy of standalone plays)

Selected Shorts

(Find Jennifer’s many other plays and monologues at New Play Exchange)

Sugar (2W)

Publication forthcoming in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2023 (Smith and Kraus)
Selected for Little Fish Theatre’s 2023 “Pick of the Vine,” Lakeshore Players Theatre’s 2022 10-Minute Play Festival, Rockford New Words 2022 and others
2023 Finalist, The Gary Garrison Playwriting Award for Ten-Minute Plays

Lilia is startled when her new neighbor Jaden knocks on her door and asks to borrow sugar. But Jaden has an urgent ulterior motive that has nothing to do with sugar, and everything to do with Lilia.

Chem Class (1W/1M)

Publication forthcoming in The Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival 2022: The Short Plays (Southeast Missouri State University Press)
Selected for The Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival 2022, City Lights Theatre Company’s Lights Up! Festival and others

On their morning walk to school, 11th-grader Alex asks his friend Sofia to their Junior Prom. But Sofia’s reaction isn’t what Alex expected–or so he thought. A play about taking risks and being ourselves.

Fridge (1W/3 gender-neutral)

Published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2021 (Smith and Kraus)
Selected for Short+Sweet Perth and many other productions
Audience-Choice Award, KIT’s International Women in Comedy Festival

A woman and her fridge. A play about failure and acceptance.

Most Wonderful (1W/1M)

Published in The Best New Ten-Minute Plays 2021 (Applause)
Selected for OnStage Atlanta’s “Merry Little Holday Shorts” and other productions

Two unemployed roommates learn the meaning of Christmas with help from a can of beans and some dental floss.Selected for Short+Sweet Sydney and other productions

Persephone (3W/1M)

Published in The Best New Ten-Minute Plays 2019 (Applause)
Winner of Heartland Theater Company’s 10-Minute Play Contest and many other productions

A modern riff on the myth of Persephone, forced to leave her family behind forever. This Persephone returns to give her small child an unusual gift–a new mom.

First Day in Trade (3W/1M)

Published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2017 (Smith and Kraus)
Selected for Rover Dramawerks’ 365 Women a Year Festival and others

At a major New York publishing house, an impoverished assistant learns that one of the world’s wealthiest women–editor Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis–might want to bum cigarettes from her. (Inspired by a true incident)

 

The Great Gaffe (1W/2M)

Published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2016 (Smith and Kraus)
Produced by theaters and colleges around the U.S.

Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist Edith Wharton gives a tea party for F. Scott Fitzgerald, struggling young author of The Great Gatsby, with disastrous results.

Expectations (1W/1M)

Produced by Short + Sweet Sydney (Australia), Valley Players and others

Novelist Charles Dickens and his wife Kate Dickens speak about the legal separation Dickens initiated after 22 years of marriage and nine children–narratives that differ substantially from each other. A play about power and women’s lives.