Archive for the Category » Children’s Plays «

Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon Visits Chicago and Connecticut this Spring

fairy tales, fables, elves, fairies, running away, audio books  Two elementary schools will produce my stage play, ‘Stanley the Stalwart Dragon‘ in May.

This is what I live and write for!

Medinah Christian School, outside of Chicago opens the play May 8th.  And, also in May, Stanley opens at the Eastford Elementary School in Connecticut.

I have been in touch with both schools and will be sending ‘Stanley’ in the illustrated story-book form to their library.

Synopsis:  Stanley, a young dragon, has run away from home. He feels that he is a failure and, as dragons go, he probably is. He’s kind, soft spoken, a good friend and can’t for the life of him, breathe FIRE! One day Stanley and his best friend and side kick, a lady bug named Persnickety land in the fabled forest. Emma is an earthling girl who lives on a farm and plays in the nearby forest with her magical friends. The loveable villain is a raven named City Slick, the Third. Thomas, the pedantic sea turtle, expresses himself in colorful sea faring lingo. And Cheets, the effervescent elf, are just a few of Stanley’s new friends.

One dark night Slick lures Stanley away from the forest and sells him to the circus. The owner of the circus, Freckles the Clown, has left Stanley chained, alone in a tent, ‘where he will remain until he breathes fire!’ The Queen of the Faeries gives Donald and Emma a quest; to go and find Stanley and rescue him.

While this is an adventure story full of laughter, it teaches children that no matter what, it is never a good idea to run away from home and is frequently very dangerous. The fable addresses bigotry, greed, loyalty and kindness to others.

DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS! April’s author is Jodi Thomas.  June’s author will be Dorothea Benton Frank.
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Everything but the Kitchen Sink~~(new series) Diary of a Mad Writer!

So many of you have asked how I can be so prolific in my fiction, how I maintain a blog twice a week and interview otwriting, process, writers, styleher authors too.   So maybe it would be fun for you if I wrote once in awhile about what I’m doing…..I’m calling it Everything but the KITCHEN SINK because I’m throwing everything into the pot …… rhyme or reason.

This week I have the great pleasure to review Peter May’s latest book “The Lewis Man” during his book tour in the US.Saturday my blog will begin my interview with him and he has been so generous with his time and writing processes.

One of my favorite posts coming is how the (; ) smiley face was created back in 1982.  After some research I found the original email that first featured these emoticons.

Don’t know if you remember or not, but a few years ago I spent 10 days in Argentina at the invitation of two young professors and their university, National University of Villa María .  They teach English (through action) there. The families of Mariana, Marta, and Fiorella hosted me in their homes with dinners, lunches, and more »

Teachers! Do a PLay in Your Classroom!

bullying, bullies, high school, middle school, teens,one act, short stage play  There are 26, ten minute plays to choose from in this collection of single plays.  Most address real life issues facing our tweens and teens today. NO sets, NO costumes.  Five are dedicated to different forms of BULLYING. Check out the titles here at my book store.

A couple of years ago I heard from teacher friends that most arts programs were being cut.  Anything that the teacher wanted to do was funded out of their own very meager pockets.  So I developed these single short plays and priced them cheap.  (6.50)

There is also a ‘collection’ of 10 minute plays under one cover. short plays, children's plays, teens, tweens, young actor, short plays for the classroom‘Ten Minutes to Curtain’.

Available at

All are ‘G’ rated.


teen run aways, running away, teenagers, classroom, short plays cyber-bullying, bullying, girls who bully, teen violence, short plays for teens

texting and driving, teen texting, short plays, high school, middle school,  shy, shyness, conceit, bullying, high school, middle school, teenagers,short plays, small casts, one act plays for the young actor

What Inspired Me to Write a Play? part 2

Let’s see, where did we leave off?  As you can see by now truth is sometimes stranger than fiction….why make stuff up when the true stories are just standing there in front of you…waiting for you to write a play about them?  Or not….because about this time Cheets, the effervescent elf came into my life! 

greed, ecology, elves, warlords, love, friendshipThe Fabled Forest Series‘ was brought to me by my friend, Cheets, about three in the morning to be exact.  He put his over-sized elf feet in the middle of my back and pushed.  Yelling in my ear,  ‘Cheets has a story….write about Cheets!’
By the time I crawled out of bed, made a cup of tea and stumbled to my keyboard he was skipping along beside me, telling me about his friends in the fabled forest and about the unicorn that they must save.  No, I’m not crazy  (or if I am, I’m in very good company)  and yes I do hear voices (again, good company).  A few years and four children’s plays later ‘Emma and the Lost Unicorn‘ was produced outside of Boston.  The little actors in the show pleaded with me to write them story books based upon the plays.  That was my launch from playwright to author.

Two summers ago I was talking with some teachers and they were bemoaning the fact that ‘the arts’ budget was non-existent at theirteen run aways, running away, teenagers, classroom, short plays schools; anything that they wanted to do in that area; paints, music, scripts,  was out of  their own pocket I thought, what if I wrote several 10 minute plays for the class room, made them affordable, no sets, no costumes, no props?  Twenty-six scripts later and it’s definitely been a hit. While I did write some fun ones, I quickly learned that I needed to write about teen issues in real life.  Bullying, mean girls, dating violence, divorce, drugs, running away, cyber-bullies…the list goes on and on.

And as I am not a mystery writer but do love to stretch my creative wings, I thought I’d throw in a murder mystery play into the collection.  I knew the kids in the classroom would love it.   “The Art of Murder” was born.  Then some well meaning friends told me, after reading the play, “But what happened to Monty?” and “Who killed her?”  “You have got to tell us the rest of the story!”

‘Okay, okay!  I’ll write a novella for you.’   Well, it went pretty well and my friends and fans seemed to like it.  Just one problem, they came back again and told me,  “You’ve got a series here!  We want more of O’Roarke and Garcia, your murder cops!”   I objected:  ‘I’m not a mystery writer!’   Well, apparently I am since I’m currently writing the fifth in the series!Act.Murder.Cover.Book3

Book 2 takes place back stage on Broadway……so we’ve come full circle!

Want to read more?  Click here to read Part 1






In addition to my twice weekly blog I also feature an interview with another author once a month. So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  An Interview with Loretta Chase on May 29th.   Dean Koontz is my June author.

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

What Inspired Me to Write my first Play?

In looking at my stats recently I saw a recurring key phrase on my site.  ‘How  to write a play?‘, and I thought my readers might find it interesting to read about what inspired the subjects of my play scripts.

The short answer is:  A true story…. something that caught my attention that was someone else’s story.

The long answer:  My first play ‘Lost Child back in 1994 was based on a true story of a Dad dealing with his gay son.  Back then HIV and AIDS was a death sentence.  The father was homophobic and macho.  He rejected his son.  To make the story complete I added another set of parents that were  totally supportive of their gay son.  Sadly this story did not end well and the script was lost on my hard drive  ….someday, I may finish it.

Next came ‘Cook County Justice‘ based upon a fifteen minute segment I saw on one of those TV magazines like 20/20. Bill Heirens had been incarcerated for over 40 years (even though his sentence included parole) for a murder I came to believe he didn’t commit.  This story took me on a six year journey; letters from Bill (inmate), support from his team trying to set him free and several productions of my play.

While visiting Bill in the Illinois state Prison for Men early one Sunday morning,  I sat in the reception area waiting to be cover4_20march2014‘processed’ through into the visiting room.  I was surrounded by women of all ages and their children.  Mothers, sisters, wives, daughters….as I sat there they figuratively took me by the nape of my neck and shouted….’you must write about us…tell our story!’   That was the birth of ‘Women Outside the Walls’ a full length play and later a novel.



book_shop_BillieScent of Magnolia A Tribute to Billie Holiday was conceived in 2001 when a very talented jazz singer/actress out of Chicago asked me if I would write her a one woman show as Billie Holiday. I used, as my inspiration, the early years of Billie’s career before she succumbed to alcohol and drugs. 


NEXT! A Hollywood Tale  was based on my own experiences as a young actor in Hollywood and all the story swapping we would do in the green room, waiting to ‘go on’.  There was nothing worse than going to a cattle call audition and in the midHollywood, actors, stage play, actors playing actorsdle of your monologue or reading have the casting director yell:  ‘Next!’  That was your cue line to exit right.   The razor sharp teeth of the machine known as Hollywood chew up aspiring actors and spit them into the gutter.


I grew up on my mother’s stories about growing up in the forests of Tumwater, Washington with her 13 siblings.  Back at the turn of the twentieth century life and its entertainments were simple.
Alaska, sisters, adventurers, gold rush,

‘The Guyer Girls’ is a cross between Little Women and I Remember Mama.  The first act is almost all based upon her stories.  The second act was my creation of what happened when the six sisters come back home fifteen years later. With this age of technology I didn’t want these stories to die with her or with me.

‘Sins of the Mother’ was also partly biographical.  Again stories told by my mother of her years in San Francisco (1920’s) as a bar owner, women’s basketball player, flapper, and mother.  She used to say,  “I’d work all day and dance all night!”  This full length play developed into a novel, ‘Wild Violets’.fiction, women, flappers, prohibition, San Francisco, roaring twenties

There’s more but this is where I will stop. Every play plot has conflict. The trick is to solve it within two and a half hours.  



A Journal/Handbook to Start YOU writing! 275 blank pages for your work; each margin with an inspiring quote from a famous actor, writer, playwright, or poet.  Sections on ‘how to’ will get you started.



In addition to my twice weekly blog I also feature an interview with another author once a month. So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!    Dean Koontz is my June author.

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

“Emma and the Lost Unicorn” performing at the Villagers Theatre in New Jersey

NEWS!!  The Fabled Forest Series (children’s plays),   will be a part of 

Villagers Theatre’s  2013-2014  Season!  faeries, elves, warlocks, fables, riddles, fairy tales, theatre


Located in Somerset, New Jersey this community theatre has two stages and a diverse season.

March 8–16 with Fri., Sat., and Sunday performances

Tickets: $15.
Reservations:  732-873-2710

Visit their web site for more…

Rainey, the unicorn, is a prince who has been banished, for centuries, by the warlock, Hazard. He can never return home unless Emma solves more riddles than Kodak. Hazard’s Lieutenant reveals his secret weakness. The fable ends with a surprise twist more »