Plays for Two is a unique anthology of twenty-eight terrific plays for two actors, by a mix of celebrated playwrights and cutting-edge new voices.
It takes two to tango—or to perform a duet, fight a duel, or play ping-pong. The two-character play is dramatic confrontation stripped to its essence. These four full-length and twenty-four short plays feature pairs of every sort—strangers, rivals, parents and children, siblings, co-workers, friends, and lovers—swooning or sparring, meeting cute or parting ways. In a dizzying range of moods and styles, these two-handers offer the kind of meaty, challenging roles actors love, while providing readers and audiences with the pleasures of watching the complex give-and-take dynamics of two keenly matched characters.
Plays by: Billy Aronson, David Auburn, Pete Barry, Naveen Bahar Choudhury, Anthony Clarvoe, Steven Dietz, Halley Feiffer, Simon Fill, Frank Higgins, David Ives, Jacob Juntunen, Ean Miles Kessler, Neil LaBute, Eric Lane, Kitt Lavoie, Jacqueline E. Lawton, Mark Harvey Levine, Elizabeth Meriwether, Michael Mitnick, Daria Polatin, Marco Ramirez, Kelly Rhodes, Jose Rivera, Paul Rudnick, Edwin Sanchez, Nina Shengold, Cori Thomas, Doug Wright
Table of Contents
David Ives, VENUS IN FURS
Steven Dietz, SHOOTING STAR
Frank Higgins, BLACK PEARL SINGS!
Anthony Clarvoe, THE ART OF SACRIFICE
Elizabeth Meriwether, 90 DAYS
Kitt Lavoie, BANK & TRUST
Ean Miles Kessler, FUNNY VALENTINE
Simon Fill, THE GIFT
Michael Mitnick, HAIL CAESER!
Pete Barry, HEARING AIR
Mark Harvey Levine, THE KISS
Eric Lane, LADY LIBERTY AND THE DONUT GIRL
Paul Rudnick, MY HUSBAND
Jacob Juntunen, SADDAM’S LIONS
Naveen Bahar Choudhury, SKIN
Doug Wright, WILDWOOD PARK
Edwin Sánchez, BEA AND MAY
Nina Shengold, DEEP JERSEY
Kelly Rhodes, HEADS AND TAILS
José Rivera, LESSON FOR UNACCUSTOMED BRIDE
Daria Polatin, THAT FIRST FALL
Cori Thomas, WAKING UP
Marco Ramirez, 3:59 am: a drag race for two actors
Jacqueline E. Lawton, FINALS, TOUCHDOWNS, AND BARREL KICKS
Halley Feiffer, FRANK AMENDS
Neil LaBute, STRANGE FRUIT
David Auburn, AN UPSET
Billy Aronson, NEGOTIATION
About the Editors
Permissions and Acknowledgements
About Eric Lane
Eric Lane and Nina Shengold have edited 12 contemporary play anthologies for Viking Penguin and Vintage Books, earning them a Lambda Literary Award nomination. Eric's plays have been performed in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Israel and China, and include Ride, Floating, Heart of the City, Times of War and Dancing on Checkers’ Grave. Eric wrote and produced the short films First Breath and Cater-Waiter, which he also directed. For TV’s Ryan’s Hope, he received a Writer’s Guild Award. Honors include the La MaMa Playwright Award, the Berrilla Kerr Award, plus fellowships at Yaddo and St. James Cavalier in Malta. Eric is an honors graduate of Brown University. He is artistic director of Orange Thoughts Productions, a not-for-profit theater and film company in New York City.
Nina Shengold's plays include Finger Foods, War at Home, Homesteaders, and Romeo/Juliet, and have been produced around the world. Her one-act No Shoulder was filmed by director Suzi Yoonessi, with Melissa Leo and Samantha Sloyan. Nina won a Writers Guild Award for her teleplay Labor of Love, starring Marcia Gay Harden; other teleplays include Blind Spot, with Joanne Woodward and Laura Linney, and Unwed Father. Her books include the novel Clearcut; River of Words: Portraits of Hudson Valley Writers (with photographer Jennifer May), and a growing posse of pseudonymous books for young readers. A graduate of Wesleyan, she is currently teaching creative writing at Manhattanville College. Nina lives in New York's Hudson Valley, where she has been books editor of Chronogram magazine since 2004.
About Nina Shengold
Nina Shengold is an award-winning playwright and artistic director of the theatre company Actors & Writers.