“Rita from Across the Street” by Lou Harry
Cast requirements: Two men (40s), one women (40s), two teen women
Five people. Two porches. One summer.
Mark sold his boardwalk business to take care of his troubled brother. Donna is summering at the Jersey shore with her teenage daughter while her husband works during the week back home.
Over the course of a summer, secrets are revealed, lives awakened, and the merits of front vs. back porches debated.
History: Readings in New York and Indianapolis
“Going…Going…Gone: The Live Auction Comedy” concocted by Lou Harry and John Thomas
Cast requirements: Whatever you’ve got/want
Ed, owner of Ed’s Auction House, is dead. Now those that knew and/or loved him have to auction off his personal stash of stuff in this interactive hit. The audience gets play money, the actors don’t know what’s in the boxes they’ll have to sell, and the theater space becomes fully alive with one-of-a-kind, never-the-same-twice fun. After launching at the 2012 Indy Fringe festival, it settled into an open-ended run, with additional performance on location. Perfect for theater companies who want to juice up their schedules with a show that requires no rehearsals.
History: More than 100 performances at various locations in four states.
“Lightning and Jellyfish” by Lou Harry
Cast requirements: Three women (18, 24, ??) and five men (17, ??)
Angela is 18 and itching to get out of Wildwood, NJ. Luke is a year younger and never met anyone quite like Angela. But what may seem like a familiar coming-of-age story takes off into unexplored territory. Set in a rock-and-roll shop in the ’80s, “Lightning and Jellyfish” takes a realistic one-set play and explodes it, taking us into the hearts–and futures–of its characters. Commissioned by Butler University for its inaugural Indiana New Works festival, “Lightning and Jellyfish” premieres in Dec. 2013.
History: Commissioned reading at Butler University, full production at Theatre on the Square, Indianapolis
“The High-Impact Infidelity Diet” by Lou Harry based on the novel by Lou Harry and Eric Pfeffinger
(Available in 50-minute or 85-minute versions)
Cast requirements: One man (30s) and one woman (offstage)
A genius idea or the worst weight loss plan ever? A hefty hubby is offered—by his wife—a night of extra-marital bliss if he gets down to his fighting weight. Based on “the funniest book about marriage, food and hookers ever written.” Premiering in Aug. 2013 at the Indy Fringe Festival.
History: Full production at Indy Fringe Festival
“Clutter” by Lou Harry
Cast requirements: Two women and two men (late 20s/early 30s)
A business going under. A marriage on the brink. A job in the balance. What happens when the position you’ve reached–a position you don’t believe you’ve earned or deserve–falls out from under you? In this contemporary comedy/drama, Eddie and Bobby are former associates, but their balance of power shifts when their company goes out of business. Meanwhile, disinterested receptionist Barbara and divorce-contemplating Bev go through some power-shifting of their own. And when the four get together…
History: Full production by Theatre on the Square, Indianapolis
“Popular Monsters” by Lou Harry
Cast requirements: Two men (20-ish, 60+), two women (early 20s, late 20s)
Greg has found his dream job as an editor at a once-popular horror movie magazine. But on the brink of the industry changing release of “Halloween,” Greg finds himself in the company of his tormented new boss, an aged acting legend, and a spunky “Rocky Horror” fan. Not since Mary Shelley and her pals spent a night telling ghost stories has a night been so dark and stormy.
History: Readings in Indianapolis and New York, full production by Catalyst Repertory Theatre
“Beer Can Raft” by Lou Harry
Cast requirements: Two women, two men (all approximately the same age).
In this collection of short plays, ultimately linked together via the final segment, a trio of Spring breakers are stranded at sea, a man and a woman try to make sense of their missed-connection relationship, and…oh, who am I kidding? This show was uniquely created for the Indy Fringe festival and requires an actual beer can raft. Go on to the next one….On second thought, the centerpiece short play, “Predictable” (20 minutes), hold up very well on its own. Three actors required: One man, one woman, one who could be either.
History: Full production at Indy Fringe Festival
“Midwestern Hemisphere” by Lou Harry and Eric Pfeffinger
Cast requirements: Two men (35-45, 28-32), three women (teen, late 20s, late 30s).
Yes, I know. Stephen King and the Simpsons also have told stories set under an impenetrable dome. But “Midwestern Hemisphere” was first (I’ve got the Writers Guild registration to prove it). And it’s funnier. What happens in a nondescript suburban neighborhood when a mysterious phenomenon forced neighbors to become, well, neighbors? The world premiere production was staged by the Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre with subsequent readings at the Walnut Street Theatre and Crossroads Theatre Company.
History: Full production by Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre (now Indy Shakes), reading at Crossroads Repertory Theatre and Walnut Street Theatre
“The Pied Piper of Hoboken” by Lou Harry and Tom McGrath
Cast requirements: Two men, two women, one variable (teens and up)
Set in medieval New Jersey, this Shakespeare/Pied-Piper mash-up tells of young Peter Hamlet, who returns home after ridding Hamelin of its rat problem only to find that his kingly father is missing and presumed dead, his mother is about to marry a mysterious stranger with a Richard III-like limp, and his girlfriend, Ophelia Newton-John speaks entirely in ’70s tune lyrics. Clearly something is rotten in Hoboken in the rare show that fun for Shakespeare scholars and 8-year-olds alike.
History: Full productions by Comedy for Kids and at Indy Fringe Festival.
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