Coming Home to Write

Commissioned Works

The following scripts were commissioned by Stages Repertory Theatre or by the Children’s Theatre Festival, a professional project of the University of Houston School of Theatre. Both theaters select scripts for their appeal to grownups as well as to young people to provide a shared theater experience for the whole family.
Please feel free to contact the publishers directly through the links provided.

A synopsis for each play is coming soon. Thanks for checking back.

Just So Stories    Dramatic Publishing

2 women, 4 flexible, optional extras … as many as 15

What happens when an older sister wants to be a doctor and a younger one wants to grow up to be a guitar? It could be the start of an interesting evening. Judith, the younger, has not lost her imagination, but her older sister, Amanda, has. Judith asks of her, “Why is your face mad?” Amanda has become a grown up and has forgotten how to play and how to tell stories, especially, the stories of Rudyard Kipling, Judith’s all-time favorite author. But then a table becomes a camel, stuffed toys come to life, a primitive elephant’s shoe-like nose stretches into the kind of trunk elephants wear today, and a Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake slithers around the stage. Five of Rudyard Kipling’s stories are brought to life and Judith helps Amanda find the world of wonder again.

Rumpelstiltskin   Eldridge Plays & Musicals

2 men, 2 women, 3 flexible, optional extras

Delightful fun with a surprising twist at the end that tells us that Rumplestiltskin and the Miller’s Daughter have met before. The Miller does not mill. He is too busy dreaming. The Lady Mayor is distraught because there is no flour to make bread for the visiting King William. Does the Miller heed her warnings as to what will happen to him if he does not finish her order? No! Instead, he calls out to the King and his procession that his daughter, Mary Ann, can spin straw into gold. King William sets about to test this boast and promises serious consequences should Mary Ann fail. Rumpelstiltskin, more misunderstood than pernicious, and often singing a rhyme about his name, exacts a stiff price for his magical assistance in straw spinning. Throughout her ordeal, Mary Ann keeps a sensible head. She actually wins the King’s love as her actions persuade him to abandon his greed and snobbishness in favor of humanity. Mary Ann and William marry and produce a fine daughter, Frances. Rumpelstiltskin claims his reward, kidnaps the baby, but shows signs of being more soft-hearted than expected when he agrees to return the child if Mary Ann can guess his name. After much excitement, when all hope is lost, Mary Ann remembers a rhyme and a childhood friend. She guesses the name, Frances is returned and Rumpelstiltskin predicts the Miller and the Lady Mayor will marry. As Rumpelstiltskin plans his exit, Mary and William have a special surprise for him.

“Rated A-” by BYU Children’s Book Review.

Beauty and the Beast    Eldridge Plays & Musicals

3 men, 3 women, extras

In this telling of the timeless fairy tale, there is a unique twist: Beauty is a male and the Beast is a female. The Ranier family has a host of problems, but an act of love begins to transform their adversity. John saves his father from certain death by taking his place in a Beast’s castle, a castle with an aura of magic and mystery as shrouded figures move about attending lost and lonely travelers. John, or Beauty as the Beast names him, is conflicted between fulfilling his father’s promise to the Beast and his own longing to be with his family. Although John honors the promise and truly cares for the well-being of the Beast, he declines to marry her because he does not love her. John is allowed to return home when his father becomes ill, but stays longer than he promised. Time is fluid and unpredictable in this story. While watching a star fall to earth, he realizes the Beast is dying. Another act of love occurs as John returns knowing he loves the Beast because of the beauty within her. The Beast is transformed and becomes, before our eyes, Princess Helen.

Ugly Duckling    Dramatic Publishing

3 men, 6 women

In the royal gardens of Castle Glenmore¸ Mother Duck is impatiently waiting for her eggs to hatch. When the long-awaited moment finally arrives¸ a beautiful young duckling and a handsome drake emerge¸ followed shortly by their less than eye-pleasing younger brother. He takes on the name Ugly because that is what his siblings call him. He is ridiculed for his inability to do the most trivial of duck activities. Even waddling seems beyond his capability. He finds his one friend in the form of the princess of the castle¸ a child who has not yet grown so old that she cannot hear the voices of the animals. Much like the duckling¸ she is unable to do many of the things required of a princess¸ and her tutor complains that she shows no interest in any of her lessons. The two are in the process of forming a fast friendship when the princess verbally lashes out at the duckling in a moment of anger. Deeply hurt¸ he decides to leave Castle Glenmore for life in the wild. Despairing over her thoughtless words¸ the princess goes after him¸ but she must hurry¸ for winter is coming and soon she will be leaving childhood behind to become a young adult no longer able to hear the voices of the animals or even remember the days when she did.

The Wolf and the Foolish Little Kids   Eldridge Plays & Musicals

3 men, 4 women

Meet the Flanagans, a family of goats where the youngest is rebuffed by all her siblings because Molly is “too little.” One day the local wolf sees an opportunity to capture the kids alone at home and sets about eating all the kids, except for Molly, who hides. She, with the help of her mother, devises a plan to rescue the other children. Ultimately the family ends the day with a festive dance and dinner and a whole new feeling about Molly for they know now, as she has always known, that she is not “so little” after all.

The Magic Pots and the Leprechaun


Listen to composer/lyricist Eric Ian Farmer sing a few lyrics from Angleton Grill
So, I asked Katie if she would be game to pick up the accountability emails again
One way to be more accountable about your writing is to join a writing group
Eric Ian Farmer is composing the music and lyrics for Angleton Grill

Writing About Writing

Not all writers have a Tom Key, a writing friend. But if you do, treasure this.
“Write every single day at the same time and in the very same place.”
If discomfort can make you grow, I grew a lot by the time I finished this book
If you want to write, you have to read