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Undo

 Jillian Vashro, Sydney Andrews de Salinas, Ashton Hyman, and Nick Edwards in  Undo  at Annex Theatre. Photo by Ian Johnston.

Jillian Vashro, Sydney Andrews de Salinas, Ashton Hyman, and Nick Edwards in Undo at Annex Theatre. Photo by Ian Johnston.

Full length
CAST: 7 women, 3 men, 1 child (non-speaking)

"The premise is so simple and brilliant—what if a divorce were a public event precisely like your wedding, with guests and presents and an officiant and tons of booze?—that it threatens to overpower the show itself. But Arsenault’s sharp wit and ear for honest dialogue, which focuses on realistically mundane details and then telescopes to huge family drama, makes the concept work beautifully. Bring someone to talk it over with after; you’ll surely want to." - The Stranger Suggests


Undo premiered at Annex Theatre in Seattle, Washington, January 18 - February 16, 2013. Director: Erin Kraft. Cast: Sydney Andrews de Salinas, Zoey Belyea, Nick Edwards, Tom Fraser, Amy Hill, Ashton Hyman, Samantha Leeds, Barbara Lindsay, Marty Mukhalian, Ian O’Malley, Jillian Vashro, and Mark Waldstein. 


ADDITIONAL PRODUCTIONS

Parade Productions at the Studio at Mizner Park, Boca Raton, FL, January 29 - March 1 2015, Directed by Kim St. Leon

  Margot Moreland as Joan and Todd Bruno as Ari in Parade Productions'  Undo .  Photo by George Wentzler.

Margot Moreland as Joan and Todd Bruno as Ari in Parade Productions' Undo.  Photo by George Wentzler.

The Theatre School at DePaul University, Chicago, IL, April 20-26, 2015, directed by Andrew Peters (MFA Directing, 2016)

 Zoe Leigh Tyson as Rachel, Brian Healy as Ari, and Wesley David Toledo as Joe in Undo at The Theatre School at DePaul University. Photo by Siri Collins.

Zoe Leigh Tyson as Rachel, Brian Healy as Ari, and Wesley David Toledo as Joe in Undo at The Theatre School at DePaul University. Photo by Siri Collins.


AWARDS

RECIPIENT: 2013 Theatre Puget Sound Gregory Award for Outstanding New Play

RECIPIENT: 2013 Seattle Theater Writers Gypsy Rose Lee Award for Excellence in Local Playwriting

SHORT-LIST NOMINEE: 2014 American Theatre Critics Association New Play Awards

SEMI-FINALIST: 2014 Princess Grace Award

PUBLICATIONS

The full text of Undo is published in Rain City Projects' Manifesto v. 4, edited by Chay Yew. This anthology of work that premiered in the Pacific Northwest is available now from The Elliott Bay Book Company.

REVIEWS
"An exceptionally honest piece of playwriting... ambitious, moving, and deeply gratifying." - SeattleActor.com

READ MORE REVIEWS OF UNDO


SYNOPSIS

Undo takes place in a universe that is exactly like our own with one important difference: in order to get a divorce, you must go through a backwards version of your own wedding ceremony.

We meet Rachel, the "bride," and Joe, the "groom," on the morning of their undoing. As their families gather, it becomes clear that the burden of the occasion is weighing on them all, drawing old wounds and secrets to the surface. A religious proscription that, though alcohol is allowed, food is not, further fuels the group unraveling. While Joe resorts to extreme measures to halt the proceedings and Rachel doubles down on questionable choices, the matriarch enlists the best man as her reluctant confessor, a long-deferred romance is rekindled, and the youngest sister emerges as the family’s moral backbone.

If you're on the New Play Exchange, you can download the full text of Undo here

The Great Inconvenience


The Great Inconvenience


The Great Inconvenience

Full-length
Available for premiere
CAST: 4 women, 1 man


SYNOPSIS

2050. Somewhere on the West Coast of the United States. A scrappy group of historical re-enactors—orphans of our next civil war—have formed a chosen family. Abandoned by a government that no longer pretends to serve any but the rich, their survival gig is helping to whitewash some of the worst atrocities in American history for audiences of wealthy schoolchildren.

When an unexpected visitor starts camping out in their dioramas, portending a new and growing danger, they’re forced to face their own histories, and contend with the revelation that the woman they all work for is much more than just their boss.

 Mi Kang, Jocelyn Maher, and Nick Edwards in The Great Inconvenience at Annex Theatre, 2018 / Photo by Ian Johnston

Mi Kang, Jocelyn Maher, and Nick Edwards in The Great Inconvenience at Annex Theatre, 2018 / Photo by Ian Johnston


The Great Inconvenience had a workshop production at Annex Theatre in Seattle, Washington, July 27 - August 18, 2018. Director: Erin Kraft. Cast: Mi Kang, Jocelyn Maher, Nick Edwards, Samantha Canela, Marty Mukhalian

The Manor


The Manor


The Manor

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Full Length
CAST: 4 women, 2 men
Available for premiere

In a nursing home and memory care facility in a remote corner of Washington State, the one male resident, Gil Fletcher, stays busy keeping the beds of female co-residents warm. But questions of consent become tricky with the arrival of a new aide who challenges the home's free love policies. It's the Alzheimerzy sex romp you've been waiting for! There's also quite a bit about Nicki Minaj. 


The Manor was read at Seattle Repertory Theatre, June 21st 2015, as part of the Rep Writers Group Showcase. Director: Erin Kraft. Cast: Sean Griffin, Laura Kenny, Kimberly Kay King, Imogen Love, Tim Smith-Stewart, and Priscilla Hake Lauris.


The Cut


The Cut


The Cut

Full length
CAST: One woman, one trans man

After learning that she has been diagnosed with a devastating, terminal illness, a woman and her partner enter into a pact that is either heroic or abhorrent. The Cut is a story about loving and dying that asks us to consider how far we would go to save the person we most cherish from suffering.


The Cut was read at Seattle Repertory Theatre, June 20th 2014, as part of the Rep Writers Group Showcase. Director: Erin Kraft. Cast: Gretchen Krich and Michael Place. It was subsequently read at the University of Washington School of Drama. Director: Tina Polzin. Cast: Gretchen Krich and Rudy Roushdi.

Marvelous


Marvelous


Marvelous

 Amelie Whitesell as Gertie in the Seattle Children's Theatre Drama School production of Marvelous, August, 2014.

Amelie Whitesell as Gertie in the Seattle Children's Theatre Drama School production of Marvelous, August, 2014.

Full length, theatre for young audiences
CAST:
Version for child performers: Up to 16 actors, 1 male, 1 female, 14 flexible (including one non-binary character)

Version for adult performers: 3 men, 3 women (flexible)

Marvelous was commissioned by and premiered at the Drama School at Seattle Children's Theatre, July 31 - August 2, 2014. Director: Amanda Lee Williams. Cast: Hannah Klein, Sydney Mayer, Amelie Whitesell, Milo Palmer, Maya Rice, Mallika Shah, Nila Dudley, Aaron Sterne, Kayleigh Kinder, Reiko Wellington, Fiona Alhadeff, Lily Svelmoe, Mayfield Vashti-Roberts, and Allison McGinnis

SUBSEQUENT PRODUCTIONS:
Bainbridge Performing Arts, November 12 & 14, 2014.


SYNOPSIS:

The year is 1932. Kai and Gertie are best friends who've grown up together in a traveling circus. Gertie's mom is the famous trapeze artist Lula Lane, Kai is the famous Boy Wonder, whose angelic voice is said to heal any ailment. They both live in terror of the evil boss lady, Ms. Maudie Blackmore, who keeps Kai--an orphan--in indentured servitude, forcing him to eat table scraps and sleep with the pigs. 

One morning when Gertie goes to find Kai, he is gone. And Gertie's in for another shock: Kai's bunk mate, Sal the Educated Pig, can talk--and so can all the other animals in the circus. Sal believes that Kai has been kidnapped, but he knows that there's only one person in the circus who can find out for sure: Goleta the Snake Charmer. Scared, but determined to help Kai, Gertie and Sal visit Goleta, who sends her snakes out to search the vast snake network for information on Kai's disappearance. After a long night of waiting, Virgil the Snake returns with the news that Kai has, indeed, been taken, and by none other than the world's most nefarious sorceress: The Snow Queen. 

Gertie and Sal go on a quest to rescue Kai. Along the way, they are captured (and then befriended) by Lou, the robber kid, who helps them talk their way into another circus where they plan to put Gertie up as a magic kid in an effort to tempt The Snow Queen's henchmen into kidnapping her, too.

But here, things go a little sideways. The henchman does show up, but in a surprising form, and Gertie does make it to The Snow Queen's camp, but she finds something very different there than what she was expecting.

In the end, Gertie learns that there's more than one way to be special and that even the most "unmagical" of us can make a difference in the world.

Marvelous is based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen.

If you're on the New Play Exchange, you can download the full text of Marvelous here.
 

24 Pictures of a Pilot


24 Pictures of a Pilot


24 Pictures of a Pilot

 24 Pics at BoxFest Detroit, August 2013

24 Pics at BoxFest Detroit, August 2013

10 minute
CAST: 1 man, 1 woman, 4 flexible

"A masterful example of a narrative's power to allure, betray, and seduce us." - From the preface to Manifesto Series, v.2

SYNOPSIS:
Through his front window, an agoraphobic man sees a beautiful woman drop a disposable camera, and decides to leave his apartment for the first time in two years in order to retrieve it. The journey across the street takes him somewhere unexpected.


24 Pictures of a Pilot premiered at Live Girls! Theater in Seattle, Washington in May, 2008. Director: Mike Lindgren. Cast: Lisa Confehr, Kelly Hyde, Eric Riedmann, Jonah Martin, Shermona Mitchell

SUBSEQUENT PRODUCTIONS:
BoxFest Detroit, August 2013, Directed by Sherrine Azab

AWARDS:
FINALIST: Heideman Award, National 10-Minute Play Contest, Actors Theatre of Louisville

PUBLICATIONS:
The full text of 24 Pictures of a Pilot is published in Rain City Projects' Manifesto v. 2, edited by Steven Dietz.

Alfred


Alfred


Alfred

 
 Amelia Meckler, Sam Read, and Wonder Russell in Alfred at 14/48: The World's Quickest Theatre Festival. Photo by Joe Iano.

Amelia Meckler, Sam Read, and Wonder Russell in Alfred at 14/48: The World's Quickest Theatre Festival. Photo by Joe Iano.


"My favorite show of the night was Holly Arsenault's Alfred." - Theatre uber fan Brett Love


A man, a woman, a bus stop, a bunch of knives, and infinite parallel universes

Alfred premiered at 14/48: The World's Quickest Theatre Festival at The Erickson Theatre in Seattle, Washington, June 2013. Director: Maria Glanz. Cast: Sam Read, Amelia Meckler, Wonder Russell

Read the complete text of Alfred here.

A Fish and a Bear in Purgatory


A Fish and a Bear in Purgatory


A Fish and a Bear in Purgatory

A Fish and a Bear in Purgatory premiered at 14/48: The World's Quickest Theatre Festival at The Erickson Theatre in Seattle, Washington, June 2013. Director: Deb Pralle. Cast: Mark Waldstein and Rebecca M. Davis

 Mark Waldstein and Rebecca M. Davis in  A Fish and a Bear in Purgatory  at 14/48: The World's Quickest Theatre Festival. Photo by Joe Iano.

Mark Waldstein and Rebecca M. Davis in A Fish and a Bear in Purgatory at 14/48: The World's Quickest Theatre Festival. Photo by Joe Iano.


"I also really liked A Fish and a Bear in Purgatory." - West Seattle Weisenheimer


A fish and a bear find themselves in death's waiting room: she ate him, he poisoned her. Can they work it out and patch things up?

Read the complete text of A Fish and a Bear in Purgatory here.

One-Minute Plays


One-Minute Plays


One Minute Plays

These two plays premiered at the 1st Seattle One-Minute Play Festival, May 10 & 11, 2014 in the Bullitt Cabaret at ACT Theatre in Seattle. Juice was directed by Jen Moon and featured Sarah Milici and Mahria Zook; Fortune was directed by Richard Ziman and featured Lisa Viertel, Jill Snyder Marr, and Frank Lawler. 

Copyright Holly Arsenault, 2013. All rights reserved. This text may not be reproduced or performed without explicit, written consent of the author.

Please direct inquiries to hollypla@gmail.com.

 Photo by Seth Tankus

Photo by Seth Tankus


Juice 
By Holly Arsenault

A bored juicemaker stands behind a counter, talking to a customer. Nothing in either character’s  tone or manner should indicate that anything in their conversation is out of the ordinary.

JUICER. Strawberry banana blast.

CUSTOMER. No.

JUICER. Marionberry peach-o-rama.

CUSTOMER. No.

JUICER. Blueberry hucklefest.

CUSTOMER. No.

JUICER. Pear passion picnic.

CUSTOMER. No.

JUICER. Wheatgrass melon finger.

CUSTOMER. No.

JUICER. Plum eyelash squid.

CUSTOMER. No.

JUICER. Peanut butter blood rash.

CUSTOMER. No.

JUICER. Amniotic apple crack.

CUSTOMER. No.

JUICER. Hotel hobo jelly.

CUSTOMER. No.

JUICER. Skintag piss shot.

CUSTOMER. No.

JUICER. Dandruff bile belch.

CUSTOMER. Tile?

JUICER. No, bile.

CUSTOMER. Oh. No.

JUICER. Mustard gas pickle mucous?

CUSTOMER. No.

JUICER. Bathwater vomit.

CUSTOMER. No.

JUICER. Band-aid bone shave.

CUSTOMER  (makes a ‘thinking about it’ face) Uh…no.

JUICER. Windex shit cum.

CUSTOMER. (positively) Hm.

JUICER. That one?

CUSTOMER. Uh…yeah.

JUICER. Sure.

THE END


Fortune
By Holly Arsenault

A city bus. A man sits on one end of a bench seat. A woman sits on the other end with a closed book on her lap. Between them sits a crazy lady. They all look forward. Whenever the CRAZY LADY says “you” she indicates with a slight head movement or other subtle gesture which of the two she is referring to.

THE CRAZY LADY. (Delivered rapidly and without pauses, in the manner of a mentally ill person talking to herself or an unseen other person.) You met on the bus. You were reading a book. You asked what the book was. You were annoyed that you were talking to you while you were reading. But then you saw a kind of dog that you like out the window and you looked at the dog too and said something nice about those kinds of dogs and you said something nice about them too and that is how you met. Later you had a baby and it was supposed to be a home birth but your water didn’t splash instead the fluid just leaked out of you for a few hours and then it was too late and you had to go to the hospital (the woman pulls the cord, the bell dings) and you felt bad you felt like a failure but you made you feel so much better even though you couldn’t really understand but still you tried and that is when you really fell in love with you and you thought it was scary that you had been together for so long and had a baby together but only just then fallen in love but oh well at least you were in love now and it’s good because you had this baby. (The woman stands to exit the bus) The baby grew up and found out a special gene that caused a rare disease that not that many people die from but enough people do and now nobody dies from that anymore because of your baby. (She exits.) 

NOTE: As the woman stands and exits the bus she pulls out her phone which we see is connected to ear buds in both ears. At the same time, the man pulls an iPod out of his pocket to switch songs and pushes back his hoodie and we see that he also had ear buds in both ears. 

THE END