The Earliest Plays I wrote date from my first years of college immediately after High School. Most of my earlier writings were originally influenced by the so-called existential writers of the day and the absurdists dramatists of the 50s and 60s Camus, Brecht, Sartre, Ionesco, and such.
My first published play came about when a friend pilfered one of my one-act plays, entitled, Are Those Real Flowers? Without my knowledge or consent, he caused it to be published in the Lutheran School of Theology Journal (out of Chicago). I was 23. Two other one act plays, somewhat in the same absurdist vein followed, They, and A Wall For Sale.
At about the age of 25, I wrote my first full length play, based on an ancient variant of the famous story of Oedipus, titled, Kreon , -- an obvious anti-war play, stimulated by American's horrible involvement in the mad Vietnam War, a war which divided families, including my own, and nearly caused a revolution here in the United States. Kreon continues to stimulate interest. A Wall For Sale enjoyed popularity among my circle. A renowned literary agent, Sylva Romano, at Allied Literary Company, wrote that "it impressed me but which is a difficult type of thing to place." I never tried.
The Middle Years, 1970s-1990 For this general period I have chosen the following plays, the first two are in verse:
Joseph & Asenath: Begun in the late 60s, early 70s, this play was conceived to deal with the matter of global starvation and terrorism. Stimulated by then current events and the works of Thomas Mann and also under the influence of Velikovsky I took to a poet's view of this, our own, mythic history faced with its own terrorism and natural disasters.
Somewhat the same, maybe said for another play of this era, Akhnaton: The Poet King which was performed in 1979 for the first time, and was published by me in 1987. Akhnaton is a verse operatic play in Fourteen Scenes (it was made into a Rock Opera)it, too, is informed by ancient history and the study of the rise and spread of ancient religions and their relevance for our own times.
Freud: What Ever Happened to Brother John. This play, based on decades of research, was written in the early part of 1982 or 1983. It is a drama about a very famous psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud, actually being a Serial Killer who killed first his Brother John. The key to unlocking Freud's confessions focused on a mad lover-Dr. Friend who was widely believed himself insane at the time by the medical community. A Gotcha kind of theatrics. -coming soon
Most Recent Works (1990 2010). In the last two decades, I spent most of my time in research and writing my verse play trilogy, The Lord Oxford Trilogy (Click To View Home Page). Oxford was the center, but not the only center, of my work as a poet & playwright in this period. Through the graces of my friend, Robert Treash, I had libraries (many more than one) at my disposal for researching and writingThe Lord Oxford Trilogy, about the premiere Lord of Queen Elizabeth's inner circle (Oxford's dates: 1550-1604). The trilogy is comprised of:
Qin Shi Huangdi Ti, like, The Lord Oxford Trilogy, is also a verse drama, but the Chinese history is, naturally, more written in the spirit of Chinese poetry appropriately so because the play itself is deeply founded on the historical records of Qin and his times as primarily portrayed by China's greatest historian, Szuma Chien, in his Records of the Historian of the Han Dynasty (145 B.C.)
Throne Room, Pharaoh in a dreamy mood gazes out the porticos, into the gardens and open fields.
So, too, this spring must end;
green things must yield to yellow,
to rusted rivers and summer's ash.
Soon hot-eye'd heaven
will net this land
in web-crusted fissures.
These present fields of food
now overample, rich, and season'd
shall soon endure with naked face
the desert blast
that fells all bloom-
the season's proud decline
shall perish precious in our sight.
Yet, how happy we have been
sign'd and center'd
in these rose-deep days
of rich black earth,
so brightly dressed in varied greens -
embroider'd in lilac, narcissus, too.
Yet now the living waters
and the fecund tide
of our once triumphant river,
delivered of its bankless bounty,
must shrink before the blazing eye
of summer's proud sterility
as season's fullness ripens to its ruin.
[An official clears his throat embarrassed by the
silence; Pharaoh, with change of pace, continues]
And now, to the season's tasks!
Our Harvest Festival needs name,
a glad date for weary souls to dream on
as we reap the abundance of our fame.
And that glad date, I'd gladly know.
Greetings, my lord, on this officious day.
Come, come, you've had enough of this
politics, pleadings, priestly reports.
And, I needs know from your advisors
when Sirius next comes to us-
Heaven's brightest star which horizons
so beautifully in the dawning light,
itself the summons to our belovd Sun.
Pray, tell, when shall it rise this year?-
This business of the calendars,
is frightfully confusing,
What auspicious day
will mark our Festival?