plays

Chickens in the Yard (70 minutes)
6 characters (usually 4 actors)
Chickens in the Yard tells the story of a family through the eyes of their four chickens. Set in Pittsburgh, this heartfelt play explores what a gay identity means for one couple, as they journey from the families that raised them to the family they choose to create together.
Sample of Chickens in the Yard

Driftless (100 minutes)
10 characters (usually 5 actors)
A young family sprouts from the hills of Southwestern Pennsylvania. A Catholic priest from Eastern Minnesota embeds himself in a new community. Guided by the science and wisdom of two saints, Driftless brings an ongoing debate into the heart of our family kitchens.
Sample of Driftless

Walldogs (50 minutes)
8 characters (usually 2 actors)
Walldogs weaves together four stories that explore this complex relationship between walls, symbols, and people.
Sample of Walldogs

Reasonable Assurance (30 minutes)
12 characters (between 6 and 12 actors)
Reasonable Assurance was devised in collaboration with a group of undergraduate students, local artists, and several adjunct faculty members over a four-week devised theater intensive. The process involved conversation, reading, and performance exercises related to student debt, college and university governance, and the experience of the adjunct instructor.
Full Script for Reasonable Assurance

Kiss (10 minutes)
2 characters
The world ends in ten minutes. Anna has just escaped the madness of the city. Henry clings to the only life he has known. Kiss in a new ten-minute play that asks what it's like to face the end of everything with a complete stranger?
Full Script of Kiss

Terms of Contract (10 minutes)
2 characters
In this sci-fi comedy, a gay man and a lesbian woman negotiate the most challenging terms of their contract on an isolated base.
Full Script of Terms of Contract

Queer Youth Plays
Each of the following plays was written in collaboration with the Dreams of Hope youth ensemble for queer and allied youth. Dreams of hope is a queer youth arts organization serving the LGBTQIA youth of the Pittsburgh area. Since 2012 I have worked with the group to create a new, full-length play each year. Content for the plays is generated through workshops, games, and responses to generative prompts. I bring this work together to create a full piece around topics of interest to the youth in the group.

Webs (90 minutes)
34 characters (at least 7 actors)
How do we make stories, and how do stories make us? Queer identified young people connect with each other online every day, a post, a story, a selfie, a song. Are they writing their own mythology? Dreams of Hope’s Webs weaves threads of storytelling from ancient Greece to tumblr to discover how we can grow from passive victims to heroic authors of our own mythology.
Full Script of Webs

The Lavender Spell (80 minutes)
10 characters (at least 10 actors, with room for many more actors as part of the "Fey")
The Fey, the world of the witches, is a world without bodies or divisions, without race, gender, or class. Powerful magic forces have torn a hole in the fabric of this world, leaving it vulnerable to the mortal realm. A young witch stands trial. Can they explain what led to this disaster, and why they cast the Lavender Spell? In this magical dramedy, a young witch and a high school GSA try to create a better world at the risk of destroying two. Can they learn the true cost of power before it's too late?
Full Script of The Lavender Spell

Before Pride  (50 minutes)
29 characters (at least 4 actors)
Before Pride was written collaboratively with Dreams of Hope's theatriQ Youth Ensemble.
This important story follows the personal and historical journeys we take as an LGBTQ community to arrive at Pride. Inspired by the ensemble’s interviews with community leaders in Pittsburgh, historical research, and our own experiences, Before Pride asks, “Where have we come from and where are we going?”
Full Script of Before Pride

Identity and Casting
I chose not to list specific identities next to the number of characters for each play. My hope is to encourage more critical thought about what identities are represented on stage, both in myself and with my collaborators. I hope to make many, varied casting choices possible for my work. Specifically, I want to encourage folks to employ the many talented actors whose identities are under-represented on American stages. A cast of all white, straight, cis-gender people should be questioned, just as any similar workplace should be questioned. If this means that certain text needs to be rewritten, I am excited to discuss that possibility. I can be reached at paulwkruse@gmail.com.