bekah brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter I care deeply. About a lot of things. Like really, really deep. Ow
playwright in brooklyn, NY
playwright in brooklyn, NY

Longish plays

Most scripts are totally available upon request.

GOING TO A PLACE WHERE YOU ALREADY ARE

Commissioned by South Coast Repertory, premiering there Spring 2016. Is there a heaven? Joe says no; it’s all a bunch of hokum. His wife, Roberta, has always claimed to agree. But lately she’s beginning to wonder, especially when they find themselves in church a lot, having reached the age when funerals are more frequent than weddings. Their granddaughter, Ellie, doesn’t have time in her own busy life to ponder the after-life. But when mortality confronts them, her grandmother’s claim to have gone to heaven and back doesn’t sound so crazy after all. With thoughtful storytelling and quiet wit, Brunstetter looks at beginnings, endings—and an enigmatic angel.

THE OREGON TRAIL

Jane’s trapped in her middle school computer lab playing “The Oregon Trail” for what feels like hours. The game becomes life and rips us back to the trail, 1848, where we travel in a covered wagon with Jane’s great great grandmother. As game moves us, back, forward and back again, Now-Jane’s and Then-Jane’s sadnesses are delicately  juxtaposed in this play-meets-video game about depression, Then and Now.

Little Man – developed in the writer’s group at Primary Stages. Howie, or Little Man, attends his High School reunion with his best friend Andy. He’s suppressed his tragic high school experience. After all, now he’s a millionaire. Little does Little Man know the truth and whiskey to be had at the convention hall as the evening and his memories unfold in this dark, funny play with nametags and karoake.

Hey Brother – currently being developed with the Playwright’s Realm. The vicious love/hate relationship between two brothers is put to the test when a mysterious Asian girl enters their lives  - with her eyes set on both.

House of Home – developed with the non-eq fellowship actors at the Williamstown Theater Festival, Summer 2010. Inspired by the true story of the tragedy of the Maxwell family murder / suicide, House of Home is a play for a large ensemble. Welcome to Campbell Hill’s annual Peanut Festival featuring live music, peanuts, and games!   A small Southern town forced to examine itself after a shocking tragedy, and must look to their faith and sense of community to carry on.  Our Town meets Krispy Kreme meets my brain.

Take her to See the Maco Lights, developed at Ryder farm. Tobacco land, North Carolina. A boy with a guitar , trapped, lurks near the abandon tracks, waiting for a glimpse of the infamous Maco ghost lights. 50 years earlier, he woos Mattie, his father’s beautiful young black receptionist. A play about tobacco money, love and ghosts, with music.

Be a Good Little Widow, commissioned by Ars Nova.

Young wife Melody has never been to a funeral – until her husband dies in a plane crash. Expected to instantly assume proper widowhood, Melody is left to wonder, what’s the right way to grieve? Fortunately, her mother-in-law is a professional. Widow, that is. Under her guidance, Melody must try her best to be a good little widow. A sad comedy about loss and longing.

Cutie and Bear, commissioned by the Roundabout Underground. Raleigh, North Carolina. Successful commercial real estate developer Henry has just survived prostate cancer and all of the sudden, his wonderful wife Gail seems cold and strange. Leigh Leigh hates her apartment and  her job. And what’s worse, Melissa, her best friend from high school, has moved back to town and is expert at making Leigh Leigh feel like her life is a mess, comparatively. Henry and Leigh Leigh make ‘an arrangement.’ An uncanny tale of uncanny love and the impulses we have, but would never follow. Or would we?

A Long and Happy Life, commissioned by Naked Angels. To premiere Spring 2011 at the Peter Jay Sharp.

When a tragic freak accident disrupts the promising life of the blissful Cass, the results travel like a shockwave through the halls of  her renovated brownstone and  Bedstuy high school where she volunteers. Suddenly Cass is forced to confront her fate and the scope of her fears while struggling to maintain relationships with both her new husband and her students. In this lively and thought-provoking tale of a seemingly perfect life suddenly confronted with reality, no one is safe from the randomness and chaos inherent in our world.

Oldies; Goodies

Miss Lilly Gets Boned (3M, 3W) Elephants and humans have cohabited for hundreds of years. One is big, the other is small, one peaceful, one violent. Miss Lilly, A Sunday School teacher, has been waiting patiently for God to drop a man in her lap. A new student comes to class – Jordan, a young Indian boy whose mother was recently killed by an elephant. When Jordan disturbs the harmony of her classroom – and his father disturbs the harmony of her heart – Miss Lilly must re-examine her faith.

Oohrah! (3 W, 3 M)  In Fayetteville, North Carolina, sits one of the South’s largest military bases. Practically everybody’s somebody is over there. Flight Attendant Abby has finally agreed to settle down with her thoroughly unmilitary fiancé. Her sister Sara is thrilled to have her own husband back home once and for all. But when a mysterious Marine shows up on Abby’s red-eye flight, all bets on stability are off. Oohrah! asks how we can remain true to ourselves when the pressures of domestic and military expectation threaten all.

I love you, I think (3-12 ladies)  An evening monologues about the oddities and awkwardness of love.

Le Fou (2 M, 6 W) – Paris, 1899. The bell epoch. A parlor in the first department store ever, where the ladies sit, mid- shopping, getting drunk, writing letters to their illicit lovers. Loves are lost and hearts are born as the delicious scandal  surrounding John Singer Sargent’s paiting of Madame X unfolds. Also, coming soon, Le Fou! The Musical!

Celebrity (4W, 2 M, ast. camera weilding gentlemen) A Brittney esque character looses her shiz after accidentally dropping her infant child, landing him in a coma. At the end of her rope, she shows up at the home of who she perceives to be her biggest fan – desperately in search of safety and normalcy. Paparazzi are hot on her trail, quickly showing up at the Hood River, Oregon house.  Once she learns that her son has died from his injuries, she threatens to kill herself on live TV. The question is – will anyone stop her?

To Nineveh (2F 5M)

God’s holy family on earth is threatened when its patriach is striken with prostate cancer for revealing the secret of his gifts to a sexy waitress, Delilah. The family must struggle through their own moral bewilderment and attempt to find their own path.

Fat Kids on Fire (6W, 2 M)  Bess, an awkward teenager, goes to fat camp and finds herself becoming just like those she hates. Also, a comedy!

I Used to Write on Walls (1M 6W) A young sexy stoner/surfer/philosopher, oblivious and Great In Bed, moves to the City to pursue his ‘rad, rad philosophical journey.’ Here, he simultaneously seduces a healthy handful of vulnerable women, only to abandon them all and return home to propose marriage to the love of his life: his 13 year old cousin.

Torch Number Two (3W 3M)

In Prague, 1969, Jan Pallach lits himself on fire in protest of Soviet reinvasion. After lighting fire to himself, he ran around Wenceslas Square for a near three minutes before someone could pin him down and put him out. He lived three days after without a face, and died a hero. Some 20 students followed suit, including a young man who called himself  ‘Torch Number Two.’ This young man lit himself on fire and died – immediately.  In Prague, 2005, a young, privileged American girl excapes her troubled past, seeking refuge in the mystery of unknown places and new friends. In August, 2004, hurricanes ravage the United States.
And it all somehow fits in one room.
In Prague.
And some people might turn in to dinosaurs.

You May Go Now
: A Marriage Play (2W 2M)

Dottie has trained Betty to be the perfect 1950′s housewife; She has the no-know to cook the perfect pot roast, to create a gorgeous seven layer cake, to remove any stain. And tonight, on her 18th birthday, it is time for her to go out into the world. Only Dottie has failed to mention that the year is 2007, that the world is a vast a complex place, and that there is a reason she cannot abide being called ‘mother.’ Ghosts from the past haunt the women and shatter their idyllic, if odd, existence. When a mysterious traveller is stranded at their home, he brings with him a revelation that forces Betty to choose between the love of her ‘Mother’ and her freedom and sanity. Inspired by the true story of Natascha Kampusch, an Austrian girl who recently escaped her captor, You May Go Now is an adult fairy tale about a ‘mother’ and ‘daughter’ whose love is as real as it is destructive.

Leviticus Tattoos (2W 2M) A troubled woman mourns the random murder of her brother, a missionary.

Gums (2W 1M)

It starts when the dentist gently kisses the little girl. When Lyda was young, she trained to be an competitive figure skater. But when a tragic accident abruptly curbs this dream, her angst translates itself into phantom mouth pains and hurls her into the seemingly sympathetic arms of her troubled, reserved dentist, Dr. Morgan.

Space (3w 3M)

Tim is the son of a Southern Senator leaving the privileged life in New York, spending his time perfecting his Myspace page. When his long term girlfriend him abandons him for being so stale, his actions thereafter  (a torrid cyber affair with a Lebanese orphan,  a saucy encounter with that hot girl from high school, news of an abortion) are discovered by his father’s political opponent, who spitefully Googles him. When Tim is cut off, he is left to his own devices, and is forced to re-examine his sense of love, morality, and the rest of the world..

Exit Plato (2W 2M)

Grace died in a house fire that her husband and daughter escaped. But they, as well as her delirious father (who enjoys conversations with invisible cats), still talk to her. She is not haunting them; rather, they will not let her go. The family is given one last chance to reconcile as the truth comes out about Grace as a living woman.


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