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Rare Birds

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ISBN: 978-0-8222-3756-3

Comedy
4m, 2f - 6 total
Flexible Set

THE STORY: Sixteen-year-old Evan Wills is an avid bird watcher who wears colorful songbird shirts to school despite the constant antagonism it brings him. Evan’s mother just wants Evan to be normal, and happy—and normal—and get along with her new boyfriend. While Evan summons the courage to talk to Jenny Monroe (whose locker is next to his), troubled bully Dylan has something darker in mind. After some stupid choices and unexpected results, Evan learns that the worst thing you can do in high school is admit you love something.

"RARE BIRDS proves that talent and skill can make an ‘issue’ piece a compelling work of art…What’s rare is Szymkowicz’s gift for naturalistic dialogue…After a sequence of smoothly escalating episodes of conflict and cruelty, gentle good humor mingles with nail-biting anxiety in the climactic sequence. We’re left shivering with angst, yet aware of the possibility that goodness can sometimes triumph…It’s a winner from start to finish.”

— BlogCritics.org

 

“RARE BIRDS may be about teenage bullying, but this play is anything but childish…[it] plumbs the depths of how cruel teenagers can be…RARE BIRDS is a story the world needs to hear.”

— Charged.fm

 

“[RARE BIRDS] is well written, with dark comedy, intense drama, and an intriguing plot arc. It sheds a harsh light on cyber-bullying…The main characters…are complex and believable, with deep inner lives…[RARE BIRDS] shares an important message through a heartfelt story that takes the audience on a memorable emotional journey.”

— Theatre Is Easy

Rare Birds by
 

Incendiary

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ISBN: 978-0-8814-5726-1

Comedy
3m, 4f (doubling, up to 15 actors) - 7 total
Minimal Set Requirements

THE STORY: Elise is a pyromaniac fire chief who falls in love with Jake, the detective investigating her fires. Carrie, Elise’s therapist, is trying to get her to stop lighting fires and Carrie’s husband, Gary, is leading the life of a somewhat ineffective corporate spy.

"Firefighting and fire starting get the noir-camp treatment in Adam Szymkowicz’s INCENDIARY, which tackles the whimsical dilemma of star-crossed lovers in the arsonist and arson-investigator fields … this nutty love triangle of boy, girl and inferno is charmingly original and genuinely suspenseful."

— Time Out Chicago

"Hilariously ornate in the best world-weary, film-noir fashion."

—Chicago Theater Beat

Incendiary by
 

Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood

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ISBN: 978-0-5737-0657-8

Adventure, Adaptations (Literature), Period
Ensemble cast, Non-Traditional casting, Cross gender casting, Reduced casting (Doubling Possible), Expandable casting, Multicultural casting
Flexible Set

THE STORY: A gender-bending, patriarchy-smashing, hilarious new take on the classic tale. Robin Hood is (and has always been) Maid Marian in disguise, and leads a motley group of Merry Men (few of whom are actually men) against the greedy Prince John. As the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, who will stand for the vulnerable if not Robin? What is the cost of revealing your true self in a time of trouble? Modern concerns and romantic entanglements clash on the battlefield and on the ramparts of Nottingham Castle. A play about selfishness and selflessness and love deferred and the fight. Always the fight. The fight must go on.

"a sheer comic delight. This gender-bending, myth-rending gallivant through Sherwood Forest and Prince John’s keep boasts the funniest and most appealing band of Merry Men you’re likely to meet in Manhattan.”

— Blogcritics

 

“a sweet farce.”

— Timeout New York

 

“the show thrives on its own playfulness and silly energy while still tying everything up at the end. Marian manages to present something important without taking itself too seriously – and that makes it all the more resonant. It doesn’t need to overstate anything. This is feminism in action (in all its beautiful, heroic glory).”

— Theatre Is Easy

 

“95 minutes of first-class writing, acting, and directing.”

— Show Showdown

“Adam Szymkowicz creates a rollicking, gender-bending romp that unveils the large and small ways leaders can inspire internal revolutions in those around them.”

— New York Theatre Review

Marian or the True Tale of Robin Hood by Adam Szymkowicz
 

Hearts Like Fists

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ISBN: 978-0-8222-2896-7

Comedy
2m, 5f (doubling) - 7 total
Flexible Set

THE STORY: Dr X is sneaking into people's apartments late at night and injecting lovers with a serum that stops their hearts. Lisa joins the Crimefighters, a group of crimefighting women, to stop him. Peter, a heart doctor, is trying to create an artificial heart that can be mass produced so no one will fear to sleep with their lovers again.

Critic's Pick: "hysterical... Hurting for a laugh? These Crimefighters should save the day."

— New York Times

"A fun, twisted exploration of what it means when someone Hulk-smashes your heart on the ground into a million pieces... It's goofy. It's absurd. But it hits hard where it counts–right in the ticker."

—The Village Voice

"It's hard to imagine a better night at the theater.... Like the best comic books, the story has a bright, action-packed surface with deeper complexities at work beneath. 'Hearts Like Fists' delivers an enviable double blow: humorous and profound at once, it demonstrates that the boundaries of what can be done with speculative storytelling onstage are limitless, and always have the capacity to astonish."

— i09

Clown Bar

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ISBN: 978-0-5737-0269-3

Dark Comedy
7m, 3f - 10 total

THE STORY: Long ago Happy left the Clown Bar and the organized clown crime world to work for the good guys. Now his junkie brother Timmy has been murdered and Happy returns to his old life to ask a few questions. But can he go home again without getting sucked into the seedy clown underbelly of vice and violence? Can he survive the gun toting clowns who used to be his friends or Blinky, the lady clown he left behind.

Critic's Pick; "Adam Szymkowicz's script is unabashedly silly but also shrewd, paying homage to film noir and pulp novels."

— New York Times

"Mr. Szymkowicz has created a new world out old parts, breeding a brand new species of creative animal. He is, in fact, making his own rules–and the pleasure of obeying them is all ours."

—New York Theatre

"Clown Bar does detective story spoofs one better by employing every single familiar crime-movie trope–brooding hero, crazy crime boss, conflicted gun moll, hooker with a heart of gold–and making them all... well, clowns. It's weird how well this works: playwright Adam Szymkowicz has combined two inherently ridiculous forms of entertainment and created a perfect storm of ridiculousness."

— Theater Is Easy

Pretty Theft

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ISBN: 978-0-573-69721-0

Drama
3m, 4f - 7 total

THE STORY: Pretty Theft is a play about ballerinas, boxes and the dangers of beauty. After losing her father, Allegra falls under the wing of bad girl Suzy, only to find an unexpected friendship with Joe, an autistic savant. When things take a violent turn, Allegra and Suzy escape cross country and befriend Marco, a mysterious thief who claims he cannot be caught.

“Disturbing but touching...Mr. Szymkowicz writes quirky plays about contemporary topics like online dating and gender roles, but there always seems to be something — a knife, a rope, a dead body — in an unexpected place. In Pretty Theft, the undercurrent of danger goes beyond quirkiness; it’s more subtle and ultimately more horrifying. The play takes place in a terrifying world where reckless people get hurt, and so do more or less innocent bystanders.”

—The New York Times

“Szymkowicz has not only taken the notion of theft and flipped it on its head — he’s taken a story about human beings at their worst and shown how we can claw our way back from the brink by finding the good within ourselves.”

—The Villager

“Adam Szymkowicz has written a play full of interesting people…The dialogue and humor in this play are excellent…It runs a lean, intermission-less 90 minutes and is very satisfying…This would be good theater for young women not only to see but also to perform.”

—NYTheatre.com

Nerve

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ISBN: 978-0-8222-2199-9

Dark Comedy
Full Length
1 m, 1 w - 2 total
Interior

THE STORY: NERVE is a dark comedy about falling into a relationship on the first date. Elliot has never had an online date before…at least not one that showed up. Susan has had far too many but would prefer not to discuss them. When they meet in a bar one night, all their personality flaws are revealed, along with a puppet, some modern dance and a desperation that may or may not be love.

"…sweet, sexy, neurotic friendly."

—NY Times

"…frequently laugh-out-loud funny, and in the end a neat little demonstration, if you needed one, of how much better live theatre can be than TV or movies when it comes to convincingly recreating human relationships in all their delicious complexity."

—Gothamist

"With NERVE, playwright Adam Szymkowicz ventures into the minefield that is online dating and emerges with a wickedly entertaining and darkly comic romance. Cyber-dating may be rife with tales of nightmarish encounters with neurotics and sociopaths, Szymkowicz seems to say, but don't sociopaths deserve love, too? Anyone who sees NERVE will be inclined to say yes."

—OffOffOnline.com

Food For Fish

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ISBN: 978-0-8222-2198-2

Comedy
Full Length
2 m, 4 w (doubling) - 6 total
Flexible Set

THE STORY: Bobbie drops the pages from his novel into the Hudson River. They tell the story of three sisters: Sylvia, a reporter, Barbara, an agoraphobe (played by a man in drag), and Alice, a scientist with a plan to isolate and eliminate the gene for love. The three sisters are going to have to bury their father—when they get around to it. His coffin has been sitting in the living room for a year now, and he's starting to smell. Meanwhile, Bobbie goes out each night kissing strangers, and Sylvia goes out each night looking for Bobbie. A story of unrequited love, missed connections and a novel in a bottle.

"…fabulously weird and weirdly fabulous…the reconsidered stereotypes and unexpected observations keep coming."

—NY Times

"…a smart, well-done play…Catch it before it's gone…"

—NYTheatre.com

Food for Fish
 

Deflowering Waldo

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ISBN: 978-0-8222-2136-4

Comedy
Full Length
2 m, 4 w - 6 total
Flexible Set

THE STORY: Waldo is having a bad day. He's afraid of crowds, spiders, skyscrapers, flowers, brown soap and sex. His father won't stop being Scottish. His therapist wants to seduce him. His ex-girlfriend could spontaneously combust at any moment. And the new woman in his life seems to want something else completely. Will he manage to find true love—or at least mow the lawn?

Deflowering Waldo
 

7 Ways to Say I Love You

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Comedy / Drama
Short Plays

5m, 8f – 2 either (3-15 actors possible: 2-10 f, 1-7 m)
Set Minimal

THE STORY: This collection of funny, sweet, silly, poignant and stylistically diverse short plays from New York favorite Adam Szymkowicz has something for everyone. From the awkwardness of asking out a pizza store clerk (Ambience Pizza), to a campy infidelity revenge comedy (Film Noir), to the couple destined to be together no matter the obstacles (John and April), this collection explores heart, grief, pain, and humor as the plays dance around the eternal human theme of love.

The Adventures of Super Margaret

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Comedy
A Play for Youth
5f , 16m either (8-30 actors possible: 5-27 f, 3-25 m)
Unit Set

THE STORY: Super Margaret is having a hard day. She has too much Geometry homework, and the prom queen and king have been kidnapped. If she doesn't rescue them from the Nefarious Evil Genius, who will? Certainly not her wanna be sidekick, Louis who won't stop following her and narrating her life. Certainly not Super Lee who is busy enough at Central High. It's hard to be both super powered and super smart.

 

The Why Overheard

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ISBN: 978-1-934962-80-0

Full Length
2 m, 4 w (doubling) - 6 total

THE STORY: An office comedy. Karen, the boss, hasn't been heard from for a while. In her absence, Nigel and Annie are waging an escalating office war. Alan and Sid are battling for Jessica's affections and building a glass ceiling. Sam is falling in love. Donald, the former office manager is loading a gun and plotting revenge. Karen is thinking of taking her dog and leaving forever. But first, she's going to sing a hobo song.

"... genuinely funny... It's a decent play that pushes against its own boundaries... weird but likable vision."

— New York Times

"... this highly praised young playwright continues to be someone to watch.... engaging, silly fun with a satisfyingly intelligent underpinning. Some of Szymkowicz's humor is low and some of it is slyly sophisticated, but all of it comes from well-observed human truths."

– Theatermania

"The Why Overhead entertains because of some fine and funny lines... in bursts of inspired dialogue and in soaring, silly monologues that are near-poetic comic riffs."

– Backstage

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