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©Copyright 2002-2008
[Shawn Nacol]
All rights reserved


There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.

- Red Smith

Under this page you'll find info about plays of mine that are out and about in the world. At any one time I can have as many as three projects in active rotation. While I'm submitting/hustling those scripts, I'm usually also writing anywhere from one to three others, unless I'm on deadline for someone. Between submitting to theatres and contests and festivals and conferences, the focus of interest in different scripts shifts constantly.

I grew up in theatre, extremely familiar with the headaches of production, so all my scripts require a single set and small cast. Staging a play is hard enough without asking for live puppies and a cast of 30. There's a reason it's called show business. Let TV and film have that stuff. The way I see it, theatrical professionals have a responsibility to fight the war on cliché. I don't watch TV, and I have no interest in sentimental twaddle onstage. Enough with the stagebound Movies-of-the-Week and Tarantino screenplays-in-mufti!  Don't join 'em, beat 'em!

Anyone who's seen any of my plays, even folks that didn't become fans, will tell you that the writing is smart and funny: weird-funny and laugh-out-loud-funny. The best stage conflicts occur when both characters are right. Comment-wise, people often single out my theatricality, the strong monologues, the memorable lines, striking characters, and the consequent surfeit of meaty roles for women. Not for nothing was I raised by a virago.

If you're curious, browse in the titles under PLAYS to the left or follow the links below. I put this page up to fill in gaps that may occur as a script is passed from hand to hand. This list isn't exhaustive. Every playwright has got old scripts that never need to see the light of day again. But this is an indicative sampling of the genres and topics that interest me, and a gauge of the directions in which I'm headed at the moment.

Each of the individual play pages includes a synopsis, a development history (including awards & quotes), related links and, if you're still curious, a booklist for each that explores the topics in greater depth. Where I've included synopses & sample scenes, these files are available as properly formatted PDF files for easy printing and perusal. Each file should open automatically when you click on the PDF link. If it does not, you can download the Adobe Acrobat Reader free by clicking on the Get Acrobat Reader button:

You can also click on the titles below to view each play's pages. Check it out...

an office plot about the power of art to change the world one mind at a time

Full length comedy:

1 woman & 1 man. Modern dress. Single set.

a neuropunk tour-de-farce about the outer limits of inner space

Full length comedy:

1 woman & 1 man (as 6 characters). postModern dress. Single set.

Drawing Monsters, a weird tale

a modern gothic about cleavage, carnage and the Queen of the Pulps

Full-length drama:

3 women. 2 men. Modern dress. Single set.

Trophy Wife, an extramarital affair

a dark screwball about altars and egos

Full length comedy:

3 women. 2 men. Modern dress. Single set.

a blunt drama about the school of hard knocks

Short drama:

2 men. Modern dress. Single set.

Slay Belles, a christmas stalking

a christmas stalking

Short drama:

2 women. 1 man. Modern dress. Single set.

After Ours, a light noir

a criminal comedy about mail order and unruly women

Full length comedy:

3 men. 2 women. Modern dress. Single set.

The Carnivorous Salon, a comedy without manners

an 18th century of the fever'd imagination. Eye for an eye. Truth for a truth.

Full length tragicomedy:

2 men. 4 women. Period dress. Single set.

One act plays and musicals written for theAtrainplays,

including Disorient Express and Surfin' Turf.

Art is important. Importance is not.

What we need in our works of art is more reality than real life itself can show... nature unfettered, exhilarated, in effect transformed... It is with fiction as with religion: it should present another world, and yet one to which we feel the tie.

Herman Melville

The Confidence-Man

Make 'em laugh, make 'em cry, make 'em wait.

Damon Runyon


My Script was a Teenage HO-Bag!
Last year, in the span of a week, I got a call from 3 directors, a West-coast acting guru, a well-known actress, and a manager who had heard about my various plays in various ways and managed to get hold of copies unbeknownst to me. One fellow had tracked me down through a 3 month old article about me that I'd never even seen. The article led him to a theatre down south that had done a reading, which led to the production staff, which led to the leading lady who knew the director who had my email address. I suddenly realized that scripts grow up damn fast: They turn adolescent; go out carousing and wander the streets, and if you don't keep an eye on them, they turn into juvenile delinquents... riding around in cars with felons, drinking Mad Dog and tipping port-o-potties. Hopefully, this site will help the scripts meet new folks in a friendly, organized  manner. That's what good parenting is about...

red blood cells


A glance at the list of currently successful plays will show that the public on the whole prefer to see extraordinary people on the stage rather than ordinary ones; fantastic situations rather then familiar, commonplace ones and actors of outsize personality and talent rather than accurately competent mediocrities.

Noel Coward

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