Horton's Full Length Plays

These are my full length stage plays and musicals. Some are preceded by a detailed synopsis including plot, issues, theme and/or genre such as romantic comedy or political drama: all include character descriptions with gender and age range of actors required, technical resources needed for set, etc.


I'd like to encourage many to read Geralyn's "Under Siege" - it is an important, important piece of work, and challenges ALL. I tried once to hook it up with a college Theatre Dept - a great venue for it IMO, to no avail. I'd like to challenge someone to produce it. But please. Read this play. And THINK. It is why theatre is. --AN

All these plays are © copyrighted by G.L. Horton. Please Contact the author for permission to perform or to make any other use of any of these play. Be sure to mention the title of the play!

MUSICALS and Plays-with-or in-need-of Music

* Precious Bane is a musical-in-process. A collaboration with composer Miriam Raiken-Kolbon to adapt Mary Webb's 1926 novel, there's a song demo available and the show's progress will be chronicled on our Prcious-Bane Web Site (coming soon).

* Granny Wears Combat Boots Activist Grannies are the left's version of the Tea Party, free at last to act out the radical 60s idealism suppressed by the Reagan Revolution. Determined to inspire younger generations to organize, agitate, and vote the rightwing rascals out, neither illness, frailty, conflicted loyalties, threats, arrest or even death can daunt them. Political dramedy. 2 hours, 9 scenes. Includes agitprop skits and ditty singing. Cast of 7 women and 1 man, all in 60s or older. Workshopped with Shadowboxing at Boston Playwrights Theatre and at the 2009 ICWP Retreat at Ohio State University.

* Hawthorne's Ghosts The Perfect Marriage of the First Great American Novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne and his Muse and Helpmeet Sophia Peabody is the subject of this Operatic fantasy about a poet who has won a commission to collaborate on a Great American Opera. Set in and around the haunted Tanglewood building where the poet and the composer work. 2 acts. Cast: 10 women, 8 men, 20s through 50's. 2007 Libretto awaits a composer.

  See video of monologue from Intercourse, Ohio

* Boston's Brothers in Liberty Saga of Boston dock workers and the events leading up to the Boston Massacre in 1770, with hymns and popular songs from from the era. Historical musical. Two acts, two hours. Unit set of tavern with sleeping loft; some outdoor scenes on forestage. Cast of 1 Musician plus 5 women and 7 men, with some doubling. Inspired by Zinn's A People's History, begun in a Playwrights' Platform workshop run by La Mama's Ellen Stewart and rewritten at the ICWP Retreat at OSU in 2007, it needs more developmental work and musical arrangements.

* Modified Rapture Two divorced women, firm friends from the days when they were in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas at Girls' Latin, try to help each other flourish in the Church Basement G & S troupe where they perform and in their entanglement with the ill-matched men in their lives: Jane's Matt is 12 years older than Jane is, while Peggy's Tom is 12 years younger. Romantic comedy with music by A. Sullivan, 2 hours, multiple sets. Cast: 4 women ages 20 - 40, 2 men ages 27 and 51. Written and workshopped in the 1980s through Playwright's Platform, re-written in, 2005 and tentatively scheduled to be performed by an amateur G & S society in California next year.

PLAYS (without music)

* Spirit and Flesh Epic biography of Victoria Woodhull, the mesmerizing spiritualist and stockbroker who was the first woman to run for President of the United States— in 1872, on a platform of Equal Rights and Free Love. Vicky spent election night in jail, arrested for trying to vote for herself. Historical drama, researched and accepted as my Thesis Project for an MA in Women's Studies at Goddard/Cambridge in 1976. The play had a workshop production at Arlington St. Church in 1977, and in a Hoboken theatre in the 1980s. Two acts, unit set, two hours. Cast: 4-8 women and 3-7 men, ages 20's through 70's; with doubling.

  See video of monologue from Choices

* Choices - aka Under Siege Set in a Boston-area abortion clinic where bomb scares and death threats are part of a counselors' job description, the play charts the maturation of an idealistic young counselor who learns from her colleagues how to use humor to cope with the pain of unwanted pregnancies and the stress of being under siege by pro-life fanatics. Comedy/drama, two acts, unit set, two hours. Cast: 10-26 women, ages from teens to 50's (smaller roles may be tripled)Written in 1988 with the help of clinic workers who wanted their stories told and workshopped in the basement of Arlington St. Church with a diverse cast, it got a rave review in the Phoenix and small but enthusiastic audiences. Scheduled for development at the Sundance Lab in 1990 and for a premiere in LA by the Burbage Ensemble that fall, the Burbage production-- excellent in previews-- never opened. Subsequently the script had staged readings at Wisdom Bridge, Potomac Theater, San Francisco Dramarama, Rhode Island Playwrights, and Unicorn Theater, but the LA trip exhausted my vacation time and travel funds and I was unable to attend them. I--foolishly?-- turned down an NYC production because the theatre group had no African-American members. Character's speeches excerpted from this play are published in Ratliffe’s Millennium Monologues and students write me regularly to propose a production at their university-- but so far the only schools to mount it are Nebraska University at Wichita, and the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg.

* Intercourse, Ohio Semi-autobiographical comedy about a budding genius of a bookworm from Gray Center, Ohio, who enrolls at State College in 1959, eager to grapple with all the Great Eternal Questions, and to acquire carnal knowledge with then assistance of the Opposite Sex. Comedy, two acts, multiple sets. Cast: 5 women and 5 men ages teens through 50's. The script had a presentation at the Cleveland Public Theatre in 1996, and a very helpful workshop and staged reading at the Medford Library, directed by an MFA candidate at Boston University using BU student actors and supported by a grant from the Arts Council.

* Good Blood and High Standards An eighty year old Yankee patrician summons friends and family to celebrate the birth of a long desired first grandchild, the son of fiftyish John and his new young wife. John's older sister, Liz, considers that her own adopted daughter is at least as much the "first grandchild" as the new born "proof" of her brother's miraculous recovery from substance abuse and infertility, and that Good Blood is just one of the myths the Robber Barons use in their class warfare against the poor. Drama, 2 acts, simple single set. Cast: 3 women, 1 man. Workshopped with Eliza Wyatt and Amy Merrill at Unit II in 1992; rewrite had a reading by Monica Raymond's group at the Cambridge Library 2004.

hear monologue from this play on podcast* Partners Bart Mallory decides that his wife Terri's career should be the top priority for both of them, and brings all his charm and date-crunching talent to bear to serve as her career coach. If Terri zooms along on to the fast track, will Bart be left in the dust? Comedy, 2 acts, unit set. Cast: 2 women 30's, 1 man 30's, one 60's. Produced in Boston by June Judson at Theatre in Process 1983, by Onstage Atlanta 1984, and by Village Amateurs in England in 2007.

* Inquest Elaine skidded on rain-soaked Memorial Drive and her car went into the Charles River with her children in the back seat. She managed to save her daughter but her son Timmy drowned. Her husband Frank blames her, Timmy haunts her, as she struggles against guilt and grief for permission to heal. Tragic Ghost Story. Unit set. Cast 1, man 1 woman 30's or 40's. A 5 character version titled The River was an O'Neill finalist in 1977. A bare bones production at the Actor's Studio won a best actress citation for Renee Miller as Elaine. Rewritten as Inquest it was performed by students at the University of Galway in the 1990s, and had a NYC table reading at the Lark in 2003.

* Amazons A dedicated band of Goddess worshippers plans to rid the world of war and ecological disaster by eliminating the aggressive source of all its problems: men. Poetic Political Comedy. 2 acts. Single 2 level set. Cast 9 women, 4 men, 20's to late 60's. Based on my adventures as a grad student in Women's Studies at Goddard, the script was read and workshopped at the Arlington St. Church in the late 1970s and by the short-lived Theatre Nouveux at the Boston Center for the Arts. A rejection letter I got back from a Denver Theatre said "This play could set the Women's Liberation Movement back 100 years."

* The Prophet Freeman Still-current tale about the cult of a charismatic miracle-working man of the soil whose preaching inspires desperate Midwestern farmers faced with foreclosure to enlist in the Almighty's Patriot Army, where they plan to fight the banksters greed and the government's corruption. Mystery Drama, 2 acts, multiple set. Cast: 3 women, 4 men, mostly 30's. Workshopped with Eliza Wyatt and Amy Merrill and, directed by Victoria Marsh, produced by Unit II in Boston in 1991. Finalist for Midwest PlayLab, and the Texas Auggie contest.

* No Secrets, No Lies The World's Greatest Hacker takes on the military-industrial complex in the name of freedom. Should patents and copyright and encryption be outlawed? Should everyone's life be an open book? What happens when strangers with a malign agenda are able to edit it? Political Thriller, unit set. Cast: 6 men, 4 women, mostly 30's.

  See video of monologue from The T Show

* The T Show: Breaking In At the MBTA In 1977 the author entered the MBTA's first Affirmative Action job lottery, and won the opportunity to be a member of the first group of Lady Operators ever hired by the Boston transit system. It is difficult, in this 21st century, to imagine that a woman wearing a bus driver's uniform was a shocking sight just 25 years ago, but so it was. This show is a collage of the reactions to that one small step for womankind, in the form of skits and songs for a troupe of at least 4 men, 3 women, and a musician or two. Comedy with music, unit set. Cast: at least 4 men, 3 women, 20's-50's. The show got raves and was a STO hit for the People's Theatre in Cambridge in 1979, and was revived in 1980 when the People's submitted a grant to tour it to NE schools with an Equity cast. They got the grant, but the funding level was so far below the actual costs that the tour bankrupted and closed the 40 year old leftist community theatre. (It wasn't my fault! I donated the script, contributed a few hundred to the original production, and wasn't even consulted about the tour. On the plus side, 3 cast members went on to great careers at Trinity Rep.)

All these plays are © copyrighted by G.L. Horton. Please Contact the author for permission to perform or to make any other use of any of these plays. Be sure to mention the title of the play you want!


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