CHRISTOPHER CARTMILL

THE NEBRASKA DISPATCHES

Going home can be the greatest adventure, especially when you're not sure whose home it is. Christopher Cartmill & Christine Marie Brown's adaptation of Cartmill's Nebraska journal — a solo theatrical piece. Commissioned to write a play about the historic trial of Chief Standing Bear, a writer naively steps into the contemporary Native American world and the place he once called home. A personal, political and spiritual journey filled with humor, unlikely connections, almost Dickensian characters, a very small car and profound revelations about home and the power and responsibility of stories and the storyteller. (Solo performance)  AND THE MEMOIR WILL SOON BE PUBLISHED BY UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA PRESS!

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THE SPECTRE BRIDEGROOM

A very loose and comic telling of the European folktale that has fascinated writers from Perrault to Washington Irving, set in a haunted castle and a raucous rathskeller in Wurzburg. Louisa Katzenellenbogen is betrothed to a man she has never met but on the night before the wedding her intended, the Count von Altenburg is murdered in a duel at an inn. To the joy and amazement of all, he arrives in time for the nuptials — or at least three different men who claim to be him do. (two acts)

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Irving's THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW

A faithful and fun theatrical telling of Washington Irving's story. School teacher Ichabod Crane attempts to woo local beauty Katrina Van Tassel. Set against the backdrop of old Dutch life along the Hudson. With this work, Lincoln Southeast High School won the State One Act Festival in 2001. Now published by PLAYSCRIPTS, INC.

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THE APOTHEOSIS OF VACLAV DRDA

Joanna has turned 33 and has borrowed money from her parents to put on a play in a tatty walk-up theater in Manhattan. She has choosen an obscure Czech play (the only work by a Czech patriot named Vaclav Drda). Her inarticulate ex-boyfriend, Nick, is directing and has cast a slick up-and-coming actor named Gabriel to play opposite Joanna. Everything that can be is held together by Cecily the stagemanager (who also has to play part). And guy named Steve plays all the other characters. A play in one act (90 mins.).

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ROMEO'S DREAM

A wild ride through the dark labyrinth of a dark city. Ansel Kessel works in a music store on Auldslip Street with eccentric Gordon Kodály, whose jacket is covered with random, prophetic slips of paper. Everything changes the evening a man in a hat enters looking for the building next door. "There's a sense of chase and terror yet, at the same tame, there's flaming radiation of eroticism and desire, one finds in the cinema of Bunuel." (one act;100 mins.) *Roger L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays.

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THE CHOIR - a play with music

"Think of the beginning of things. Think of the reality of hope. Think of the possibllities. And then sing about them." Henry Golden takes us back thirty years to place that changed him forever — an old high school choir room. There we meet the diverse assortment that makes up the school's singing group as they prepare for the State Choir Competition. There also we meet an eccentric and extraordinary teacher, Claire Stivtik, from whom they learn to come together as one voice. The play was originally commissioned for the opening of the Jennifer L. Dorsey-Howley Center for the Performing Arts.

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THE FERRIS WHEEL SONG - a short film

Directed by Richard Jack and produced by Richard Ende, Cartmill writes and stars (with Joe Schulz) in a brief tale of a psychic, kids and a very high ferris wheel. An official selection in the 2009 Coney Island Film Festival.

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THE ROBBERS OF MADDERBLOOM - or What Does It Matter So Long As No One Gets Hurt?

In the picturesque village of Madderbloom everyone seems live by one simple rule, "What's mine is mine! What's yours is mine! If we ain't caught, we's made off fine." The village is in fear of a wicked highwayman known as . . . the Pug. A chest of jewels and such is stolen. Or, wait, make two chests. Nothing is as seems and no one is who they pretend to be — not Lucy Guttermouth, the maid; not Bob Gouge, the innkeeper; not Lady Holdings, not Captain Cudleigh or his ward Miss Lydia Guileless; not Crispus Frank; not Sir Benjamin Doller or the little amphibious creature, Nim. Even the play itself is a disguise. (two acts)

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BENJAMIN CONSTANT

Life in New York in the Age of Communication and the scramble for attention is exposed at an excessive and disasterous literary party. Literary agent Rosalind Amory is hosting an evening in celebration of the publication of Cindy Grendal's twelfth 'Fringolo, the Vampire' book. Rosalind's assistant Lily Silva must get the right color blue hydrangeas and make sure Carl, the Caterer, even remembered to bring food. Drama critic Alan van Zuylan is on the outs with his partner, Dr. Martin Rhys, and has brought his reluctant nephew, Samuel Hickson, along for the ride. Claudia Newel, the hardest working publicist and gossip in town arrives just before the elevator breaks down and just in time to see everybody break down. (90 mins.)

INCORRUPTIBLE - or the Life, Death and Dreams of Maximilien de Robespierre

An expansive, two-part ('On Innocence: 1789' and 'On Experience: 1794') epic exploring the rise and fall of the infamous French Revolutionary, from the idealism and grandeur of the Age of Reason to the violence and betrayal of the Reign of Terror. 16 actors play over 100 characters. With the music of Händel, Mozart, Fauré, etc. "At the beginning he is a righteously angry outsider who sees revolution as the only way to free society from the enslavement of a repressive church and monarchy. By the end, Robespierre has himself taken on, in an infinitely more virulent form, all the worst attributes of both priest and king. Because he [Robespierre] is unable to achieve the higher innocence of redemptive forgiveness, he is condemned to repeat rather than transcend the past, and the revolution is doomed to fratricidal violence and ultimate failure." (two parts, six acts) *Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Citation for Oustanding New Work.

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THE WAY HOME

The uncommon collection of people in a Midwestern boarding house in the early 1920's and a young woman's desire to find a home. Faith Kusmaresh has experience a life without a true. Haunted by her father, she sets out to build a life for herself. In the Caswell boarding house she meets grand and generous Emma Caswell and her polio-stricken son, Robby. The rest of the household is made up of others in search of a place to call there own; an elegant German refugee who must work as a janitor, a free-spirited Russian who wants the American Dream to come for free, and a woman for whom this is the first home she has ever known. (two acts)

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LA CHASSE - (The Hunt)

The beginnings of the relationship between the French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix and his distant cousin, Joséphine de Lavallette, baroness de Forget. It is Paris in the 1830's. The play is structured on the movements of a popular set dance of the early 19th century, the quadrille. Partners switch with grace but also with heart-breaking consquences. It is the Romantic dilemma that what most inspires us has the capability of destroying us. LA CHASSE is an exploration of Art, civilized society and our supressed animal natures. (two acts) *Los Angeles Drama-Logue Award for New Play.

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THE HAUNTED MAN

A very loose adaptation of the Charles Dickens' novella of the same name reset in Chicago in 1948. Professor Charles Latham is haunted by the ghosts of his past is finally offered the gift of forgetfulness. ". . . Cartmill has made some radical changes in adapting Dickens's run-of-the-mill novella . . ." (two acts)

LAWS - or the Light Before Darkness

The Light family struggles to survive the last days of the Civil War and end of innocence as Laws Light, the eldest son, faces the violence and betrayals of house divided. The first play, chronologically, in 'The Light Series.' The Light house is an impressive ediface in Richmond, Virginia during the last throes of the Confederacy. Rufus Light has done everything he can to protect the house and its contents. Hisson, Laws, believes in duty and the importants of honor. What are the costs of both? For themselves and those they love? (two acts)

LIGHT IN LOVE

Avowed liar Templeton Light (the youngest of the Light children) tells the story of his first love, an Irish girl he promises to marry and then presents to his wealthy and eccentric family, the Lights of Richmond, Virginia. One sometimes has to get lost in order to be found. (two acts) *Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Citation for Oustanding New Work and The Society of Midland Author's Award for Drama.

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LIGHT IN THE HEART OF THE DRAGON

Templeton Light becomes a missionary in order, truly, to make is fortune in the opium trade, but instead is confronted by the passionate faith of Chinese convert minister, Ming-shr Kuang. The fourth of 'The Light Series' and the second of the tales told from Tempy's point of view. The play utilizes the techniques and structures of the Chinese theater. Partly in Chinese. (two acts) *Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Citation nomination for Oustanding New Work and the John Schmitt Award for Outstanding New Work.

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THE LIGHTS OF LONDON - or The Slave of Fortune

Victorian London, Indian mysteries, and the Savoy Theatre of Sir Richard D'Oyly-Carte provide Templeton Light with escape from his difficult marriage to Elizabeth Sunderland. The third and last of Tempy's plays, Light is places in a guilded cage of London society. He escapes the watchful eyes of his wife and his manservant; the Sikh soldier, Ranjeet. He is pursued by an ambitious soprano from the D'Oly-Carte company and a mysterious Indian woman. Meanwhile his wife, Elizabeth, entertains the possibility of a dalliance all her own, with a dashing Captain of the Indian Service, Captain Darcy. Their affairs begin to intertwine and the plot becomes more and more like an operetta, singing and all. (two acts, with music)

LIGHT ON THE GOLDEN SLIPPER - or Lavinia's Story

Lavinia Light elopes with a dashing rancher's son to Hondo, Texas and finds, a treasure, a murderous Cajun widow, and a quick hand with a six shooter. There is no better American fairytale than the Western. In this, the fifth of "The Light Series" we follow the only Light daughter. Lavinia is a magical thinker and capable of bringing out the magic around her. If she's the Good Fairy, who's the Wicked Witch? The Big, Bad Wolf? The Frog Prince? Cinderella? Rapunzel? Prince Charming? Jack, the Giant Killer? (two acts).

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HISTORIOLA

An exploration of spirit, magic and the power of theatrical representation set in the dark chambers of an exotic Imperial palace. The Emperor cannot sleep at night and his followed by his court in his restless wanderings. Even the empress sadly cannot help. One night, they are met by a powerful wizard who passes through the walls of the palace. The Mage transforms them into a story that will illuminate the night and their hearts. (one act, 60 mins.)

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THE END OF . . .

Harried business Jeff Holst follows himself through an airport and discovers that it is all in the choices we make. Or is it? It's a morning like any other the busy Boston International Airport. Or is it? Jeff could go home and make up an argument with his wife. He could go on a business trip for a job he may be loosing. He could listen to the chatty woman next to him or he could get a breakfast borrito that he does really need. He could live his life or just go through the motions. (one act, 30 mins.)

SAINT GEORGE AND THE DRAGON

A verse telling of the famous tale based on fifteenth century painting by Bernardo Martorell in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Written orginally as a solo storytelling, the play is an expansion and playful telling of the ancient tale. The Libyan kingdom of Selena is harried by a dragon and its insatiable need for flesh. The Lord High Chancellor has convinced the king to decree that all children of the kingdom should enroll in a lottery to see who should be the next meal. The King doesn't count on the lot falling on his daughter, the Princess Elianna. But the dragon doesn't count on the arrival of soldier from far, far away. (one act, 30 mins.)

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THE PASSION

Written for the Gad's Hill Theater Company, based on the four Gospels and the scholarly work of Raymond E. Brown with original music by Bruce Saylor and Allison Sniffin. (one act, 90 mins.)

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THE FEAST OF ALEXANDER

A contemporary telling of the stories of Alexander the Great against the back-drop of the international business world of the 80's and 90's. Alex Sutton has graduated from a prestigious Eastern university with a group of ambitious and hard-partying friends. The murder of his father sets into motion Alexander's desire to succeed and the ultimate conquest in a time when there are no more world's to be won. (two acts)

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THE RESURRECTION PROJECT

Short works by Christopher Cartmill, Jane Gennaro, Adam Langer and Barbara Hammond. Christopher's piece, RESURRECTION PROJECT, is a series of episodes in the life a struggling city church — vandals in the sanctuary, a bride and her wedding planer; an art lecturer with a surly assistant; a fired minister giving his last serman; two morticians who've lost a casket, body and all, just before the funeral; a reunion of estranged brothers. Three actors perform these and more in this short work intended for performance in a church. (one act, 30 mins.)

Molière's TARTUFFE

A new verse and rhyming version of the Molière's masterpiece.

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Mozart's IMPRESARIO

A loose adaptation of Mozart's short theatrical comedy, commissioned by soprano Lynn Norris

Tennyson's IDYLLS OF THE KING

A theatrical adapation in five parts of Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poetic vision of the tales of King Arthur, Guinevere, and the Knights of the Round Table.

Tennyson's LANCELOT AND ELAINE

Based on the episode from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's IDYLLS OF THE KING.