Saturday, June 20, 2009

Works By Martha Patterson

PUBLICATIONS

International Centre for Women Playwrights' Anthology of Mother/Daughter Monologues, 2010. Includes monologues by:

Fiona, NEW YORK'S FINEST (see below)
Mrs. Evans, FAMILY AFFAIRS (see below)
Jean, WHAT REMAINS (see below)


PLAYS

THE MAID'S DAY OFF - Inspired by Mick Jagger. Present-day, full-length comedy about Sophia, a young, struggling American actress shacking up with Nick, an aging, semi-retired English rock star in London. With booze flowing freely, their talk ranges from Shakespeare to interracial marriages, snooty shopkeepers, and Sophia’s career as an actress. Impatient with Sophia, Nick sends her packing. When they meet five years later in New York, Sophia is now a successful but troubled film star. Will they connect this time, or will their conversation revolve mostly around Nick’s obsession with losing his current maid?

FAMILY AFFAIRS - Dedicated to my parents. A two-act present-day farce. Mr. Evans collects junk he finds at yard sales and pays zero attention to his family. His wife entertains their boring neighbors and tries to rescue her daughter from a debilitating depression. Their son, Evan, a student with wild ambitions of becoming a writer, is engaged to an older woman, Marjorie, an OB/Gyn insanely bent on being a wife and mother. But Evan agonizes over his choice of a fiancee, and even his sister takes a dim view of Marjorie. Throughout the Christmas holidays the family fights and makes up, and fights again. Will Marjorie have the wedding of her dreams?

TALKING TO STRANGERS - Produced at the Harold Clurman Theatre Off-Off-Broadway, 1990s - a one act comedy set in New York City, about a young man and woman who meet by accident on a bench in Central Park. Anne’s boyfriend has just knocked her into a fountain and she enters dripping wet. At first put off by her openness, Harry, a friendly but quiet graphic artist, seeks to end the conversation quickly, but then finds Anne more interesting as she reveals her insecurities to him, and they develop a friendship through a long conversation about their jobs, love lives, dates with celebrity look-alikes, and loss of virginity. At the end of the play Harry invites Anne to spend the night on a sofa in his apartment, just to get away from her boyfriend – but will Anne accept his invitation?

NEW YORK'S FINEST - Produced at The Creative Place Theatre Off-Off-Broadway, 1990s - a one act comedy, taking place in New York City, about a young secretary who is living alone in Alphabet City, whose mother comes down from Boston frequently to visit her. The mother listens to all of Fiona’s complaints about her life on the Lower East Side, and tries to offer comfort, but it is the appearance of Steven, a police officer investigating a murder in Fiona’s building, that really excites sparks in Fiona. After they date for a while, and Steven solves the murder, and after a frustrating encounter Fiona has with her ex-boyfriend Derek, Fiona accepts Steven’s proposal to get married, and Fiona, her mother, and Steven go out for a drink to celebrate the happy occasion.

WHAT REMAINS - Produced at The Creative Place Theatre, Off-Off-Broadway, 1990s - At their summer cottage in coastal Maine, Jean tells her grown daughter Madeleine about an affair Madeleine’s proud, deceased, Irish-born father had, as Jean agonizes over the affair and the business of selling their vacation home. Through flashbacks, we see the disastrous result the affair had on Jean and Emlyn’s marriage. Meanwhile, the daughter, Madeleine, is trying to resolve her relationship with a young man she may marry. Will Jean and her daughter reconcile themselves to their sad past, and keep their beloved summer home?

LILY, OR, THE SILVER-TONGUED DEVIL - inspired by the novels of Edith Wharton, and the status of artists in the year 1900. Set in the year 1900, at the turn of the 20th century, a one act play about an actress who attempts suicide after being betrayed by her cruel lover. Committed to an asylum, Lily successfully recovers and begins writing novels. Lily's new lover Mark, a painter, also feels betrayed -- by the art world. Apparently moved by Lily's story, Mark convinces Lily that together they can overcome the trauma in their lives for a new chance at happiness. But is Mark all he seems to be?

AMANDA & MR. TARTABULL - Reading performed at Gaia Studios, Jersey City, New Jersey, October 2009. One act comedy about a stuffy 45-year-old banker living in a townhouse in New York in the year 1900, and his warm and lively housekeeper of two years, whom he invites to share dinner with him one evening while she is setting the table. Through a conversation about his dead wife, and Amanda’s lost opportunity of an engagement to be married, they learn more about each other, and at the end of dinner, after an unsuccessful attempt to seduce her into his “boudoir,” Mr. Tartabull finally proposes marriage to her. She is stunned and honored by his request, and accepts, and the evening ends with a kiss between the two.

ON THE QUEEN MARY - Comedy about a repressed 35-year-old spinster who is traveling on an ocean liner in the 1930s with her talkative mother, presumably to find a mate for Charlotte. They are seated at dinner with two priests. Owing to the mother, the conversation runs to “whom you would murder if you could,” and also to the subject of marriage. Charlotte, who is shy and quiet, is distasteful of such conversation, and says so, and her mother calls her a prude. Charlotte stalks out angrily at the end of dinner, but will she find love?

THE BIG HAT - Staged Reading performed at Arlington Center for the Arts, Massachusetts, 2000s - a comedy, set mostly in the 1980s, about a young Southern woman in her 30s whose sole ambition is to be a slut. Well, not exactly. Through a flashback to 1961 we see that Marnie, as a child, always wanted to be like her sexy long-lost aunt in the 1950s, who wore torpedo bras, open-toed shoes, big hats, lots of nail varnish, and always managed to find a man to take care of her. Through her eventual encounter with the aunt, the young woman realizes she can make a bit more of her life than just by “finding the right man.”

MAXANNE & HER DATES - About Internet dating. Just when Maxanne gives up looking for Mr. Right, he arrives serving coffee.

THESE PEOPLE - Melinda is a 50-year-old American woman living in an apartment in Boston. When her neighbor Sushila, a 25-year-old East Indian woman who works in business, gets locked out of her apartment down the hall, she knocks on Melinda’s door for help. Through their conversation, Melinda is enlightened about her own feelings of prejudice, as well as learning about generosity in a sexual encounter with the lonely young man who lives next door. But will these acquaintances become fast friends?

CATHERINE GETS A CAREER - When Catherine finds a job in publishing, she thinks she is set for life. But the gossipy business of sales support in the bookmaking world takes its toll, and by the time the entire department is laid off three months later, she wonders if she will remain friends with any of her contentious colleagues.

A CHRISTMAS KISS - What happens when two long-distance, platonic friends meet just before the holidays?

A KISS FROM ROME - The conversation gets heated when an agnostic American woman has a date with a very religious man from Italy.


Monologues:

CHRISTMAS MONOLOGUE

HANUKKAH MONOLOGUE


1-Page Plays:

FAMILY ACTS - Competition brews in a family where everyone is connected with the theatre.

FAMOUS SOME DAY: Two roommates debate over who should pay the electric bill.

***

ESSAYS:

SUPERNUMERARY - THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN EXTRA (About Working On a Movie Set)

A PUBLISHING WORKER BEE - (What's it like working at a place where the V.P. guzzles milk that employees have stashed in the kitchen fridge?)

MEETING ROCK STARS - (A Memoir About Encounters with Rock Stars in the 1980s)

ODE TO A GRECIAN JOURNEY (What happens when your traveling companions don't like you - and you don't much care for them, either?)

THE PADDLE (About Being Punished as a Child)

THRIFT SHOP VENTURE (Wherein I Try to Sell My Clothing Cast-Offs)

PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ (Where My Dad Kicks Me Out of My Home)

2 comments:

  1. Gorgeous site, Martha. Keep writing, girl!

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  2. Martha-- I went to Santorini, too, as part of a six week hostel/backpacking tour of Europe. (I travelled with a high school friend and we got along great, fortunately for me.) I wish I could remember *half* the details of that summer, as well as you recall your adventure! I enjoyed reading this.
    Laurie

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