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plays by Jennifer Maisel

Jennifer Maisel: Full-Length Plays

OUT OF ORBIT

Character Breakdown: 2M, 3F

Set/Technical: A unit set that can easily transform from Sara and Lis's house, to their car, to the locker room, to the lab, to Mars, with simple set pieces that won't interrupt the flow
Running Time: 2 hours with intermission

Awards:

Development:

More on OUT OF ORBIT:

http://www.jennifermaisel.com


 

Match

a work in progress

Character Breakdown: 3M, 2F

Set/Technical: Simple unit set
Running Time: 1hr 40

Awards:

Development:


 

THERE OR HERE


Illustration by Mark Symczak, Graphic Design by Martin Miller

Character Breakdown: 2M, 3F

Set/Technical: simple bare bones set, smooth transitions
Running Time: 100 minutes

Awards:

Production History:

Reviews:

Ms. Maisel has written a thought-provoking play that touches on reproductive yearnings, sexual desire, cultural imperialism and more. And Annie Meisels gives a convincing performance as the woman at the center of it all... this production by the Hypothetical Theater Company, directed by Amy Feinberg, is never less than engaging.

New York Times, Neil Genzlinger, NY TIMES

If Annie Hall, yearning to become a momma, had outsourced her pregnancy to India while slogging through chemo, she'd likely have resembled Robyn (Annie Meisels), the chatty, self-psychologizing darling of There or Here, the Hypothetical Theatre Company's dramedy of marriage, illness, culture clash, and transplanted zygotes. Like Annie, Meisels exudes an ineffable charm... On a beautiful set... director Amy Feinberg's ensemble... excels in delivering Maisel's humor...

The Village Voice, – Ruth McCann, VILLAGE VOICE

There or Here is the kind of theater I love to see... Funny. Dramatic. Intriguing... Jennifer Maisel's playwrighting is brilliant; an incredibly strong ensemble of actors... Amy Feinberg's direction is superb; her staging is flawless. Highly recommended. – THEATREISEASY.COM

THEATREISEASY.COM

The expressive Bedi shines, playing multiple customer-service characters, notably a hilariously inexperienced phone-sex operator.

TIME OUT NEW YORK

The play's characters – all portrayed strikingly well – achieve catharsis through... honest ethical complexity.

SHOW BUSINESS WEEKLY

In director Amy Feinberg's capable hands, the production looks elegant and the cast is confident. Annie Meisels and Alok Tewari anchor the story as the believable couple, Purva Bedi is thoroughly charming, especially as the ineffectual phone sex operator.

NYTHEATRE.COM, – Nancy Kim, NYTHEATRE.COM

. . . a fearless performance – NY PRESS

NY Press

Development:

More on THERE OR HERE:

http://www.hypotheticaltheatre.org


 

The Last Seder

Photo by Stan Barouh

From left - Jim Jorgensen, Carla Briscoe, Bernard Engel, Bill Hamlin,Halo Wines, Susan Rome and Kerri Rambow in Theatre J's production

Character Breakdown: 5M, 6F

Set/Technical: Unit set
Running Time: 1 hour and 35 minutes, no intermission

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Production History:

Reviews:

This is what theater is for. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. It makes you think. It makes you feel. It is a shared experience, with the entire audience coming together emotionally even though they sit in the dark without making eye contact with each other. It is the play, and the performances, that creates that emotional connection and that is the magic of live theater.

Potomac Stage

"The Last Seder is an engrossing play concerning an unusual family. Each has a story that leads to the Last Seder and how the family copes with the realities of their life. The eleven-member cast gives strong performances to this sensitive production which certainly merits your attention. SEE IT." -

WGMS Radio, Bob Davis

...would raise a lump in the roughest throat.

The Washington Post

The play has all the earmarks of greatness and showcases Maisel as an important new voice in American theater. Playwright Maisel has a lot of virtues going for her. The first is an astonishing gift for characterization. Each person in the large cast is unique and credible, including the cadres of partners the daughters bring along for the celebration. Maisel is also adept at plotting, able to weave together a fascinating human drama and a story that grips us, makes us laugh, and holds us completely in its grip from its amusing beginning until its lump-in-the-throat ending.

Windy City Times, Rick Reed

BEST BET! Jennifer Maisel's episodic allegory about the final Passover observance by a clan at the crossroads of dealing with Alzheimer's approaches its tear-jerking aims with delicate precision and punch. LOS ANGELES TIMES

LA Times

GO! Maisel skillfully maneuvers the drama beyond the tolls of the illness; in her conflicted characters, she also illuminates the contemporary woman’s struggle for love and identity. LA WEEKLY

LA WEEKLY

A marvelous cast, brilliantly directed by Joseph Megel, and one of the most unusual set designs (Adam Flemming) that I have ever seen, makes The Last Seder a highly recommended production - S

stagehappenings.com

WOW! Maisel's play achieves transcendental beauty. You don't have to be Jewish to fall in love with The Last Seder.

STAGESCENELA

CRITICS PICK! ...It's a funny and moving tale of a family whose members fight ferociously among themselves but close ranks when the chips are down. Joseph Megel directs with compassion and humor, deftly juggling multiple characters and plot lines on Adam Flemming's huge, handsome, semiabstract set. In an all-around splendid cast, O'Hara finds the steel as well as the anarchic wit of Lily, while Ruskin mines dark comedy from the confusions of a man whose memory is fast deserting him. Donovan captures the ache of a woman unwilling to relinquish the past, and Gault gives good-humored ironic edge to Luke, who's stuck organizing the Seder because nobody else is going to.

BACKSTAGE WEST

Development:


 

Birds

Character Breakdown: 2M, 3F

Set/Technical: Abstract, unit set that can be many venues

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Development:

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Mallbaby

Character Breakdown: 4M, 4F

Set/Technical: Unit Set with neon signage
Running Time: 100 minutes - no intermission

Development:


 

...And the Two Romeos

Character Breakdown: 3M, 2F

Set/Technical: All the actors play mulitple roles (there are twenty characters) except for the actress playing Stacy. Unit set of moonterrain and furniture that floats in and out to create various settings.
Running Time: Two Acts, about two hours with intermission. Dark and fastpaced.

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Mad Love


Elisa Donovan and Paul Beauvais in Mad Love

Character Breakdown: 4M, 3F

Set/Technical: Simple Unit Set
Running Time: About 90 minutes, no intermission

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Production History:

Reviews:

Playwright Jennifer Maisel refuses to deliver the standard sappy move-of-the-week study of a benighted oppressed person in her wonderful new play. Instead Ms. Maisel, addresses the complexity of sexual abuse by ironically examining its ripple effect. ...Maisel is shaping up as a sort of Daivd Lynch with estrogen. Just imagine what she'll do next...

The New York Law Journal, Rebecca L. Ford

Jennifer Maisel pushes the envelope with her new play, MAD LOVE. She has taken distrubing subject, such as insantiy, incest, sexual abuse, and suicide, and wrapped them all up in a brutally realistic play. The realism lies in the fact that Maisel has created well-rounded characters. No individual can be easily classified right or wrong, good or bad. Each live with their peccadilloes, obsessions, and neuroses and utilize sundry techniques in order to survive.

Punch In International Syndicate, Laurie Lawson

"Tell me a story." pleads the 13-year-old spotlit in the darkness in her ruffled nightgown. "I'm getting hard," pants her father in a parallel spotlight, moaning to her soft skin, her tits. Behind them, a woodchopper's ax falls in rhythmic crescendo. Blackout. The scene's a stunner and one of many in Jennifer Maisel's Mad Love.

The Village Voice

Development:

Honors:


 

Eden


Pamela Gordon and Alina Phelan in Theatre of NOTE's EDEN

Character Breakdown: 3M, 5F

Set/Technical: Simple multifunctional unit set with areas defined by sound and light
Running Time: 2 hours plus intermission

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Reviews:

An engaging drama about three best friends in crisis. Maisel’s writing shines.

LA Weekly

Jennifer Maisel is a playwright who trusts her audience. In EDEN at Theatre of NOTE, nothing is obvious, nothing is settled, nothing is told in prosaic expository form. But her stories are human and eternal, with archetypal characters living in mundane circumstances.

The Malibu Times, Dany Margolis

In "Eden," her ambitious and surreal play at Theatre of NOTE about the effect of AIDS on a trio of female friends, Jennifer Maisel evokes a fascinating millennial dreamscape of urban dread, psychic fragmentation and imperfect human connection. Maisel demonstrates a sure hand and a formidable flair for the mysterious.

Los Angeles Times

Development:


 

Dark Hours

JoAnn Carney

Robin Witt and Ed Vecan in Center Theater Ensemble's Dark Hours

Character Breakdown: 2M, 3F

Set/Technical: Minimal, Unit Set
Running Time: About two hours with intermission

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Reviews:

"Blinding one's protagonist so that he or she may see more clearly another's deep, inner beauty was the metaphor of choice for the ancient dramatists. But up-and-coming playwright Jennifer Maisel has intricately developed this theme to reveal contemporary insight and tortured sexual being...a seethingly sensual production.

New City, Chicago

Maisel knows how to map the realm of the senses...it's a cunning contrast - the artist trying to learn to trust again, matched with a possessed woman who wants him to rediscover his art through her. Maisel fully exploits the carnal possibilities.

Chicago Tribune, Lawrence Bommer

...a disturbing vision of Eros' dark side.

LA Weekly, Lovell Estell III

Development:


 

The Dybbuk

Character Breakdown: 13M, 8F

Set/Technical: Set/Technical –Multiple settings, flexible unit set, 3-piece instrumental ensemble (optional). Some actors play multiple roles and cross-gender is an option.
Running Time: 2 hours plus intermission

Production History:

Reviews:

“Beautifully composed, with moments of pristine lucidity – even brilliance.? – F. Kathleen Foley, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times, F. Kathleen foley

“[A] scintillating ghost story that dramatize[s] the tug between conscience and desire with a kind of lean, operatic theatricality that well defines that overused word, vision.?

LA Weekly, Stephen Leigh Morris

Honors:


 

Jennifer Maisel: One-Act Plays

Animal Dreams

Photo by Dany Margolies

Pamela Gordon in Animal Dreams

Character Breakdown: 1F

Set/Technical: simple bare bones set
Running Time: 30 minutes

Production History:

Reviews:

Playwright Jennifer Maisel has written two one-act plays designed to complement each other. Both showcase Maisel's love of words and her ability to slip poetic language into the language of the everyday… inventive and sophisticated…a provocative piece of expression.

Backstage West

Honors:


 

impenetrable

Photo by Dany Margolies

Patty Cornell and Eric Casenave in impenetrable

Character Breakdown: 2M, 2F

Set/Technical: Bare bones unit set
Running Time: 20-25 minutes

Production History:

Reviews:

Playwright Jennifer Maisel has written two one-act plays designed to complement each other. Both showcase Maisel's love of words and her ability to slip poetic language into the language of the everyday… inventive and sophisticated…a provocative piece of expression.

Backstage West


 

Mating Season

Character Breakdown: 2M, 2F

Set/Technical: Simple. Bed and chairs
Running Time: 15-20 minutes

Awards:


 

Wooden Horses

Character Breakdown: 2M

Set/Technical: Amusement Park detritus
Running Time: 30 minutes

Production History:


 

Jennifer Maisel: Ten-Minute Plays

soar

Character Breakdown: 1M, 1F

Set/Technical: kitchen (can just be kitchen table)
Running Time: 10 minutes

Production History:


 

Goody Fucking Two Shoes

Character Breakdown: 1M, 2F

Set/Technical: Minimal
Running Time: 10 minutes

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Production History:

Reviews:

Of the four pieces on the Ten-Minute Plays program, two stood out: Jennifer Maisel's "Goody F...ing Two Shoes," a brilliant little riff on Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" in which two high school girls compete for the attention of their drama teacher and only one knows the tricks of the trade -

Chicago Sun Times, Hedy Weiss

Goody Fucking Two Shoes by Jennifer Maisel was the best of the program, a modern-day parody of Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Two high school girls (Deanna McGovern and Megan Goodchild) compete for the leading role, emoting and overacting -- very much in the vein that the girls use in Miller's tale of manipulation and accusation in historic Salem, Mass. It was a clever riff on the original, especially enjoyable to anyone who remembers Miller's classic play. Grade: A-

Cincinnati City Beat, Rick Pender

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How I Learned to Spell

Character Breakdown: 1M, 2F

Set/Technical: Bare bones. Only props and a chair needed
Running Time: 10 minutes

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fissshhhh

Character Breakdown: 1M, 3F

Running Time: 10-15 minutes

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Objects Seen in Mirror are Closer than they Appear

Character Breakdown: 2M, 1F

Set/Technical: Simple. One fast food counter, some chairs
Running Time: 10 minutes

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Storyteller

Character Breakdown: 2M, 1F

Set/Technical: mirrored ball, music
Running Time: 10 minutes

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Open Season

Character Breakdown: 3M, 1F

Set/Technical: Simple, garden area
Running Time: 10 minutes


 

The Waiter

Character Breakdown: 1M, 2F

Production History:


 

Welcome to Nuclear Beach

Character Breakdown: 1M, 2F

Set/Technical: Minimal
Running Time: 10 minutes

Production History: