MARLA AND HER PRAYERS – 3F 2M
“what could you forgive?”
Marla gets more prayers than she can handle as she confronts the teenage killer of her gay son, her born-again mother, a long-ago left-behind love, and her own stubborn demons. A darkly comic play in which music, grief, and impossible love give rise to a grace unexpected.
(Gulfshore Festival of New Plays, 2016. Winner Hotcity Greenhouse Festival June 2014. New Perspectives off-the-page workshop April 2014.)
EXPOSURE TIME - 2F 2M
In 1850s England, photography is a newfangled sensation. Is it art? Truth? A frivolous fad? In the historically factual yet playfully skewed world of Exposure Time, photographers Julia Margaret Cameron and Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) duke out these questions in front of Alice Liddell, heroine of Alice in Wonderland and cherished photographic subject of them both.
(NJ Repertory 2010, 2009 Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, upcoming Mendocino Theatre Company 2020)
FINDING CLAIRE – 4F
A wealthy New York City dancer seeks out her birth mother’s home. In rural poverty in upstate New York, her teenage half-sister is pregnant, and determined to give up her baby. Her mother’s determined to keep it. Her grandmother’s stuck in the middle.
(Theater for the New City 2005, Dramatist Play Service 2006)
SEX DEATH AND THE BEACH BABY -- 3M 2F
Clara returns to the Jersey shore where she was found as a newborn. A repressed memory comes with her--he looks like her dead brother-in-law but talks like a 1906 British officer killed in occupied Egypt. The arrival of a stranger who prays he’s Clara’s father spurs her to remember a truth of her past.
(Contemporary American Theater Festival Summer 2006)
CRIMINAL ACTS 3M 2F
Three New York City private high school seniors assault their poetry teacher and his wife in revenge for a failing grade. One of the students confesses the crime to the teacher, which raises unanswerable questions about culpability and consequence.
(Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey 2001, Pilgrim Project Grant 2001)
R U NOBODY 2? – 5F 5M
(co-created with Jill Campbell, Marya Cohn, Andrea Lepcio, Elysa Marden, Allyn Chandler)
"15-year old Emily gets cyber-bullied by her friends. When Emily Dickinson, not-yet-poet at 17, appears in her room, Emily knows it’s time to move offline."
A multi-media piece for teen-age actors about a 15-year old girl driven to the brink of suicide by a cyber-hoax.
(workshop presentation New Georges March 2012)
"look at that fish" photo. Marla and her
Prayers, New Perspectives 2014
friendly nyc quotes:
"....lovely, sensitive, engrossing....takes theatre goers along for the roller coaster ride...."
-NY Times 2005
"....Ms. Merrill achieves the almost impossible, mixing in some great humor while not losing the dramatic tension...."
-NY Times 2001