In Development

The Surest Poison

Before CSI, there was Alexander Gettler, an obsessive chemist whose research helped create the modern field of forensic toxicology. Set against the backdrop of prohibition-era New York, THE SUREST POISON imagines his work through the eyes and typewriter of Lois Long, a flapper and intrepid reporter who wrote under the pen name Lipstick.

The Surest Poison is commissioned by EST/The Sloan Foundation.

Another Jungle

The audience has arrived at the theatre to see a show about the Chicago slaughterhouses – only to find that the play has been canceled. Instead, the writer is there to give a slideshow presentation about the history of the stockyards. In trying to explore her family’s Polish identity and the exploitation of stockyard workers, the writer unintentionally exposes a trauma from her own past. Inspired by Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, ANOTHER JUNGLE explores the misuse of power, the way narratives get co-opted, and the way identity accretes over the course of generations.

Another Jungle received a workshop at the Playwrights’ Center.

Strange Heart Beating

Teeny and Lena are best friends. They grew up together in a rural Minnesota town, dreaming of leaving for the big cities. But now they’re adults, and Teeny is the town sheriff and Lena is a newly-single mother. When the body of Lena’s daughter is found near the lake outside of town, their friendship is stretched to the breaking point. Part Garrison Keeler, part Shirley Jackson, STRANGE HEART BEATING is a darkly fantastical look at the rural Midwest, the murky nature of justice, and the prejudices about race and sexuality that lie just beneath the surface.