Category: Plays (Page 2 of 4)

Times Change

By Bruce Shearer

Bob Dylan, musical legend and survivor
Fan, A music lover who may or may not be a journalist

The play is set in a backstage corridor.

A fan or journalist meets Bob Dylan in a backstage corridor and asks him a few questions.


 Fan: What was it about Donovan that so upset you, Bob?


Bob: Who are you?

Fan: I’m a fan.

Bob: Not from Rolling Stone?

Fan: We’re all rolling stones, Bob.

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The White Card by Claudia Rankine – A Conversational Review

By: AM Larks & AE Santana

Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, two plays, numerous video collaborations, and is the editor of several anthologies. Rankine has won the PEN Open Book Award and the PEN Literary Award, the NAACP Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for the National Book Award for her book Citizen. Rankine is the recipient of the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts, in addition to other honors and awards.

The White Card by Claudia Rankine is two-scene play that features one black character, Charlotte Cummings, a Yale MFA graduate and a highly successful contemporary artist; and four white characters: Charles Hamilton Spencer, a “well-respected philanthropist” and “lover of contemporary art,” his wife Virginia Compton Spencer, the Spencers’ son Alex Compton-Spencer, an activist who is “deeply involved in current American politics,” and Eric Schmidt, the Spencers’ trusted art dealer. The Spencers invite Charlotte over to dinner in an attempt to convince her to sell her art to them.

The Coachella Review contributors A.E. Santana and A.M. Larks reviewed this play in an interview style with questions, responses, and replies in order to capture the conversation that theater, and specifically The White Card, is meant to evoke.

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Schrödinger’s Gun

By Greg A. Smith

Roland – Male, Caucasian, Twenties
Freeman – Male, African-American, 50+
Griggs – Female, African-American, 25-40

A small, bare room. Modern day.

Production History:
Staged Reading – Itinerant Theatre, LA; 2017
Staged Reading – City Theatre, FL; 2018

City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting – 2018 Finalist


A small, bare room. A metal table in the center, a beaten-up briefcase laid flat on it. Two men sit either side – ROLAND (Caucasian) and FREEMAN (African-American). Both wear civilian clothes, FREEMAN open-carries a gun in a holster. ROLAND appears a little nervous, antsy.

A moment’s uneasy silence.

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See Rock City

By Kelli Lynn Woodend

Gayle, Female, 50s-60s
Gator, Male, 65+

All-you-can-eat buffet


At the KFC buffet, Gator is pleasantly surprised by a complete stranger’s generosity. What he doesn’t realize is that her gift isn’t at all what it seems.

GAYLE, a rugged, biker chic type stands at a KFC buffet table with a paper plate and plastic knife and spork.

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Toss of the Dice (Excerpt)

David L. Saffan


DOUG 20 years old, a college student

JEFF 20 years old, a college student

CHUCK 21 years old, a college student

STEVE 19 years old, a college student

HANK 21 years old, a college student

LINDA 20 years old, a college student, Doug’s girlfriend

GUNG-HO (JOHN) 20 years old, a college student

PLACE: The small off-campus apartment that Doug and Jeff share at a college in the Midwest

TIME: Monday night, December 1, 1969

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TCR Talks with Mart Kivastik


For a small country of 1.3 million people, Estonia has a rich and long-standing literary tradition based on centuries of folklore and lyric poems. The country is located on the Baltic Sea to the south of Finland and shares its eastern border with Russia.

At the end of World War II, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union, forcing many of the country’s authors and playwrights into exile. A select few remained in Estonia but found themselves constrained by Soviet censorship.

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Splinter (Excerpt)



REBECCA HELLER (30 years old.  Middle daughter, has anxiety.)

CATHERINE HELLER (50s/60s.  Mother.)

JACK HELLER (32 years old.  Oldest son, deadbeat “entrepreneur” living in Catherine’s basement.)

AUDREY HELLER (27 years old.  Youngest daughter, incredibly reliant on her boyfriend.)

KEITH BECKER (Late 20s-30s.  Audrey’s boyfriend.)

SETTING: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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TCR Talks with Min Kahng

By Grace Jasmine


Min Kahng is an inspiring and inclusive force in the San Francisco Bay area theater scene. The world premiere of his most recent play, The Four Immigrants (based on the historical, groundbreaking manga panel-drawn comic strip by Henry Kiyama), premiered at the innovative TheatreWorks, Silicon Valley, and won the Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Original Musical, the Edgerton New Play Award, and an NAMT Production Grant. The Four Immigrants chronicles the lives of four Japanese students as they immigrate to the California bay area.  Kahng has also been the recipient of the Titan Award for Playwrights.

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Still Hungry

By: Isaac Gomez

The back room of a large building that looks like it once could have been a Walmart but very much isn’t anymore.

Aracely holds a clipboard in her hand.
Bianca is distracted by something.

They are both drenched in sweat.

ARACELY: I hope that all made sense.

BIANCA: It did.

ARACELY: Okay. Great.





BIANCA: It’s hot.

ARACELY: It’s always hot.

BIANCA: Yeah but what they say, 107 today?

ARACELY: Something like that. It’s humid.

BIANCA: My sweat burns my eyes, are your eyes burning?


BIANCA: Why are my eyes burning?

ARACELY: Headbands help.

BIANCA: Headbands don’t work for me. Thick hair.

ARACELY: Sure, sure.

BIANCA: Why don’t y’all turn on the AC in here?

ARACELY: It’s broken.



ARACELY: Yeah. This place hasn’t been used in . . . I’m not really sure how long it’s been.

BIANCA: But what about the, uh. . .

ARACELY: There are box fans.

BIANCA: Enough for everyone? 

ARACELY: Just enough.

A moment.
It’s hotter in the back room than it is inside.

BIANCA: Oh. Okay.

ARACELY: Yeah. They’re fine. I promise.


ARACELY (CONT’D): Is there anything else I can help you with? Or . . .

BIANCA: Huh? Oh, no. I’m good. Thank you.

ARACELY: Sorry can I just— 






ARACELY: You just keep looking at me like—

BIANCA: What? Like what?

ARACELY: Like you have more questions.

BIANCA: Oh. Sorry. Sometimes when I’m thinking about, well, nothing really, it looks like I’m curious or something when I’m actually not, like I’m not actively thinking about anything I’m just—

ARACELY: Thinking?

BIANCA: Yeah. Just thinking.


ARACELY: Great. Well in that case, you can go now, bathrooms are /over there—

BIANCA: Did this place used to be a Walmart?

ARACELY: So you did have more questions—

BIANCA: I’m only asking ’cause it looks like a Walmart. /Like the colors of the walls and the size—it’s huge in here—I guess it makes sense that you’d put them in here, it’s just like Walmart . . . really?

ARACELY: Really? You think so? I think it looks more like a Target, or a Sears. Remember Montgomery Ward? Yeah, it’s definitely more of a Montgomery Ward. (beat) I didn’t put them in here.


ARACELY: You said it makes sense why I’d put them in here but I didn’t put them in here. Why would I do that, do I look like someone who would do that?

BIANCA: I don’t know.


ARACELY: Really? You don’t think so?

BIANCA: I don’t . . . I—

ARACELY: Okay then.

Aracely hands over her clipboard to Bianca.

BIANCA: What’s this?

ARACELY: Your new assignment.

Bianca flips through several hundred pages.

BIANCA: So many names.

ARACELY: Fifteen hundred. There are fifteen hundred names on that list.





ARACELY (CONT’D): You’ll start at the top. Every kid gets a check mark for every meal. One tray per kid. They’ll come back for more, but there’s only enough for one tray per kid, so.

BIANCA: What do you say if they ask for more?


BIANCA: I say no? 

ARACELY: Mm-hmm.

BIANCA: But what if they’re still hungry? They’re /kids.

ARACELY: They’re not kids. They’re young people. We prefer that language here.

BIANCA: Okay. . .

ARACELY: And you still say no. 


ARACELY: That’s right. No. It’s the same in every language—at least the ones spoken here—except that weird native thing. If that ever happens to you, just have the Guatemalans translate, they’re usually pretty good at that stuff. Any more questions?




Bianca flips through the pages.

BIANCA: It’s all boys’ names, are there only boys here?


BIANCA: But what about the girls, where’d they put the girls?

ARACELY: I don’t know. Not here.





ARACELY (CONT’D): Lunch is about to start, so you should probably make your way back inside.

BIANCA: (tender; gentle) I can’t just say no. . .

ARACELY: Listen. I get it. It’s hard. You want to help, that’s why you’re here, it’s awesome. #MeToo. But we just gotta do what they say, okay? Follow the list, check off your boxes, and you get to go home at the end of the day knowing you made a difference in somebody’s life.

BIANCA: It doesn’t feel that way.

ARACELY: They’re scared. But it helps them feel safe when the first person they see when they eat is someone who looks like us. Someone who looks like them.


BIANCA: Us? Looks like us? 

ARACELY: Mm-hmm. Hispanic.

BIANCA: I’m not Hispanic. I’m Mexican.

ARACELY: Okay, Mexican American, /sheesh sorry.

BIANCA: I didn’t say Mexican American. I said Mexican. I’m Mexican.

ARACELY: You from Mexico?

BIANCA: I’m from here.

ARACELY: Brownsville isn’t /Mexico.

BIANCA: Matamoros, Tamaulipas.

 ARACELY: Still not Mexico. That’s the border.

BIANCA: In Mexico.

ARACELY: Just cause it’s on the Mexican side, doesn’t make it Mexico.

BIANCA: Where are you from?

ARACELY: DF. México City. In México.

BIANCA: Of course you are.

ARACELY: Yeah. Of course I am.





“Cuán Lejos Voy” (the Spanish version of
“How Far I’ll Go”
from the Disney movie Moana)
can be heard playing in the near distance.

BIANCA: Is that. . .

ARACELY: It’s Moana night. 

BIANCA: But it’s in—

ARACELY: Spanish. You are correct.

A moment.
Then: Bianca slowly takes the papers out of the
clip board and starts to rip them into pieces.

ARACELY (CONT’D): Are you fucking CRAZY?!

Aracely tries to grab the sheets from Bianca,
but Bianca rips faster and faster.

BIANCA: Gimme those! 


Then, in a quickness, Bianca takes the strips of
paper and shoves them into her mouth.
She chews them and spits them out onto Aracely.

ARACELY (CONT’D): Oh my god, that’s disgusting! /You’re disgusting, do you know that?!

BIANCA: There! Now you won’t know, now nobody will know! There’s no way of knowing!

ARACELY: You think you’re so fucking smart.

Aracely pulls out a rubber stamp from her back pocket.

ARACELY (CONT’D): Rubber stamp. Permanent marker.


ARACELY: We’ve got backups for everything.




BIANCA: Who cares about FUCKING MOANA?!

ARACELY: They do, okay?! I do! Just because you don’t give a shit doesn’t mean these kids don’t deserve some normalcy /in their lives—

BIANCA: Normalcy?! You call this normalcy?!


BIANCA: Where are the girls.

ARACELY: These fifteen hundred kids? Most of their parents have already been sent back, the likeliness of reunification is slim to none—

BIANCA: Where are the girls?!

ARACELY: The least we can do is give them fucking MOANA in SPANISH so they can forget for a fucking minute where they are and why they’re here—


ARACELY: I DON’T KNOW! No one knows where the girls are, okay?! They just sent us here and asked us to be here and there weren’t any girls here and when I asked about them they told me to follow the check boxes and I checked for them myself and they weren’t here, okay, they just weren’t. (beat) I don’t know where the girls are. None of us do.





BIANCA: My mom hopped on a caravan with my little sister back home in this tiny town in Veracruz just outside Córdoba. It’s called La PatronaThere was about fifty or sixty migrants making their way north, escaping El Salvador, Honduras y Guatemala. There aren’t just Mexican kids here, you know. People think that, but it’s not true.

They hopped on the caravan because the trains stopped running in México and they knew that was the only way to get to me . . . Soon as they got here, they took my sister and sent my mom back . . . I’ve been looking for my sister ever since. I’ve been up and down the border and . . . I haven’t seen her or . . . any girls . . . anywhere.





ARACELY: I wish I knew where your sister was. But wherever she is . . . I’m sure she’s just fine.

BIANCA: Try telling my mom that.


BIANCA (CONT’D): What if she’s still hungry? Will they say no to her too?





ARACELY: I don’t know.

A moment. Moana’s “Cuán Lejos Voy” plays
louder and louder until it’s deafening.
It plays
and plays
and plays

End of play.

Isaac Gomez is a Chicago-based playwright originally from El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. His play La Ruta will be receiving its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company this fall. He is currently under commission from South Coast Repertory, the Goodman Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Theatre School at DePaul University, Writers Theater, Steep Theatre, and StepUp Chicago Playwrights. He is the recipient of the 2018 Dramatists Guild Lanford Wilson Award, an inaugural 3Arts “Make a Wave” grantee, a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, an Artistic Associate with Victory Gardens Theater, among other honors and artistic affiliations.

Lights in the Sky

By: Courtney Taylor

In Luis’ yard. LUIS and JACK, both seventeen, sit on lawn chairs at center. Behind Luis, on stage right, is a plastic flamingo. It is late at night in the summer. They sit looking up at the stars.

LUIS looks over at Jack, then looks away.
When Luis isn’t looking, JACK looks over at Luis.

After a moment, LUIS smacks a bug on his arm.

LUIS: Christ, the mosquitoes have been huge this summer.

JACK looks over lazily.

LUIS: My grandma said she thinks these are the biggest mosquitoes Florida’s ever had. I don’t know about that, but . . . You know. You never know.

JACK stares at him for a moment before starting to laugh.

LUIS: Are you laughing at me? Man, I’m trying to have a serious discussion.

JACK: That was, uh, that was really something. Thank you for that.

LUIS laughs.

LUIS: Screw you.

JACK: (squinting at the sky) You see anything tonight?

LUIS freezes.

LUIS: (slowly) Not really.

JACK: (rapidly) Me neither. And it’s a pretty clear night. I already checked about the chances of a thunderstorm or just like clouds in general—

LUIS: A meteorologist now. Add that to the list after UFO-specialist.

JACK: Should look good on the college app.

LUIS laughs.

JACK: (joking) You could put that on yours, too. We both saw the UFO, so. If I am, then so are you.

LUIS falls silent.
JACK looks up at the sky, impatient.

JACK: It’s like, the summer’s almost over. It’s stupid that we haven’t seen another UFO.

LUIS: I don’t know. I mean, we only saw one, it’s not like—I don’t know.

LUIS sits back in his chair, deflated a little.
He glances at Jack, trying to bring something up.

JACK: Yeah, but we’re out in your yard every night. I’ve spent all this time reading online about—

He sighs.

JACK: We should have seen something by now.


LUIS: Amara called last night.

JACK: What?

LUIS: I know. I was like. . .

He breaks off and laughs.

LUIS: Do you remember how mad she was after the UFO thing? I thought I’d never hear the end of it.

JACK: I remember.

LUIS: Between her and my mom, it was like . . . Shit. You know? I mean—

JACK: (scoffs) Yeah.

LUIS: Of course you know.


JACK: I think my leg’s falling asleep.

He gets up and begins pacing around.
While pacing, JACK looks over at Luis,
trying to bring
something up.

JACK: So, what’d she say then?

LUIS: (shook from his thoughts) What?

JACK: Amara. When she called.

LUIS: Oh. Oh, um, I don’t know. She wants to get back together, or something.

JACK stands by the plastic flamingo.

JACK: Are you going to?

LUIS: Well, my mom thinks I should.

JACK laughs.

JACK: She’s just glad you won’t be one of the alien freaks anymore.

LUIS laughs, turning to look at Jack.

LUIS: She’s never been so pissed at me in my entire life. (imitating her voice) Don’t go around telling people you saw a UFO, Luis. You think this is going to make you look smart? Everyone in this neighborhood is going to think you’re a complete fool.

He upsets himself as he speaks, slumping over in his chair.
JACK stops to look at him before he
continues pacing
the stage, crossing in front of Luis and staring up at the sky.

JACK: You know, I read last night—I was up till five, couldn’t even sleep, but like—did you know there was an alien sighting reported in Delaware this week? Like, what?

LUIS: Huh.

JACK: What even happens in Delaware?

LUIS: You were up till five?

JACK: Yeah. You know, I couldn’t . . . sleep.


In the silence, LUIS begins shifting positions in his chair:
putting his legs over one arm,
over the other, both feet on the seat.  

JACK is still pacing behind the chairs, trying to look casual.

JACK: Are you gonna do it?

LUIS: What?

JACK: (frustrated) Get back together with Amara.

LUIS: (defensive) I don’t know. I mean, she’s hot. You liked her at the beginning of the summer.

JACK: Yeah, we both did.

They look over at each other for a moment.

JACK: You wanna get something to eat? Like . . . call for a pizza, or something?

LUIS: I’m not really hungry.

JACK: Dude, you’re like, never really hungry anymore. (teasing) It’s really ruining the whole pizza and alien-hunting thing we’ve got going on.

LUIS grows silent. JACK looks over at him, confused.

JACK: Hey, Luis, it—it was just a joke. I was getting hungry, it’s not—you don’t have to get weird. You look kind of—

LUIS: (spitting it out) Jack, I don’t think we should do this anymore. Look for aliens and all that.

JACK stops in his tracks, stunned.
LUIS gets up, coming to meet Jack at center stage.

LUIS: Okay, don’t freak out.

JACK: What do you mean, don’t freak out? This is—this is what we—

He shakes his head, trying a different tactic.

JACK: Look, we’ve seen a UFO at this location before, right? So I’d bet—I bet we’re going to see one again tonight.

Frantic, JACK jumps up, standing on top of his chair.

LUIS: Jack, what are you doing?

JACK: Look, it’s gotta be tonight, I know it. There’s something about this spot—like the perfect altitude, the perfect—

He jumps off the chair, frenetic.
A light flashes in the sky. JACK freezes.

JACK: Did you see that?

LUIS: (exasperated) See what?

JACK nearly explodes.

JACK: The sky, are you really—there was a light, just now, in the—

He approaches Luis.

JACK: I don’t get it. Do you not want to see it, are you just fucking—

LUIS: Look, we’re almost out of high school, right? Just one more year and we’ll be, like, adults. You know what my mom says, we can’t be running around like—

JACK: Are you gonna listen to everything your mom says? Forever? And then you tell me I need to act like an adult.

LUIS: You know what, I can’t reason with you when you’re like this—

LUIS starts to walk off.

JACK: When I’m like what? When I don’t want to—hey, wait!

LUIS turns back.

LUIS: I already told you. We need to get our shit together, for once. We’ve been the weirdos at school our whole lives, and now we need to focus on—

JACK: The weirdos at school? Do you hear yourself?

JACK scoffs.

JACK: (with spite) Hey, what did your mom say that’s got you so scared you’re running back to Amara and turning your back on me?

LUIS: Turning my back on you? Do you hear yourself? All this over some stupid UFO bullshit—

JACK: I don’t understand what your problem is. You and I are excited about something for once, doing something important, together, and you’re just gonna—

LUIS: It was a light in the sky, that’s it, you douchebag. You don’t need to act like some drama—you know what? I’m out of here. Get your chair off my lawn. I’m going to Amara’s.

He turns, walking out in the direction of the plastic flamingo.

JACK: Yeah, okay, run back to Amara. That’s the kind of shit you always do when you get scared.

LUIS turns back slowly.

LUIS: When I get “scared?”

JACK picks up his chair.

JACK: I’ve been dicked around enough for one night. When you’re done acting like a little bitch, give me a call.

LUIS, ignited, grabs the plastic flamingo from the ground.

JACK: (tired) What are you doing, Luis?

LUIS: What exactly do you think I’m scared of, Jack?

JACK: I don’t want to do this.

LUIS: I’m not scared of you, if that’s what you’re trying to say.

LUIS approaches, holding the flamingo tight in his hand.

JACK: (slowly, with meaning) You know that’s not what I’m saying here.

LUIS: Put the chair down, Jack.

JACK: Are we really doing this?

LUIS holds the flamingo like a bat for a moment.

LUIS: You wanted a fight, you got one.

JACK: I don’t want a fight, asshole. I just wanted—I don’t know, I thought—

LUIS: Put the chair down and fight me, then.

He waves the flamingo menacingly.

JACK: Man, get a grip for a second. You really think you’re gonna hit me with—

LUIS: You want to be a man for once, instead of some stupid pussy who thinks he can just—

JACK drops the chair, charging Luis.

JACK: Fuck you!

LUIS swings the flamingo; JACK dodges.

JACK: You want to hit me, bash my brains in with a plastic flamingo, that’s fine—

LUIS swings; JACK dodges, grabbing the flamingo’s head.
A light flashes in the sky overhead.

JACK: But if you think that’s gonna solve all this, then you’re dead fucking wrong.

They struggle for a moment.
JACK yanks the flamingo out of his hands.
LUIS stares at
him, blankly, breathing heavy.

JACK: Are you done? Or should I start swinging now?

JACK looks down at the flamingo in his hands.

JACK: I can’t believe you just tried to hit me with your mom’s lawn flamingo.

LUIS looks up at him slowly, cautiously, before letting out a laugh.

LUIS: She would have killed me.

JACK: Yeah, she fucking would have.

They look at each other for a moment.
JACK sets the flamingo down gently in LUIS’ chair.

LUIS: Did you see a light just now?

JACK: What?

LUIS: Before, when we were . . . “fighting.”

JACK: Yeah, some fight.

LUIS: I thought I saw something. Could have been heat lightning, I guess.

JACK: Yeah, I guess.

JACK smacks a bug on his arm.

LUIS: Why’d you even like Amara at the beginning of the summer? You barely know her.

JACK: I don’t know. Because you did?

LUIS tenses.
JACK picks his chair back up, setting it up in its original spot.

JACK: She barely knows you, anyhow.


JACK: You’re not really gonna give up the UFO hunt, right?

LUIS chuckles.

LUIS: I don’t think I can now, you know? It’s what we do.

JACK looks up at Luis.
LUIS looks back up at the stars, turning away from Jack.

LUIS: I could have sworn I saw something, though.

Slowly, JACK walks over, standing next to Luis and staring ahead.

LUIS: (after a moment) I’m not really gonna call Amara, by the way.

JACK: Okay.


LUIS lets out a long breath.
Then, suddenly and loudly, he slaps a bug on his arm.

JACK: Christ.

LUIS: Just won’t leave me alone.

JACK laughs a little. LUIS smiles.

LUIS: (starting to move) I should put the flamingo back on the lawn before my mom—

JACK grabs his arm. LUIS turns.
They lock eyes, and JACK draws him in closer, then stops.


LUIS: (overwhelmed) I need to clean up the lawn, before. It’s the least I can do—

JACK pulls him in closer.
JACK looks at LUIS with intensity before glancing at the sky quickly.
He stops, his eyes widening. A spotlight falls upon them.

JACK: (looking at the sky in awe) Luis.

LUIS is gathering his courage, still looking at Jack.
He takes a breath. 
JACK turns to him, taking Luis’s cheeks in his hands.

It looks like they’re about to kiss when JACK
turns Luis’s head towards the sky.

LUIS looks up with a mixture of awe and fear.

JACK: We found it.

LUIS: Oh my god.

JACK: Just look, Luis. Look.

LUIS looks back at Jack.

Lights down.

End of play.

Courtney Taylor is a writer from Massapequa, New York. Lights in the Sky was first presented by Stony Brook University’s Theatre Arts Department and was originally produced by Stony Brook Pocket Theatre. Lights in the Sky has recently been produced by Stray Dog Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri, and by River’s Edge Arts Alliance in Hudson, Massachusetts. Courtney’s work has appeared in Weasel Press’s Vagabonds: Anthology of the Mad Ones, The Stony Brook Press, and The Shakespeare Standard.

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