What Remains of Love
At the reading of her beloved father’s will, Kate, a divorced French professor, learns of his affair during World War II with a French artist named Emilie to whom he has left a substantial bequest. Kate, stunned to discover the existence of this woman who captivated her father, is determined to unravel the mystery of his past and unearth the truth. After the war had he abandoned passion for honor? Did he really love her mother, or was he compelled to marry her out of his sense of duty? How well did she really know her father? Or her mother? She embarks on a journey to the south of France to reconcile the past and confront her own demons, as well as the legacy of her father’s wartime love affair and the price he paid to live an honorable life. Kate’s life is changed forever…
Read a Q&A with Suzanne about What Remains of Love and more!
With Halloween just around the corner, Dodie O’Dell is making preparations to transform the Windjammer Restaurant on the Jersey Shore into a haunted house, while the Etonville Little Theatre is staging Dracula. But casting the titular Transylvanian is proving challenging. The amateur actors in the company are not shy about chewing the scenery, but who among them can convincingly sink their fangs into a victim’s neck? When a mysterious newcomer with a transfixing Eastern European accent lands the part, rumors that he might be an actual vampire start to take flight—not unlike the bat who’s recently been spotted in the town park.
But everyone’s blood really runs cold when a stranger is found in the cemetery with a real stake in his heart. Dodie decides to put her Halloween theme menu on the back burner and stick her neck out to bring the killer into the light of day. She’d better keep her wits about her, though—or Dodie may be the next one to go down for the Count . . .
No More Time
Restaurant manager Dodie O’Dell has found her niche in the cozy New Jersey town of Etonville, creating menus that make a delicious double-act with the community theater’s productions. Now she’s ready for a vacation at the Jersey Shore town she called home before a hurricane hit. Sun, salty air, and seagulls make for a nostalgic escape from regular life—until a contingent from Etonville arrives to compete in a Jersey Shore theater festival.
Roped into helping her former boss cater the event, Dodie also gets a visit from her old flame, Jackson, who’s hoping to revive his charter boat business and is looking for a place to crash. Before Dodie can tell him that ship has sailed, Jackson’s partner is found murdered on his boat. Dodie knows her ex is a mooch, but she’s sure he’s no killer. But as she follows a trail of evidence that leads into her own past, Dodie stumbles on a dangerous conspiracy theory that could bring the festival to a shocking finale…
Just in Time
Business is humming at Dodie O’Dell’s Windjammer Restaurant, where she offers theme menus connected to the Etonville Little Theatre’s amateur productions. This June, the theatre is collaborating with the neighboring Creston Players to stage Bye Bye Birdie under the stars—their first musical! There’s a contest in the play to pick a fan to receive rock idol Conrad Birdie’s last kiss before he ships off for the Army, so Dodie plans a contest to pick the food for a pre-show picnic.
But before the show opens, Ruby, the rehearsal accompanist, is found dead in her car. Why would anyone murder the crusty old gal who loved to sneak a smoke and a nip between wisecracks? Once again, the resourceful restaurant manager must play the part of amateur sleuth, accompanied by Police Chief Bill Thompson, who also happens to be her beau. Confronted with a chorus of suspects, she’ll need to stay composed to catch the killer—or it’ll be bye bye Dodie…
Running out of Time
Restaurant manager Dodie O’Dell’s themed food ideas have been called cute, clever, and delicious, but never revolutionary—until now. Dodie’s Windjammer Restaurant is stocking the Etonville Little Theatre’s concession stand with colonial-era desserts and drinks and a local playwright has adapted Thornton Wilder’s Our Town into Eton Town, shifting the story to colonial America and the founding of Etonville, New Jersey, shortly after the Revolutionary War. But on opening night, hours before the curtain rises, a stranger is found onstage with a knife in his chest. The theatre is now a crime scene and Dodie returns to the role of amateur sleuth to beat the backstage stabber to the punch—before someone else becomes history . . .
Dodie is at it again when the Etonville Little Theatre produces Arsenic and Old Lace and life imitates art. The guest director dies over a plate of knishes at Dodie’s1940s theme food festival. To save the reputation of the Windjammer restaurant, she sets to work, foils a dangerous plot, and saves Arsenic and Old Lace as well as her budding romance with Chief Thompson. By opening night Dodie’s ready for a time out!
Dodie O’Dell has moved to quiet, cozy Etonville, New Jersey to escape the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and start a new life as a restaurant manager. But mayhem erupts at the Etonville Little Theatre and a man is murdered, the hunky police chief is new to small town life, and Dodie must solve the mysteries before the show can go on!
Laws of the Universe
Astrophysicist Dr. Stella loves her work at the planetarium’s science education program teaching young students about the laws of the universe in fun and practical ways. However, a health crisis forces her to face her past, including her responsibility for the child she left behind years ago to further her career. When that abandoned child is hired as a visiting professor in environmental education, Stella is forced to confront the importance of exploring space versus saving the earth, as well as her own demons. Life on earth can be challenging for her. Keeping her head in the stars is more comfortable and fulfilling.
Laws of the Universe was developed at Luna Stage and the New Jersey Play Lab.
It was named a Semi-finalist in the Premiere Stages Play Festival.
It’s 1945 in the bar of the La Fonda Hotel, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, thirty miles from Los Alamos. People from the town meet to drink, gossip, and trade theories about the activity on the Hill, where the scientists of the Manhattan Project are developing the atom bomb. In the midst of the political turmoil, a young Los Alamos engineer falls in love and, torn by a battle between his patriotism and his conscience, is forced to confront a future that might threaten his family.
La Fonda was developed at Luna Stage and received public staged readings at the Jersey City Theatre Center, presented by Writers Theatre of New Jersey; at the Bickford Theatre presented by Luna Stage; at Nora’s Playhouse in NYC, and at the HRC Showcase Theatre in Hudson, NY.
La Fonda was named a Semi-finalist in the Premiere Stages Play Festival and a Semi-finalist in the Landing Theatre Company’s New American Voices Playwriting Festival.
iDream (with Eileen Trauth)
In iDream, three young women, Khadi, Theresa, and Amanda, confront their career options after high school. When they are encouraged by a dynamic teacher to explore the male-dominated field of computer technology, they begin to discover their places in the world, all the while struggling with the personal, family, and academic obstacles that might prevent them from following their dreams. Art and science converge in this highly topical exploration of career opportunities in the twenty-first century.
iDream was performed at Premiere Stages in New Jersey, at the State Theatre in State College, PA, and at the National Science Foundation Conference, Washington, D.C.
iDream was awarded Third Place in the Jackie White Memorial Playwriting Contest.
iDream was performed at the ACM SIGMIS conference in Nashville, Tennessee.
Funded in part by the National Science Foundation. For more information visit:
- Staged reading was held at the University of Dayton in 2016
- Staged readings will be held in Australia in the coming year presented by the Tech Girls Movement
Françoise Bollinger, eighty and ill with only a short time to live, is frightened to die with a terrible sin on her conscience. While grappling with her past to find forgiveness for her actions, she relives the summer of 1944 in France and remembers studying dance with one of Isadora Duncan’s protégées and falling in love with a German soldier. She struggles to navigate between past and present as a compassionate doctor and troubled granddaughter witness her search for redemption.
Françoise was developed at Luna Stage in New Jersey and received a staged reading by Nora’s Playhouse at the AIR Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, where Kathleen Chalfant read the title role.
Françoise was named a Finalist in NYC’s Boomerang Theatre First Flight New Play Festival, a Semi-Finalist in the Long Island Theatre Collective Contest, and was recently nominated for the Kilroy List.
In the summer of 1913, at Viareggio, Italy, Eleonora Duse, foremost actress of her day, invites Isadora Duncan, foremost dancer of her time, to recuperate following the deaths of Isadora’s two children. In the days following, these towering artists of the early twentieth century revisit their pasts and engage in a passionate contemplation of love, motherhood, and art. It would prove to be a transcendent time for both of them.
Midwives was developed at Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey Emerging Women Playwrights Program and received public staged readings at Playwrights Theatre of NJ and the Jersey City Theatre Center as part of the NJ Theatre Alliance Stages Festival.
Midwives was named a Finalist in the Boomerang Theatre Company’s FIRST FLIGHT New Play Festival
Katrina: the K Word (with Lisa S. Brenner)
Katrina: the K Word, based on interviews conducted with New Orleans’ residents in 2007, is inspired by true stories of individuals facing one of America’s most challenging crises. Both tragically heartbreaking and poignantly uplifting, Katrina: the K Word chronicles the journeys of New Orleans’ residents whose lives are forever changed. Some choose to wait out the storm; some can’t get out. Some create a new life elsewhere, while others return to help rebuild a broken city.
Produced by Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey and on campuses in thirteen states and the District of Columbia.
To honor the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Katrina: the K Word was produced at Augustana College, the University of San Diego, Walla Walla University, Texas Tech University, and Chapman University in 2015.
Published in Katrina on Stage: Five Plays (Northwestern University Press, 2011)
For more information visit: www.katrinathekword.com
In 1991, Charlotte Cranford travels to the Soviet Union to direct a production of Streetcar Named Desire with a Ukrainian cast. She battles the language barriers and cultural customs, finds herself in a love triangle, and struggles to get the show up, only to become enmeshed in the military coup that toppled the old order and changed the Cold War forever.
Rehearsing Desire had a staged reading by Nora’s Playhouse at the Actor’s Guild Hall in NYC and at Nora’s Salon South in Montgomery, Alabama.
Wrote and directed the short film…
After living for decades in New Jersey, a widowed Mona returns to Las Vegas, her childhood home. She moves in with her brother and decides to jumpstart her life and face past crises by restoring the family business. Meanwhile, Tony, her hairdresser employer, wants to block his memories of 9/11 and the loss of his partner and the life they shared in New York. Las Vegas is the perfect place to lose himself and move on. A jigsaw puzzle competition could be the answer to Mona’s dream and the glue that cements her relationship with Tony.
PF3 Film Festival – nominated for Best Short Narrative
NYPD homicide detective Cordelia Lear is back on the job, a year after her son was kidnapped and murdered. But going back to a life changed forever is never easy and she is unprepared for her first case – one of New York City’s elite has been murdered and the only witness may be his wife suffering from dementia. As secrets start to come out in the investigation, Cordelia must struggle not just to solve the case, but to try to hold the pieces of her fragile world and wounded soul together.
- Austin Film Festival Quarter-finalist
- Writer’s Network Competition Semi-finalist
- Winner Screenwriters OnLine Top Five Next Draft/Paramount Competition
- MORE Women in Film Screenplay Contest Quarter-finalist
Grace Dearborn has lived the life she thought she always wanted with a husband, a son and good friends. But when her husband leaves her for a younger woman, her best friend’s battle with cancer worsens and her son proves to be a disappointment, Grace is forced to reexamine everything she once took for granted and is led to question whether or not it is too late to live life on her own terms.
Award: Winner Screenwriters OnLine Top Five Next Draft Competition
It’s 2010, there is an African-American president, a stimulus package, and change is in the land. When she randomly points to Glenderville, Kansas on an old atlas, an out-of-work, feisty New York lesbian drives into the heartland of America and redefines diversity as “Victor/Victoria” meets “The Wizard of Oz.”
Katrina on Stage: Five Plays ed. (with Lisa S. Brenner)
(Northwestern University Press, 2011)
Katrina on Stage: Five Plays documents an unprecedented time in American history. This anthology of five plays gives artistic expression to Hurricane Katrina’s devastation, particularly at the level of individual lives forever altered, and tells the kinds of stories the news media could not. It explores the deeply rooted problems plaguing New Orleans and illuminates many social, political, and environmental issues central to American life.
Sonia Moore and American Acting Training (with Elizabeth C. Stroppel)
(Scarecrow Press, 2005)
The book illuminates Stanislavski protégée Sonia Moore’s life, texts, research, and teaching and provides artists and educators insight into Moore’s professional persona and the woman behind it.