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Jan Quackenbush

Jan Quackenbush has written twenty-eight produced plays (staged in eight countries including Europe and Asia and translated into four languages), fourteen short one-acts in enacted readings, four produced musicals (one, Raisin’ Cain, commissioned by the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis and another, Subclass Four Million: Serenades of the Southern Cross, showcased at the Banff Centre, Canada), and three screenplays.

In addition, Simeon in Memorium, a Vietnam era prose poem, is included with works by Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco in Signature 20 Anthology published by Calder & Boyars, Ltd, London.

Honors include the Los Angeles Dramalogue Award and a World Wildlife Fund International Play Competition for Play Extinct, premiered at The Young Vic Theatre, London.

He has worked and collaborated with multi-award winners Ellen Stewart, founder of La MaMa Theatre ETC, New York City; director Tom O’Horgan (Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar), New York; Frank Dunlop, London; novelist John C. Gardner, and an der westentasche theatre, Ulm, Germany.

He holds an MFA in Creative Writing (Playwriting) from Goddard College and teaches Playwriting in the MA/MFA Creative Writing program at Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA. Mr. Quackenbush’s work is archived by invitation at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.

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  • A Touch of Frost

    by Jan Quackenbush
    • 20 - 60 minutes
    • 2 Males, 1 Female Max/Min 3

    Simple Set

    In these three short comedies in one act, Wilford, from New York, finally realizes that his new neighbors–Mila, her son Klig, and husband Kulerie Klee–may not be from this planet but live on a farm next to Wilford’s newly purchased homestead – in Vermont! Their adjoining farms are separated only by a stone wall which is beginning to fall apart. What to do? Knock it down? Build it back? – and by what are they walling in and walling out?

    Small cast of 3; simple set: bare stage with a few rocks; downloadable PDF available; can be performed by high school, college, university students or groups. Excellent for touring to schools.

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  • I Love Jack Kerouac - Short Play Scripts for Seniors Cover Image

    I Love Jack Kerouac

    by Jan Quackenbush
    • 10 - 30 minutes
    • (Doubling Possible), 3+ Males 2+ Females Max 8+ Min 3

    Three short quirky Rom-Coms for senior performers by Jan Quackenbush. In the title play, a lonely waitress finds hope through a character strangely resembling Jack Kerouac.  In “A Rose, A Cane” an aging couple comes to terms with their declining years. In “Two Roads Diverge”, a Vermont farmer encounters life of the strangest kind during a chance meeting at a fence at his property’s fence line…


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  • A Cold Day in Hell - One Act Play - Book Cover

    A Cold Day in Hell

    by Jan Quackenbush
    • 50 Minutes
    • 1 Male 0 Female Max/Min 1

    Community, Simple Set, Touring

    A Cold Day in Hell portrays one man’s effort at resolving his despair at his dilemma of having a hospitalized, comatose wife, apparently with no hope of recovery, and grown children who seem to him to be self-absorbed and detached from his plight.
    A tour-de-force single-character play by author Jan Quackenbush, its actor, Michael Liscio was awarded a 1988 Los Angeles Dramalogue Award in a long-running production by the California Cottage Theatre, 1988-1991.

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  • Atttack at the Pierre Fontaine Play Script Cover Image

    Attack at the Pierre Fontaine

    by Jan Quackenbush
    • 45 Minutes
    • 2 Males, 4 Females, Max/Min 6

    In this one-act comedy for seniors, a group of long-time friends and residents of the Pierre Fontaine Hotel are alarmed by the increasing dangers in the outside world. One of their members has “news” of an imminent attack. Together, they try to plan a defense strategy (including duct tape?????) which will protect them all. This tongue-in-cheek play about genuine fears and foibles celebrates our mutual ingenuity, inexhaustible will to survive as shown by these urban senior citizens who daily live amid random acts of danger and destruction. Downloadable, printable PDF available.

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