Synopsis, Contents, Publication, Recommendations
Baker’s Dozen is a collection of 13 short comedies and dramas for 1, 2, or 3 actors. From a drama in which the same-sex partner and the homophobic sister of a dying man meet for the first time, to a comedy about a man summoning a demon on a dating app; from a monologue in which a man recalls the sexual abuse he suffered when he was thirteen, to the gentle humor of an older gay couple bickering about aging and flirtatious baristas—these pieces—and more—will tug at your heartstrings and tickle your funny bone. Most of all, they’ll remind you of the great variety of the gay experience.
The pieces in this collection may be produced individually or performed together as one evening of theater. Individual actors can appear in multiple plays and/or monologues. The actors who perform The Boys Across the Street and My Summer of Cypress Gardens should be White. Otherwise race/ethnicity is irrelevant. Set requirements for the plays are very minimal, at most a table and a couple of chairs. None of the monologues require any furniture.
Life Support (10-minute two-hander) The same-sex partner and the homophobic sister of a dying man meet for the first time in a hospital waiting room.
After It Stopped (5-minute monologue) A man recalls the sexual abuse he suffered when he was thirteen.
Feeling Devilish (6-minute two-hander) A man summons a demon on a dating app.
The Boys Across the Street (5-minute monologue) An older White woman discovers a mixed-race same-sex couple is moving into her neighborhood.
For a Man Your Age (10-minute two-hander) An older gay couple discuss aging, flirtatious baristas, and the National Geographic.
The First Time (5-minute monologue) A man who always thought he was straight fearfully questions his sexuality after an encounter in a public restroom.
What Happened This Time? (5-minute two-hander) A klutz’s failed attempt to take a box to the trash means a trip to the ER and the pet cemetery.
Dad & Uncle Mark (10-minute monologue) An older man remembers what he saw spying through a knothole when he was thirteen.
Marvin and the Muses (5-minute three-hander) A playwright fires his muse, but will her replacement be more distraction than inspiration?
Intestate (10-minute monologue) A 50-year-old gay man loses his partner and everything else to the COVID pandemic.
I Invited Your Mother for Thanksgiving (8-minute two hander) One half of a gay couple is not pleased to find out his estranged mother is coming for Thanksgiving.
My Summer of Cypress Gardens (10-minute monologue) A White man in his seventies recalls the childhood trip to Florida when for the first time he truly “saw” Black people and also experienced the beginnings of sexual awareness.
Guilt by Association (20-minute two-hander) A pleasant father-son evening turns serious when the son mentions his best friend is considering suicide because he is being bullied at school because he is gay..
Publication: Next Stage Press (July, 2023)
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM READERS ON NEW PLAY EXCHANGE
Evan Baughfman: “A terrific collection of shorts, full of great dialogue and powerful themes! A truly captivating mix of comedy and drama. Some pieces bring the laughs, while others deliver a bit of tragedy- but all stand on their own as stories worth telling. Overall, a work of art that educates as well as entertains!”
Jarred Corona: “The title isn't the only clever way this collection of shorts and monologues are arranged. Baker carefully crafts the order for moments of levity and hope to break up the pain and tragedy. Of course, it's that same lightness that makes the coming tragedies strike even harder. My favorite pieces would be "What Happened This Time?" and "Guilt by Association," the former of which serves as a light and funny midpoint and the latter which ties it all together, combining the tragic with hope, almost using that hope as both a dessert and a punch. An excellent collection.”
Peter Fenton: “I love the range in this collection from Donald E. Baker. Something very important about telling the stories of queer people—or people of any marginalized group, for that matter—is that we hold a range of experiences and stories. We are not a monolith, and neither is the Baker's Dozen. Baker displays quite a range of his own writing ability pulling together this collection of well-realized short plays and monologues, illustrating it all: some romantic, some tragic—all authentic. I'd love to see these pieces performed one after the other for a complete night of theater. Well done!”