Works of Tom Jacobson

Los Angeles Theatre

* denotes unproduced

Apocrypha 

(3 women, 4 men) Within a framework of tragicomic realism, poetic visions of controversial passages of the New Testament Apocrypha come to life as an early Christian council debates which books to include in the Bible. *

The Bauhaus Project II: Dessau

(5 actors, any gender) Defunded by the city of Weimar, the Bauhaus moves to Dessau and becomes the most influential art school in history.

Diet of Worms

(5 women) Five medieval German nuns fight Martin Luther's Reformation by performing plays based on the Old and New Testament Apocrypha. A comedy that breaks taboos and religious relics.  

Hell Mouth

(1 woman, 2 men) Torn between his Midwestern parents and the Beverly Hills owners of an unknown Caravaggio Hanging of Judas, Tim rediscovers himself while making the art history discovery of the century. Imagine your own mother on the Worst Dressed Women List. *

Ill Will

 (2 women, 2 men) A strange and possibly malevolent last will and testament sends four grieving friends and relatives on a perilous journey inside themselves. *

The Lock of the Five Keys

 (2 men) An American professor disappears in India, leading to a search through history for a mysterious amulet that carries both a blessing and a curse. A play within a play within a play within a play within a play.*

Mexican Day 

(1 woman, 3 men)  In 1948 Hisaye Yamamoto puts her job at the Los Angeles Tribune on the line when she joins forces with Bayard Rustin to desegregate Bimini Baths.  Part of the trilogy The Ballad of Bimini Baths.  Available at Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

Ouroboros

(2 women, 3 men) Two American couples get caught in a chronological palindrome on a trip to Italy. Stigmata, alchemy, adultery and St. Catherine of Siena's severed head plague a nun and a minister in this circular love story that is a comedy if performed forward and a tragedy if performed backward. Winner of Best New Play and Production of the Year LA Weekly Awards.  Available at Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

Plunge

 (2 men) In 1916 an art historian takes the confession of a priest who drowned a boy.  But who is really committed the capital crime?  Part of the trilogy The Ballad of Bimini Baths.  Available at Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

Son of Othello

(2 women, 5 men) A modern African-American academic plunges into a 400 year-old intrigue when he finds a 16th-century Italian diary that mentions William Shakespeare. Monks, pirates, eunuchs and actors conspire to rewrite literary history.

Spontaneous Human Combustion

(1 woman, 3 men) At the dawn of Reagan's Morning in America, four college students seduce, betray and forgive each other in this gay comedy of bodily fluids that climaxes in the world's tackiest Dead Celebrities Party. *

Tainted Blood 

(3 women, 5 men) Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, and Arthur Conan Doyle use logic and religion to fend off a seductive vampire in this fang-in-cheek comedy/thriller. Pick of the Week in the LA Weekly, and winner of seven Valley Theatre League Awards.  Available at Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

Voice

 (3 women, 5 men, 1 boy) A stylized tale of a 17th-century Italian castrato singer's defiance of church and society in his struggle to marry the woman he loves. *

Battle Hymn

(3 women, 2 men) A realistic, darkly humorous drama set in an Oklahoma bowling alley (run by a charismatic Christian matron) during a dust storm. Paralleling the eternal conflict in the Middle East, a black woman fights to keep her white boyfriend from marrying a Lebanese singer. *

The Bauhaus Project III: Berlin

(3 women, 2 men) A realistic, darkly humorous drama set in an Oklahoma bowling alley (run by a charismatic Christian matron) during a dust storm. Paralleling the eternal conflict in the Middle East, a black woman fights to keep her white boyfriend from marrying a Lebanese singer. *

The Friendly Hour

(5 women) Based on the actual minutes of a womens club formed in rural South Dakota in 1934, this poignant comedy charts 70 years of personal and national history, from skinning skunks and julebukking in the 30s to restoring native prairie in the new millennium.  Available at Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

Hot Stones

(3 men) When Doug's wife sends him to a masseur, he goes on a dangerous journey of self-discovery into his own heart and soul. The strangest things go in in Doug's head during massage, but not nearly as strange as what the masseur is planning. *

Inherent Vice

 (4 women, 3 men; 1 set) Farcical furor breaks out during an exhibition of erotic art as a museum tries to woo a prudish donor. *

Los York

(3 men) UCLA or NYU? Seduction and betrayal or self-sacrificing love? Otis is stuck between two coasts and his two gay uncles, in the middle of an America living in terror. Choosing a grad school was never this hard. *

Mrs. Christmas

 (1 woman, 1 accompanist)  A singer pays tribute to her mother who was obsessed with Christmas.  A solo musical with 8 new Christmas carols! *

Pipestone

(3 women) A middle-aged woman struggles with her suspicion that her mother was murdered by her aunt. A comedy/drama with Jello. *

The Rosy Fingers of Dawn

 (2 women, 3 men) Not even the eruption of Mount Vesuvius can stop an inventive and theatrical Roman family from putting on their production of a lost Greek classic, Menander's Clytemnestra. The show must go on! Part of The Vesuvius Prophecies trilogy.*

Spareribs in the Material World 

(3 women, 3 men) A medieval vestment with mysterious powers may be the only way to defeat an evil Jesus in this intriguing tale of heresy and a love that will not die: the real story behind the extinction of the dinosaurs. *

Stereopticon

(2 women, 4 men) Spanning more than 30 years, this comedy-drama follows two life-paths of a woman who must decide whether to marry her fiancé after she finds out hes slept with men. A palindrome play with two endings and two beginnings. *

Tar

 (3 men)  In 1939 on the night Count Basie is the first black performer at the Palomar Ballroom, Zenobio and Amen are stuck at work cleaning up Donald, who almost died in the La Brea Tar Pits.  You haven’t lived till you’ve made a white man white again.  Part of the trilogy The Ballad of Bimini Baths.  Available at Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

Walking to Buchenwald  

 (1 woman, 1 man, 3 of either gender)  When Schiller and Arjay take Schiller’s parents to Europe, both couples learn what it means to be American in a world that no longer admires the U.S.  Guinea pigs playing cricket, dead bodies that talk, and an unexpected trip to a concentration camp lead to a shocking yet poignant conclusion.  Available at Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

The Bauhaus Project I: Weimar

(5 actors, any gender)  Five struggling Southern California art students create a dramatic presentation on the founding of the famous Bauhaus school in order to save themselves from being kicked out.

The Bell Witch 

(4 women, 6 men) The true story of the most famous poltergeist in American history; it terrorized a Tennessee farm family in 1820. Theatricality and psychological exploration combine to make this folk tale more than just a ghost story about the only poltergeist known to have committed murder. A musical, believe it or not!*

The Glory of Her Sex

 (4 women, 7 men, 1 man or woman) A comedy/drama about the true androgynous adventures of the Chevalier d'Eon de Beaumont, 17th-century Frenchman who was actually thrown in the Bastille for wearing men's clothing.

House of the Rising Son

(4 men) When Trent brings Felix home to New Orleans to meet his father and homophobic grandfather, the familys demons come slithering into the light. Watchful ghosts, sinister hustlers, and a myriad of parasites lead Felix on a Southern Gothic journey to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.  Available at Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

The Journeys of Yuzu

adapted from the ancient Pali manuscript (1 woman, 5 men) A young assassin seeks clues to his origin and discovers a secret that changes the world. Pure evil pursues impure good in this irreverent verse drama about the ultimate action hero. *

Man of Honor

book and lyrics by Tom Jacobson, music by Kelly Green (4 women, 4 men, 4 minimal sets) A gay Man of Honor sabotages his best friends wedding because he can't let her go. *

The Orange Grove 

(4 women, 5 men) A small Lutheran choir in its death-throes provides the backdrop for this Chekhovian warning of the impending doom of mainline Protestantism in America. Laughter through tears with nice lemon bars. Critics Choice in the Los Angeles Times.  Available at Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

Pishtaco 

(5 women or men)  A honeymoon in Peru is plagued with ghosts and monsters, including the fat-stealing Pishtaco.  Tourists from England, Australia and the US get far too involved with their attractive tour guide and pay the price of cultural imperialism in this nightmare comedy. *

The Secret Wives of Uncle Ho

(1 woman, 3 men)  A closeted journalist pretends to interview Ho Chi Minh in order to free a downed American pilot. *

Sperm

adapted from Jacques Miroir's 18th-century play (2 women, 5 men) Pulled from the stomach of a whale, an American whaler is bleached blind and becomes a modern Tiresias in the court of Louis XVI. He seduces Marie Antoinette and sets the king on a path to destroy France and ultimately humankind. A tragicomedy in rhymed couplets. Critics Choice in the Los Angeles Times.  Available at Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

Sweeter than Pussy 

(5 men) The Odyssey re-created in the sauna of a Koreatown gym. *

The Twentieth-Century Way 

(2 men) is the true story of two actors who hired themselves out to the Long Beach Police Department in 1914 to entrap "social vagrants" in public restrooms. Thirty-one men were arrested, and the ensuing scandal led to an ordinance against "oral sodomy" in California.  Available at Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.