Promo: ‘Well Bred’ sketch to receive world premiere Oct. 4


Great news!

My short comedic sketch Well Bred will receive its world premiere Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015 as part of One Night Stand Theater’s One Night Stand’s Animal Kingdom evening of short plays and stories. The performance will be at the Vintage Theatre in Aurora at 7 pm.

savannah-625x450__big (1)A Pomeranian and a Golden Retriever go into a back yard to breed “Golderanians”. Their convoluted courtship will become the stuff of comic legend, at least among pooches.

This one is a bit risqué, but in a funny way. There’s a lot more going on than just puppy love. It’s a silly yet poignant canine seduction scene that includes nearly all of my favorite things: pooping, peeing, chasing, barking and making whoopie — and all in less than 10 minutes!

The performance date coincides with the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. This CAN’T be a coincidence! What greater way could there be to celebrate your love for animals, than to come see One Night Stand’s Animal Kingdom? Okay, maybe adopting a rescue pet is greater, but come see the play anyway!

This is my FOURTH short play to be performed by ONST, and the second world premiere. One Night Stand Theater offers a diverse collection of works every two months, based around a theme. They are huge supporters of new plays, and experimental works that might not otherwise see the spotlight. And their directors and cast are very respectful of the text. What more could a playwright want? Okay, a contract with a publisher. But still. They are awesome!

Well Bred was written specifically for ONST, but also is intended for presentation as a forensic duo competition piece.

If you would like to read Well Bred, CLICK HERE to request a free reading copy. (This FREE OFFER ends as soon as I sign a publication contract for the sketch.)


‘The Gingerbread Man Gets Schooled’ is now available through Eldridge Plays and Musicals


My new play The Gingerbread Man Gets Schooled has just been published by Eldridge Plays and Musicals.  (Click on either link above, or those throughout this post, for more information.)

Eldridge Plays and Musicals is a family-run publishing house that caters to the amateur theatrical needs of schools, churches, community theatres, and more. I have several shows with them, and am delighted that The Gingerbread Man Gets Schooled is now part of their catalog.

The Gingerbread Man Gets Schooled
Cast: 6 m, 7 w, additional cast possible
Script: 26 pages
The dashing, fleet-footed Gingerbread Man has gotten loose at Baker Street School, proud home of the Spatula Flippers. Now it’s up to a comical assortment of nerds and cheerleaders to put the bite on him. Principal Linzer Macaroon, cafeteria lady Muffin Topp and janitor Roland Butter enlist science teacher Newton Figg’s Mad Science Club and Lorna Doone’s pom squad to use their skills, talents and knowledge to capture the slick-sneakered cookie. This fast-paced show is filled with jokes, gags, slapstick humor, chases, and a riotous climax that will have audiences cheering. About 30 minutes.

This show is ideal for upper elementary and middle school-aged drama programs, though I think high school students who want to perform something silly, fast and light would have a lot of fun with this play.

Thank you, Eldridge Plays and Musicals, for supporting playwrights and serving the needs of educational, amateur and community theatres. And thank you for welcoming The Gingerbread Man Gets Schooled into your extensive and varied catalog.

Galleys and the final proof before publication

TypesettingIn the last week, I received galley proofs from two different publishers for a couple of my plays that are about to “go public.” Galleys are the camera-ready pages of the script. For playwrights, proofreading the galleys is the final step before the play goes to press.

Regardless of what the various how-to books say about script formatting, each publisher expects a play submission to be “clean copy.” No typos, misspellings, consistent use of capitalization, bold and italics, and style. Then, once they contract for the script, they change all the formatting to match their particular playbook style anyway. Every publisher I work with has a different way of including stage directions, light and sound cues, even how the characters are listed.

So no matter how clean your copy was, minor errors can find their way into the script. That’s why galley proofs are so important.

Often publishers make slight editorial changes. Occasionally an ambitious and misguided editor will try to re-write a portion (almost never improving it, in my opinion). If substantial changes are going to be made by the editor, the playwright should know about it BEFORE we get to the galley stage. Publishers owe it to the author to have first crack at anything larger than a very minor rewrite, cut, addition or change.

When the galleys arrive for final proofing, it’s all there, exactly as it will appear in the printed playbook. And the playwright gets to have one last look before saying goodbye. It feels a little like watching your child go off to her first day at school.

This is NOT a time for rewrites, revisions, or changes. That should all have taken place before the script was submitted. This is an opportunity to give the copy a final proofreading, and to note any changes the publisher/editor has made.

Back in the days of typesetting, making changes to a camera-ready galley was a real headache. But even today when everything is digital, altering a script at this point in the pipeline is annoying and troublesome. Publishers want a perfect script as much as a playwright. But suggesting changes beyond legitimate typographical corrections can have unfortunate consequences.

No playwright can afford to act like a “diva” and make demands. We don’t have the right to change our minds or offer new ideas. Not at this stage of the game. And if a playwright delays the galley process (I guarantee a 24-hour turnaround), you create a bottleneck in the publishing pipeline. And guess which project will get pulled out to make way for the others?

Publishers have deadlines. They have catalogs to ship and marketing calendars. The sooner your script gets past the galley proof stage and into print, the sooner you will start making money.

Don’t keep publishers waiting. In almost every case, they are busier than you. Don’t try and rewrite your play after you’ve signed the contract. Be grateful to have a chance for one last look at the script before it goes out into the world.

Then look forward to receiving your “reading copies” in the mail!

After that, your script is reduced to a line item on a royalty statement.

Unless you create your own marketing plan.

‘Peacemaker’ receives its world premiere with ‘One Night Stand in the Wild West’, Aug. 2 at the Vintage Theatre, Aurora


Join the One Night Stand ensemble as they ride into town with an evening of tall tales, short stories, and wild and wooly plays about the Old West, Colorado history, and the American frontier. One Night Stand in the Wild West will be performed one night only, Sunday, Aug. 2 at the Vintage Theatre in Aurora.

My seven-minute, two-character sketch Peacemaker receives its world premiere in this production.

Here’s the line-up:

  • Looks are deceiving for a Wild West legend in Calamity at the Mountain Boys Saloon by D.J. Jones.
  • The Battle of the Little Bighorn springs to life for modern-day park rangers in Custer’s Grave by Tami Canaday.
  • Selecting the right weapon to take down a romantic rival proves an arduous task for a lovesick teenager in Peacemaker by Patrick Dorn.
  • A man who’s got nothing meets a man out of time in Lost by J. Jackson.
  • A cutlass-wielding burglar in 1890s Denver regrets his fowl accomplice in Robber Sly by Edwin Forest Ward.
  • A young man with a horrible secret takes Ulysses S. Grant on a wild stagecoach ride in Silverheels and an adopted Native American girl discovers her tragic heritage in Sand Creek by Steve Hunter.
  • Learn the rules of the road from Stagecoach Billy by Marcus France.
  • Discover the final resting place of the Old West in Boot Hill to Goodnight, Texas by Linda Berry.

“This production gives us an opportunity to see local playwrights and writers tackle the themes of our frontier past,” says James O’Leary, One Night Stand Theater’s artistic director. “These plays and stories show both the comic and dark aspects of the Wild West, and we’ll feature a couple of cowboy songs that evening as well.”

The Vintage Theatre is located at 1468 Dayton St., Aurora, CO 80010 (1/2 block south of Colfax in Old Downtown Aurora). Tickets are $10.

Pioneer Drama Service to publish ‘Robin Hood: Naught in Nottingham’

Last week my son and playwriting partner Jacob and I signed contracts with Pioneer Drama Service for our comedy spoof Robin Hood: Naught in Nottingham.

LJ and RHThe play was originally written for the Developmental Disabilities Resource Center’s production last fall, and then re-tooled for upper-elementary/middle school performances.

With a quiver-full of gags, slapstick humor and hilarious anachronisms, this is a Robin Hood like you’ve never seen him — or rather HER — before! The vain and pompous Prince John squeezes the simple folk of Nottingham’s purses by raising taxes and ordering the Sheriff to set up a speed trap. Robin and her band of outlaws, including panini-craving Friar Tuck, sensitive giant Little John, girly-girl Maid Marian and wise-cracking Nurse Betty, wandering minstrel Alan a Dale and his cheerleading Bench Wenches, and more, turn the tables on the benighted Sheriff, thwart crybaby Prince John’s nefarious plans, and take the braggart knight Gal of Gisbourne down a few notches. There’s horseless jousting and a show-stopping archery contest with moving targets at the world’s first Renaissance Fair, goofy disguises, silly chases, epic battles with pool noodles, and merriment galore. At last, with a guest cameo by King Richard, all things “naught in Nottingham” are set aright.In the Castle

The show runs approximately 45 minutes.

My relationship with Pioneer Drama Service goes back 30 years, and I’m pleased to have them represent this show. This is Jacob’s fourth play with Pioneer.

Robin Hood: Naught in Nottingham will not appear in the fall catalog, as that has already been printed. But it will be available for purchase from the web site in a few months. Stay tuned!

Thank you, Pioneer Drama Service for your commitment to publishing plays and musicals for the amateur market.

Archery Contest

My ‘Plays and Musicals’ page has received a major rebuild

imagesI’ve completely upgraded my Plays and Musicals by Patrick Dorn tab/page on this web site. Check it out!

Instead of a simple alphabetical list of my plays, I’ve added play descriptions from the various publishers’ catalogs, and art work. For the few unpublished plays, I’ve added an easy link so you can click on it and request a reading copy.

Hopefully this will help me build my “brand” or “platform,” or whatever they call it. Let me know what you think.

One Night Stand Theatre to produce my short play ‘Peacemaker’ Aug. 2

One Night Stand Wild West

Great news!

I’ve just learned that my short play Peacemaker is going to receive its world premiere at One Night Stand Theater’s “Wild West” evening of short plays and stories, Aug. 2 at the Vintage Theatre. I’ll post more information on the production later, but the graphic above gives the basic information.

One Night Stand Theater is committed to producing new and experimental short works, usually around a theme. In August the theme will be “One Night Stand in the Wild West.”

Peacemaker is a short sketch in which a schoolboy visits a merchant to purchase a six-shooter, in order to gun down a boy who has been making eyes at the girl he loves. The fast-thinking, fast-talking merchant offers him an enormous amount of advice, so much so that the boy reconsiders his plan.

I originally wrote Peacemaker to submit to One Night Stand Theater about a week after they announced the theme. But I’ve also submitted it for publication as a forensics competition piece.

If you would like to receive a FREE READING COPY of Peacemaker in pdf format by e-mail, simply contact me using the form on this page. No production rights are included with the reading copy, and this offer ends immediately upon the signing of a contract with a publisher.