Plays by Cheryl West
PULLMAN PORTER BLUES
AKEELAH AND THE BEE
Holiday Heart – (4M 2W) A gay drag queen befriends a single mother and her daughter and tries to protect them from the criminal environment around them.
Lizzie Bright – (6M 2W) Turner Buckminster III, the new preacher’s son in Phippsburg, Maine, can’t seem to walk two feet without making trouble. His only friend is the smart and lively Lizzie Bright Griffin, a girl who plays baseball even better than he can. However, his friendship with her may cause the most trouble so far: she’s black, poor and lives on the forbidden Malaga Island. When Phippsburg’s leaders threaten to wipe Malaga of all its inhabitants for their own economic benefit, Turner and Lizzie know they have to do something—but can they act before it’s too late?
Play On! – (4M 4W and ensemble) Cheryl L. West’s jerky transformation of Shakespeare’s ”Twelfth Night” into a romantic fable of 1940′s Harlem, which uses the sublime songs of Ellington as its score.
Pullman Porter Blues – (8M 2W) It’s 1937, and three generations of porters are hard at work on the luxurious Panama Limited train. Midwest blues songs flavor their journey from Chicago to New Orleans as the porters confront dark secrets from their past and tough truths about their future together. This captivating coming of age story is woven with iconic blues music and features a live band.
Cheryl L. West is the librettist for Play On! (which ran on Broadway and at Seattle Rep) and the author of several plays including Birdie Blue, Rejoice!, Holiday Heart, Puddin ‘n’ Pete, Jar the Floor, and Before It Hits Home. The latter earned Ms. West several awards including the 1992 Helen Hayes/Charles McArthur Award for outstanding new play and the Susan Smith Blackburn prize, an international award given to a woman who has written a work of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theater. She is also a recipient of the National Endowment Playwriting Award and the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Best Playwright Award. Her plays have been produced in England, New York, and in numerous regional theatres including The Goodman, Arena Stage, Old Globe, Seattle Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Bay Street Theatre Festival, Syracuse Stage, Cleveland Play House, South Coast Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Manhattan Theater Club, and Off-Broadway’s Second Stage. Ms. West adapted Holiday Heart for Showtime/MGM and Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Productions, which earned her a GLADD nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for Alfre Woodard. She has worked in TV and film projects at Paramount, MTV Films, Showtime, TNT, HBO, and CBS. She is currently the Webby nominated writer for the web series, Diary of a Single Mom and is creating a second web series for Robert Townsend’s V Studios.* Please note that some titles are handled by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, Dramatic Publishing, Broadway Play Publishing, and Playscripts.com. Please ask if you don’t see a particular play.