’10×10 (2013)’ at Fells Point Corner Theatre by Amanda Gunther

The third annual 10-minute play festival is up and running for the spring season at the Fells Point Corner Theatre. With half the plays being from area playwrights this offering of 10-10 minute plays is a wonderful chance for aspiring playwrights to showcase new work. Along the lines of a theatrical box of chocolates, because you have no idea what you’re about to get, the festival offers nine different directors taking on ten unique and hopeful new works – with a team of ten actors that rotate in and out to create one exciting experience for the evening. Executive Producer and Coordinator Mark Steckbeck corrals a talented group of performers and directors into one really great evening for everyone involved in the theatre.

Missed Connections? Written by Marj O’Neill-Butler of Miami, Florida and directed by Kristan Lewman this production is thoroughly enjoyable. Well crafted by O’Neill-Butler, the story is a fast-paced satirical and comedic approach to the notion of Craigslist’s “missed connections” column. This dialogue between Rosie (Kate Shoemaker) and Bob (Andrew Porter) is extremely clever, well crafted and each character is well defined with a distinctive tone. The play is hysterically accurate when it comes to this modern element of dating and gives both Shoemaker and Porter a chance to really develop characters in the scene. There are even moments of deep sub-textual understanding conveyed in the glances and reactions to one another; a brilliant example of the gems that can arise from such a festival.

Missed Connections was voted Third Place as an Audience Favorite.

Reading of “My Silver Mirror”

Piney Forks Press Theater!blue_banner

My monologue My Silver Mirror is being read at the Lincoln Center Public Library in New York City on June 8, 2013 at 1:00 PM.  This reading of monologues is produced by the Piney Forks Press Theater Festival June 2013.


Fells Point Corner Theatre

MISSED CONNECTIONS, my 10 minute play, will be having its fourteenth production with a run of fourteen performances in April and May 2013 at the Fells Point Corner Theatre in Baltimore, MD.

Fells Point URL

Another production!


My 10-minute play LEAVING HOME has been selected by White Rose Miami for inclusion in their short play festival: Miami Time. Performances are February 15 and 16,  2013 at PAX in downtown Miami.


MISSED CONNECTIONS, my 10-minute play to be published

smith and krausOne of my wishes for 2012 was to have my work published.  I have just heard that my play MISSED CONNECTIONS is to be included in the Best 10-Minute Plays 2013, published by Smith and Kraus.  First developed at the Kennedy Center Summer Playwriting Intensive, MISSED CONNECTIONS has had 12 different productions all over the USA and Seoul, South Korea.   Happy New Year all!


My new and slightly naughty play ELF YOURSELF, has been selected by New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida for inclusion in a weekend of short plays called Miami 1-Acts.  The selection of short plays will be produced for three days beginning December 21st.

12th Production of MISSED CONNECTIONS

In February 2013 my play MISSED CONNECTIONS will have its 12th production (five performances) with the Paw Paw Village Players in Paw Paw, Michigan.   It was selected for last year’s One-Act Festival but was pulled when an actress had to drop out.  I’m happy they have selected it for this year’s production.

Short & Sweet

My short play SCAVENGER HUNT has been selected by Vermont Playwrights Circle for their SHORT & SWEET staged reading showcase October 18-20, 2012 in Westford, Vermont.   Click here for their website:

WHAT IF? has been accepted for a reading in Washington, DC.

From the producers:

“Your play What If? is beautiful and heart-wrenching and its brutal, simple specificity touched us on a profound level. In other words, we love it and we would be delighted and honored to include it in our SLUT a festival of short works”

This series is inspired by the War on Women, which serves to hinder a woman’s right to privacy, choice, and safety. SLUT is the first installment of the UNmute! Reading Series, a season-long project aimed at raising the volume on stifled voices.

New Review of my play Scavenger Hunt.

                                                         “Home Sweet Funeral Home” Conjures Fun
Alliance Theater Lab’s Short Playfest Features Fast-Paced Original Works
The fast-moving stories, in which all the writers did a bang up job developing characters and plot in a short amount of time, offer a range of diversity in their storytelling from the laugh-a-minute Scavenger Hunt, Mr. Ross’ Loss, Grave Matters and Performance Review, to the light dramedy of Catapult Confection and It’s Just Not That Serious, which took a more emotional look at death.

Alliance finds laughs in a funeral home

Home Sweet Funeral Home, Alliance Theatre Lab’s anthology of short plays set in the same funeral parlor, is a mostly enjoyable mixed bag of comedies, with the odd little touch of drama. The evening’s eight playwrights had just four requirements: the funeral home setting, writing characters in their late teens or 20s, using a toothbrush in the play and incorporating the line, “Why did it have to be that book?”
The first piece, Marjorie O’Neill-Butler’s Scavenger Hunt, is centered on a couple doing just what the title suggests. Adam (Della Ventura) is the one in control, while his girlfriend Carrie (Breeza Zeller) thinks that swiping stuff from a funeral home is just plain creepy. She’d be right, of course, if there weren’t more to the story. O’Neill-Butler packs a surprising amount of sweetness and sentiment into such a short play. – Christine Dolen – Miami Herald


Provo’s Echo Theater Delights with the Echo 10 – Reviewed by Jennifer Mustoe

“First: Missed Connections, written by Marj O’Neill-Butler, and starring Melanie Stone Thomason and Jared Leo Lynton. This show was adorable. Both actors are startingly appropriate for their roles as they are both talented and beautiful. The show had lots of laughs, ran smoothly, and was an amazing beginning for the show. The play was quirky, fun, and very current.”

Review of Missed Connections performance in Ohio

“Missed Connections (at the North Canton Playhouse, Ohio) is a hilarious take on mistaken identities – a craigslist rendezvous gone wrong. Both Krystian Bender as the fast-talking, flustered Rosie, and Jonathan Martens as the bemused and cautious Bob, are delightfully magnetic in their comedic skills as their characters negotiate broken expectations into a budding relationship.”
Posted in Artwach by Tom Wachunas, July 2, 2012

Don’t mess with Rosie!

Bob (Kent Nusbaum), don’t mess with Rosie (Alyssa Ratkovich),in MISSED CONNECTIONS at the Heartland Theatre, running through July 1, 2012 in Bloomington, IL.

Missed Connections

Alyssa Ratkovich and Kent Nusbaum in the Heartland Theatre’s production of my short play MISSED CONNECTIONS.  Directed by Ron Emmons it is having a month long run in Bloomington, IL through July 1, 2012.

Review of Missed Connections

Excerpts from a Theatre Review in the Bloomington Pantagraph June 2012 10-minute plays a winning combo by Marcia Weiss

Who doesn’t love to play games? Video games, mind games, games of chance and taking chances with love. All of these are variations on a theme “playfully” explored in Heartland’s 11th Annual “10-Minute Play Festival”.

This year 366 plays were submitted in a “blind” process (the authors’ identities aren’t revealed until the final eight play-lets have been selected).

“Missed Connections” by Marj O’Neill-Butler takes a very hip look at
a modern day Craig’s List romance. Alyssa Ratkovich as Rosie gives a
richly multilayered performance in the short space of 10 minutes.

It’s always so much fun to see eight brand spanking new plays given voice at Heartland. With such a rich smorgasbord of shows, there’s surely something here for everyone’s taste.

Missed Connections – student newspaper interview

Heartland Theatre Company is putting on its 11th annual 10-Minute Play Festival now through July 1. Playwrights from across the country submitted their plays to Heartland’s National Play Writing Competition. Out of 366 10-minute plays that were submitted this year, eight winning playwrights are having their plays brought to life.

Several of the festival’s actors and directors are ISU students. Alyssa Ratkovich and Kent Nusbaum, both ISU theatre majors, performed Marj O’ Neill-Butler’s Missed Connections — the story of a man and a woman searching for a stranger they met at Whole Foods on the missed connections section of Craigslist.

Missed Connections, based on a true story, was written by Author O’ Neill-Butler who viewed the show twice during its opening weekend.

“She seemed proud and happy with it,” Ratkovich said.

Ron Emmons, director of Missed Connections, is a member of the initial play reading committee and knew almost immediately that he wanted to direct this play.

“I’ll be honest, I wanted to do this play the second I read it. I just hoped it would make it through. When it made it through to the final eight, I simply said I want that play. I really want that play,” Emmons said.

Ratkovich, Nusbaum, and Emmons met twice a week for an hour to rehearse. Even now the play is still being developed.

“We have a new opening tonight. We are still tweaking.  You figure out what works and what doesn’t work in front of an audience,” Emmons said.

“When you are put in front of an audience you really see what you’ve got,” Nusbaum added.

When asked if they are similar to their characters both Nusbaum and Ratkovich chuckled. Nusbaum admits that he is a nice guy like his character Bob.

Ratkovich explained, “ I feel like Rosie is one of the easier characters I have done because she really wasn’t developed at all in the script. She had no job. There wasn’t anything that stood out about her. I threw my quirky self into it, and it’s worked so far.”

Both Ratkovich and Nusbaum agree that it’s nice to be able to do what they love during the summer.

“Its been great having a place to act during the summer. I really love acting and to do it even if it’s only for 10 minutes, to act in some capacity has been really nice,” Nusbaum said.

10 minute play commissioned by ATL in Miami this September

Alliance Theatre Lab in Miami has commissioned me and other S. Florida playwrights to write a ten-minute play for their September production HOME SWEET FUNERAL HOME.  Each play has to take place in a funeral home and must include one specific line of dialogue and the same prop (I won’t give these away.). We get to workshop these plays with actors over the summer, which is such a gift.  The show opens September 6th at the Pelican Theatre in Miami Shores.

Missed Connections – Produced by Heartland Theater in IL

Spent the weekend in Bloomington, IL to see my short play MISSED CONNECTIONS  being produced by Heartland Theatre.  Saw the production PLAYING GAMES both Friday and Saturday evening and enjoyed it both times.  Well directed by Ron Emmons with Alyssa Ratkovich and Kent Nusbaum.  Heartland is a great little theatre in the middle of America.