The MGH2020

Blog, Plays
Mikki Russ

A monologue for the moment, by Mikki Russ

Hello, my name is Monique Fuckerberg, and I have been assigned your case. It has come to my attention that your Misogyhomophobotron2020, otherwise known as the MGH, may be causing you some irritation. I would like to go over its operating system with you. There are several ways the MGH begins to alarm, including when the optics detect a woman speaking on her own behalf, or if it spots a woman with footwear on outside of the kitchen, (unless that woman is bringing it a sammich, and then, the system is overridden). If the woman who exited the kitchen wearing footwear does not offer a sammich, the MGH requires a full reboot or for the offending woman to have a baby shoved up inside her as quickly as you can scramble one up. Please give the MGH a full view of the impacted hymen for quickest system recovery.

If the MGH has observed a lesbian, you may have heard the words, “She’s only gay because she hasn’t gotten a piece of this yet” emanating from its audio output source. This is because it’s fragile Ego-system has been rattled by its sensors picking up on a woman that isn’t picking up on it. Feel free to just go ahead and rub your vagina on it, so that perhaps that will distract it into a fully functional system restore in safe mode. Please do not commence with the vagina contact without saying the words, “You’re so handsome.” And “Oh no, honey, whatever would I do without you” preceding. Skipping that step may prevent the Ego-system from booting up properly and it might fall asleep on you before you reach your own personal fulfillment. Actually….looking over my notes here, it appears that this model isn’t programmed with Female Fulfillment, so either do or don’t say the words prescribed…but know you’re going to be disappointed for at least a portion of your evening.

Please look under the front panel of your MGH to see if there is any residue left over from exposure to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. If there is, immediately apply Chris Brown lyrics. Please do not try applying Chris Brown directly, as the residue may rile and obliterate him on contact and you don’t have enough money to take on his legal team.

MGH comes equipped with a Weight Recognition Apparatus. The unit is stored underneath it’s dunlap. You know, right there above the belt where his extra cushiness done-lapped-over? This is the sensitive spot where he is able to detect if a woman is overweight or under-weight.. If your MGH malfunctions and is unable to instruct a woman in her eating habits, please immediately put it in front of women judges, women CEOs or women physicists. This should cause internal combustion, thus jarring the mechanism back into functionality.

Your MGH should not be placed directly in front of a television that has not been set to sports, gaming or war movies. The potential for exposure to “Two Damn Men Kissing On Television” is just excessively high, and this causes the MGH to get its wires crossed, causing a real danger of regular outbursts of incoherent rage. Please make sure all entertainment input is sufficiently vetted.

Your MGH has limited understanding of the term “Trans”. It’s most recent application being a “Trans-Am” and a most frequently misunderstood concept – as recently as yesterday- when a transwoman tried to upload the term CIS-male into the MGH’s lexicon. This was met with a fracture in the MGH’s motherboard. As a side note…the motherboard has been renamed the “Otherboard” as to not upset the MGH’s Terminology Center.

Now that you have all of the available tools at your disposal for successful upkeep of your Misogyhomophobotron, we here at MGH2020 headquarters look forward to hearing your feedback on how well the MGH2020 is enhancing your life. Please send all correspondence to Monique Fuckerberg Attention: Eric Bump. I am unable to participate in written correspondence directly, as my daily chores take up considerable time, but Mr. Bump will happily convey all of your marvelous comments to me at an allocated time. Thank you for your participation and here’s wishing you many years of…usefulness.                              

THE END     

Written by Mikki Russ
For rights/queries, please contact [email protected]
Performed as part of Prescott Vagina Monologues 2020
Shared with permission from the Playwright


#TheatreActionGunControl, Blog

The following playwrights are offering up their listed plays for readings in support of Gun Control. I will continue to add to this list as more playwrights contact us with their plays.  You can watch the list grow live on Twitter.  Protest Plays Project invites theatres and theatricians everywhere to organize readings in support of Gun Control/Gun Reform.  All plays available on the New Play Exchange.

PLAYWRIGHTS:  If you want to add your play to this list, Tweet your play’s title and NPX link at us using #TheatreActionGunControl @ProtestPlays

*In addition to the list below, Caridad Svich and NoPassport, Theater J and force/collision has a published collection of plays called 24 Gun Control Plays.*

Kara Lee Corthron TIME AND A HALF
Rachael Carnes GRIEF
David Meyers BROKEN
Jordi Casanovas PORT ARTHUR
Stephanie Walker FRIENDS WITH GUNS
Nelson Diaz-Marcano PAPER TOWELS
Lindsay Partain BACKFIRED
Ricardo Soltero-Brown GRIEF
Phillio Kaplan GOOD GUY WITH A GUN
Brandon Cahela DEPARTURE
Tracey Conyer Lee RABBIT SUMMER

Heal the Divide – To History:Two, by Jaisey Bates

Blog, Heal The Divide, Plays

Every week we will be sharing new plays by our Heal the Divide playwrights.  This week’s play is To History: Two, by Jaisey Bates – an Indigenous-heritaged Planet Nine playwright currently residing (hopefully not for much longer) in La La Land.

/ To Whom It 
May Concern.

TWO: War
/ Games

This Letter
was inspired by
a FB friend’s
FB posts re:

a town
with a school
with a Native

A town
with a chamber
of commerce whose
leadership set up

“The First Annual
Hunt for the Indian!”
treasure hunt

aiming to encourage
shoppers to Shop Local
during the holidays.

A town
where there was a
massacre of Natives.

A town
where the government
paid bounties for Native
captives, or scalps:

Or child.

SPECIAL THANKS to Amelia Tuplin, Member of the Maine Indigenous Peoples Panel, for her permission to share her eloquent and powerful words with all who read this play.

Download (PDF, 837KB)


Heal the Divide: The Little Things, by Rachael Brogan Flanery

Blog, Heal The Divide, Plays

Every week we will be sharing new plays by our Heal the Divide playwrights.  This week’s play is The Little Things , by Minneapolis, MN playwright Rachel Brogan Flanery.


This little play seems a little snarky. It is. Towards myself mostly. I am the guiltiest of all “woke” people for showing up one day in a pussy hat and back to my couch the next. I spend less time on CNN and more on Pinterest.



Download (PDF, 33KB)

Five Interviews: Wrapping up our First Heal the Divide Residency:

Blog, Heal The Divide, Playwrights

One of the things I’ve LOVED about our first Heal the Divide residency is how unique each of our playwright’s voices have been.  Including their beautiful, powerful, moving, short plays has been an honor!  We are gearing up for our second Residency, and I’m seriously excited about each of our new playwrights!  But before I tell you all about them, I’d like to share this final group interview I conducted with Mikki, Diana, Jen, Taijee, and David.

Q- What was surprising to you about writing for (or reading) Heal the Divide?

David — I came in with just one idea, but of course knew I’d be writing three plays. So what’s surprising is the wealth of things to respond to; it’s alarming to live in the time we live in, but it does provide a lot of stuff to draw from.

Jen — I am surprised at how optimistic and hopeful the project has made me feel. Also, how joyful both writing plays and reading the other plays has been.

Mikki — How each playwright is speaking from their local perspective in some fashion, and the national implications are so evident.

Diana — I am surprised at how easily the work came, and how much all the writers are responding to. There is so much material to work with. Our society seems to be at a tipping point.

Taijee — I was so happy when reviewing my work to see how much I observed in just watching people! I loved hearing all of the different voices in the writings of everyone involved! It was very worthwhile!

Q- Have you found yourself reading more local news or eavesdropping on neighbors in a deeper way?

Taijee — I definitely find myself eavesdropping a lot more.  I find that whenever I travel, someone and/or something that someone has said, always catches my ear.

David — So, a thing about living where I live (NYC) and taking the transportation I do (the subway) is that I am constantly bombarded by the close proximity of other voices. I don’t know that I’m listening MORE, but I am definitely hearing.

Mikki — I love eavesdropping on my neighbors! But only to the extent that I can hear them from my porch. I live in an area densely populated by retirees, and they have a lot of opinions—and a lot of time to opine! My favorite thing is listening to one person argue why Hillary should go to jail and the other piping up about pussy-grabbing. To each other.  As if this is how we find common ground. This is what our discourse has devolved into. No high powered anyone is going to jail, and pussies are for grabbing. In case you hadn’t heard.

Jen — I am also a total eavesdropper. I always have been. I’ve noticed folks have become very reactive these days. Also, I think folks are listening closely now.

Diana — I have listened to a lot. In my building there have been marriages and friendships that have broken up due to the current situation. As a matter of fact, my DACA play came from a situation I overheard. People are talking about these issues, out loud. Americans are both comfortable with, and repelled by confessional conversations and it seems like we are hearing a lot of it.

Q- Where have you been looking for inspiration?

Taijee — I think about some of the people I grew up with and some of the stories that stuck with me involving them.  It helps me draw from that dark place inside of me that still needs healing. Writing helps me to do that.

David — Oh, God, I love and bless Wonkette. They take NO PRISONERS, whereas I tend–at least in my writing–to want to explore all sides of character. Twitter and the NY Times are constantly throwing divisions that need healing in my face.

Mikki — I try to look to everyday people for inspiration. When a news story crosses my path, it’s often something I found on Fark or Reddit (and then proceed to try and suss out the veracity of the story). I like those types of places to mine for “news” because of the collective consciousness it seems to be born of. If it’s lies and subterfuge, the readership poke holes in it pretty fast. NPR is my usual go-to for news when I’m looking for substance.

Jen — It’s not about me. Inspiration finds me, and I get out of the way. Usually, at some point, there’s one thing that makes the whole piece cohesive.

Diana — It’s pouring out of me. I’m a political junkie, and the drugs have been so bad lately.

Q- What would you like to see happen as a result of your Heal the Divide residency?

Taijee — If I could just touch one person and inspire them to do what they love by overcoming the divide, that would be good enough.

David — I would loooooove to see these plays, all 15 of them, combined in a reading series or something. That would be so exciting, to see our wildly different voices bumping up against each other and soaring together. Because so far the plays feel harmonious and utterly distinct. Really exciting.

Mikki — I hope it encourages more people to blaze an art-filled path towards a better world.

Jen — I want to second what Taijee, David, and Mikki said. I’m awful at being result-oriented. Right now, I’m focused on process.

Diana — I hope it encourages people to write their way out, to quote Hamilton. To use their brains to find solutions to the pain instead of violence.

Q- One of the goals of this project is to bring disparate communities together by exposing them to plays inspired by each playwright’s community. How do you see theatre affecting/interacting with audiences to affect change?

Taijee — TIP Harris, a rapper, answered a similar question that involved his and other artists lyrics and their effect on the communities that listen to it.  His response was, “If you want to change the message of the song, change the environment of its origin.” I believe the theatre can do the same thing.  Instead, we change the environment by letting people know what the message is upfront and exposing them to the truths in which they, and by they I do mean all of us, choose to want to hide.

Mikki — I think the compelling thing about theater is it goes unchanged in how it can reach right into an audience member-or actor for that matter-no matter the era. If an issue is playing out in front of someone, just absorbing the story gives them space to feel it from a different perspective. It’s literally the incarnation of “I never really thought of it that way.”

Jen — When I think about work that has affected me and changed my perspective, I doubt very highly that the writer set out with the intention of rocking Jen’s world. However, I think those works contain a lot of truth and commitment to that truth.

Diana — I hope theatres can get past the radicalization of Spanish, and embrace this new majority minority. I hope they can be brave and learn to hear new words without feeling excluded and thereby excluding in the process.

David — The great goal for me is to see great diversity on stage but also in the audience. And then to encourage continued interaction after the play is over — to urge people to discuss what they’ve seen, what they feel. So it’s as much about the extratheatrical experience as the theatrical one from lights up to lights down.

Did you have a favorite play in this series?  If so, what about the play made it stand out to you?

Diana — The play I wrote after Charlottesville (Rally), started out with anger towards the young white woman, and every rewrite I was filled with more and more compassion for her situation. It forced me into her shoes, and I learned about her. That was powerful. To get past initial impressions and move towards compassion.

David — Mikki’s Joe Arpaio play (The Reality) really killed me, in the very best way. Just gutting. So, so powerful.

Taijee — I was very surprised how far, Between Love and Hate, went for me. To see students and faculty interested in my work was very moving for me. I look forward to the years to come.

Jen — I don’t have one favorite play either written by me or one of the other writers. For me, the joy of the project was its variety. I also enjoyed reading the new plays every week and being impressed by everyone’s range and creativity.

Mikki — Let me break the rules. There were a few plays that stood out-and by stood out, I mean they had me up at night thinking. They were: Boxes by Jen Huszcza-the way she used movement to speak was so powerful. Rally by Diana Burbano-the image of a child in a klans robe just tied me up in knots. Swing Low by Taijee Bunch was a trip into the first terror some of us ever know in life. And Meanings Of Love by David Hilder catches you completely off-guard with the line ‘don’t assume’…whew. Powerhouses. I enjoyed reading all of the resident’s works, but those really stood out to me.

Q- Now that the first residency is over, do you have any advice for other playwrights who want to write plays from/about their own communities but maybe aren’t sure how to start?

Diana — Write! Scraps of conversations, monologues, devise pieces with community. The stories are there, they just need to be given permission to be born.

David — YES, what Diana said. Consecrate words to page. Build. Make.

Taijee — Definitely agree with Diana! Write your heart out! Be honestly sincere! Don’t be afraid to live in the uncomfortable!

Jen — Don’t be afraid (like Taijee said) of writing something imperfect. Also, maybe as a starting point, think about what the word, Community, means to you.

Mikki — Poking around the local theater and library are good starting places where like minds can be found. Collaborate. This is something we can all take part in. Write. Go get it.

Q- Any parting words you’d like to share with Heal the Divide fans?

Diana — May we all find the joy we need and see hope in the cracks.

David — Thank you. I hope we all find ways to honor each other’s inherent humanity.

Taijee — Thank you to everyone who took the time out to read our plays! It means so much! Keep striving hard and seek a life useful to create harmony among all peoples.

Jen — There are fans? Hello, I wish you ease.

Mikki — Thank you for reading our work and for showing interest in the project. Three cheers for peace and goodness!

Thank you again to our FABULOUS playwrights!  Thanks for your support and engagement with this project.  We look forward to sharing more socially conscious new works with you, beginning in November!


Heal the Divide: Boxes, by Jen Huszcza

Blog, Heal The Divide, Plays

Every week we will be sharing new plays by our Heal the Divide playwrights.  This week’s play is Boxes, by Los Angeles playwright Jen Huszcza.

It took me several drafts to get to the play below. The image of boxes fighting for space came to me after Charlottesville. I had also been reading Jeremiah Moss’s Vanishing New York about the gentrification of New York City in the twenty-first century.

At first, I had the boxes talking, but then I realized what they were saying was redundant. The gestures were what I needed. This is the first time I’ve ever put charts in a play.

Since this is the last play of the cycle, I wish to thank Tiffany and Heal the Divide for letting me react to the news cycle in my own way. I want to thank my fellow playwrights whose work delighted me and challenged me.


Download (PDF, 21KB)

Heal the Divide: Swing Low, by Taijee Bunch

Blog, Heal The Divide, Plays

Every week we will be sharing new plays by our Heal the Divide playwrights.  This week’s play is a monologue titled Swing Low, by Southern Arkansas University student Taijee Bunch, a playwright from Lonoke, AR.

I wrote this piece because I wanted to continue on with the trend of breaking the barriers of stereotypes in my community. A huge one that included myself, was that there aren’t many positive male figures in the stereotyped black home. I feel that this was a sensitive area for me and the men in my community. I actually didn’t have a strong relationship with my dad until I was much older and I grew to understand and appreciate him, however a lot of families aren’t that lucky. I hope that this piece will inspire black men to see that there definitely needs to be a change in the way we see ourselves and how others see us.

Download (PDF, 22KB)

Heal the Divide: Rally, by Diana Burbano

Blog, Heal The Divide, Plays

Every week we will be sharing new plays by our Heal the Divide playwrights.  This week’s play is Rally, by Long Beach playwright Diana Burbano .

The tragedy in Charlottesville served to open a scar in America. The white supremacist movement has come out of their hidden corners and darkened basements, helped along by their leader in Washington. This in and of itself is frightening, but I hold out hope. There is also a strong and vocal resistance movement who have put their bodies on the line to defy those who would take this country into the dark ages. There has been loss, and likely will be more, but their defiance will serve as a beacon for others to come and stand against the darkness.

We MUST continue to be decent, and outspoken, and to protect each other, in spite of the evil that is trying to overwhelm our compassion.

Download (PDF, 98KB)

Heal the Divide: Dolphins, by Jen Huszcza

Blog, Heal The Divide, Plays

Every week we will be sharing new plays by our Heal the Divide playwrights.  This week’s play is Dolphins, by Los Angeles playwright Jen Huszcza.

I sail and race sailboats out of Marina del Rey. Sometimes, when we’re a mile out, I look back at the coast and think ten million people live there, but I don’t see them. However, all those humans cannot be denied.

One weekend after Valentine’s Day, I was out casually sailing with friends, and picked up a dozen mylar balloons floating on the water. Also, the amount of plastic pollution in the ocean has reached a staggering number. It’s not only plastic bags, but fish eat micro plastics. Guess who eats the fish?

For more info on the effects of ocean pollution, check out Heal the Bay , Reef Check, and 5 Gyres Institute.

I knew I wanted to do a play about ocean life for Heal the Divide, and I wanted to write about Dolphins. I often see dolphins when I sail. They make me happy. In creating my pod of dolphins, I wrote a ten minute play which requires thirteen actors. Such a large cast is a no-no in short play writing. I realize this kills any shot at a production, but a community of dolphins is inspiring not only in its joy, but also in its numbers.

Download (PDF, 213KB)



Heal the Divide On Campus: An Opportunity for Inter-Collegiate Conversation Through Theatre

Blog, Heal The Divide


Protest Plays Project and Little Black Dress INK invite college/university students to write short plays or monologues (1-10 minutes in length) inspired by the communities in which they live.  Plays might explore issues pertaining specifically to each playwright’s city, or a national/global issue seen through each playwright’s community/city lens (as it pertains to/manifests in their city).  The key is to get local—we want to see what is happening where you live!

Selected plays will be read on a special ONSTAGE: ON-AIR podcast in Fall 2020, and made available to colleges wishing to participate in a creative story exchange by presenting readings on their campus. Past participating campuses include Iowa State University, University of Texas at Arlington, Columbus State University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Wake Forest University.


  • To increase opportunities for constructive dialogue around/about issues facing us today through theatrical conversation.
  • To offer students the opportunity to give voice to issues facing them/their communities.
  • To create a forum in which those ideas are not only shared with the community being written about, but with audiences living in other geographies/communities as well.
  • To foster connectivity and increased empathy between communities
  • To engage in inter-collegiate conversation with one another about the processes and outcomes of the Heal the Divide on Campus project in order to support further growth/ development of this and other initiatives like it.


Plays will be accepted through May 10, 2020. Faculty and guest artists will read plays over the summer, with selected playwrights notified by Aug 10, 2020.

Additional Information

*While Protest Plays Project also engages in political theatre, our HEAL THE DIVIDE project is non-partisan. Your play does not have to be political in nature to qualify for this project—it just needs to live in the city/community you call home. Selected plays will offer a diverse array of perspectives from a wide range of communities—not only geographically but socio-politically as well. All voices are welcome, and encouraged!*

Here are a few plays that do this well:

The Heal the Divide project was inspired by Howl Round’s Here and Now Series, for which I wrote three plays about AZ (where I was living at the time).  Check out HAT TRICK and FOLLOWING THE RULES (which both take place in Prescott, AZ) as some additional examples of writing for/about the community in which you live.

Playwrights can upload their work HERE

Do you have additional questions?
Email Tiffany at [email protected]

View/download our
Heal the Divide on Campus Resource and Idea Guide HERE

Are you a student playwright with questions about formatting?
Download the Dramatists Guild formatting guide for help.