The Plays of Kevin Clancy

I have made many contacts and some great friends during my years in local theater.  One of them is playwright Kevin Clancy.  He and his brother Tom founded Darknight Productions in New York, producing original plays throughout Manhattan and providing aspiring actors, writers, producers, and directors the chance to hone their skills and in many cases see their dream projects come to life.

Kevin is one of the most prolific and talented writers I know.  He often dares to explore provocative themes, not simply exploiting their shock value, but revealing fully human characters in edge-of-your-seat storylines.  He manages to write plays that are funny, frightening, heartbreaking, and exhilirating.  I have found many of his stories to even be life-affirming, even when the subject matter is dark and gruesome.

Here's an alphabetical list of Kevin's works.  I hope they'll be published soon so that people everywhere have a chance to read them and perform them.

Adults Only - Kevin has written several one-act plays. This one was part of an anthology which questioned people's perceptions of right and wrong.  It focused on the concept of adultery in a different form, involving, as Kevin describes it, "the difference between procreation and parenting."

Big Game - Kevin is a master of drama, but he proves in this one-act that he's pretty deft with comedy too as he examines friendship, loyalty, and marriage.

Blood Count - Kevin's first play in 1997 was a musical based on Bram Stoker's Dracula.  I've read the script and it is an interesting rendition of the classic.  I hope he finds a good composer to collaborate with and finally is able to bring it to the stage. I'm confident that a good producer and musical director can take Kevin's material and present the story in a fresh, entertaining way.

Common Ground - A man and a woman leave a bar together after last call, but their stinging barbs reveal they may be more alike than they thought.

Controlling Interest - This one-act play was my first gig acting with Darknight Productions.  The story centers on a weary corporate executive hoping to get a vacation from responsibility by visiting a dominatrix, only to give up more than he bargained for.

Damaged Goods - I acted in a production of this full-length drama as the sharp-witted character Frankie Moon.  Kevin admits it's a more personal, semi-autobiographical even though he took creative license and, as he says, "made major changes in the characters."  His brother Tom gave the play to Mickey Kelly, a professional actor who arranged a staged reading at Irish Arts Center. Kevin also entered it in a playwriting competition, run by Dante Alberti. It finished in the semi-finals, which led to another staged reading (at Lehman College) where it was seen by Ray and Gordie L'Dera who ran a company called ARTGroup. They liked it and got a grant to produce it at the Jan Hus Playhouse in 2004.

Depraved Indifference - This one-act, which I had the pleasure to direct, shows a seemingly mild-mannered man accused of a heinous crime.  As he describes what happened, his lawyer (and the audience) realize that not all criminal cases are black-and-white.

Difficult Transition - The actors in the production I've seen of this one-act were superb as they told the story of a man falling for a pre-op transsexual, which makes him re-evaluate his own sexual identity.

Double Occupancy - In this very imaginative story, a psychiatric patient's alternate identity fights for his life against a psychiatrist's experimental new drug.  This one-act is part of the anthology Death Sentences that explores death from four very different angles.

Exit Strategy - A self absorbed B-List movie star named Mister K (one of my favorite roles that I was lucky enough to play) asks his assistant to help him plan a high profile suicide.  This is another one-act from the Death Sentences anthology.

Extra Innings - A woman tries to convince her baseball player husband that it's time to retire in this excellent one-act.

Great Depression - I played the role of the wise-guy-wanna-be Nicky Shoes in a staged reading of this play that's part of the Kelly Family trilogy in early 2008.  Kevin says, "Many people had asked me about a character referred to in Return Engagement, so I broadened the idea I had for a play and included the story of Eileen Kelly, younger sister of Maggie." It's a tale about depression, mistakes, and the possibility of rebuilding one's life.

Heroic Measures - Part of the Death Sentences anthology, a woman must decide to keep her critically injured husband on prolonged life support.

Inside Out - On their first "morning after," two women discover they have different ways of confronting their sexual preferences.

Mother's Day -  Part of the Death Sentences anthology, twin siblings come to the parole hearing of their mother, who killed their father 15 years ago. They learn there was a lot more involved than they knew.

Natural Causes - Kevin's most recent full-length play was based on the true story of euthanization of patients in an isolated, flooded hospital in the days after Hurricane Katrina. I played the part of Langston, the attorney representing the Archdiocese. The lead assistant D.A., played by Thomas Patrick Clancy, is one of the greatest characters I've seen, making me wish to see further adventures.

Pagan Leopards - Kevin describes this full-length play (with one of the greatest titles ever) as dealing with "two isolated people who get by in the world through passive anonymity, but gain tragic fulfillment by finally taking a chance to matter."  The version I saw featured excellent and bold performances by Keith Maxwell and Danielle Nichole Tyler.

Privileged Information - An FBI agent questions a Jewish woman about her Iranian best friend. But will her answers free her friend or betray him? This play is as timely now as when I first saw it a few years ago.

Return Engagement - In my opinion, this full-length play was one of the greatest productions of Kevin's work.  The story is part of what has become a trilogy about the fictional Kelly Family (continued in Great Depression and the upcoming The Widower). This chapter deals with a bar singer who returns home after a six year absence to try and reconcile with the people he had abandoned and betrayed. It was produced by ARTGroup at the Jan Hus Playhouse in 2005.

Role Play - In my humble opinion, this is one of Kevin's best written plays.  Part of the Triple Play anthology, it tells the story of a 13-year-old girl and a 40-something-year-old man engaged in Internet chat.

Solitary Confinement - A claustrophobic patient explains his self destructive philosophy of life to his therapist over a series of sessions.

Special Needs - I've seen this one-act play performed a couple of times, and it's an intense, extremely well-written character study of a complicated father-daughter relationship. 

Team Play - Part of the Triple Play anthology, office politics and political correctness get turned upside down during an evaluation by an efficiency expert with Tourette's Syndrome.

Vicious Circle - In this one-act play, a man finds his wife's violence against their young son enables him to practice a different kind of abuse against her.

Word Play (Triple Play) - Part of the Triple Play anthology, this story reveals the unrequited love of one of two "platonic friends" during banter over a game of Scrabble.

Kevin's next play is The Widower, a full-length conclusion to the Kelly Family trilogy, this one focusing on the father of two of the characters from Return Engagement and Great DepressionCheck out the Darknight Productions Web site, which is still currently under construction but lists updates, for news about when it and other shows will be performed.

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