“The five pointed star. One snip. See? Fact. Not Apocryphal.
(She continues to cut stars during the following).
The Father of our Country – Sweet Georgie – He sat in my parlor; our lives intertwined. He wanted six points. But I convinced him. Five. One snip. Done. Evidence of my life? The heartache of three husbands dead and two daughters buried. Not Apocryphal.
(White stars fly).
“A grave stone in Philadelphia says I lived to the age of eighty-four. NOT APOCRYPHAL!”
SALVADOR DALI (clapping):
It is raining America! I love it!
– From Everybody Loves Dolley
Breaking the Chain
Conflicting Perceptions of Truth
Vinnie accuses her father of raping her twenty years earlier, but her veracity is invalidated by her family, the legal system and eventually herself.
“A piece of choral theater about conflicting perceptions of truth…Overlapping time zones and fragmenting dialogue, Douglass has woven a haunting vignette.” – Misha Berson, Seattle Times
Productions: ACME Theatricks and Seattle Fringe Festival, Seattle, Washington
A Dark Comedy About Survival, Guilt and Letting Go
Dr. Ludwig, a rumpled, kind-hearted scientist at the US Army’s Rocket lab in Huntsville, Alabama and formerly, a technician in Hitler Germany’s Rocket Program struggles to let go of his beloved creations engineered to rival that scrappy little Sputnik.
Brought to the United States after World War II to help launch the US space program, he struggles to embrace his cushy new lifestyle and let go of the guilt he feels over the enslaved men he left behind in Germany.
Commissioned by Theater Company of Lafayette for “The Deep Beep Beep,” a one-act festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sputnik.
Productions: Theater Company of Lafayette; Kent Mountain View Academy
Theater Company of Lafayette
Photo by Brian Miller
Avid movie fan Caroline, stands in line with her best friend Erica waiting for a showing Hollywood’s Golden Age classic, Desert Dreams. Disturbing the other patrons with her enthusiastic shot-by-shot re-telling of the movie, she eventually succeeds in involving all of them to help her reenact the movie about a woman Egyptologist who goes back in time and falls in love with a mummy.
For a brief moment, they create a community, as strangers come together to tell a story and by the end of Caroline’s tale no one is really interested in seeing the actual movie anymore. As Erica agrees she might be disappointed by the real thing, the two go off, Caroline regaling her friend with the plot of the even more exciting 1922 silent version.
Productions: Theater Company of Lafayette, Colorado Topanga Actors Company 2023 Short Play Festival, Topanga, California
Commissioned by TCL for “Tut Uncommon” a short play festival celebrating the centenary of the discovery King Tutankhamun’s tomb on November 4, 1922
Photo by Nora Douglass
Everybody Loves Dolley
A Surrealistic Romp Through History with Dolley Madison, Betsy Ross and Salvador Dali
Salvador Dali worships Dolley Madison for her commercial success and Betsy Ross just wants to be noticed. A Daliesque meditation on the intersection of market capitalism, art and celebrity.
Commissioned by Theater Company of Lafayette for The Dali Follies short play festival
A Comedy of Manners About Hanging On for Dear Life in Suburbia
Annie lives in a hole in the backyard. Today is the day she has agreed to emerge from her underground sanctuary and rejoin her former life with her family. Husband Paul has been keeping it together just for this day, and when Annie decides she’s not quite ready to come up, we see love tested and roles reversed.
First Place, Drury College One Act Play Competition
Productions: University of Washington, ACME Theatricks and New City Theater Directors Festival, Seattle, Washington; Love Creek One Act Festival: Women’s Voices, New York; Troy, University, Troy, Alabama
Cinema Romance, Lessons for Life.
Hopeless romantic Caroline lives love through old Hollywood movies. When she gets a message that her best friend, Erica has broken up with her boyfriend, she rushes to the rescue with her best plots. Unfortunately, the message is old, Erica is fine, and Caroline only manages to spread havoc, escalating a situation that was under control until she arrived on the scene.
Productions: University of Washington; ACME Theatricks, Seattle, Washington
Grief can be a Funny Thing
Harriet likes the quiet and calm of the mortuary, but her boss thinks she needs help, so he hires free-spirit and one-day job queen Irene to help her out. Irene and frequent visitor Arthur, a narcoleptic who keeps getting shipped off to the funeral parlor by his wife, create havoc with the closed-casket cadavers until they discover they’ve made a mistake and Jack Sneep’s sister is on her way for a viewing.
“Two plays stand out in this pantheon: Nora Douglass’ “Jack Sneepalope” and Emily Golden’s “Heirloom” manage to be creepy and funny at the same time.” – Mike Pearson, Boulder Daily Camera
Productions: Theater Company of Lafayette, Jackalope Play Festival: Summer Tales of Strangeness; Kent, Mountain View Academy
Little Johnny Hoover
Lessons Learned…and Stored away for Future Reference.
A young J. Edgar Hoover learns how to deal with the neighborhood bullies.
Commissioned for Company of Lafayette’s short play festival, G-Men in G-Strings
Published by Greenroom Press
Mother Love in the 21st Century
Killer Bees Reach Portland. Seattle Prepares.
Mom is a cheery Darwin fan and advocate of tough love. She has three children – Jennifer, adaptive, William, mal-adaptive and Sally, non-adaptive – and a nice husband who knows he has already realized his evolutionary function.
Mom just hopes that with all her assault therapy and half-lethal doses of the most popular environmental poisons and carcinogens she will have prepared her children for life in this latest brave new world.
Productions: ACME Theatricks, Seattle Fringe Festival, Skagit Community College and Theater Company of Lafayette
Published, Between the Lines, Edmonds College
Mrs. Santa and the Paradigm Shift
Supply Chain Woes and Brave New Capitalism in Santa’s Workshop
Santa has gone off with the fairies, so Mrs. Santa has had to take over. Being a more practical soul than her soft-hearted husband, she’s decided it’s time to get serious and make a profit and so has rented out some of the elves to the Expensive Cheap Toy Company. However, the latest toy craze that’s at the top of everybody’s list sits at the bottom of the sea and the supply chain is in ruins. It’s up to the intrepid elves to keep Mrs. Santa happy, save Christmas and protect Santa’s reputation.
Commissioned by Theater Company of Lafayette for its 2021 Winter Festival, Holidazed and Confused;
Theatre 33, Salem, Oregon, Holiday Shorts, 2023
Perfect Christmas 1957
Instructions to the Perfect Hostess for the Perfect Christmas
A woman facing Christmas and the loss of her mother at the same time is descended upon by one of her mother’s holiday crafts books, BETTER HOMES AND HOLIDAYS CHRISTMAS IDEAS, 1957. Perfect Christmas 1957 is a cheery jack hammer of a book who expects Imogene to be thrilled to take over her mother’s seasonal crafts and perfect hostess duties. But the world has changed, and nobody is pickling their own piIgsfeet anymore or boiling their own tongue for finger sandwiches. Just when Imo is about to go under by the weight of all the Perfect Chritmas’s cheery suggestions, she finds a final message from her mother that sends Perfect Christmas packing.
Written for Theater Company of Lafayette’s Holidazed and Confused Short Play Festival, 2023
Theatre 33, Holiday Shorts, 2023
What Would Abe Do?
An After School Special
Befuddled Middle-School Teacher faces online teaching and threats to democracy. Defends hero.
While learning to navigate the technological challenges of online teaching with the help of the school’s new library “tech,” Mary Todd McGillicutty, a distant shirt-tail relation of Abraham Lincoln, discovers a new determination to teach her “virtual” children the truth about our tarnished history.
Originally written as a ten-minute solo piece marking the 200th Anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, the play was expanded and re-written for two actors in 2020.
Commissioned for Theater Company of Lafayette’s short play festival, Lincoln and Darwin: Separated at Birth
Watch What Would Abe Do?
Complete Texts of Nora’s plays are available at The New Play Exchange, newplayexchange.org
Theater Company of Lafayette Photos by Brian Miller