Teddy is newly divorced. He wants to be a dad. He wants to be more present in the world. He wants a romantic relationship with his old friend, Allison.
When Teddy visits Allison in Los Angeles, her life is complicated- she lives alone, works nonstop, has a difficult relationship with her somewhat estranged daughter, and is dealing with chronic pain and the remnants of a decade’s old prescription pill problem.
Teddy comes on strong with his plans of love and having a baby together… and it’s flattering and enticing … and she maybe even loves him…
But when Allison gets pregnant and her chronic pain comes roaring back, things start going very badly for her. Past traumas become present once again.
And she has to ask herself, why did she go along with what Teddy wanted so quickly? Why didn’t she explore what she wanted…?
When tragedy strikes, Teddy and Allison are forced to examine their understanding of themselves and each other. What do they actually want, and what can they reasonably achieve in middle-age?
Jeff’s plays include The Intimacy Effect (Vital Joint, JTK Productions, Michael Chekhov Theatre Festival), Something Truly Monstrous (The Blank Theatre), An Idiot (Hangar Theatre’s Lab Company, Propinquity Productions),The Problem of Verisimilitude (DUAF) and I Found Her Tied to My Bed (Lightning Strikes, Strange Roads and Propinquity Productions). Current plays in development include Chekhov on Vacation (workshop at Interrobang) and Early Days (staged reading at The Blank). His work has been included in collections published by BackStage Books and Smith & Kraus. His screenplay Otherwise Engaged, co-written with Jonathan Todd Ross, has won honors at Slamdance, the Honolulu Film Festival, the LA Screenwriting Contest, and the LA Movie Awards, among others. He's a proud member of Theater Breaking Through Barriers.
CHEKHOV ON VACATION
(6 actors, gender is flexible)
At age 30, Anton Chekhov fears a miserable life and an early death. His first two plays have failed, his brother has died, and he's become consumptive. In a bid to be anyone but himself, he undertakes a near suicidal journey across Siberia to do a census of Russia's most notorious penal colony. But is reinvention possible in even the remotest corners of the world?
THE INTIMACY EFFECT
2 men, 3 women, drama, 75 min
"A smart, sophisticated commentary on marriage and family
relationships... a playwright with a proficiency for interpreting
everyday language with wit and perspicacity."- Los Feliz Ledger
"The play is an engaging, timely examination of the difficulty of identifying abuse — particularly when perpetrated by those with whom we are intimately intertwined... It's compelling theatre...In light of the #metoo movement, the conversation surrounding abuse arising from toxic masculinity is both timely and necessary. " - STAGE RAW
"Tabnick wrote a good eye-opening piece about relationships, marriage and holding it together but still failing in getting it right. It’s brutal, straightforward and tears into the core of your truth." - All About the Stage
"Mesmerizingly effective You hold your breath until it's all over.”- Broadway World, Gil Kaan
“The Intimacy Effect by Jeff Tabnick is an exceptional night of theatre that explores the harshest moments of reality in the most intimate way. It is a production that deserves more than one viewing, if only to catch the nuances as characters receive and dispense the information during the course of the evening.” - Joe Straw
"a rippling hour of storytelling... a seriously engrossing discourse on marriage, on parenting, and on the people you think you know, supported by a stellar cast" -Brooklyn Based
“A smart and darkly humorous play... probes the underside of married life—up close and in your face.” –Whatshouldwedo.com
Matt Appel welcomes his brother and sister-in-law over to celebrate his 40th birthday. But something is clearly wrong-- Matt's wife Amy can't stop crying. Over Amy's objections, Matt tells them the ribald story of the pregnant woman who showed up at their apartment the day before. This story of sexual misbehavior and mistaken identity has serious ramifications for them all. The play weaves in and out of thoughts and actions, the past and the present to explore the porous border between our public and private selves.
SOMETHING TRULY MONSTROUS
3 men, comedy, 90 min
“Funny… Tabnick’s imagined motivations are intelligent… Entertaining.”- LA Times
“A wickedly wild ride”- Broadway World
“The play itself is pretty stupendous… Something Truly Monstrous is a hit”- Gia on the Move
“Recommended.” Stage Raw
“The dialogue is not merely clever, it’s very funny. Something Truly Monstrous is an early Christmas present to fans of Tinseltown’s Golden Age. … engaging, the play entertains.”- Arts in LA
“Truly inspired. Well-written… Very entertaining.” - nytheatre.com
“Deft, a rich tapestry of themes... Thoughtful and enjoyable.” -American Theater Web
May 30, 1942. On the day Hollywood finally killed John Barrymore, Jack Warner offers a studio contract to Peter Lorre, another once-great actor of the stage. While the contract means financial security, it also means artistic ruin; it will force Lorre to forever play monsters in the B-unit. To ensure that he will never give into this temptation, Lorre shoots himself full of morphine, recruits Humphrey Bogart and steals John Barrymore’s body from the mortuary. The plan is to put Barrymore’s body in Jack Warner’s living room with Lorre’s unsigned contract in the body’s dead, cold hand. Hopefully, Warner will become so enraged by this macabre prank that he will never work with Lorre again, no matter how much a sober-minded Lorre may beg come morning. But every defiant step only leads Lorre closer to signing the contract that will turn him into the monster he fears he’s already become.
a modern retelling of Dostoevsky's The Idiot
5 men, 2 women (preferably with an additional ensemble of 3)
drama, 90 min
“Succeeds marvelously… Tabnick’s excellent script
even nails the occasionally bizarre and surreal narrative voice with which Dostoevsky tells his stories.” - nytheatre.com
"Satire doesn’t get much better than ‘An Idiot,’ and theatergoers shouldn’t miss it.” - Neighborhood NYC
“Polished and thought-provoking. See it.” – musicOMH
Dropped into modern day America, a land ruled by hypocrites, Prince Myshkin runs for U.S. Senate to promote true Christianity—compassion for all men. Along the way, he tries to help a recovering alcoholic win the love of a socialite/ porn star. But when she falls in love with Myshkin instead, he must teach them both to love with compassion and not lust before jealousy turns into murder. Complicating matters, Myshkin has fallen into a lusty affair with a campaign aide which threatens to make him just another hypocrite. As the campaign begins in earnest, it turns out compassion for all men has some dangerous, radical implications. Can a perfectly beautiful man survive in today’s America? Can any idealist?
I FOUND HER TIED TO MY BED
2 women, drama, 65 minutes
“Smart, hip, edgy as hell. A small masterpiece.” - Gay City News
“An electric play, crackling with nervous energy.” - offoff.com
Beth is a nurse's aide at Evergreen Manor Nursing Home. The hours are long, the staff is underpaid, and the residents are tantalizingly helpless. When Jan, reckless and bloodthirsty, intrudes upon Beth’s solitary life, Beth becomes infatuated with her and goes to extremes to understand her. But understanding does not necessarily produce love, sometimes it only produces corpses.