Written Works by Ellen McLaughlin
A Narrow Bed - Samuel French Acting edition, 2010, play. Loved by audiences and critics nationwide, this compassionate and reflective play about two women coping with loneliness and loss was also successfully presented Off Broadway. The women are the last members of a rural commune founded in the 60's. One's husband was killed in Vietnam and she still clings to his memory. The other's wisecracking husband is hospitalized and dying. Both women find the courage to accept their "narrow bed" and get on with their lives. Click here to purchase the script from Amazon.
Actor's Choice: Monologues for Women, Volume 2 - Playscripts, 2013, collection of monologues. Actor's Choice: Monologues for Women, Volume 2 continues the Actor's Choice series with a brand-new selection of exceptional contemporary monologues. Explore the work of today's most celebrated theatrical voices. Click here to purchase the book from Playscripts.
Ajax in Iraq - Playscripts, 2008, play. Past and present collide in Ellen McLaughlin's mash-up of Sophocles' classic tragedy Ajax with the modern-day war in Iraq. The play follows the parallel narratives of Ajax, an ancient Greek military hero, and A.J., a modern female American soldier, both undone by the betrayal of a commanding officer. Click here to purchase the script from Playscripts.
Premiere: A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theater Training. Cambridge, MA. October 1, 2008.
Upcoming: Texas State University. San Marcos, TX. November 1, 2016.
Days and Nights Within - 1984. The play dramatizes the complex relationship between a political prisoner and her interrogator in communist East Berlin in 1950.
Recent: Frear Ensemble Theater. Swarthmore College Department of Theater, PA, 2007
The Greek Plays - Theatre Communications Group, 2004, Book containing the following plays: Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Helen, Lysistrata, The Persians, The Trojan Women. Click here to purchase the book on Amazon.
Helen - Playscripts, 2002, adapted by Ellen McLaughlin from the play by Euripides. In this fresh take on Euripides' tragicomedy, Helen never went to Troy but spent the war fought in her name in an Egyptian hotel room waiting for her husband Menelaus to come find her and take her home. Bewildered by her strange escape from her own story, even Menelaus' final arrival cannot save Helen from the legend that has grown far larger than the woman who inspired it. Click here to purchase this script on Playscripts.
Premiere: The Public Theater. New York, NY. April 1, 2002
Recent: Willamette University. Salem, OR. February 19, 2015
Infinity's House - Theatre Communications Group, 1990, play.
Iphigenia and Other Daughters - Playscripts, 1994, adapted by Ellen McLaughlin from the plays Iphigenia in Aulis, Iphigenia in Tauris, and Electra. This three-play cycle is a modern retelling of the fall of the House of Atreus. It follows the children of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, siblings who are both players in the family tragedy and victims of it. Click here to purchase script from Playscripts.
Premiere: The Actor's Gang. Los Angeles, CA. January 1, 1994
Upcoming: University of Chicago. Chicago, IL. November 17, 2016
Kissing the Floor - play adapted from Sophocles. In this re-telling the focus is on the children of Oedipus and Jocasta - dead before this play begins. The girls, Annie and Izzie, and the twin boys, Paul and Eddie.
Lysistrata - Playscripts, 2006, adapted by Ellen McLaughlin from the play Aristophanes. This fresh, fast-paced comedy follows Lysistrata, an Athenian housewife, who calls for the women of Greece to help end the Peloponnesian War. She proposes a radical plan: all Greek women must refuse to engage in love making until the men see reason, lay down their arms and come home to lay down with their wives in peace. Click here to purchase script from Playscripts.
Premiere: University of Cincinnati. Cincinnati, OH. January 1, 2006.
Recent: Saint Marys College. Moraga, CA. April 14, 2016.
Oedipus - Playscripts, 2005, adapted by Ellen McLaughlin from the play Sophocles. A plague grips the city of Thebes. Desperate to save his people, King Oedipus sends a messenger to the oracle at Delphi and discovers that the city's salvation lies in finding and punishing the murderer of the former king, Laius. Click here to purchase this script from Playscripts.
Premiere: Guthrie Theater. Minneapolis, MN. January 15, 2005.
Recent: Odyssey Theater. Los Angeles, CA. April 11, 2015.
Penelope - a one-woman play.
The Persians - Playscripts, 2003, Based on the play Aeschylus. In this moving and poetic adaptation of Aeschylus' drama, Queen Atossa and her subjects anxiously await news of their King Xerxes' expedition to Greece. Click here to purchase this script from Playscripts.
Premiere: National Actors' Theater. New York, NY. January 1, 2003.
Recent: Summerfield Waldorf School. Santa Rosa, CA. November 17, 2011.
The Tongue of a Bird - Samuel French Inc, 2007, play. Maxine, a search and rescue pilot, returns in midwinter to her childhood home in the Adirondacks. There she conducts a search for a girl who, while on a field trip in the mountains, was abducted by a stranger in a black pick up truck. The search lasts for three days. Each night Maxine must face the girl's distraught mother, Dessa, and her own grandmother, Zofia, a reclusive Polish refugee. In sleep, Maxine is prey to nightmares and fragmented memories of a mother who abandoned her in childhood and was lost to insanity. Click here to purchase this script from Amazon.
The Trojan Women - Playscripts, 2003, from the play Euripides. In the wake of their devastating defeat, the women of Troy, all now widows, wait on the beach below the ravaged city to be claimed by their Greek conquerors as slaves and concubines. Click here to purchase this script from Playscripts.
Premiere: Fordham University. New York, NY. January 1, 2003.
Recent: Mercy Academy. Louisville, KY. April 21, 2016.