Non-solo, non-Paper Soul plays & productions by J. Merrill Motz
The Beacon from Belle Isle
2m, 1w; 4m, 4w rotating
The Beacon From Belle Isle illustrates a unique time in Michigan’s history, as the great city of Detroit files for bankruptcy and its most precious memories and iconic landmarks (including, perhaps, Belle Isle) are in danger of being stripped away and sold to the highest bidder.
Flavored with magical realism and framed in vignettes that range from unflinching candor to whimsical history, The Beacon From Belle Isle‘s search for a metaphorical lighthouse drives an exploration of Michigan’s growth, decline, and search for a new collective direction.
Commissioned by Freshwater Theatre
Directed by Jamil Jude
Photo Credit: Scott Pakudaitis
The Ceiling Fan
Formerly "Little Strikes", formerly "Reinforce Sincerity"
Minneapolis Detective Stanley Colehour doesn’t play good cop bad cop in the interrogation room. In fact, he thinks that’s torture, no better than using suspects for batting practice. He wants suspects to feel safe and trust him, and he’s found the steps to ask questions with a friendly intent to get confessions without any harm. His high success rate has gotten him noticed at the Midwest Law Enforcement Convention by a mysterious Scotsman wanting to offer him his dream job in the big leagues. But, only if he can prove his steps work on an unsuspecting detective at the convention.
Originally produced as a staged reading as part of the 17th Annual Seabury Quinn, Jr. Playwrights' Festival, Ohio University, June 2011
All Gonna Go
Somewhere, in America
There's a church
Hidden in plain sight
Headquarters of The Order
The Separation between Church & State
Home of The Pope
Not "THE Pope", of course
More like The Pope if he were raised by Lex Luthor, The Godfather, and Hellcat Maggie.
But don't worry. If there's hell below, we're all gonna go...
Originally produced as a staged reading as part of Swandive Theatre's Veggie Stock, August 2010
Fisher and Tom have an arrangement. Fisher won't get in Tom's way, Tom won't get on Fisher's nerves. This arrangement is bogus. Good thing Tom's long-distance girlfriend Courtney isn't going to get in the middle of things...oh, wait...
What if Pinter had written the Odd Couple? You don't wanna know...
Originally produced as part of the APO One Acts Festival, Central Michigan University, November 2006
Selected for performance at KCACTF XXXIXRegion III, January 2007
Directed by A.J. Miller
Commissioned expanded full-length premiered University of Wisconsin, Fon Du Lac, March 2008
Directed by Richard Gustin
Photo Credit: UW Fon Du Lac
Ain't That a Kick in the Head
Rog & Barclay don't know each other. Good thing they're stuck on this elevator together for the foreseeable future. If only Rog would shut up. Please shut up. DUDE, SHUT UP.
Originally produced as part of the APO One Acts Festival, Central Michigan University, November 2005
Selected for performance production at KCACTF XXXVIII Region III, January 2006