My Mini-Play In Manhattan

If you happen to be in New York June 11-28 my play “Shooting Fish in a Barrel” is being performed on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays as one of 20 very very short plays by the Medicine Show (including 15 real zingers by William Saroyan). Here’s the announcement.


– fifteen of the original 20 plays, with works written especially for these performances
by Kitty Chen, John Gruen, Lella Heins, Brian Murphy, Frederick Turner

Making Money, and Nineteen Other Very Short Plays, by William Saroyan, with additional playlets by contemporary authors Kitty Chen, John Gruen, Lella Heins, Brian Murphy and Frederick Turner. Opens Thursday June 11 at 8:30, all other performances 8:00 pm, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through June 28. Tickets are $18; you can charge them at or by calling 212 868-4444. No one is turned away for lack of the ticket price; if you need a hard times special, call the theatre at 212 262-4216.

Though Saroyan’s series of plays was published in 1969, and probably written in the early 60s, they have never been produced before, so this is a belated WORLD PREMIERE. They are a free-wheeling look at American society from a comically skeptical perspective; and embody a time between the horrors of WWII and the Korean War and before the escalation in Vietnam. It was a time of restlessness, when the adult population was stuck in their ways and the youth trusted no one over 30. Saroyan’s plays question the belief system imposed upon the “common man.” They see us all as stumbling toward some kind of truth.

WILLIAM SAROYAN: His play The Time of Your Life (1939) won a Pulitzer Prize, which he refused on the grounds that commerce should not judge the arts; he did accept the Drama Critics Circle Award. Serving with an army film unit in WWII, Saroyan narrowly avoided a court martial when his novel, The Adventures of Wesley Jackson, was seen as advocating pacifism. His major novel The Human Comedy led to a disastrous film adventure at MGM, and he remained one of the bad boys of American literature. Some other works are The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze, Places Where I’ve Done Time (novels), My Heart’s in the Highlands, Hello Out There, The Agony of Little Nations, The Cave Dwellers.

Making Money, and Nineteen Other Very Short Plays are again remarkably relevant. Saroyan wrote them out of the same period that led to the experimental theatre of the sixties. Medicine Show’s Artistic Director, Barbara Vann, who was also a founding member of the Open Theatre, says “We developed visual and vocal theatre techniques because we distrusted the word; we believed everyone in the ‘establishment’ was telling us lies.” Medicine Show presents fifteen of the original 20 plays, with contemporary works that were written especially for these performances.

Making Money, and Nineteen Other Very Short Plays – June 11, 8:30; June 12-14; 18-21; 25-28 all at 8:00 pm. Cast: Candice Fortin, Félix Gardón, Jason Alan Griffin, Beth Griffith, Renée Hermiz, Norma Hernandez, Richard Keyser, Eva Nicole, Ward Nixon, Ariel Pacheco, Henri Reiss-NaVarre, Charles J. Roby, Peter Tedeschi, Greg Vorob.

Tickets $18; charge them at or 212 868-4444, or make a phone reservation at 212 262-4216 (cash or check.) 549 West 52nd Street, 3rd Floor (between 10th & 11th Aves.)

By Frederick Turner

Professor, poet, lecturer, black belt, and more.

19 replies on “My Mini-Play In Manhattan”

I posted your blog on your mini-play on my wall in facebook and got this reply from one of Erika’s best friends, Margaret Dodge:

“I love the Medicine Show people. I did a show there years ago. In fact, maybe Frederick Turner was one of the playwrights…it was a multi-author thing and I don’t remember all the names. Ask him if he had anything to do with Why She Would Not. It was GB Shaw’s last, unfinished play and about ten writers wrote endings for it.”

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