James VenhausJames Venhaus - production photos

Plays

Full Length Plays

Ugly People
ugly people posterCast: 7M/6F - Running time: 2 hours

It has been said that “Politics is show business for ugly people”. And never have there been a more ugly time in politics than now. In this new comedy by the author of "The Happy Couple" and "Broken Record", two candidates for office take two wildly different approaches to their campaigns. Each has help form some of the ugliest people in Washington. "Ugly People" is the show that asks the question, “What if running for office was like a game show, or a realty show?” Maybe it already is.

Ugly People named as one of the "Best of 2011" prodcution by the San Antonio Express-News. Theatre critic Deborah Martin says, "James Venhaus' interactive show about a fictional presidential election was smart, funny and, at times, distressingly realistic."

Click here to read the full article.

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Broken Record  
Broken Record - Overtime TheaterCast: 2M/1F - Running time: 90 minutes

Expanded from the ten-minute play, Inside the Loop that was written for TheatreASAP in 2007, this new, full-length production tells the story of one couple ... in reverse. If you could go back and play your entire failed relationship over again, would you? Should you? Would it make a difference? Ben and Cynthia's relationship is replayed from its bitter end back to its sweet beginning.

"Broken Record is funny, smart and beautifully realized. Its another winning collaboration from Venhaus and Overtime. Here's hoping there are plenty more when those came from." -Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News. Click here to read the full review.

globe WINNER! 2011 ATAC Globe Award for "Best Original Script"
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Weird Sisters - published by Playscripts, Inc.  
Weird SistersCast: 5M/4F - Running time: 90 minutes

Weird Sisters is a retelling of Macbeth set in a modern day high school. Three social outcasts (the Weird Sisters) decide to stoke the ambitions of the star football player (Mac) and his über-popular girlfriend (Lydia) to see how far they will go to make sure Mac is the captain of the football team. Of course, every high school student is assigned to read Macbeth, so the characters quickly become aware that their lives have an eerie resemblance to Shakespeare’s classic play. But, for the three weird sisters, is it too late to stop the events they have set in motion, or will their plan take on a life of its own and result in tragedy.
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The Happy Couple  
HC1Cast: 3M/2F - Running time: 75-80 minutes

A young lawyer and his wife return to the house that they rented while he attended law school. A lot has changed in ten years. Squatters now occupy the house and won't let the happy couple leave. By the time the sun comes up, no one's life will be the same.

globe WINNER! 2010 ATAC Globe Award for "Best Original Script"
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One-Act Plays

Stocking Stuffers - published by Original Works Publishing
Cast: 3-8 M / 2-7 F - Running time: 55-70 minutes

These five holiday-themed short plays have enjoyed dozens of productions in theaters around the country.   Individually, these plays fit nicely into an evening of ten-minute plays; or, performed together they provide a complete evening of theater. They are funny, edgy, and a little bit melancholy. The perfect antidote to the typical sticky-sweet Christmas fare.

This collection contains: The First Christmas, Santa’s Little Helper, Three Kings, Kringle-phobia and Happy Holidays from Anderson, Davis, Seton and Fenner
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The Temple of Dionysus - published by Playscripts, Inc.    
The Temple of DionysusCast: 4M/1F - Running Time: 50-60 minutes

Steve has lost it all: his wife, his job, his house, and everything he believed in. Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility, wants to make a comeback. Together they recreate the Dionysian religion for the new millennium. Rock bands, beer and babes. Will the world ever be the same?
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10-minute Plays

Masquerade
MasqueradeCast: 3M

Two comic book fans are preparing to enter a costume contest at a local comic book/sci-fi convention. The fans mistake Penelope Scruz, a drag queen who has stumbled into the convention by accident, for a fellow costumed crime-fighter. After the initial confusion wears off, one of the comic book fans enlists Penelope’s help in his costume parade presentation. In the end, they both realize that their worlds aren’t so different after all.
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Speak of the Devil  
Cast: 2M/1F

Loosely based on Goethe's Faust, Speak of the Devil finds Mike making a deal with you-know-who when his love life goes south. Hell ain't what it used to be, and the deal takes an unexpected turn as Mike finds a way to give the Devil his due!
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White Room  
White RoomCast: 2M/3F

Frank finds himself assigned to a bizarre new job in which he is unsure about what his task is, or how he got there. The other inhabitants of the “White Room” have their theories, and Frank is left to wonder if their individual realities are more plausible than the truth.  
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Concourse 'E'  
Concourse 'E'Cast: 2M/2F

Matt and Jeff, two guys on a weekend trip to New Orleans that turns upside down when they come face to face with a mysterious theft, a failed romance, Voodoo, and a good stiff drink at the airport lounge of the New Orleans International Airport.
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Three Kings - published by Original Works Publishing
Three KingsCast: 2M/2F - Running Time: 10 minutes

Two couples get together on Christmas Eve for a friendly game of poker. But, things get ugly when a player runs out of money and starts betting the Christmas presents.
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Amy's Last Shift  
Amy's Last ShiftCast: 1M/3F - Running Time: 10 minutes

Amy gets a new job as a waitress at the "Double D Doughnut" shop. After a rough first shift, Rose and Paige show her the ropes and the owner, Ed, tells her what it takes to succeed in the world of crullers and cheesecake. It all seems like harmless fun, but where will it lead, and how far to does Amy have to go to make a sale?
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Kringle-phobia - published by Original Works Publishing
Kringle-phobia Cast: 1M/1F,1 child, 3 evil Santas - Running Time: 10 minutes

A man confronts his fear of Santa Claus. Manifestations of his fears tease, taunt and haunt him as he tries to work up the nerve to take his son to the mall to see Kris Kringle.
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Happy Holidays from Anderson, Davis, Seton and Fenner - published by Original Works Publishing
Happy Holidays from ...Cast: 1F - Running Time: 12-15 minutes

This is a one-woman show about a receptionist at a law firm who is trying to get through the last ten minutes of her shift before the holidays. She gets calls from rude clients, her boss, her boyfriend, her mother and her best friend. Funny and heart-warming.
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Santa's Little Helper  - published by Original Works Publishing
Santa's Little HelperCast: 1M/1F - Running Time: 10 minutes

The play is set in the storeroom of an office during the annual Christmas party. During a brief romantic encounter a man and a woman come to discover more about each other and themselves than they bargained for.

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The First Christmas - published by Original Works Publishing
The First ChristmasCast: 1M/1F - Running Time: 10 minutes

The play takes place in the living rooms of a recently divorced couple in their mid-30’s. As the couple begins decorating their respective Christmas trees we hear their versions of how their “first Christmas” apart from each other will be, their version of why the divorce took place, and a tender pang of regret.
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Plays for Youth

Romeo and Juliet at Verona High - published by Playscripts, Inc.
Romeo and Juliet at Verona HighCast: flexible 10-20 M/F - Running time: 30-40 minutes

Billed as, "A modern take on a classic tale" Romeo and Juliet at Verona High updates Shakespeare's tragedy to a modern day high school. Romeo is the captain of the football team and Juliet is the president of the Chess Club. This half-hour play is ideal for elementary and/or middle schools with a flexible cast size (10-20) and minimal technical requirements. As an added bonus, the play has both a "comedy" and "tragedy" ending and at each performance the audience votes on which ending they would like to see.
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A Great Big Deal Over Nothing
(or Much Ado About Nothing at Camp Messina)
Great Big Deal Over NothingCast: 7M/7F

Mistaken identities and romance run rampant at Camp Messina, where campers hope to have their secret crushes realized in time for the big dance. Clark likes Holly, but he's too shy to admit his feelings. Meanwhile, Ben and Bea hate each other, but their friends think they're meant to be together. Add a duo determined to cause trouble and an inept security guard, and this modern retelling of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing guarantees camp will never be the same.
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The Top Hand of Lone Tree Ranch  
Top Hand of Lone Tree RanchCast: 1M/1F (young actors) and 3M/1F (adult actors)

Paddy Pence lived with his grandfather on Lone Tree Ranch. Paddy was small for his age, even when he stood in his boots. Every time he entered the calf scramble contests, he was pushed aside by the bigger boys. Paddy entered the contests because he wanted a calf of his own. Then chance left a tiny black calf behind at Lone Tree Ranch and Paddy soon found himself living an untruth.

This musical play for children presents an honest picture of a boy's efforts to do right, and a down-to-earth story of everyday life on a cattle ranch in Texas.
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