Gary Corbin is an award-winning playwright with over a dozen productions of his full-length, one-act, dinner theatre, and ten-minute plays in the Portland area. Productions include include “Happy Anniversary” at Serendipity Players, “PS, I Love Your Daughter” at North End Players and CoHo Theater in Portland, “Mama vs. The Mob” at Magenta Theater and “Murder at the Barracks” at Ft. Vancouver, WA, as well as Fertile Ground productions of “Family Hardware,” “KleptoFamilia,” and “The Exes,” among others.

In addition to his own scripts, Gary writes, ghost-writes, and edits scripts. He specializes in tight, realistic dialogue involving sharply drawn, interesting characters in complex relationships.

Coming Soon: Voodoo Snowball

Sometimes, the only way to heal a dysfunctional family is through voodoo.

Philip, a man of ritual, somehow reached his forties without ever committing to anything – at least, nothing that matters to his parents or his almost-fiancée Elise. But then his sister Danielle informs him that Gus, his estranged father, is dying of lung cancer and clings to life only through his wife’s prayers and his own superstition, embodied in Danielle’s gift to him of a Voodoo Snowball. Elise views Philip’s willingness to reconcile with Gus as symbolic of his ability to commit to family and, thus, to their future together. But when Philip’s half-hearted attempts fail to break through the protective shield his mother maintains around morphine-addled Gus, Elise is ready to give up on him. As Gus’s health deteriorates, Philip’s last hope is a showdown that no one – including Philip – thinks he has in him.

Voodoo Snowball will be performed as a staged reading at the 2018 Fertile Ground Festival of New Works, co-produced and presented by PDX Playwrights and Northwest Theatre Workshop. Show times are:

  • Thursday, January 25 at 7 PM at Literary Arts (with post-reading panel discussion, 925 SW Washington St, Portland
  • Friday, January 26, 7 PM at Hipbone Studio, 1847 E. Burnside St, Portland

Recent Performances of Gary’s Plays

The 2016 Fertile Ground Festival of New Works featured three of Gary’s new works, with a total of seven performances across five evenings:

  • Two new short plays, “Prefacing” and “Building Blocks,” enjoyed fully staged performances as part of PDX Playwrights‘ “Daisy Dukes Shorts Night” on January 22 and 23, both at Hipbone Studio, directed by Dave Roberts.
  • Full length comedy “Family Hardware” was performed as a staged reading on three evenings at Hipbone Studio, January 24, 26, and 31, 2016. Directed by Dorinda Toner and starring Jonathan Wexler, Laurie Campbell-Leslie, Mark Putnam, Maria Aust Randall, Jo Strom Lane, and Nick Serrone.

Until it’s performed, it’s not yet a play – it ‘s just a script.

Gary believes that a play will be most successful when the creative talents of the playwright are joined with those of the director, actors, producer and tech crew. Each needs the creative freedom to contribute depth to the characters, environment and relationships envisioned in the play. Gary is happiest when he can hand the script off to a dynamic team capable of staging a production without interference substantial oversight from the playwright.

  • Would you like to perform or produce one of Gary’s scripts?
  • Do you need a script developed?
  • Do you need assistance with your script?

Flexible terms are available for your or your theater. Contact me directly to discuss your needs or to obtain an estimate.

[All plays]       [Short plays]       [One-act plays]       [Full-length plays]       [Dinner Theatre]       [Video]


Plays in Gary’s library include:


Voodoo Snowball

Voodoo Snowball by Gary Corbin

Sometimes, the only way to heal a dysfunctional family is through voodoo.

Philip, a man of ritual, somehow reached his forties without ever committing to anything – at least, nothing that matters to his parents or his almost-fiancée Elise. But then his sister Danielle informs him that Gus, his estranged father, is dying of lung cancer and clings to life only through his wife’s prayers and his own superstition, embodied in Danielle’s gift to him of a Voodoo Snowball. Elise views Philip’s willingness to reconcile with Gus as symbolic of his ability to commit to family and, thus, to their future together. But when Philip’s half-hearted attempts fail to break through the protective shield his mother maintains around morphine-addled Gus, Elise is ready to give up on him. As Gus’s health deteriorates, Philip’s last hope is a showdown that no one – including Philip – thinks he has in him.

Length: Full-length, 90 pages

Cast size: 5 (2 Men, 3 Women, 0 Other/Any)

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Family Hardware

Family Hardware by Gary Corbin

Willy is a man of a certain age, who has largely lost interest in sex. His younger wife Katherine’s appetite is as voracious as ever. When Willy’s doctor, Kyle Warren, informs him that his heart is no longer healthy enough for sex, Katherine convinces him to let her try “outside options.” As they try to defuse their marital crisis with increasingly challenging alternatives, Willy relies on his lifelong friend Monica to run his family hardware business and keep him sane. When Brett, the sex maniac Monica fired, shows up as Katherine’s new “outsourcing” alternative to celibacy, the solution becomes worse than the problem. But that’s just the beginning of Willy’s troubles, as Katherine takes her new-found liberties to the extreme.

“Family Hardware” examines the struggles facing aging sexually active baby boomers whose bodies can’t keep up with their desires to remain sexually active and healthy, and puts the “fun” back into sexual dysfunction.

Length: Full-length, 90 pages

Cast size: 5 (3 Men, 2 Women, 0 Other/Any)

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Prefacing

Prefacing by Gary Corbin

Jane has an unconscious verbal tic that drives her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend, Mort, over the edge.

Way, way over the edge.

“Prefacing” was workshopped Jan 22-23, 2016, as part of the PDX Playwrights “Daisy Dukes Shorts Nights” during the 2016 Fertile Ground Festival of New Works, with two performances, all at Hipbone Studio (1847 E. Burnside, Portland).

Length: Short, 7 pages

Cast size: 2 (1 Men, 1 Women, 0 Other/Any)

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Building Blocks

Building Blocks by Gary Corbin

Abe and Maude have broken up, gotten back together, and now aren’t sure where they stand. Over a game of Jenga, they discover a new way forward.

Length: Short, 7 pages

Cast size: 2 (1 Men, 1 Women, 0 Other/Any)

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Truthstone

Truthstone by Gary Corbin

Four friends meet for drinks before their twenty-fifth high school reunion, the first time they’ve all reunited in twenty years. When one of them reveals she’s brought along their own private version of a “Blarney Stone,” embarrassing confessions are a must… plus one confession the others didn’t count on.

Length: Short, 10 pages

Cast size: 4 (2 Men, 2 Women, 0 Other/Any)

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PCC CLIMB Manufacturing Industry Video

PCC CLIMB Manufacturing Industry Video by Gary Corbin

PCC’s CLIMB Center commissioned me (via Innovative Growth Solutions) to help them develop this video. I wrote the script and led the group through a facilitated development process before it got turned over to PCC’s media production department.

Length: Video, 2 pages

Cast size: 1 (0 Men, 0 Women, 0 Other/Any)

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Papacino's

Papacino's by Gary Corbin

What if family planning clinics were run like coffee shops? When a young woman finds an unusual clinic on the internet, she discovers that counselors act like baristas, her boyfriend is a regular customer, and pregnancy is just another item on a complex menu.

Length: Short, 10 pages

Cast size: 3 (1 Men, 2 Women, 0 Other/Any)

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Kleptofamilia

Kleptofamilia by Gary Corbin

This family will steal your heart – and maybe your wallet.

Cate, a divorced middle-aged woman, is in desperate financial straits – not only from her divorce, but from bailing herself and her daughter out of jail for stealing. Her control-freak boyfriend Edgar wants to take their relationship to the next level, but he’s too risk-averse to make the right moves. When Cate’s daughters propose an innovative art show at Edgar’s gallery, everybody’s buttons get pushed – including the jealousy button of Cate’s ex-husband, Drew.

“KleptoFamilia” takes a fresh and light-hearted look at our assumptions about kleptomania, at the effects of social stigmas on families, and at the age-old question of “What is art?”

Length: Full-length, 100 pages

Cast size: 1 (3 Men, 3 Women, 0 Other/Any)

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The Exes

The Exes by Gary Corbin

Two divorced couples crisscross their romantic paths and hook up with each others’ exes without realizing it until it’s too late and wedding bells start to chime.

Elaine, dumped a few years back by playboy husband Sam, runs a struggling bookstore that somehow attracts the attention of Alex, a shy younger man whose hard-charging wife Corinne also left behind. While the attraction between Elaine and Alex grows, Sam forges ahead with plans to marry his new love – who turns out to be none other than Corinne. No one realizes the connections until Sam asks Elaine to agree to some last minute changes to their divorce settlement – a settlement that stands in the way of Sam and Corinne’s impending nuptials.

“The Exes” is a story about letting go of failed relationships and allowing new love to replace and heal the hurt that can keep us stagnant.

Length: One-act, 32 pages

Cast size: 4 (2 Men, 2 Women, 0 Other/Any)

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Lying in Judgment –A No-Intermission Play

Lying in Judgment –A No-Intermission Play by Gary Corbin

Peter Robertson, serving on the jury of a murder trial, realizes that the murder being tried is the one he committed.

Or was it?

He and five other jurors struggle to reach consensus, but their perspectives on what they heard are as different as their personalities. Alfred, an unemployed recent college grad, spent most of the trial hitting on Christine, a sassy juror who fixates on the defendant’s history of stalking the victim’s girlfriend. Her unabashed romantic interest in Peter leads to heightened conflict with Alfred even as they ally to push for conviction.

As the dysfunctional jury weighs the evidence, the jurors’ biases explode into pitched arguments while Peter reveals information not presented in court, raising suspicions and driving the other jurors toward acquittal. Just as the others reach near-unanimity for an innocent verdict, Peter realizes how just wrong they really are.

Full-length drama. Adapted for the stage from Gary’s novel of the same name.

Length: Full-length, 0 pages

Cast size: 6 (3 Men, 3 Women, 0 Other/Any)

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The Jumper

The Jumper by Gary Corbin

A distraught woman contemplates suicide, and her emergency counselor isn’t helping. Nor are any of the men in her life, all of whom bear a striking resemblance to one another.

Length: Short, 12 pages

Cast size: 3 (1 Men, 2 Women, 0 Other/Any)

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Dad, I Hardly Know You

Dad, I Hardly Know You by Gary Corbin

Just when never-married, forty-something Victor thinks he may have talked his new girlfriend Andrea, an unemployed erotic yoga instructor, into moving in with him, his estranged father Abe barges back into his life—suitcase in hand.

Abe’s obsession with his own aging body and his take-no-prisoners tendency to say whatever crosses his mind leads to confessions Vic is not ready to hear. Just when Vic thinks he’s had enough, Andrea delivers the ultimatum he fears the most—and only Abe can help him.

“Dad, I Hardly Know You” looks at dysfunctional families and the ways that we can learn to forgive even those who have hurt us the most.

Length: Full-length, 65 pages

Cast size: 3 (2 Men, 1 Women, 0 Other/Any)

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Murder at the Barracks

Murder at the Barracks by Gary Corbin

A foiled raid on the Fort Vancouver armory during the Civil War threatens to expose the nefarious plots, schemes and affairs of officers, soldiers, wives and townsfolk alike in this comical dinner theater production inspired by actual historical events at the Ft. Vancouver Historic Site.

The surprise murder of a well-informed prisoner captured during the raid forces an investigation into the secret plans and subterranean plots – and sends accusations (among other things) flying.

Length: Dinner Theatre, 56 pages

Cast size: 12 (6 Men, 6 Women, 1 Other/Any)

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PS, I Love Your Daughter

PS, I Love Your Daughter by Gary Corbin

A middle aged man falls for his best friend’s 30-something daughter.

Michael, a 40-something divorced man, has spent three years moping after his divorce. His best friend and former drill sergeant, Paul, convinces him to start dating again. Michael meets Jennifer, the woman of his dreams, at a trade show – only to discover that she’s Paul’s long-estranged daughter, all grown up. They try to keep their relationship a secret from Paul, but when he stumbles upon them kissing in a local restaurant, all hell breaks loose. As the men’s life-long friendship hangs in the balance, Jennifer – prodded by Michael’s nerdy employee, Derek – takes a big risk with an attempted reconciliation with her father. “PS, I Love Your Daughter” examines what happens when the all-too-rate close friendships between men stumble over family and romance.

Length: One-Act, 40 pages

Cast size: 4 (3 Men, 1 Women, 0 Other/Any)

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Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary by Gary Corbin

Robert and Beth meet for dinner on the first, fifth, and tenth anniversaries – of their divorce.

Still civil – though just barely – the couple tries to salvage a friendship from the ashes of their ruined marriage. Arguments over the choice of wine, whether to share their food and Robert’s playboy past turn the first dinner into disaster. Nevertheless, Robert persists and the couple repeats the experiment on the fifth and tenth anniversaries of their divorce as well.

Nosy waiter Anton, who serves them all three meals, punctuates their conversation with well-timed interventions guaranteed to elicit the most information he can gather – and outbursts from the frustrated couple.

“Happy Anniversary” is about the ways we cling to fading hopes and romanticized memories from past loves, long after the relationships have failed – and how we can learn from those failures so we can love healthily once again.

Length: Full-length, 75 pages

Cast size: 3 (1 Men, 1 Women, 1 Other/Any)

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