Selected full-length plays


REUNION

(5W, 3M) It’s the 10th reunion of the River Hill High Class of ’08, and everyone’s gathering at the old American Legion Hall in the tiny town of River Hill, NJ. How’re people doing? Well, Sarah’s already divorced. Adam’s a failure. Melissa’s a TV star. Pete’s dead. And Katie’s just really excited to be hosting. Will former crushes fall in love? Will friendships stand the test of time? Will life start to make any sense? Reunion is an ensemble comedy-drama about a group of classmates getting together to figure out how far they’ve come since high school—and how far they still have to go.

  • Reading, West of 10th, NYC, February 2019 (dir. Lily Riopelle)

  • Commission, West of 10th, 2018


SOCIAL STUDIES

(2W, 2M) Who gets to decide what our children learn? It’s the fall of 2018, and the Michigan Board of Education has released new social studies standards for the state’s public schools. But many topics are mysteriously missing from them: civil rights, gay rights, Roe v. Wade, climate change, and even the word “democratic.” When high school history teacher Sarah Miller catches wind of this, she embarks on a quest to find out what happened—and she uncovers an effort by local conservatives to undermine the curriculum. Based on true events, Social Studies is a timely, urgent play about education and politics in a divided America.

  • Semifinalist, Dayton Playhouse’s FutureFest 2019

  • Semifinalist, Western Michigan University’s Activate: Midwest, 2019

  • Semifinalist, Outvisible Theatre Company’s 2019 Detroit New Works Festival


THE HOLIEST PLACE IN THE WORLD

(3W, 1M) It’s spring 2018, and tensions in Israel are high. President Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and is moving the U.S. Embassy there—to the dismay of the Palestinians, who see Jerusalem as their city too. Enter Hanna Levy, an ambitious young archaeologist who works for the Israeli government. Hanna is asked to come up with an ancient artifact that will prove the Jewish claim to Jerusalem once and for all. But Hanna is deeply left-wing, and her boyfriend, Sayed, is a Palestinian writer and activist. Torn between science, politics, and her personal life, what will she do? The Holiest Place in the World is a timely play about archaeology, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the effect of the ancient past on the fraught present.

  • New Play Commission, Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project, 2017


OLD FUCKING FRIENDS

(2W, 3M) Cam, Joe, and Nick are old friends. Best buds. Now they’re 30, and Nick’s getting married. So they’re back in the New Jersey basement where they (mis)spent their teen years for a final night of drinking, drugs, and remembering old times. But when Kate and Marissa, two women from their past, show up, a wild boys’ night turns into something more dangerous and painful. Old Fucking Friends is a provocative dark comedy about male friendship, male frailty, and the reckoning between men and women happening today.

  • Reading, EST/Youngblood's 2018 Bloodworks series, NYC, May 2018 (dir. Colette Robert)


THE SABBATH GIRL

(3W, 2M) Angie Mastrantoni has a lot going for her. A job at a hip Chelsea art gallery. A new one-bedroom on the Upper West Side. And, despite her concerned Nonna’s wishes, not much time or hope for relationships. But then her neighbor Seth knocks on her door. He’s a 32-year-old, divorced Orthodox Jew with a knish store on the Lower East Side. And he needs some help turning on his AC. He needs a Shabbos goy, a non-Jew to help him with little tasks forbidden to Jews on the Sabbath. Could it be love? The Shabbos Goy is a contemporary romantic comedy with an old-fashioned heart—about the loneliness of big-city life, the surprise of encountering another culture, and the possibility of finding love next door.

  • Production, Penguin Rep Theatre, Stony Point, NY, August 2019 (dir. Joe Brancato)

  • Reading (Finalist), Jewish Ensemble Theatre’s JETFest 2019, Walled Lake, MI, 2019

  • Finalist, Jewish Plays Project’s 2019 Jewish Playwriting Contest

  • Reading, New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch, NJ, August 2018 (dir. Daniel Winerman)

  • Reading, EST Memberfest, Ensemble Studio Theatre, NYC, August 2017 (dir. Colette Robert)


AFTER DAD

(3W, 2M) What do you do when your dad suddenly dies? If you're Jewish, you go home for shiva—seven days of ritual mourning. So Cammy's back from New York City and living in Jersey for a week. And her mom, her childhood BFF, her high school crush, and the rabbi are all there waiting for her. Not to mention the sexy Jersey Bro invading her dreams. Will she make it out alive? After Dad is a raw, raunchy comedy about grief, coming home, and figuring out how to live your life after you lose the person you loved most.

  • Workshop, Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Great Barrington, MA, June 2018 (dir. Jim Frangione)

  • Workshop, West of 10th (in conjunction with the Dramatists Guild Fund), NYC, July 2017 (dir. Colette Robert)

  • Reading, "Homesick: Two Plays About Home by Brett Epstein & Cary Gitter," New Perspectives Theatre, NYC, December 2016 (dir. Michael Leibenluft)


MENORAH

(3W, 2M) The world’s in turmoil, Israel's at war with Palestine—and in tiny River Hill, NJ, super-Jewish Georgia is just trying to get a big Hanukkah menorah placed next to the town Christmas tree. But with her angry son in love with a Palestinian-American girl, and a seductive Christian mayor in office, Georgia has no idea all hell's about to break loose. MENORAH is a dark comedy about a clash of identities in a small American town.

  • Finalist, 2017 Creative Residency, SPACE on Ryder Farm

  • Semifinalist, O'Neill Center's 2017 National Playwrights Conference

  • Finalist, Jewish Plays Project's 2017 Jewish Playwriting Contest

  • Reading, West of 10th, NYC, October 2016 (dir. Michael Leibenluft)


YOUTH GROUP

(2W, 3M) A Sunday night in January. A snowstorm has hit New Jersey. But the River Hill Youth Group, a forum for teenage "real talk," is still meeting at the local Presbyterian church. And only four high schoolers have shown up tonight. YOUTH GROUP is a bittersweet comedy about a few misfit teens and their oddball adult advisor, who gather on a snowy night to form an accidental community.

  • Reading, Wordsmyth Theater Company, Houston, TX, September 2017

  • Reading, EST/Youngblood's 2016 Bloodworks series, NYC, May 2016 (dir. Molly Clifford)


THE SMELLY GIRL

(2W, 2M) It's the start of freshman year for Will: the time when high school reputations get made. And there's an unconventional new girl named Sara in town, with thrift-store clothes, artistic talent, and a love of '60s music. But when Will befriends her, he finds himself caught between his outcast new friend and the social life he craves. THE SMELLY GIRL is about growing up and making hard choices.

  • Finalist, NYU Steinhardt's 2016 New Plays for Young Audiences

  • Reading (Winner, Theater for Youth), Chameleon Theatre Circle's New Play Contest, Burnsville, MN, November 2015 (dir. Ben Layne)

  • Reading, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, January 2015 (dir. Mark Lutwak)

 

selected short plays


HOW MY GRANDPARENTS FELL IN LOVE

(1W, 1M) In 1933, Charlie, a Polish Jew who has immigrated to America, returns to the Old Country in search of a wife—and then he meets Chava in a hat shop.

  • Reading, JIB Productions’ Play With Your Food, Connecticut, February 2019

  • Recording, Playing on Air public radio show and podcast, February 2018 (dir. Colette Robert) (listen here)

  • Production, New Jersey Repertory Company's Theatre Brut Festival, Long Branch, NJ, October 2017 (dir. Colette Robert)

  • Production, Ensemble Studio Theatre's 36th Marathon of One-Act Plays, NYC, May-June 2017 (New York Times Critic's Pick) (dir. Colette Robert)

  • Production, EST/Youngblood's "Yearning to Brunch Free," NYC, April 2017 (dir. Linsay Firman)


HIGH SCHOOL INTIFADA

(1W, 1M) Sixteen-year-old Rivvy has been called to the principal’s office in her small-town New Jersey high school. She’s accused of “bullying” other students on Twitter. But is she really here because she’s critical of Israel? And who are the actual bullies? High School Intifada is based on a true story. 

  • Reading, Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s New Play Development Workshop, Orlando, FL, August 2019

  • Production, Open Fist Theatre Company’s What Matters Now?/!, Los Angeles, CA, March-April 2019 (dir. Christopher Cappiello)

  • Production, Theatre InspiraTO’s InspiraTO Festival, Toronto, Canada, June 2018 (dir. Todd Colley)

  • Reading, Columbia University’s Center for Palestine Studies, NYC, November 2017 (dir. Pirronne Yousefzadeh)

 

Read Cary's work on the New Play Exchange and view his full playwriting resume.