Los Angeles, California, where the weather is always nice, and the future looks bright… at least on the surface. Welcome to Silver Lake on a warm November night, where a new generation of thirtysomethings navigate filmmaking and family planning, trying to put down roots before everything melts away.
With Thora Birch, Nate Corddry, Keith Powell, Rebecca Henderson, and Lucas Near-Verbrugghe.
World Premiere at the Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles, November 8 - December 18, 2016. Dir. Randall Arney. Tickets here.
The New Sincerity
In today’s world, balancing politics, love and the quest for success (along with your social media presence) can get complicated. When her ambitious literary circle gets involved with a rowdy Occupy-style movement, young journalist Rose Spencer finds herself in a love triangle where it’s hard to tell the difference between sincere action and skillful self-promotion.
World Premiere at Bay Street Theater, Sag Harbor, NY, 2015. Dir. Bob Balaban.
With Teddy Bergman, Justine Lupe, Elvy Yost, and Peter Mark Kendall.
Chicago Premiere at Theater Wit, 2016. Dir. Jeremy Wechsler.
"Splendid... entertaining and thought-provoking... comedy with a poignant edge." -- New York Times
"Smith has a pleasingly caustic satirical touch, a deft hand at the manufacture of sexual tension, and an easy way with dialogue." -- Chicago Tribune
Childhood buddies whose paths have diverged reunite on a late summer afternoon for some beer, grilling and weed—but deep within their friendships lurk ghosts that rock the patio beneath them. Bitingly comic and ruthlessly recognizable, this is the story of a generation at war with itself over what it means to "man up."
World Premiere at Second Stage Uptown, NYC, 2012. Dir. Hal Brooks.
With James McMenamin, Raviv Ullman, Michael Braun, Tobias Segal, and Roe Hartrampf.
"Ms. Smith displays a perceptive understanding of the male ego. The men's contrasting voices are captured with a natural ease that makes them stand on their own as believable and memorable characters." — New York Times
“Alena Smith’s drama about sticky male bonding asks pertinent questions regarding the judgments we make about one another and when things have crossed a line.” — Time Out New York
“Smith hands the cast juicy lines marinated in testosterone.” — New York Post
THE BAD GUYS was adapted for film by director Carlos Rincones, and premiered at the 2015 Austin Film Festival. Trailer here.
Ever since Alexis moved in with her boyfriend, her pet parrot has developed a problem. What’s worse, the girl she’s been illicitly flirting with just showed up uninvited to their dinner party. And she might have bedbugs. And a secret past. Plucker is an old-school farce about a new generation dealing with the anxieties of commitment and co-habitation.
World Premiere at Southwark Playhouse, London, 2010. Dir. Anna Jones.
With Emily Bevan, Jamel Rodriguez, Claire Cordier, Paul Westwood, and Juliet Crawford.
“Plucker has an element of farce... but this is also a very serious look at contemporary attitudes to relationships through a group of thirty-year-olds who are beginning to feel it is time to settle down.” — British Theatre Guide
At first glance this family has everything. But once they leave on a Caribbean cruise, the winds change, privilege becomes a prison, and their vacation will be anything but smooth sailing.
World Premiere at The Public Theater, Summer Play Festival, NYC, 2009. Dir. Sam Gold.
With Gabe Ebert, Mackenzie Meehan, John Gould Rubin, and Mimi Lieber.
"Are you a young artist who makes oversized sculptures of your penis and you're angry that your Rhinebeck-dwelling progressive parents won't support you? Who hasn't been there, right? If you can ... head to the Public Theater and catch the remaining performances of The Sacrifices." -- Paper Magazine
"So brilliantly written, it immediately deserves to be part of the repertoire." -- Frankfurter Rundschau
The Lacy Project
Her mother's photographs turned Lacy into an icon of childhood innocence and beauty. Now, on the night of her 22nd birthday, Lacy has to navigate between image and reality, sex and friendship, self-indulgence and responsibility. This wild tragicomedy presents a portrait of a young woman held captive by her own childhood, and a vivid picture of a generation unable to grow up.
World Premiere at the Ohio Theatre, Ice Factory Festival, NYC, 2007. Dir. Susanna Gellert.
With Kristen Connolly, Caitlin McDonough-Thayer, Molly Ward, Taylor Wilcox, and Alexis McGuinness.
"A play by a gifted young playwright, about young people today ... Astonishingly complex." – Radar Redux
“Alena Smith is a smashingly original young playwright as she demonstrates in the wildly talented The Lacy Project. ” – John Guare, Playwriting Mentor, Yale School of Drama
It or Her
Somewhere between Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and The Tell-Tale Heart, this provocative dark comedy explores the basement of a suburban home, where Andrew has devoted himself unconditionally to his incredible collection of figurines. Suffering the loss of The Red One, he seeks to uncover The Ultimate Arrangement before his hideout is invaded, and his dark secret is revealed.
World Premiere at P.S. 122, Frigid NY Festival, 2010. Dir. Jessi D. Hill.
Performed by Brian McManamon.
"A luscious character study set into a well-told tale." -- The Happiest Medium
The Piven Monologues
When Jeremy Piven made his abrupt exit from the Broadway production of Speed-the-Plow due to the alleged illness of mercury poisoning, David Mamet may have been the first to comment -- "My understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer" -- but he was by no means the last. In this new age of instant global communication, no matter how minor the story or how wacky the rumor, everyone gets to have their say. The Piven Monologues presents a selection of the shitstorm in a very special staged reading.
THE PIVEN MONOLOGUES: A Collection of Internet Comments Related to the Controversy Surrounding Jeremy Piven’s Abrupt Exit from the Broadway Production of Speed-the-Plow Due to the Alleged Illness of Mercury Poisoning from Over-Consumption of Sushi
World Premiere at Joe's Pub, NYC, 2009. Dir. Alex Timbers.