Aaron Ricciardi
he, him, his
Affiliated Writer
New York, NY

Aaron Ricciardi is a New York City-based writer and performer, originally from Coral Springs, Florida. Aaron’s work has been produced and developed by Clubbed Thumb, the Playwrights Center, the New York Musical Festival (NYMF), Jewish Theatre of Bloomington, Stages Bloomington, and the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Advanced Workshop, where he is a lyricist. Work includes The Star KillersHanukkah Harriet, a play for young people (soon to be published by Stage Partners); Only ChildA Bushel and a PeckNice Nails; The Travels: an Epic play with songs (NYMF production); Resting Bitch FaceCan I See Your Face?; and Him & Her & Gay Men In General (national finalist for Gary Garrison National Ten-Minute Play Award). Aaron graduated from the Theatre program at Northwestern University, where he studied playwriting under Laura Schellhardt, and he received his MFA in Playwriting from Indiana University, where he studied under Peter Gil-Sheridan. He is currently a lyricist in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and was recently a Core Apprentice at the Playwrights’ Center and a member of Clubbed Thumb's Early-Career Writers' Group. Aaron is on faculty at SUNY New Paltz in their Creative Writing Program. www.aaronricciardi.com

Agent Information

Farrah Cukor
United Talent Agency


by Aaron Ricciardi

Jacqui is a wildly untalented thirty-something actress who’s been struggling in L.A. for years and has nothing to show for it. When she meets a has-been movie star and his even more has-been wife—who believe there is an underground organization working to steal money from and then murder Hollywood stars—she latches onto them. As their lives and ambitions intertwine, it's a dangerous cocktail of desperation, paranoia, delusion, and filmmaking for this threesome, who try so hard and want so much and just can’t cut it. 

JACQUI DAWN SMITH: 30s, female. A perennially unemployed actor who lives in Los Angeles, California, and has multiple incongruous day jobs. Her given name was something else, but she changed it (not legally) to “have more star quality.” Her looks are remarkably unremarkable. She’s lived in L.A. since she graduated from a private, conservative Christian college in her home state of Indiana, with a B.A. in Theater Arts. At college, there were only around twenty other Theater Arts majors, and nearly all of them were hobbyists. Jacqui stuck out because of how seriously she took her craft. Her talent as a performer is painfully mediocre, and she has no business pursuing acting as a career, but she has ambition in spades. Plays Woman and Journalist in the scenes from the movie The Star Killers. DONNY CAINE: 60s, male. A B-list—actually, now more like C-list—film actor. He is married to S.E. His goofy looks pigeon-holed him as a “character actor,” but he possesses a bona fide virtuosic talent. Donny was once clean-shaven and rather adorable, but, today, he is slovenly and off-putting, with baggy, dirty clothes and a baggy, dirty beard. Donny’s career began at nineteen years old, when, during his sophomore year of college at a state university in Texas, he was discovered by a respected independent film director. Donny’s deepest desire has always been to be taken more seriously as an actor. Plays The Star in the scenes from the movie The Star Killers. S.E. CAINE: 50s, female. A perennially unemployed former model and actor, who never truly pursued either career. She is married to Donny. Her name is pronounced “Essie,” short for the first and middle names given to her by her parents, whom she abhors. Her beauty could stop traffic, but this is hard to tell these days, since she dresses like she’s in some kind of punk rock militia and since she somewhere along the road became bug-eyed. Though she has never actually made a film, she fancies herself, as she would say, “an auteur.” She is extremely untalented and has poor taste. THE STAR KILLERS: One person, any age or gender. “Very L.A.” Plays all other characters: ACTING TEACHER, DEVELOPMENT EXEC, ACTOR, INVESTOR, PUBLICIST, PERSONAL TRAINER, DIRECTOR, TALK SHOW HOST, PRODUCER, MANAGER, BARISTA, PERSONAL ASSISTANT
by Aaron Ricciardi

In a landscape of distorted and fractured memories, a teenage prince meets a lonely schoolteacher and becomes deeply intertwined in her home, her marriage, and her fantasies. As their relationship intensifies, boundaries fall away, familial roles are usurped, and childhood is stolen, changing The Prince's life forever.

The Prince - looks to be a teenager, male, Jess's student Pat - thirties/forties, male, Jess’s husband/puppy dog Jess - thirties/forties, female, Pat’s wife/owner Abbi - fifties/sixties, female, ranges from infant to fifties/sixties, Pat’s and Jess’s daughter, but also a vessel for the ghost of Mom
by Aaron Ricciardi


a play for young people (to see and/or do)

It’s December. Shayna, the only Jewish kid in her class, would give anything to not have to celebrate Hanukkah and instead celebrate her favorite thing in the world: Christmas! But this all changes when she is visited by the spirit of a bubby from the Old Country, who takes her on a journey through Jewish history, large and small, and teaches her the value of tradition and of miracles, large and small.

This play can be done with a large cast or a small cast. LARGE CAST: If you opt for a large cast, feel free to flood the stage with soldiers, elves, etc. Also, feel free to change the gender of some roles to make the play fit your community’s casting needs. The following roles may be played by any gender: Kaylen, Elliot, Ryan, Lee, Ty, Miss Christiansen, Miss Karen, Judah Maccabee, Soldiers, Doctor Smith, Santa Claus, and George’s parents. (NOTE: Should you change the gender of George’s parents, make sure that they remain a same-gender couple [i.e. two men or two women].) SMALL CAST: Here are some ideas for doubling: ACTOR 1 – Shayna ACTOR 2 – Harriet, Bubby ACTOR 3 – Mom, George’s Mommy, Mamaleh ACTOR 4 – Dad, Ballet Teacher, Santa Claus, Tataleh, other student at school ACTOR 5 – George, Scott, Judah Maccabee, Shlomo ACTOR 6 – George’s Mom, Miss Christiansen ACTOR 7 – Jordan, Young Harriet, Dr. Smith
by Aaron Ricciardi (playwright)

Jeff is a Midwestern Jewish liberal who manages a Walgreens. Kirk is a right-wing Evangelical Christian who owns one of America’s largest companies. By day, they lead humdrum lives just like the rest of us, but, at night, these two closeted men rendezvous in an Internet chat room and project their fantasies onto each other. When their love gets all-consuming and all too real, these guys must strip themselves of their digital fictions and make a decision: remain in the closet, or finally live their truth.

JEFF SILVERBERG: Thirty. Caucasian. KIRK KLAUSON: Forty-seven, later forty-eight. Caucasian. SCOTT KUHN: Thirty. African-American. Jeff’s best friend since forever. CANDIE LYNN KLAUSON: Forty-five. Caucasian. Kirk’s wife of twenty-five years. DEANNA D’AMATO: Thirty-six. Any ethnicity. A cashier at the Walgreens Jeff manages. BRODY THOMAS: Twenty. African-American. A native of Kirk’s hometown. MEREDITH SILVERBERG: Thirty. Any ethnicity. Jeff’s soon-to-be-ex-wife (whom he imagines he sees in the face of a Flight Attendant).
by Aaron Ricciardi (playwright and lyricist) and Kelly Hoppenjans (composer)

Welcome to the U.S. of A. Other countries suffer biblical consequences for their filthy ways, but the U.S. of A. is the most perfect place on Earth — at least, that’s what Mr. Travel preaches every day on the nation’s only TV show. A trippy dystopian tale with an eclectic soundtrack, this Epic play with songs follows Teeny, Mr. Travel’s rule-breaking daughter. Teetering on adulthood and perplexed by this cruel world, Teeny learns to see past smoke and mirrors… and she starts a revolution. Mashing up styles that range from Brecht to dystopian fiction to South Park, this show turns the genre of musical theatre on its ear. 

MR. TREVOR TRAVEL, the most famous celebrity in America. MRS. TESS TRAVEL, wife of the most famous celebrity in America. TEENY TRAVEL, fifteen-year-old daughter of the most famous celebrity in America. A misfit. CONSUELA PODERA, new housekeeper of the most famous celebrity in America, and former First Lady of Ecuador. PINTO PODERA, seventeen-year-old new housekeeper of the most famous celebrity in America, and former First Son of Ecuador. A misfit. WARREN, Mr. Travel’s television technician and lover. ADONIS PERFECT, fifteen. Teeny Travel’s only classmate. A rule-follower. MRS. MONIQUE MOORE, Teeny Travel’s and Adonis’s teacher. Played by an actor who also plays BROOKE, a border patrol officer.
by Aaron Ricciardi

In a nail salon on the outskirts of New York City, immigrant ladies spend their days toiling like servants over the fingers and toes of obnoxious customers. This modest shop is the livelihood of a Korean-American family, who dream of making it big in America—or, really, just scraping by, especially now that the new salon next to the Whole Foods down the street is siphoning off their customers. As word spreads of labor department crackdowns, the salon owners’ daughter fights to modernize this tired establishment, all while growing captivated by a new customer who is not like the others, forcing her to examine the value of identity, government regulations, and Disney movies.  

Ariel: Late forties/early fifties, female, Korean-American. Co-owner of Nice Nail, with her husband Maurice. Thick Korean accent. Her real name is Hyeon-Jin (賢振). Maurice: Late forties/early fifties, male, Korean-American. Co-owner of Nice Nail, with his wife Ariel. Thick Korean accent. His real name is Min-Gyeong (敏敬). Jasmine: Twenties, female, Korean-American. Maurice’s and Ariel’s daughter and de facto Nice Nail employee. The slightest of Korean accents. Her real name is Jeong-Sook (正淑). Nomfundo: Twenties-forties, female, black South African. New Nice Nail employee. Thick Zulu accent. Helene: Late seventies/early eighties, female, Jewish-American, white. Longtime, loyal Nice Nail customer. Thick New York Jewish accent, originally from the Bronx. Either dyes her hair or wears a wig—not gray or white. Jacob: Late twenties, transmasculine, Jewish-American, white. Helene’s grandson and new Nice Nail customer. Very slight New York accent. Has a mohawk or some funky hair color, like green. Alyssa*: Twenties/thirties, female, American, any ethnicity. Nice Nail customer. Hair long, half-up. Lydia*: Early forties, female, American, any ethnicity. Nice Nail customer. Hair long, a hot frizzy mess. Rachel*: Thirties, female, American, any ethnicity. Nice Nail customer. Hair long, in a tight pony. Eve*: Thirties/forties, female, American, any ethnicity. Nice Nail customer. Hair long, down, flowy. Katy*: Late twenties, female, American, any ethnicity. NY State Deptartment of Labor investigator. Hair long, in her face and her eyes and her mouth. Charlotte*: Forties/fifties, female, English, any ethnicity. Nice Nail customer. Hair short, posh. * = these roles are played by the same actor


Workshop of The Star Killers at the Playwrights' Center, directed by Portia Krieger. May 2021.

Core Apprentice at Playwrights' Center, 2019-2020. Mentored by Taylor Mac.

Member of Clubbed Thumb Early-Career Writers' Group, 2019-2020. Mentored by Rachel Sheinkin.

The Travels was produced as part of the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival. It was directed by Travis Greisler and produced by Cohen Theatrical. The cast featured Luba Mason and Michelle Rios.