Gavin Kayner
Tucson, AZ
My plays have won numerous awards and been stage-read, workshopped and produced to generous critical commentary.
Biography

Kayner's prose, poetry and plays have won numerous awards, appeared in various publications and been successfully produced.

His work has been recognized and/or produced by Long Beach Playhouse, Beowulf Alley Theater Company, Univserity of California at Irvine, Ashland New Play Festival, Back Alley Theater, Theater Forum LA, Live Theater Workshop and so forth.

Commentary regarding his plays include - 'A hauntingly beautiful play' Shirlee Gottlieb LADCC for The Language of Flowers. 'A brilliant schematic' Chuck Graham of Let the Show Begin for Noche de los Muertos. 'A tour-de-force' T. Little for Hokey Pokey. 'The play is stronge, structurally magnificent and moving.' Grant Bashore. And so forth.

Plays

by Gavin Kayner

Thumbs is the story of Isaac Graber, a young man who in protest against having been stripped of any emotional, intellectual or spiritual context loses a grip on his sanity and mutilates himself. With the help of a psychologist suffering his own dilemma, Isaac struggles to regain some equilibrium by unraveling the knot of his past and thereby coming to terms with the reasons for his dissociation and the mutilation itself. These two men grappling with their personal demons and each other create sparks on the stage.

Cast:
Isaac a college student. Mother and Father - Isaac's parents. Priest and Carl his religious and scientific references. Anna Isaac's college lover. The psychologist.
by Gavin Kayner

What happens when a clown who isn't funny, a writer who doesn't write, a black magician who wants to turn himself white and a con-man selling an elixir that cures baldness and hemorrhiods confront one another in the common room of the institution in which they are housed? Madness.

Hokey Pokey is incorporates the traditional narrative form with Theater of the Absurd to create a fast-paced, far-ranging play that beguiles and entertains all at once.

Cast:
Four males - Roget a frustrated writer, Otto a conflicted clown - the youngest of the four, Ponzi a slick con-artist in mid-life,, and Harrison an African American magician also in mid-life.
by Gavin Kayner

It's the dead of night. Two sisters - one channeling Emily Dickinson, the other engaged in a delusion her doll is a living baby, drag a body across the floor and stuff it into the refrigerator. Maria, the dominant older sibling, swears Emma to secrecy.

At dawn Walter, an escaped convict, breaks into their secluded home. He and Emma have been exchanging torrid letters. He's arrived seeking food, water, shelter and intercourse - of all sorts.

Despite herself, Emma is beguiled. Maria strives to protect their secret, her baby Grace and themselves. Walter toys with them.

As the narrative unfolds, truths are told, lessons learned, the body discovered and at least one of the characters is set free.

Cast:
Emma - a twenty-some year old female. Maria her older sister. Walter a man in middle age.
by Gavin Kayner

A high school teacher is accused of having sex with a 16 year old student. The union's advocate, her former lover in college, attempts to get at the truth. Of course, the truth is a volatile thing and needs to be approached with caution - especially if the student might be the son she gave up for adoption.

Cast:
Tracy a late thirty-some year old high school biology teacher. Bradford an athletic whip-smart sixteen year old. Aaron - Tracy's ex-love from college.

Successes

Critics regarding Noche de los Muertos - "Lyrically written" K Allen for the Arizona Daily Star. "A brilliant schematic." C Graham for Tucson Citizen.

Thumbs - "Thought-provoking, well-written and witty" C. Basola. "It's a special play" J. Frakes."Meaningful, essential and relevant. I went away wiser." B Rosano

Hokey Pokey- "A real tour-de-force" T Little. "A delightful night at the theater." D Swisher. "Another great production." J Slaney

Interior Dialogues - "Bold, enlightening and truly inspired piece" S Berg artistic director. "This play unfolds like a piece of music. It reads like jazz." "The dialogue was beautifully written...poetic." "Something innovative and fascinating here." Pittsburgh New Works Festival

Regarding The Language of Flowers - it won the Long Beach Playhouse and Theater Conspiracy new play prizes. It was a semi-finalist for the San Francisco Playwrights Foundation award.

Flowers has been stage-read, workshopped and produced to glowing critical commentary.

More recently, Identity Crisis was staged at Scoundrel and Scamp Theater. Critics and general audience members alike praised the play. "I like this show. It was funny and ultimately deep and heart-wrenching." L Moyer for Taming of the Show Review. "Identity Crisis is a dance in the subterranean shadows of the subconscious that is definitely worth taking." C Graham for Let the Show Begin. "Absolutely amazing!" JP Vyborny. "I had goosebumps." R Miranda. etc.