Block & Tackle Productions

Innovative Productions of Dramatic Narratives

This is the list of the stage plays of Michael Bettencourt (full-length, one act, and short) and screenplays. Each script is downloadable as a PDF and is offered under the Creative Commons Share-Alike License.

Full-Lengths

  • A Question of Color: A white man, a black woman, interracial marriage, 1907 = illegal.
  • Ain't Ethiopia: An African-American man goes to Spain in 1937 to fight Franco.
  • Amusing Ourselves to Death: Law and order have no power against a tender obsession.
  • Bright Gold Promise: A story of betrayal prompted by a thirst for real estate.
  • Dancing at the Revolution: Emma Goldman, exiled in France, feels exiled from her own life.
  • Esquina: A police officer is charged with murdering 17-year old Jose Aral, and the Aral family is never the same.
  • Hardball: In 1922, semi-pro Jewish pitching phenom Henry Kaner gets an offer from the St. Louis Browns - if he'll play on Shabbos.
  • The Happy City: Based on The Plague by Albert Camus, a port city in 1932 suffers the plague.
  • Homeward Bound: At the intersection of domestic violence and immigration - escape or die.
  • In The Name Of: Personal freedom challenges the PATRIOT Act - and the government hits back. Hard.
  • Light. Fantastic.: What is the answer to "what is the point?" Clu Martin tries to find out.
  • The Measure of All Things: Two Frenchmen measure the world to set the meter, measuring more than their science would admit.
  • Meet John Doe: A stage version of the 1941 movie directed by Frank Capra with a screenplay by Robert Riskin.
  • NEA High: A high school senior paints a painting that criticizes her school's policy on sex education. They pull it from an exhibition.
  • On The Nature Of The Dark Matter That Dominates The Present Mean Mass Density Of The Universe: A white law professor with black ancestors is challenged about her identity.
  • Pictures At An Exhibition: A mother accused of child abuse for taking nude photos of her son takes jail time rather than admit any wrong-doing.
  • Prisoner A-7: Alexander Berkman, the life-long companion of Emma Goldman, and his anarchist fight for a better world.
  • Seven Ladies Macbeth: Before and after Lady Macbeth became Lady Macbeth. (Inspired by Howard Barker's Seven Lears.)
  • Shea Man: An anthropologist plants the "missing link" on his family's farm to generate hype and cash. It does that, and more.
  • Time Laps: A Fugue of Sorts: Interconnected stories that show how Adam and Eve got from one end of life to the other.
  • When The Phones Came To Liberty Creek: In 1999, Liberty Creek, a rural "unincorporated territory," gets phone service, and change is wrought by a dial tone.

One-Acts

  • A Senior Moment: Jewel, Darcy, Salvia, and Seeromanie, all in their sixties, wonder why Chantelle, also in her sixties, is looking good these days - too good.
  • Another Seascape: A riff on Edward Albee's Seascape.
  • The Business: Would Jesus ever have been a CEO?
  • Click (long version): When Marlin reveals to Pinto what he did in the park, it changes their moral universe.
  • The First Day of the Seventh Month: A healthy man decides he has six months left and lives as if that were true.
  • Let Down The Rains: A cab ride from New York to Vermont is really not that far off.
  • Macbeth's Children: So many children die. Why?
  • Melts In Air: A middle-aged man loses his job, and he and his wife decide to fight back.
  • Samaritan: The parable's question - "And who is my neighbor?" - gets an answer.
  • Mine Eyes: A PR flack work for the American white militia struggles to re-join a world he's done much to damage.
  • The Most Dangerous Woman in America: A one-actor piece based on the anarchist Emma Goldman.
  • The Patron Saint of Geeks: Bobby and Chad, tormented as "geeks," contemplate equalizing the situation with their tormentors.
  • Poly X: Polyxena was the last sacrifice of the Trojan War - a play about the anger, mayhem, and sport of war.
  • The Real Temple: All of life is a journey through a slightly wacky King Arthur-world - bet you didn't know that.
  • A Round of Slaughter: An exiled playwright returns when her government turns democratic, but a former slaughterhouse doesn't change overnight.
  • The Sin Eater: A mother accused of child abuse for taking nude photos of her son takes jail time rather than admit any wrong-doing.
  • Still Small Voice: A writer, Robert Walser, comes to the end of his latest literary production.
  • Stimulus: Survivalists kidnap their political representative to buy him out so that he'll work for them directly.
  • Termagant: What's a Quaker super-hero to do when evil comes to town?
  • To...Or Not...: A pro-lifer and pro-choicer have some things to say as they cool their heels in a police van.
  • Translation: A linguist-for-hire translates a journal for a woman written to her by another woman. Yes, woman to woman.
  • The Way: Aviva Matthews studies Lao-Tzu's "The Way" to see if there is a way to end violence.
  • When The Military Bares Its Breast, The Eagle Finds Its True Devotion: Carver returns to the land she defended doing her tours. It is not a place that has a place for her.
  • When The Phones Came To Liberty Creek: In 1999, Liberty Creek, a rural "unincorporated territory," gets phone service, and change is wrought by a dial tone.

Short Plays

There are too many short plays to list individually, so I've gathered them into volumes. Printed volumes of these can also be purchased in the Bookstore.

  • Volume 1: The Adulterous Woman, An Affair Of State, The Alamo, The BĂȘte Goes Noire, Bintl Briv, Biog, The Body Electric, Booger, Only The Dead Know Brooklyn, Burning Issues, Catalog, The City of Mosques, Click, Combover, Courier Mercury, Location: Highway. Time: Near Dusk, Dot Org, Downsize, Ear Buds, Isn't A Date in Eight A Great Idea, Or What?, Equal. Separate., Everything's Jake, The Famine Church, Fare Thee Well, The Fever Dream Of Captain America
  • Volume 2: Frankie Is Dead, George Bailey Redevivus, Glory Train, Good Tidings, The Greed Gene, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg, Hammer, Hannah and The Maccabees, But Her Heart Is Warm, "Making Light": The Lost Letters of Hester Prynne, Hold On, How Do You Like Your Blueeyed Boy..., If Cleanliness, In The Fort, Ishmael and Ahab Mon Amour, J. De La Vega, Leaf Meal, Llorona, Love Letters, Moment, Mucho Macho, Newyorkistan, No Great Loss, Not Here, The Origin Of Zoos, Pamplona, Ripped From The Headlines, Rooted
  • Volume 3: Seconds, A Senior Moment, Slam Quartet, The Socialist Book Of Love, Sporting Goods, T62 Afghanistan 1988, Touching Down, Treetop, Zibn un Tsvontsik [Twenty Seven], Undress Me, Whispers, The Window, Mochila Bears the Chrysalis of the World, Breast Of Show, Las Cartas, The Games Of Time, Phlegraean Fields of the Sea of Sicily, or Ferdinandea, When Ayn Rand Walked In L.A., I Know What I Did Not Know, Hole In The Pocket, Mission Creep, Electricity, On Your Mark, There Is No Greater Grief Than For A Loss That Is Yet To Come