CURRENT PLAYS

A FUTURE PERFECT

Claire and Max find their values put to the test when best friends Alex and Elena announce they are having a baby. Claire is climbing the corporate ladder in advertising, while her husband Max is a puppeteer for PBS. With friends entering into parenthood, they ask: What happened to the indie-rock kids that hated everything their parents believed in? 2W, 2M, 1G

"A prescient look at the present.” —The Boston Globe

“Urban specializes in such telling, potent slips of the tongue; in his hands, a mere wrong word is like a wrecking ball.” —TheARTery.com

“A wickedly funny comedy.” —WGBH, Boston Public Radio

“A coming of age story for the new millennium.” —TalkinBroadway.com

Production History: Speakeasy Stage Company in Boston (Jan-Feb 2015)

Published by Dramatists Play Service

A GUIDE FOR THE HOMESICK

On his way home after a year in East Africa, a young aid worker goes back to a shabby Amsterdam hotel room with a fellow American. The two strangers replay their pasts and confess their shared fear that they betrayed the people who needed them most. 2M

Production History: Opens at the Huntington Theater Company in Boston this October

INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL RELATIONS

A young actress falls for an actor old enough to be her father. A young man brings home a boyfriend old enough to be his stepfather. A teenage boy and girl consummate their high school love, only to discover that both of them like boys. A novel for the stage full of unspeakably dirty things.  2W, 2M

Production History: Currently in development

NIBBLER

In the summer of 1992 in Medford, New Jersey, Adam and his gang of friends face life after high school.  But when the fivesome encounter a mysterious visitor from another world, their lives are forever changed. A dark comedy about that time when everything and nothing seems possible. 4M, 2W

“Part science-fiction yarn, part horror tale, sex farce and memory play, Ken Urban’s NIBBLER about teenagers in suburban New Jersey, offers a poignant thesis: When we find ourselves, we lose something, too.” --The New York Times

Nibbler is a very real story about crossing that not-always-defined line between teenhood and adulthood. ... Like the titular character, you’ll want to sink your teeth into this one.” —The Huffington Post

“Urban’s script is witty and original, an undeniably new take on growing up and moving on.” —Charged.fm 

“The writing is honest, clever, and totally shameless. ...Nibbler’s treatment of a fundamental feeling of confusion and dread—the fear of the change you don’t expect, and also the fear of the change you see coming—is something anyone can appreciate. ... it’s funny, it’s sweet, and it’s constantly surprising.” —Theasy.com

Production History: Produced by the Amoralists and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (Feb-March 2017).

Published by Dramatists Play Service

SENSE OF AN ENDING

Charles, a disgraced New York Times journalist, arrives in Rwanda for an exclusive interview with two Hutu nuns. Charged with homicide, the nuns must convince the world of their innocence during the 1994 genocide or face a lifetime in prison. When an unknown survivor contradicts their story, Charles must choose which version of the truth to tell the world.  3M, 2W

“There’s a lot to admire in Mr. Urban’s script. Fast-paced, fluid and taut.” —The New York Times

“A superb play about the Rwandan genocide…so intense that, in between each scene, you can hear the audience gulp for air.” —Time Out (London)

“One immediately feels the enormity of the devastation at the heart of [Urban's play]. Can a country, in which nearly 20 percent of the population is murdered by their neighbors in 100 days, ever fully recover?” —TheaterMania.com

“Urban's play is a compelling political thriller which not only discusses major issues of guilt and complicity, but also examines the moral choices made by all of his finely drawn characters.” --Tribune

“Cogent [and] troubling…the [play’s] striking final moments demonstrate that this playwright’s sense of an ending is perfectly intact.” —The Village Voice

Production History: Theatre503 in London (May-June 2015) and 59E59 Theatres in New York (Aug-Sept 2015)

Published by Methuen Drama and Dramatists Play Service

THE AWAKE

Malcolm, a devoted son, floats on a bed with his mother on an endless sea, as Gabrielle, an Eastern European actress, awakes to a new life in America. Meanwhile, Nate is on the run from a faceless interrogator. These three strangers discover that a mysterious corporation bonds them together. 3M, 3W, 1G

"Ken Urban's words are poetry. Voices and story lines converge and diverge like an elaborately mixed recording. The dialogue is full of stylized harmonies and dissonances; plots and characters operate in counterpoint. It is a structure that brings to mind Walter Pater's famous dictum that all art aspires toward the condition of music, a fusion of form and subject matter." —The New York Times

"[An] engaging tapestry of stories…[T]he descriptive, hallucinatory monologues require the audience to color in the details of scenes occurring in a character's mind. The fantasies resolve into emotional realities that, as in all our lives, must ultimately be borne rather than escaped." —The Village Voice

Production History: 59E59 Theatres in New York (Aug-Sept 2013) and First Floor Theater in Chicago (Feb-March 2016, return engagement July 2016)

Published by Dramatists Play Service and TheatreForum (Issue 46)

THE CORRESPONDENT

A grieving husband hires a dying woman to deliver a message to his recently deceased wife in the afterlife. When he receives letters describing events that only his wife could know, he must determine if the correspondence is from a con artist or if his wife has returned from the grave.  2M, 1W

"WOW! It was dramatic and twisty and an exciting new work that will leave you in awe!" —Joan Rivers

"A sharp new play that takes a stormy look at desire beyond the grave. Four Stars!" —Time Out (New York) 

"Do you believe in ghosts? What about the afterlife? Chances are, after a viewing of Ken Urban's unsettling drama, you'll be left questioning many of your deeply held beliefs. You don't want to miss this disquieting play, the specter of which will likely linger in your thoughts for days after." —TheaterMania.com

Production History: Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre in New York (Jan-March 2014)

Published by Dramatists Play Service

THE HAPPY SAD

Armed with art and flowers, Stan discovers his girlfriend Annie wants to take a break. Meanwhile, long-term boyfriends Aaron and Marcus struggle with the question of monogamy. In a city with too many options, the lives of these two couples (and their friends) become intertwined when Stan and Marcus meet online and hook up. 4M, 3W

"Ken Urban’s theatre work keeps on getting better and better. An entertaining, provocative and thoughtful look at twenty/thirty-something angst. There's wisdom here and wit." —Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com

"Urban is brilliant, provocative and gushing with talent!" —OC Weekly

Production History: Summer Play Festival at the Public Theater in New York (July 2009)

Published by Dramatists Play Service

Adapted into a feature-length film by the author

THE IMMORTALS

Alice has a lot on her mind. A professor at an elite university, Alice battles her department chair who demands she abandon a new book on medical racism for a more tenure-friendly project. At home, her husband’s job threatens his long-term sobriety. Yet, Alice cannot stop thinking about the story of Henrietta Lacks, the woman whose immortal cells were exploited by science. The only person who understands Alice’s fascination is an eager undergrad who might not be who he claims to be. A campus play about ethics in the classroom, the bedroom and the lab. 2W, 3M

Production History: Currently in development

THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ESKIMOS

After the sudden death of his sister, Marvin turns to his girlfriend, therapist and co-worker for comfort, only to find himself alone in his grief. Then he loses his cell phone. When he calls his number in hopes of retrieving the phone, a mysterious woman answers. Marvin finds himself falling for this mysterious stranger. But things are never what they seem. 3M, 2W

"A play for the electronic post-9/11 age by a prizewinning, surreal writer who captures well the absurd elements of contemporary life."—The Seattle Times

"A taut and gripping contemporary techno-thriller—the kind of tale Hitchcock might spin were he alive in our electronic age." —Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com 

"Exceptionally well written." —WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio

Production History:  The Committee Theatre in New York (2007), Stage Left/The Mill in Chicago (2009) and Open Circle in Seattle (2011)

Published by Dramatists Play Service

THE REMAINS

Married for a decade, Kevin and Theo are the ideal couple in the eyes of their families. But at dinner this Sunday, Kevin and Theo have big news. A comedy about the tragedy of love. 3M, 2W

Production history: Opens at the Studio Theatre in Washington, DC in May 2018

WASPS (an adaptation of Aristophanes)

Bedazzler just wants a little refinement, but it's hard when your dad is a war vet addicted to beer, trailer park women, and jury duty. With the help of her libidinous gal pals, Bedazzler devises a plan to put her old man on the straight and narrow, but, as with most Greek comedies, Fate won't make it easy.  3M, 4W plus 2 puppeteers

Production History: Produced by Studio 42 in New York (2013) and developed by Target Margin (2007).