Playwright  Leah Halper

Paul Braverman as Ralph Waldo Emerson fails to convince

Sam  Tillis's Henry David Thoreau of a doctrinal point in

Pine & Oak, Pear Slices 2012. Photo: Ross Peter Nelson



See also African-American History One Acts,

Women's History One Acts, and History One Acts


Power Forward. Chelone, the only immortal ever to defy Zeus, brings her tortoise-loving self and her subversive ideas to present day Silicon Valley, where Zeus is sorta Jobsian, and rebellion is dangerously appealing to everyone he's ever stepped on. Part of SF Olympians November 2014: The Monster's Ball. 

Young Ones Pull Through. What will happen when young people get so hyper-connected they evolve past face-to- face skills? Maybe they will have to join other species in futuristic re-schooling. Inspired by Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth. Stage Read, Monday Night PlayGround at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, October 2013.

Actual Value. A ten-minute musical that moves from prom dresses to predatory lenders, all on the strength of a powerful mother-daughter love. Stage Read, Monday Night PlayGround at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Jan. 2013. Stage Read, Slingshot Series at STAGERight Seattle, August 2014.

No More, Too Late, Adieu. Mack Robinson, Jackie’s older brother, confronts limitations and racism when he brings home his 1936 silver Olympic medal. Stage read, Monday Night PlayGround at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Nov. 2010; workshopped August 2012 at Association for Theatre in Higher Education conference, Washington DC.

Home Front. FDR and Eleanor grapple with the start of WWII, Winston Churchill's untimely visit, and bad White House food. Stage read, SF PlayGround at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Dec. 2011. Voted Peoples Choice Award by PlayGround audience.

Pine & Oak. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau are quarreling--but their women won't let it last long. Production, upcoming Pear Slices at the Pear Avenue Theatre, April 2012.

Way Home. It took courage for Fannie Lou Hamer to come home after death threats when she tried to vote in Mississippi in the 1950s. But her husband thinks it's stupidity. Produced as part of Towne Street Theatre's Black American Experience Festival, February 2012, in Hollywood. Performed as part of Black History Month at Joseph Le Conte International Magnet Middle School, February 2012.

Out of Clay. An atypical Jewish mother argues with her sister about her son’s upcoming wedding to a non-Jew. Semi-finalist, Pikes Peak Arts Council Women’s Festival. 2007. Produced, Three Roses Players, Hollywood, 2011.


Many Winters. History repeats itself in a family deeply affected by the loss of a child in the 1960s—and another today. Produced at Sheherezade Short Play Festival by Playwrights Center San Francisco. April 2011.

Through Delhi. A computer programmer creates an avatar of her aged, demented mother to finish some business together. Finalist, 2010 NYC Estrogenius Festival. Produced by Pear Slices, Pear Avenue Theatre, March 2011.


Eye Level Eye. A young woman searches for her father’s name on a Vietnam Memorial—with some help from a troubled vet who polishes the stone. Produced by Pear Slices, Pear Avenue Theatre, April 2010.

Ready. Short play about an amputee Iraq war veteran’s bitter options. Finalist, 2009 Heideman Award, Actors Theatre Louisville.  Stage-read at Monday Night PlayGround at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, January 2007. Published 2008 in Rio Grande Review.

Strong Pulling. George Washington must decide whether to accept a problemmatic new recruit just when he most needs recruits. Stage-read at Monday Night PlayGround at the Berkeley Repertory Theater February 2010. Stage read at Shorts, Mediums, and Longs, SCV Space, Santa Clarita, July 2011.

Yes Yes Maybe. A young man confronts his adoptive mother with the truth about his Argentinian parents on a day that turns out to not be his birthday. Finalist, Albuquerque Fusion Festival, 2011.

Mirror to Face. Stella Adler’s older sister Celia is destined for the stage—if her famous father will just give her a break.  Stage read at Monday Night PlayGround at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, March 2011.

A Billion Goodbyes. Ten minute play about aging, activists, and humans’ debt to frogs. Stage-read, Monday Night PlayGround at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre March 2008.

Something Wonderful. Short romantic comedy about what Italians really think of other people’s—and peoples’—food. Pear Avenue Theatre 2008 Pear Slices.

End of the Road. One-act play about our cars’ secret lives in a time of global warming. Produced February 2008 at the Playwrights Center San Francisco Sheherezade festival.

Gametes, Unite! Short comedy about a compromised sperm cell meeting a battered egg in an imperfect womb. Produced by Pear Slices, Pear Avenue Theatre. April 2009.

Next Best. One-act play about the durability of love, produced at Broadway West Theatre Company in February 2007 as part of Valentine Cabaret, August 2007 at San Francisco’s PTR Productions “Something About Death” series.

A Clearing. An elderly widow struggles to visit her dead husband’s memorial with a pregnant younger friend.  Finalist in Green Light Productions summer 2007 Columbia University Women’s Playwriting Festival, semi-finalist Potluck Productions Kansas City 2007.

Buddhist in Bathroom. What do you do when an elderly woman locks herself in the bathroom and strips naked? Produced January 2003 as part of Actors Theatre Santa Cruz Eight Tens at Eight: A Festival of One-Acts.