Doug Brook is a published, award-winning playwright from Alabama, residing in Northern California. In mid-2011 he started assisting the Alliance with its website and related tech. He was an AJT Vice President from 2012 through 2019, designing and launching a completely new website, drafting a longterm online strategy, coordinating or participating in the submission and selection process for several conference playwright showcases, and other responsibilities.
He was co-founder and Artistic Director of Theatre Chevruta: A Jewish Readers Theatre, which ran 2013-2017 at the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos, California. He was Executive Director of Silicon Valley Shakespeare 2015-2021.
About twenty of his plays have been produced, staged, or recognized nationwide, including Off-Off-Broadway productions of RETROGRADE (published by Smith & Kraus) and WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO HANUCLAUS?. He is also an active director and actor in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A recurring B’nai Mitzvah Instructor and Torah Reader at multiple synagogues, he taught a popular synagogue Laugh & Learn series, and has been the humor columnist for SOUTHERN JEWISH LIFE magazine since 1996. He’s a former Ramahnik, AZA, and an international award recipient for Alpha Epsilon Pi.
Beyond theatre, Doug is in senior management for technical writing in Silicon Valley. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in writing and theatre from Carnegie Mellon University, and more recently a master’s degree in Jewish education from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Judaically-Related Plays (Award-winning and/or staged)
ORIGINAL SYNERGY (full-length) The story of the seven days of Creation were abridged in Genesis. This biblical and corporate satire reveals how Creation was (mis)handled by a committee comprised of the Big G and personifications of his Left Brain, Right Brain, Ego, Super Ego, Id, and (once woman is created) Feminine Side.
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO HANUCLAUS? (short) Santa Claus and HanuClaus share a drink before the season starts, lamenting their lives, families, and what’s become of their respective festivals and meaning.
LOT IN LIFE (hour-plus one-act) A rabbi tries to teach the biblical story of Lot when Lot’s Wife steps out to tell what really happened. From her own salty perspective, Lot’s Wife reveals everything, from how she met Lot in the desert at the local watering hole to crazy Uncle Abraham’s new religion, to her well-known demise, and the actual lesser-known ending.
TWO JEWS (short) What actually happened when “two Jews walked into a bar?” The previously quiet establishment erupts, but what does it have to do with these two Jews sitting quietly with their drinks?
THE BIG FISH STORY (one-act) Jonah sits outside his tent watching the big game when he hears the Big G’s voice ordering him to warn Ninevah of their demise. Pious as Jonah isn’t, he flees by ship. Jonah goes overboard, ending up in the belly of a big fish. Three days of solitude and smell change his ways, and Jonah returns home a changed man in need of a shower.
SELF EXPRESSION (full) “Self can be expressed in many ways, and two are interwoven here. The main story is a man and woman, at dinner, as the man struggles through the evening to express himself propose. Interspersed during this story are five sequences that represent five major stages of life, in which the two actors are the main characters. The stages include birth (or Genesis, in a trial of Eve who is charged with theft and dealing illegal substances), adolescence, young adulthood, mid-life, and death (including what happens next).
He’s also written short plays for synagogue programs, including THE MUPPETS TAKE PURIM: AKA THE GONZO MEGILLAH.
He has written twenty-minute plays based on numerous Torah parshahs, including:
- FLOOD FOR THOUGHT (Noach)
- FLIGHT OF THE BIRTHRIGHT BROTHERS (Toldot)
- YOSEF AND SOUND (Vayigash)
- PHARAOH FOUL (Bo)
- ALTAR NATIVE FACTS (Terumah)
- THE ART OF SACRIFICE (Vayikra)
Other Staged Plays
THE HOOD OF SHERWOOD
RICHARDCRANTZ AND GUILDENTHIRD, STILL DEAD (OR RICHARD III, VI:I)
MORE THAN PETTICOATS (principal writer)
THE CASE OF THE CEREAL KILLER
THE MILES HIGH CLUB
ATTENTION SURPLUS DISORDER
Other Judaic Plays (in progress)
THE DREYFUS AFFAIR (musical)
MAJOR LEAGUE SPY (the Moe Berg story)
THE FRISCO KID (musical, permission pending)
FIDDLER ON A HOT TIN ROOF (musical parody, permission pending… and unlikely)