Tightly Bound

Tightly Bound

Eight short plays for women actors by Patrick Gabridge.

(Minimum cast: 4 women. Maximum: 18 women.)

The bonds of love and necessity run deep in these plays, whether in young mothers trying to cope with the pressures of parenthood, two castaways in a lifeboat trying to stay sane, a sister saying goodbye before going into space with aliens, or an adoptive mother and birthmother battling over a child they both love. Whether sisters, mothers, neighbors, or castaways, these women are deeply intertwined in each other’s lives.

This collection features eight short pieces with a variety of fun and challenging roles for women. Individually, these plays have delighted audiences in theatres across the country, from the Boston Theatre Marathon to the Seattle Fringe Festival. Together, they comprise an evening that will resonate deeply in the hearts and minds of audiences.

Published by Brooklyn Publishers.

The plays in Tightly Bound are:

Insomnia: Mary’s struggles with the pressures of motherhood produce an intense, lyrical, sleepless night.

Perfect Vision: Diana discovers her sister’s greatest treasure and greatest peril–a Pandora’s box that gives the viewer the most perfect, beautiful, fantastic sight imaginable. Once. A second glance means death. Can the sisters help each other resist this ultimate temptation?

Stop Rain: Birthmother Rain desperately wants to see the son she placed for adoption, but adoptive mother Marla feels she needs to protect her son from Rain’s screw-ups and chaotic life.

Ship of Fools: Lost at sea in a lifeboat, Jan and Francine try to save their sanity with an odd, fast-paced game of multiple identities.

Out of Time: The fast pace of life and motherhood engulf Mary in a surrealistic whirlwind as she comes unstuck from time. She struggles to connect with her daughter, Jenna, before it’s too late.

Flying the Friendly Skies: How would you feel if your best friend didn’t tell you she was in town? Lynne and Daphne find out when they become seatmates on what might be a very long flight.

Quiet. Friction between a landlord and tenant over noise transforms into an intense competition for silence. Zelda and Elisa are two strong women who will go to any lengths to achieve their goals.

The Sky is Falling. Samantha is informed by her guru that the rapture will arrive tomorrow, and she and the elect will be taken from the earth in space ships. Samantha’s sister and Grandmother aren’t surprised by Samantha’s apocalyptic news—they’ve seen it from her before–but they go along for a wild night of farewells.


What the people have said about the plays in Tightly Bound:

“In this brilliantly imaginative and wonderfully whimsical comedy [Insomnia], Katja Hill can’t get a wink of sleep, thanks to a hilarious all-night-long series of comical but all-too-familiar disruptions and distractions, many of them impishly impersonated by Eryn Makepeace, who like Hill is a consummate comedienne.”

Classical Voice of North Carolina

“I greatly enjoyed directing Out of Time! It was fun to dive in and explore this intriguing, challenging, and emotionally rich play. The realistic dialogue, relatable characters, and innovative, theatrical nature of the play made it a real highlight for audiences in last year’s showcase.”

Christopher Snipe, Artistic Director, Madcap Players, Washington, D.C.

“When I first read Insomnia by Patrick Gabridge I laughed out loud. When it was subsequently performed as part of Heartlande Theatre Company’s annual marathon of short plays, the entire audience followed suit – in spades. When we included it in a festival of plays chosen from past marathons, it became clear that “Insomnia” had achieved cult status as an audience favorite. Any play that bills itself as “hysterically funny” or “deeply human” is usually a disappointment. “Insomnia” is the rarest of exceptions – a play to which one could apply an endless stream of such hyperbole and still not do justice to the audience’s experience of it.”

Jan Radcliff, Co-Founder of Heartlande Theatre Company, Michigan

“The wise and witty Patrick Gabridge takes us on a kaleidoscope journey of time, scenes and character in Insomnia. Time flies by in this 10-minute piece, yet all of us have experienced an endless night of insomnia and can laugh and relate to the time-bending that occurs. His characters are a challenge and a treat for the professional as well as the amateur actor.”

Melissa J. Wentworth, Director, Out of the Blue Theatre Company, Boston

“When Pat’s The Sky is Falling debuted as part of our 24 Hour Play Festival, it stole the show. The audience was laughing freely from beginning to end. Not to say the piece is pure comedy; underneath the absurdity of the situation and the eccentricities of the characters, there is a truth about forgiveness, family and trust.”

Mike Manship, Artistic Director, South City Theatre Company, Boston