Allan Baker

Bio

After retiring and after a decade as a gay rights activist in Texas, Allan began writing in 2004. He has since written fourteen plays, all but one with gay characters and themes. Eleven of these plays have been on stage, in a total of twenty-three productions and eight staged readings, from coast to coast in the US and from Guam to Canada, internationally.

His first play was All the Saints, a full-length, modern re-telling of Dumas’ Lady of the Camellias and Verdi’s La Traviata, with gay characters.  This play was given a well-received staged reading at Zach Scott Theatre Center in Austin in January 2008. 

Allan’s first one act play, Five Minutes, set in the World Trade Center on 9/11, was named “Best of the Fest” for the FronteraFest short fringe festival at Hyde Park Theatre in Austin in 2006 and was selected for the Emerging Artists Theatre’s Fall Festival of Short Plays in New York City in November 2006.  Nominated by Emerging Artists as part of a nation-wide competition, Five Minutes was again produced in New York City as part of the Samuel French, Inc. Festival of Off Off-Broadway One Act Plays in June 2007.

Allan’s ten minute play, ...last and always, based on the final scene of Five Minutes, was produced by NativeAliens Theatre Collective for New York City’s Pride Celebration in June, 2009.  In February, 2011, this play was again produced in New York City, by Turtle Shell Productions.  It was also produced by Blue Slipper Theatre, in Livingston, MT (2012); Buffalo United Artists Theatre in Buffalo, NY (2012); Santa Cruz Actor’s Theatre, in Santa Cruz, CA (2014) and West Coast Players, Clearwater, FL (2014).  In November, 2013, this play was produced by the theatre department of the University of Guam as part of their student directed Short Play Festival.

 In 2008 and 2009 Allan wrote a trio of one act plays focusing on critical moments in the relationships of three gay couples:  Click, A Midsummer Night’s Conversation and A Midwinter Night’s Conversation.  He also wrote Voices, a one act involving the conversation across four generations of five members of a family, all residents of a cemetery in rural Texas.

In April, 2010, four of Allan’s one act plays (Click, Voices, Five Minutes and A Midsummer Night’s Conversation) were produced together as Connect:  Four Short Plays for three weeks at the Off Center theatre in Austin.  In June, 2010 Connect was given an encore performance at the Rollins Theatre of the Long Center in Austin as part of Austin’s Pride 2010 celebration.

In September, 2011, Click and A Midsummer Night’s Conversation were produced at the Kalita Humphreys Theatre by Uptown Players as part of the Dallas Pride Performing Arts Festival.  In July, 2012 Click was produced by The Eclectic Company Theatre of Los Angeles, CA as part of their 9th annual “Hurricane Season New Play Festival & Playwriting Competition”.  The script for Click tied for first place among the nine plays selected to be produced.

Allan’s short play, Beauty, is about a magnificent work of art and an even more extraordinary woman.  In February 2012 this play was premiered by Valley Repertory Company of Enfield, CT as part of their third LabWorks New Play Contest.  In July, 2012 Beauty was produced by Salem Theatre Company of Salem, MA as part of their annual “Moments of Play” festival.  Of 850 plays submitted to this well-regarded festival, 10 were selected for production.

On June 26th, 2014 a staged reading of Click and A Midsummer Night’s Conversation was presented by The Desert Rose Playhouse at the Tolerance Education Center in Rancho Mirage, CA as part of the Palm Springs area’s celebration of Pride Month.

Allan’s full length play, Dex & Abby, is a sweet, funny and moving play about a gay couple and their two dogs...the dogs to be played by human actors.  In March, 2013, two very well received, fully staged readings of this play were given at Salvage Vanguard Theatre, in Austin. In November, 2017 it was listed as a “Second Rounder” in the Austin Film Festival’s Playwriting Competition. From May 16 th to June 1 st , 2019, Dex & Abby was produced by the Ground Floor Theatre in Austin.

Allan’s full length play, Eskandar, was inspired by Bizet’s Carmen and the Shahnameh of the 10th Century Persian poet, Firdowsi, and is set in today’s Afghanistan. Joe, an Afghan-American who has returned to Afghanistan as part of a covert operation, falls in love with Eskandar, the wild “kept boy” of an Afghan warlord. They develop a relationship which ends in tragedy. In 2014 this play was a finalist in the annual Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Competition for plays with GLBT historical themes. In 2015 Eskandar was one of only three plays chosen from among 71 submitted by playwrights across Texas, to be given two staged readings by Wordsmyth Theatre Company at Stages Repertory Theatre as part of the Texas Playwright’s Festival in Houston.

In September, 2015, A Midwinter Night’s Conversation was produced at the Registry Theatre in Kitchener, Ontario by Modus Vivendi Theatre Company as part of their annual festival of LGBT theatre.  This was Allan’s first international production.

In 2013 Allan wrote his most recent full-length play, Dare. In a nursing home, a gay man reflect s on a life that has spanned the most tumultuous years of gay history and explains his decision to complete the “dramatic arc” of his “character” in the play that is his life.  A staged reading of this play was presented on Feb. 25, 2015 at Ground Floor Theatre in Austin. This play is one of two winners of the 2017 Mario-Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Contest, sponsored by the Castillo Theatre in New York City. Held bi-annually, the contest received 300 submissions in the 2017 round. A staged reading of Dare was given at the Castillo Theatre in New York City on August 7, 2017, as part of the award presentation. Dare was the concluding production in the 2017-2018 of The Desert Rose Playhouse in Palm Springs. Acclaimed by critics and audiences, Dare ran from April 20th to May 13th, 2018.

Allan’s most recent plays, from 2017 are In a Box and Modesto. In a Box is an 8 minute play, in the manner of a Greek chorus, explaining the implications of certain principles of quantum physics. Modesto is a half hour one act, based on Dare, with rather different characters and set after the presidential election of 2016. David is a ten minute adaptation of Modesto.  

Allan is a member of the Dramatist’s Guild of America.

Allan Baker
4711 Spicewood Springs Rd., #159
Austin, TX 78759
arbaustx@aol.com
512-345-4437
abbyproductions.com

New Play Exchange profile: https://newplayexchange.org/users/3417/allan-baker
 

Click Here for a PDF of Allan's Bio.

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