Normalcy is set at a time when many Americans feel powerless to effect positive change. Peter and Sarah Ehrlich - a successful, media-centric white couple - decide to test the limits of their altruism by doing what they believe to be the right thing: adopting a black child. But the issues that arise through the process expose unexpected fissures in their marriage. Through their journey they discover, and must confront, the content of their own character.
CAST OF 7 (2 Men/5 Women): Peter (Early 40s); Sarah (Early 40s); Jules, Peter's Father (Late 60s); Marta, Sarah's Mother (Mid-Late 60s); Catherine, an African-American Social Worker (50s-Early 60s); Solange, Peter's African-American Colleague (Late 20s); Aiesha, African-American and Transracially Adopted (Mid-30s)
"Mr. Windheim’s play, though heavy-laden with many uncomfortable issues, allows us to think and feel. His story has depth, and you can’t possibly leave the theater without being touched by his ideas and honesty."
- Sam Affoumado, theatrelIfe.com
"Honest conversations about race in a diverse public forum are too rare. [This] is a piece with depth."
- Mel House, NYTheatre.com
"Bennett Windheim's 'Normalcy' is a thoughtful look at transracial adoption written in the mold of an Ibsen problem play."
- Mark Dundas Wood, backstage
Produced in 2003 at the 45th Street Theatre in New York and winner of an OOBR Award for Excellence.
Set in the 1950s and '60s, Prince Hal follows a group of childhood friends raised in the physical and psychological shtetl of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, from which some try to escape, while others remain, living lives of quiet desperation. In middle age, their lives converge and a battle is waged between the suburbanized nouveau riche and those they left behind. Long-suppressed recriminations are finally loosed and painful secrets are revealed.
CAST OF 7 (3 Men/4 Women): Harold (aka Hal, Heshie) Feinman (Act 1 Age 27/Act 2 Age 38); Bernice, Hal's Gentile Girlfriend (Early 20s/Early 30s); Estelle (Mid-20s/Mid-30s); Irwin, Estelle's Husband (27/38); Sonnie (Mid-20s/Mid 30s); Jack, Sonnie's Husband (27/38); Arlene (19/30)
"Bennett Windheim's script has fun skewering both the Jews and the gentiles, with a focus on decaying relationships and paths not taken. Prince Hal is a remarkable production for all involved and certainly destined for greater things when the current run ends."
- Charles Battersby, OOBR
CROSS THAT RIVER: THE MUSICAL
Bennett Windheim's book -- based on songs and primary characters created by Allan Harris -- takes audiences on a thrilling ride through post-Civil War American south, as the former slave, Blue, and a tapestry of vivid characters, face adversity and triumph on a cattle drive from Texas to Oklahoma.
30 INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERS (ACTORS PLAY MULTIPLE ROLES) PLUS CHORUS
A one-act thriller set on a Caribbean island, as a vacationing American couple are ominously drawn into the lives of a mysterious local, his Australian expat wife, and their young, unseen daughter.
CAST OF 4 (2 Men/2 Women): Andrew, Black Island Local (40s); Loretta, Andrew's White, Australian Wife (40s); Todd, Vacationing American (30s); Amy, Todd's Wife (30s)
The one-act play "Like Batman" takes place in the summer of 1966. A "Batman"-obsessed nine-year-old retreats into his imagination to escape the real-life tensions between his parents...and himself.
CAST OF 5 (2 Men/2 Women/1 Child): Mother (Mid-30s); Father (Mid-30s); Boy (8-10); Mrs. Fishbein, the Neighbor from Upstairs (60s); Mr. Jimmy, the Old Italian Neighbor from Next Door (60s)
- Finalist, Wonderland One-Act Festival