Armen Pandola

Playwright

Armen Pandola won the Walnut Street Theatre’s Forrest Award for Forrest: A Riot of Dreams which premiered there in 2006.   In 2012, he was commissioned to write Dino!  Dean Martin at the Latin Casino, a play with music about one of America’s great entertainers; it ran at the Walnut in 2013 and is one of its highest grossing shows.  His trilogy about post-9/11 America, Terror at the While House (A Stanley Drama Award Finalist), Devils Also Believe (A Smith Prize Finalist for Best New American Play) and Homeward Bound has been produced in Philadelphia and New York. 
 His newest play, BLACK STAR! THE LIFE AND TIMES OF IRA ALDRIDGE will premiere at the WST next year.
 Armen Pandola writes for many print and online publications, including the Broad Street Review.

 PRODUCED PLAYS:

THE RISING
2 FEMALES, 20-30s
3 MALES, 20-50s
The Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017
A revolutionary group called The Rising is killing politicians.
A murder a minute is killing everyone else.
The Rising is committed to change by any means necessary.
It is filled with people who have had enough.
Rachel is in The Rising and on a mission to kill the Governor.
But, first, she has to learn how to use a gun.
Enter Clint.
He's a snitch or, as they use to be known, a reporter.
He’s on a mission too - to expose the Rising.
In a world that is just around the corner, The Rising is happening now!

DINO! An Evening with Dean Martin at the Latin Casino
Premiered May 1, 2013 at the Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, Pa.
I Male, 40-50s
1 Piano Player
When a severe blizzard blankets the East Coast, Dino's band gets stuck out of town. Rather than disappoint his fans, Dino gives us an intimate evening of personal stories and classic songs. The man behind the legend reveals the humor, warmth and casual cool that marked his rise from his Italian-only speaking immigrant childhood to one of the biggest legends in entertainment.
 
THE PRINCE
2 males, 4-50s
Co-written with Bill Van Horn
Premiered January, 2010 at the Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, Pa.
A politician turns to a childhood friend to defend him when he is prosecuted for corruption. As a whole the show provides a wonderful 90 minutes of laugh out loud comedy for all in the audience. If you're looking for a fun night at the theater The Prince is your show.”

 
HOMEWARD BOUND
1 Female, 30s
4 Males, 20-40s
Premiered in New York, NY 2009
A group of wounded US Army vets are stuck in a hospital in Germany, waiting to be shipped back to the States.  A pair of Iraqi victims of torture join them and the mixture turns combustible. They all are about to begin the greatest battle of their lives.
 
JUST THE SKY
1 MALE, MID-30-40s
ONE ACT
Shubin Theatre Premiere April, 2008
Suddenly, one night, a man goes berserk and kills his wife and her chiropractor. Waiting to be executed, he tells us his story.
 
DEVILS ALSO BELIEVE
A Smith Prize Finalist for Best New American Play
Premiered May, 2006
3 Females, 20-40s
3 Males, 20-40s
“Devil Also Believe is about the rigged beliefs that are fracturing America, dividing it as it has never been divided before. In this controversial, emotional drama, we see the effects of 9-11 on an American family as each of them are driven by their beliefs to respond to the War on Terror.”

FORREST! A RIOT OF DREAMS
Winner of the Walnut Street Theatre’s Edwin Forrest Playwrighting Competition
Premiered February 2006, WST
1 Female, 20-40s
3 Males, 20-40s
“The culture war, celebrity divorce trial and media madness at the heart of Forrest make the play abundantly topical. And Forrest also resonates because of its deeper themes: ambition, jealousy and the struggle for power in relationships between men and women.”

FRIENDS FOR LIFE
4 MALES, 40s
ONE ACT
When four alumni meet to plan a 25th reunion, it turns out to be a final meeting.
 
TERROR AT THE WHITE HOUSE
A Stanley Drama Award Finalist
Premiered June, 2004
2 Females, 20-40s
2 Males, 20-40s
“Terror at the White House is one of those rare plays that remind you that theatre can be the soul of a society. The final confrontation of the family with the vise (and vice) of political necessity is as chilling and potent a theatrical moment as you are likely to remember. This play deserves to be seen and thought about.”

HEDDA WITHOUT WALLS
Premiered March, 2005
4 Females, 20-50s
3 Males, 20-50s
The actors in Hedda Gabler share the stage with their fictional counterparts. When the actress playing Hedda decides to kill herself on stage at the end of the play , the fun begins.  Imaginative, funny, terrifying – these are some of the words used to describe Hedda Without Walls.

THE GIFT OF GIVING
Premiered December, 2004
2 Females, 20-30s
2 Males, 20-60s
A young couple, Jim and Della, struggle to make it in NYC – she’s an actor and he’s a writer.  The stories of their lives become entwined with those of a sultry literary agent and a lovable curmudgeon boss – and with the stories that Jim writes.  A funny, heart-warming play that takes place in the imagination of its characters and the audience.

MRS. WARREN’S e-PROFESSION
Premiered In March, 2004
2 Females, 20-50s
4 Males, 20-50s
This modern adaptation of G.B. Shaw’s classic play moves the action to the Philadelphia Main Line where Mrs. Warren has a mansion paid for with her earnings as the proprietor of an on-line porno site and “dating” service with branches all over the world.

ZELDA & SCOTT: A FOUNTAIN OF FIRE
Premiered in September, 2003
1 Female, 20-40s
1 Male, 20-40s
The story of the dreams and phantoms Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald chased over two continents and decades as he wrote the Great American novels, The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night and dozens of the finest short stories ever written. The unknown secret is that Zelda wrote some of those stories that Scott put his name on.

OTHER PLAYS:
REDEMPTION
2 MALE:  FATHER, MID 60s AND SON IN HIS MID-30’s
2 FEMALE: LATE 20’s AND LATE 50’s
Berlin, 1944 – 1945.  A father and son confront each other in the last days of WW II, fighting their battle for the moral high ground.  Each has betrayed his ideals, and each suffers the consequences.

DARK ENERGY
2 FEMALES, 30-40s
2 MALES, 30-40s
A playwright has blackmailed a local Theatre Company into presenting his play by threatening to set off a bomb near the Theatre.  Cooperating with the local police authorities, the Theatre Company puts on the play in the hopes of capturing the obviously deranged playwright.  Slowly, the “play” breaks down and reality intrudes.  The actors start going off “script” so the playwright detonates a bomb near the theatre – but that isn’t the end to this diabolical fun house of a play.

DEATH AND TAXES
1 Female, 30s
2 Males, 30-40s
Steve, an African-American, and Teddy, white working class,  get lucky and pick up an attractive woman, Galina, at a local bar and take her back to her place.  Next morning, they wake up and find her dead, murdered.  Teddy wants to call the police but Steve has a history with the police that makes him want to just leave.  Soon, they each begin to wonder – did the other one kill Galina or are they both victims of circumstance?

DREAMSVILLE
1 Female, mid-30s
4 Males, 30s-40s
Dreamsville is about the American Dream - to make a quick buck and live on easy street for the rest of your life. It’s about the dreams that fuel the engines of commerce and selfishness and caring and hope that make our times unique.

HOW SWEET IT IS!
2 Males, 20s-50s
1 Female, 20s
The story of The Great One, Jackie Gleason.

MUMMER MADNESS
5 MALES, 30-40s
3 FEMALES, 20-40s
Pat has a passion in life – and it’s not his lovely wife or daughter.  Every year, he builds a costume and parades up Broad Street in the New Year’s Mummers Parade. Then, one year, his wife leaves him and he’s having trouble supporting her and his habit.  Along comes cousin James, producer of independent films.  The union of movies and mummers is an idea made in heaven, if your idea of heaven is drinking a boilermaker while watching Swan Lake.  When the funding collapses and there’s no money left to finish the movie, the local mob becomes a producer.  Now, more is at stake than ever before.  As Joey, the local mobster explains, ‘Something happens to my money, something happens to you.”

HAMLET, PART ONE
3 MALES, 20 – 50s
2 FEMALES, 20 – 40s
HAMLET, PART ONE is the story of Hamlet and Denmark in the days just before the opening of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Hamlet returns to Elsinore when he learns od his father’s death. The state is in an uproar. There are rumors that the late King was murdered. His brother, Claudius, has assumed control while an investigation is completed. This play is a humorous look at what happens when Hamlet attempts to take control of the government as the rightful heir to the deceased King. Mayhem and madness ensue.