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playwrighting

Full-Length Plays

Part One of the Four-Color Trilogy

In 1939, two young friends huddled in a Bronx apartment and created a legend. A hero who represents an enduring chapter in the tale of the American comic book. One, Bob Kane, would profit from that legend for years to come, and the other would be all but forgotten. This is the legacy of the mark of Kane.

The Mark of Kane premiered at City Lit Theatre in Chicago, IL From Oct 21st to Dec 4th 2022

"The Mark of Kane is riveting despite the fact that it is ultimately about a 'supervillain' whose crime is the notably un-flashy one of having enough greed and business sense to screw his partner out of his share of what they made." 

 

- Karen Topham

chicagoonstage.com

"This is an exciting, ambitious project for a smaller Off-Loop theater such as City Lit. It's already been blessed with a good deal of local media attention, and it's likely to draw a large and enthusiastic audience."

 - Jonathan Abarbanel theatremania.com

...Enormously thought-provoking, delightfully stimulating, and wretchedly heartbreaking, "The Mark of Kane" is a narrative drama that excels in every way. Beautifully written by Mark Pracht, this is one of the best shows I've ever seen in a long time"

- Julia W. Rath  aroundthetownchicago.com

"...In City Lit Theater’s entertaining world premiere, Kane (is) a glad-handing, ascot-wearing dandy who bears a bit of a resemblance to Adam West's portrayal of Bruce Wayne. Finger a sweet, sad dreamer who has developed a rich fantasy life to compensate for low self-esteem instilled as a boy..."

- Albert Williams chicagoreader.com

"Pracht...brings a fine ear for dialogue and character to his story. He does an excellent job laying out the various players in the history of early comics and the nature of that business, while holding our interest in the tragic arc of Finger."

- Jeffrey Lyle Segal

Times Square Chronicles

"Stripped to its core, "Mark of Kane" is a darkly woven origin tale leading its viewers well past the safe kitschy territory of the Bat Cave. Unwinding in a series of flashbacks, each scene is neatly framed like a comic-book cel...recommended for more than just comic-book lovers."

 -Noel Schecter - newcitystage.com

Now available From:

Part Two of the Four-Color Trilogy

In the 1950's the comic book industry faced its greatest foes, not costumed crooks or dastardly gangsters, but the combined forces of psychiatrists, politicians, and the industry's demand for fear-based conformity. In this turbulent time, those who spoke in defense of artistic freedom were the most ill-suited to the task, and those with no power at all found their dreams and careers torn away.

The Innocence of Seduction premiereed at City Lit Theatre in Chicago, IL from Aug 25th to Oct 8th, 2023

"...At the treatment level, Pracht’s story does what good documentary theater does best: contextualizes major themes of an era—midcentury American weaponization of censorship, in this case—and frames them and their impacts at a personal, human level." 

 

- Dan Jakes - Chicago Reader

"...“The Innocence of Seduction” is a love letter to comic books, featuring characters based on the actual creators, their work and how they were affected by the repercussions of overregulation. A fun time for the average fan of theater, comic book “true believers” will shout “Excelsior!” at the level of research put into this production"

 

- Tristan Bruns - New City Chicago

"...the play largely focuses on Bill Gaines, who originated the horror genre as the owner of Entertainment Comics, or EC...We watch what happens to Gaines and his rival comic book publishers as they band together in reaction to Congressional hearings on whether reading the comics can be linked to juvenile delinquency."

 

- Julia W. Rath - Around the Town Chicago

"...recounts this inconceivable (maybe not given book ban efforts today) but true story, and so delightfully and with such panache that you will be completely entertained...each scene opens much like a panel in a comic book."

 

- Bill Esler - buzznews.net

"this play sheds light on the visual artists and the men behind the scenes who brought young readers an array of provocative adventure, horror, crime fiction, dark fantasy, futuristic science tales, military stories and satire. The comics bore titles that included Tales From the Crypt"

 

- Colin Douglas - Chicago Theatre Review

"...The stage play is sharp and funny...providing a much needed comic relief to a somewhat serious story of American censorship, cancelling and fear during the government hunt for anything they deemed subversive."

 

- Patrick McDonald -HollywoodChicago.com

Part Three of the Four-Color Trilogy

Marvel Comics is now a multimedia juggernaut, dominating pop culture in nearly all forms. This universe of flawed heroes and cosmic adventures began with two middle-aged men, veterans of the comic book industry. Given a mandate to copy the success of the Distinguished Competition, Stan Lee found a way to transcend the junk culture ghetto of "children's magazines," while Jack Kirby created an outlet for his wild and extravagant visions of gods and cosmic upheaval. Yet, as time wore on, neither could fully understand the needs, pains, or point of view of the other. A tale of ego and jealousy, and the creation of the house of ideas.

The House of Ideas will premiere at City Lit Theatre in Chicago, IL in the Fall of 2024

Short Plays

After years of deep seated fears, Alvin has finally screwed up his courage enough to ask Shelly for her hand in marriage. But the reveals of the depths of his terror, and reasoning for constantly wearing a football helmet, will be hard to overcome.

Eddie is an old pro, and what he sees in Pete makes him think that they could be a hell of a couple.

Two musicians attempt to create their own moment at the fabled "crossroads," and. when an old man does appear, the value of art for art's sake is rewarded.

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