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Hilarious New Play at Bonanza Village Playhouse Sends Shockwaves Through Community When It is Revealed to be Written by a Woman

Bonanza, OR – Audience members that had been rolling in the aisles at Saturday night’s premiere of Aunt Gertie’s Road Trip were stunned into silence when local mother Dana O’Malley took the stage after the 6th curtain call and claimed credit for penning the play.

“I don’t know what to think,” said Bonanza Councilwoman Mandy Heller. “I’ve read those thoughtful articles by Christopher Hitchens and Adam Carolla and they all say women aren’t funny. But during the scene where Aunt Gertie gets stranded at the top of the Washington Monument, I almost fell out of my chair. Could Adam Carolla be wrong?”

Other patrons felt equally perplexed. “I knew the play was written by a Dana,” said business owner, George Sherman. “I just assumed it was a boy-Dana.” Walter Johnson, long-time Bonanza resident, offered another theory, “I think it actually was a boy-Dana.”

The success of the Bonanza production calls into question the veracity of countless studies and Yahoo Answers that, until now, most people accepted as fact. Long time humor experts, Peter Chen and Jim Polaski, stand by their research, however. “Over the years, we’ve shown over 1,000 subjects clips of male and female comedians,” said Chen. “Chris Rock, Meryl Streep, Jerry Seinfeld, Hillary Clinton…Each time, we hope for different results, but everybody laughs harder at the guys.”

Playscripts, Inc. and the International Centre for Women Playwrights have joined forces to figure out if what happened in Bonanza could possibly be a global trend. The Are Women Funny? One-Act Play Contest invites playwrights who:

a) are women
b) think they might be funny

to submit large cast, one-act comedies ideal for performance by high school students. The winning play will be published by Playscripts and promoted throughout the world. “If there are more Dana O’Malleys out there, we want to find them.” said a Playscripts representative. “Our goal is to connect those fresh, funny, females voices with the next generation of theater makers.”

Detailed contest information can be found below:

The Basics: We are asking women writers to submit large cast, one-act comedies ideal for performance by high school students. The submission period opens today (September 25th)  and runs until December 15th.

The Rules: All plays should be PG-13 or cleaner, comedic, have the potential for 8 or more characters, have the ability to be performed between 20 – 40 minutes, and must be written by a woman or team of women.

How to Submit: Please complete our submission form found here, and include “Are Women Funny? Contest” in the Comments or Special Instructions field above the SUBMIT PLAY button. You must submit your play by 11:59PM (EST) on December 15, 2013.

The Reward: The winning playwright will receive a $1,000 cash prize, and her play will be published by Playscripts, Inc.

Helpful Hints: High school drama programs often find themselves in the following situations:

  • Twice as many girls audition as boys.
  • Budget permits only simple sets and costumes.
  • Full cast is not available for every rehearsal (many school plays are episodic, allowing scenes featuring different characters to be rehearsed separately.)
  • And remember, a great title goes a long way.
  • Each drama program has different casting needs based on their student population, so it’s helpful to create as much flexibility as possible in both gender breakdown and cast size.   Checkout a few samples plays here, here, and here.


If you have any additional questions tweet us @Playscripts or email us at info at

13 responses to “Hilarious New Play at Bonanza Village Playhouse Sends Shockwaves Through Community When It is Revealed to be Written by a Woman”

  1. Derek McCaw says:

    I teach Drama at an all-girls’ school. At the moment, we’re in the midst of producing Macbeth. But I’d be very happy to throw our school in the ring as one definitely in need of solid plays with large female casts.

    Best Regards,
    Derek McCaw, Director of Visual and Performing Arts
    Notre Dame High School San Jose

  2. Kelly Ground says:

    Thank you! As both an educator and a professional AEA actress I have long voiced (screamed loudly) the need for the development of plays by and for women and specifically for girls in schools, Universities as well as for the Industry. To be teaching up and coming female artists and to have a sliver of resources (in comparison with their male counterparts) to tap into or perform has always been an uphill challenge frought with make do situations. I look forward to this program developing female writers who will provide stories and roles for their gender and reflecting their life experiences well and with humour. I also hope this will translate to more material for these girls to perform once they get out into the field. I certainly hope the next Wendy Wasserstein, who was both funny, insightful, a women and a woman who wrote women’s stories and roles… will come from this fostering. Bravo! Playscripts and The International Center for Women Playwrights. Keep it coming!

  3. Valerie Weak says:

    Another teaching artist/professional actor saying thank you for creating a positive step for change in 2 areas 1) quality scripts with roles for female teens 2) championing women playwrights. Kudos and looking forward to some fantastic scripts for use in the classroom!

  4. I am not an author, playwright, or anything like that. I am just an average person that facebook thought might like this article. I am a bit confused about the research done for this. The examples of male and female comedians made no sense. They listed Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld, both well know comedians as male comedians used in the research. But for the females, they listed Meryl Streep, an actress, and Hillary Clinton, a politician. Neither of these are comedians. Of course the men came out on top of this research.

  5. Josh says:

    Did you actually read the NY Post article on Adam Carolla (the one you link to)? He doesn’t say women aren’t funny. He says men are funnier than women. That’s a semantically small, but important difference. Sure, there are a lot of guys who aren’t funny and a lot of women who are; Carolla actually listed several funny women in the interview. Unfortunately, folks are so primed to be offended that they miss out on the interesting sociological reasons why men might be funnier than women.

    Besides, who is more sexist, Adam Carolla, who says men are funnier than women, or the people in the Bonanza crowd, who were shocked and refuted the idea that a woman could produce a funny play?

  6. Jen says:

    I’m thinking some of the earnest reactions to the obvious satire (to me anyways) of the first few paragraphs might be a fun jumping off point for a comedic play about Internet commenters, actually…

  7. Sofia Ahmad says:

    Another educator (of ages K through high school) and AEA actress who was absolutely thrilled to have the funny Onion-like opening to this article segue into the news re: this awesome contest. I distinctly remember the challenges of finding good roles/scenes for young women when in school, and in my searches as a teacher (though I’ve primarily directed mixed-gender Shakespeare thus far) – and have spoken to oodles of female playwrights re: the dearth of opportunities for their writing to be seen and produced. This is a great opening to solving both of those issues/problems with a very creative solution. Thank you!!

  8. Caitlin Stainkens says:

    “Chris Rock, Meryl Streep, Jerry Seinfeld, Hillary Clinton… ” Umm…the women in this list aren’t comedians…

  9. […] To read more about this opportunity, view their website here […]

  10. Sadie says:

    This is satire, people

  11. Lily Dwoskin says:


    Just wondering, how will we know if/when a winner has been selected? And is there a time frame within which that winner will be chosen?

    Thank you!

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