The Gersh Agency
41 Madison Ave, 29th Floor
New York, NY 10010
Easy Women Smoking Loose Cigarettes: The latest Heidi Thomas Writers’ Initiative is a surprising comedy about opening your home, occasionally your wallet, and always your heart. Marian, the matriarch of a far-flung Jewish family, had happily settled into retirement life with her new husband Richard. However, when a pregnant niece, the troubled boy next door and a distressed daughter with a secret show up at her door, Marian’s empty nest ends up a little fuller than she imagined. This firecracker play by DC area playwright Dani Stoller takes the dysfunction, puts it back in the family, then gives it a hilarious—and subversive—stir. (World Premiere Signature Theatre, featured in NY Times)
Blunted Daggers: A modern-day adaptation of Romeo & Juliet that examines what would happen if the happy dagger hadn't been sharp enough and Juliet survived. An exploration of love, loss, fame, and violence in the social media era.
The Joy That Carries You: (Co-Written with Awa Sal Secka) A drama about an interracial couple in crisis that melds sharp comic dialogue and moving spoken-word poetry. This new play about love and family, privilege and responsibility, introduces us to Shiri and Alaia, navigating their first year together as a couple. Over the course of a few days, their relationship is tested by events that underline the radically different ways each of them, one Black, one Jewish, experiences the world. Strikingly personal in its intimacies, this play is a poetic reckoning with love and the pain woven through it. (World Premiere Olney Theatre Center)
Accepts With Pleasure: A group of close-knit college friends have gathered for the wedding of two of their own. But time apart has done little to quell the built-up tensions, competitive spirits, and tucked away feelings. While drugs and drinking and harmless flirtation seem like the perfect route back to reliving the “old times,” eventually, long-held secrets come to light, and now they’re stuck with the consequences. Accepts With Pleasure is a dark comedy about love and friendship in the millennial era. (Featured in SigWorks through Signature Theatre)
The Play About the Shiva: (Finalist for the 2022 Theater J Patty Abramson Play Prize) Directly after the funeral of their grandmother, siblings Eliza and David, along with Eliza’s goyishe fiancé, Oliver, return to their mother Linda’s Brooklyn brownstone to begin sitting Shiva.
Eliza and David immediately begin battling over who knows how to correctly care for their mother in her time of grief (although if it were up to her, no one would be coddling her ever) But until well into the afternoon, none of them even mention their estranged sibling and daughter, Rachel, who cut off almost all contact with the family after the tragic death of Linda’s husband and the siblings’ father several years prior.
When Rachel shows up at her mother’s door, the night takes a turn (albeit comedic, even if it’s darkly so, I mean, you can’t have a play about Jews and not have at least some humor, right?) And the group falls into a conversation about why Rachel left and what makes a Jew “good”? The Play About the Shiva is an examination of death, grief, guilt (again, these are Jews we’re dealing with), pride, and the Jewish desire to rebuild what was once destroyed.
Just Great: a retelling of some book by F Scott Fitzgerald: Crazy parties, high-end fashion, glamorous homes, fame. Through his social media feeds, high schooler Jason Carraway has seen it all and wants it all. Newly enrolled at the elite Dalton Prep, Jason moves from seeing the lives of the elite via social media to seeing it all in person. This is his chance to rise to the top and to have everything he’s ever wanted. Or, at least, he hopes.
Using F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterful novel The Great Gatsby as a springboard, playwright Dani Stoller’s world premiere play is a sharp and biting look at authenticity, social media and the ways we try to find self-worth in the modern world. This play was commissioned by Signature Theater for their Signature in the Schools Program, and was performed by a cast of high school students. This play is perfect for high school and college age performers.
Girlhood: The 21st Annual Sarah Metzger Memorial Play for Round House Theatre. A patch of land beneath an abandoned overpass serves as a common, yet sacred, ground for a group of teenage girls as they navigate adolescence. Identity, sexuality, and their unique upbringings all play a part in how they transition from childhood to young adulthood and figure out what comes next. Girlhood explores the dreams, fears, humor, and heartache of coming of age in an intimate series of vignettes, commissioned for the Round House Theatre Teen Performance Company.
Content note: Girlhood is an honest portrayal of the issues and challenges of growing up in our society, and as such includes frank discussion of sexual activity, assault, and bullying, among other topics.
The Voices on Blackwell Island: In 1888, a daring female journalist goes undercover and a falsely committed inmate rebels in this riveting original play. Inspired by Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Packard, and featuring a cast and crew of area high school students with award-winning actor Holly Twyford, the most ambitious Signature in the Schools production to date descends deep into the horrors of Blackwell Island, the notorious women’s asylum. 2022/2023 Signature in the Schools commission
The Healers: World Premiere at 2020 Q-Fest 10-minute play festival. A daughter decides to help her mother through her divorce by hiring an energy healer named...Deb.
You can read all my work on The New Play Exchange by clicking here: https://newplayexchange.org/users/32449/dani-stoller
My play, Just Great: a retelling of some book by F. Scott Fitzgerald was recently published through Playscripts. To purchase a copy or inquire about performance rights for this piece, click here:
Easy Women Smoking Loose
Featured in the New York Times, as being a great source of entertainment during this time of social distancing. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/theater/theater-streaming.html
"This show is brilliant." - The DCist
"Easy Women Smoking Loose Cigarettes is a smart, insightful show with an incredibly talented cast and production team. It's a heartfelt, surprisingly funny, and achingly realistic portrayal of a family struggling with their demons, brought to life by an outstanding team." - Broadway World
"A cuttingly funny and discomfiting domestic comedy." - DC Theatre Scene
"This is a little gem that is laugh-out-loud cathartic. It says that bad things happen, sometimes really terrible things, but that there is hope. And what a joyful message to receive." - MD Theater Guide
"(Easy Women) Whirs along with well-made-play efficiency (and) offers some real poignancy, as well as moments of delectable humor.” - The Washington Post
"With humor, insight, and empathy, Stoller's excellent script explores...what it means to truly care for another human being." - DC Metro Theater Arts
"The comedy is raunchy and uproarious, likely sets a record for the number of times “vagina” has been said on stage in 120 minutes, and still manages to be sweet, with a lot of heart." - DCist
"Stoller's script is smart, insightful, and funny - the dialogue flows realistically,
From passing jabs to deep discussions, every word is carefully chosen" - Broadway World
Photo Credit: Christopher Mueller
The Joy That
co-written with Awa Sal Secka
a moving, well-crafted and cathartic play - Washington post
Co-writers Awa Sal Secka and Dani Stoller have created a tale in which romantic and family relationships strain at the seams, racked in part by issues of race and identity. But reconciliation and togetherness are also possible, the play asserts, its conviction as uplifting as one of those lyrically conjured buoys. - Washington post
Smoothly directed by Jason Loewith and Kevin McAllister, and realized by a top-tier cast, “Joy” centers on lovers Alaia (a luminous Billie Krishawn) and Shiri (a persuasive Stoller). - Washington post
“Joy” glides satisfyingly along on the level of naturalistic, well-made play. Elevating the piece above that level is the spoken-word verse that Alaia occasionally recites. - Washington post
Co-written by two local playwrights, Awa Sal Secka and Dani Stoller, the uplifting drama combines sharp comic dialogue with sparkling spoken-word poetry to tell a resonant tale of love and family. - WYPR/NPR
unforgettable - broadwayworld
"The Joy that Carries You" is a touching and touchingly thoughtful journey, one which many might recognize in their own. - broadway world
…a brilliant exploration of the nuances and complexities of what it means to fully be yourself in a multitude of relationships.- Md Theater guide
The dialogue ebbs and flows like the ocean. Some scenes are fluid, calm, and serene. Others “come for the jugular” or include “small talk with accidental daggers.” - md theater guide
"demonstrates the courage and strength it takes to find and nourish the relationships that not only bring you joy, but lead you to learning about who you are as a person." - md theater guide
a gem of the theater season - dc theatre arts
hopeful about the possibilities of understanding among people of different backgrounds; of love that isn’t afraid to ask hard questions; of overcoming hurt, anger, and rejection given honesty, empathy, and the willingness to change: all things to embrace in what seems an increasingly tribal world. - dc theatre arts
An emotionally true story, well-acted characters worth caring about, and a gorgeous theatrical package make The Joy That Carries You one of the gems of the current theater season. - dc theatre arts
a sublime meditation on love, family, and loss, crafted with heart by playwrights Awa Sal Secka and Dani Stoller and realized by an empathetic ensemble cast, tenderly overseen by directors Jason Loewith & Kevin McAllister. - talkin' broadway
Awa performed the opening poem from our show on Seth Rudetsky's Stars in the House show on youtube. Check it out at the 1hr 35min mark.
Accepts With Pleasure
Stella Adler Studio of Acting
Directed by Andrea Huckaba
Photos by Mari Uchida
a retelling of some book by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Formerly known as: The Pursued, the Pursuing, the Busy, and the Tired