Joseph M. Paprzycki writes plays that explore the motivation of his characters in order to tell larger stories. 


Last Rites
By Joseph M. Paprzycki

LAST RITES

LAST RITES is a play about misplaced faith. It unfolds in Camden, New Jersey in 1967 as this blue-collar city experiences the closing of a major shipyard. If the shipyard is the heart of south Camden, then the soul of this working-class neighborhood is Walt’s Café, a mom and pop corner bar.

There you meet the owners, Walt and Sue Evanuk, whose lives revolve around the rhythms of lunch whistles and shipyard work shifts as they serve up beers and sandwiches to steamfitters, welders and shipbuilders.

It is here where new rumors about the shipyard’s closing are discussed and discounted. You bear witness to the lives of the ship workers, their wives, and the parish priests as they pass through the doors of Walt and Sue’s bar and give their testament to the stress and strain that economic and social change has brought to their lives and to their beloved city.


Photo Credit: Mitya Ku

Photo Credit: Mitya Ku

TENNESSEE'S FINAL CURTAIN

TENNESSEE'S FINAL CURTAIN takes us to a room at the Hotel Elysée in New York city on a cold evening in February of 1983; the night of Tennessee Williams death. A look inside this writer's mind showed him visited by the ghosts and demons that led him to his greatest characters and greatest regrets. As the night progresses, so do the visits, all to the apparent confusion of a young, room service waiter. We soon learn the mystery behind Tennessee's death; one debated until this very day.


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INDOOR PICNIC

INDOOR PICNIC portrayed the change in Camden, New Jersey from 1960 to 1990 as viewed through the eyes of four members of a fading Polish American club. We saw their neighborhood and city change from a safe, robust neighborhood in the 1960’s to a neighborhood in decline during the 1990’s.

This play is also viewed through the interactions and eyes of the club’s African American cleaning woman, Flossie, who bears witness to the overt racism that was pervasive at that time and is crystallized in her relationship with Stash, a racist member of the club. We see their stories intertwine as the years pass and we see the tragedy of our city in the 1990’s however elevated by hope.


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YOUTH IN AMERICA

YOUTH IN AMERICA portrays four stories of the challenging situations that today's young people face every day. From High School to Columbine to college life, the challenge of growing up in America is shown in a provocative and thoughtful way. 

YOUTH IN AMERICA is a compilation of 4 short plays. ON THE WINGS OF SPARROWS, DROP PERIOD, WAITING TABLES, and DRESSING FOR SCHOOL.

 


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EXPRESS TRACKS

EXPRESS TRACKS is set on a commuter train traveling from Camden to Trenton. The heat and tension rise as the train stalls and the secrets and fears of the passengers are exposed. As their past is resurrected a mysterious young man makes an astonishing announcement; is he or is he not who he claims to be? The play asks the audience: Would you step over Christ to walk into church? 

Review: 'Express Tracks' to heaven (via NewsWorks)

Two black ex-cons, a white girlfriend of one of them and a quiet white guy trying to mind his own business share a train car from Camden to Trenton when a transformer blows, stranding the train in a tunnel. It's hot. It's dark. Tension builds. One man…