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This Broadway World preview from Neil Shurley was originally published on June 8th, 2021.


Nine playwrights, paired up with nine directors and nine actors, created nine original monologues, streaming June 11 – 14.

BWW Previews: LONG STORY SHORT, a Free, World-Premiere Virtual Monologue Series From The Warehouse TheatreThis week, the Warehouse Theatre presents LONG STORY SHORT, a free, virtual series of nine world premiere short plays, written by nationally-known playwrights and directed and performed by some of upstate SC’s most recognizable talent.

The series stems from a conclusion that Warehouse Theatre Artistic Director Mike Sablone reached in early 2021: a return to in-person theatrical production was still many months away.

“With the vaccine rollout not being necessarily as fast as we had thought it was going to be, I realized that we were probably going to have to do at least one more digital piece,” Sablone told BWW in a recent phone interview.

In 2020, The Warehouse presented a Zoom-specific world premiere, OBJECTIVITY, as well as a more traditional monologue, FIRE IN THE GARDEN, offered as an on-demand video. This time, he wanted to expand the possibilities. “I was looking for something that was less hard on one performer, but also wanted to spread the wealth and hire as many artists as we could for the final Warehouse In Your House production.”

Long a fan of the 24 hour play format, in which shows are written, rehearsed and performed in 24 hours, Sablone came up with a new spin – nine playwrights, paired up with nine directors and nine actors, creating nine original monologues.

“I really wanted to take advantage of the fact that we are still in a pandemic, and can still collapse the map,” he said. Writers that might be prohibitively expensive to actually fly into town and house locally in order to workshop a new play could instead collaborate virtually from their own homes. In fact, when Sablone reached out to the first nine playwrights on the dream list he and his staff created, all nine said “Yes.”

“Well, actually, one said, ‘I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t feel like it’s the right fit,'” Sablone recalled with a laugh. “And then four hours later sent me something that was perfect.”

Writers featured in LONG STORY SHORT include Bekah Brunstetter (NBC’s This is Us, THE CAKE), Kristoffer Diaz (Pulitzer Finalist for THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY, Fox’s RENT Live), Dorothy Fortenberry (Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, The 100), Paul Grellong (Amazon’s The Boys, POWER OF SAIL), Donald Jolly (bonded, RIOT/REBELLION), Marco Ramirez (Netflix’s Daredevil, THE ROYALE), Janine Salinas Schoenberg (CW’sRiverdale, LAS MUJERES DEL MAR), Avery Sharpe (WOKE, A BUCKET OF BLESSINGS),and Cammi Stilwell (MUSE).

For the most part, writers were given only one guideline to get them started. “I want these plays to be somewhat hopeful,” Sablone said. He wasn’t looking for playwrights to ignore the world at large or whatever was happening in their own worlds, and he didn’t want them to shoehorn in a hopeful ending just for the sake of it. But he hoped they would at least start from a position of hope. “And I want them to be short and contemporary,” he said, “in a way that would make sense for, like, why am I watching this right now? Whether that’s coming out of the pandemic, looking forward to what six months in the future might look like, or just ruminating on the events across the globe in the last year.”

The result is nine short pieces, ranging in length from three minutes to fifteen minutes, gathered in a specific configuration on the website, but able to be watched in any order over the entire viewing period (June 11 – 14).

“We’ve put them in a suggested order,” Sablone said, “in a sense of trying to group some that are somewhat more thematically tied together and give a story. But they were all written independently of each other. So you can definitely pop corn and go whichever way you want – but you definitely don’t want to skip any because they’re all worth it.”

Best of all, LONG STORY SHORT is free to view. And that was all be design. “If we’re going to have this kind of content, if we’re going to go after these nine playwrights, and have them write specifically for Warehouse performers or upstate directors, I wanted to get as many people to be able to watch this as possible,” Sablone said. “I wanted every fan of every writer to see the talent we have, locally and regionally. So we secured some funding from an incredible slate of donors that are underwriting some of the costs. We paid everybody – writers, directors, and actors get paid, because they’re all doing incredible work. And we wanted to make sure that they were compensated for that. So we just decided to do it as a fundraiser that if you feel so moved from what you’ve seen to throw The Warehouse a few dollars, that’s fantastic. If you just want to take advantage of seeing some great art, that’s also fantastic. To me right now, this wasn’t a make or break, we need to try and make a million dollars with this. To me, it was an opportunity to put all of these artists together, and I want as many people to see this as possible, so everyone can see the kind of work The Warehouse is doing.”

LONG STORY SHORT streams June 11 – 14 for free and can be seen at Donations to support the series and The Warehouse can be made via the series link or at

Here’s the full lineup.

“Machete Order”

Is the key to life after COVID contained within Rod Hilton’s STAR WARS theory?
Playwright: Marco Ramirez (THE ROYALE, Netflix’s “Daredevil”)
Director: Anne Kelly Tromsness (BOEING BOEING, EURYDICE)
Performer: Shelli Delgado (MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING)
Sponsored by Bob and Bev Howard

“the 1”

Lainey has done her therapy homework (for once) and she REALLY needs to tell her therapist about a life-changing cookie.
Playwright: Cammi Stilwell (MUSE, Recent Furman graduate)
Director: Shelley Butler (Warehouse debut, World Premiere of A DOLL’S HOUSE PART 2)
Sponsored by Debra & Tom Strange

“This is Derek”

The former lead singer of Gumball Grenade finds a new revenue stream by recording Cameos, and the requests get stranger and stranger.
Playwright: Paul Grellong (MANUSCRIPT, Amazon’s “The Boys”)
Director: Quinn Xavier Hernandez (assistant director for HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH and BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON)
Sponsored by Linda Archer


Faced with a nervous night out, Luke hides in a bathroom to examine the theology of germs.
Playwright: Dorothy Fortenberry (Hulu’s “Handmaid’s Tale”, THE LOTUS PARADOX)
Sponsored by A Friend of The Warehouse Theatre

“The Desert”

Jenny, a young border patrol agent in California, arrests a young woman crossing the border that forces her to examine her path and the desert she loves and protects.
Playwright: Janine Salinas Schoenberg (CW’s “Riverdale”, LAS MUJERES DEL MAR)
Director: Ibi Owolabi (Warehouse debut)
Performer: Ana Zambrana (Warehouse’s artistic intern this winter)
Sponsored by Debra & Tom Strange

“Was Here”

Demetrius, an essential worker, is having an incredibly difficult day.
Playwright: Donald Jolly (bonded)
Director: Ahsha Daniels (Warehouse debut)
Performer: DeBryant Johnson (URINETOWN THE MUSICAL)
Sponsored by A Friend of The Warehouse Theatre

“The Relief of Truth”

A recently divorced father leaves a late night message for his ex-wife about how he wants to come back better.
Playwright: Avery Sharpe (WOKE)
Director: Martin Damien Wilkins (SWEAT)
Sponsored by A Friend of The Warehouse Theatre


What drives professional athletes to leave their team for another?
Playwright: Kristoffer Diaz (Pulitzer Finalist for THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY, Fox’s “RENT Live”)
Director: Kristoffer Diaz (Warehouse debut)
Performer: Jason D. Johnson (THE CRUCIBLE, RICHARD III)
Sponsored by The Law Office of Steven Edward Buckingham


On the eve of giving birth, a pregnant woman tries out names for her child.
Playwright: Bekah Brunstetter (THE CAKE, NBC’s “This is Us”)
Director: Kerrie Seymour (THE THANKSGIVING PLAY, THE CAKE)
Sponsored by Meghan Riordan & Chris Prince

In order to support The Warehouse Theatre, please use this link to view the plays on June 11-14: