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Plays

Joking Envelope handles the rights for all works by Joseph Scrimshaw. Joseph's work has been produced in theaters and universities in New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, the UK and even Bulgaria. Browse the shows, buy a downloadable copy of the script to peruse, or Contact Joking Envelope for rights availability and pricing.

plays-mating

Show Stats

Available as a one act or a two act. Cast of three (two men, one woman). Minimal props and set. Appropriate for ages 16 and up. Author: Joseph Scrimshaw

Production history

Adventures in Mating premiered in 2005 as one of the top selling shows in the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Since then the show has been produced at theaters and universities across the world including New York, Seattle, Indianapolis, Dallas, the United Kingdom and Bulgaria.

Adventures in Mating is an audience interactive romantic comedy inspired by the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novels of the 70s and 80s. YOU play the role of cruel fate! When the dysfunctional couple on a terrible blind date can't make simple decisions such as red or white wine, leave or stay, kiss or slap the audience votes and the show takes off in wildly different but always hilarious directions.

"The perfect interactive show"
Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Hilarious with a whiff of danger"
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Fresh and funny"
nytheatre.com

"Funny beyond the power of adjectives!"
audience review


This script is now available for purchase at josephscrimshaw.com.

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plays-inc-squirrel

Show Stats

Available as a one act or a two act. Cast of five ( Not gender specific). Minimal props and set. Ideal family show for children of all ages. Author: Joseph Scrimshaw

Production history

An Inconvenient Squirrel premiered to audience raves and critical acclaim at the 2008 Minnesota Fringe Festival. The show was voted Best Children's Show of the Festival and has since been performed at multiple theaters and schools across Minnesota.

An Inconvenient Squirrel is a live action cartoon for the stage! In the lost village of the Squirrel People every squirrel is named for their most distinctive trait—there's Clumsy Squirrel, Wise Squirrel, and even Socially Awkward Squirrel. But the village is thrown into chaos when a young squirrel refuses to pick a name—the inconvenient squirrel! Designed to engage both children and adults on their own level, this funny fast-paced morality tale tackles issues of identity and conformity with wit, intelligence...and a lot of adults dressed as squirrels.

"Brilliantly squirrelly! Like the great Warner brothers cartoons, the adults are howling with laughter alongside their children... The message comes through clearly, but unlike many shows for children it never condescends; it never goes into after-school special territory."
Twin Cities Daily Planet

"Fractures fairytale motifs in a fun way, good physical humor, deft parody and a moral that's really not all that simple. What's not to like?"
The City Pages


This script is now available for purchase at josephscrimshaw.com.

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plays-fat

Show Stats

Two acts. Cast of four (Three men, one woman). Appropriate for ages 12 and up. Author: Joseph Scrimshaw

Production history

Fat Man Crying premiered in December 2007 at the Minneapolis Theater Garage. The show and its unique tone proved a success with audiences and critics alike and has become a new perennial holiday offering, returning to the Theater Garage every December.

Fat Man Crying is a dramatic holiday comedy featuring a unique mix of sweet and snarky humor that critics describe as "gently irreverent". A depressed Santa Claus breaks into the home of a happily married couple on Christmas Eve. Can the couple save Santa? Will he destroy the marriage by telling the couple where they fit on his naughty and nice list? Or will they all fall victim to the deadly charm of Santa's mysterious arch-enemy, Dave?

"Finely pitched comedy! Smart, well-crafted!"
The City Pages

"The show's percolating tempo delivers laugh lines like toys dropping off a North pole conveyor belt...one of the top ten shows of the year!"
Twin Cities Daily Planet


This script is now available for purchase at josephscrimshaw.com.

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plays-stitch

Show Stats

Two acts. Cast of six (Three men, three women) Appropriate for ages 16 and up. Unique knitted props and/or patterns are available from Joking Envelope. Author: Joseph Scrimshaw

Production history

Stitch Bitch N' Die premiered in April 2008 at the Bryant Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater. As a result of the knitting theme, the show attracted many, many occasional theater-goers and sold out its entire first run and returned for an encore performance in October of the same year.

Stitch Bitch N' Die is a knitting based murder mystery comedy that celebrates and pokes fun at the renewed popularity of the crafting arts. Lucy and her caustic friends find a fresh target for their bitching when a smug screenwriter arrives to interview them about his new knitting inspired murder mystery screenplay. But life quickly imitates art when the lights go out and the screenwriter is found strangled with yarn and stabbed with knitting needles. Who is guilty? Who is innocent? Who will finish their scarf first?

"...laugh out loud funny with a grain of truth...didn't know quite what to expect and the show totally exceeded any expectations I had...I dragged my non-knitting husband to this, and not only did I enjoy it, so did he...I highly recommend it to all knitters and non-knitters who happen to bitch."
Audience Reviews

"Scrimshaw's characteristically rapid-fire script kept the audience in stitches for the whole show!"
Twin Cities Daily Planet


This script is now available for purchase at josephscrimshaw.com.

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plays-worst

Show Stats

One act. Cast of three (Three men). Appropriate for ages 12 and up. Extremely minimal props and set. Author: Joseph Scrimshaw

Production history

The Worst Show in the Fringe premiered at the 2002 Minnesota Fringe Festival. It was the number one best-selling show of the festival and earned the author an "Artist of the Year" award from The City Pages. The show has since been remounted to great acclaim at the Minnesota Fringe Festival as well as multiple Fringe Festivals and High School Theater Competitions/presentations. A translated version is currently being created for production in Lima, Peru.

The Worst Show in the Fringe is a lightning-fast one act comedy about the wicked world of festival theater. When a pompous actor has his one-man Fringe show panned by an equally pompous critic, what is the actor to do but kidnap the critic? My E-Mails With Shakespeare may just be the worst show in the history of the Fringe Festival, but did it deserve to be attacked in the press? Do artists have the right to expect a friendly review? Should critics start hiring bodyguards? Does anyone who goes to theater actually care?

"the best and the funniest...A hilarious deconstruction of the ego..."
The Minneapolis Star Tribune

"An exercise in unrestrained wit..."
The City Pages

"The Worst Show in the Fringe isn't."
Indiana Business Journal


This script is now available for purchase at josephscrimshaw.com.

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plays-tragedy

Show Stats

Available as a one act or a two act. Cast of two (One actor, one musician.) Appropriate for ages 12 and up. Extremely minimal props and set. Author: Joseph Scrimshaw

Production history

The Tragedy of You premiered at The Bryant Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater in April of 2009, followed by a production at the Minnesota Fringe Festival where the show was the fifth Best-Selling show out of 162.

Tragedy of You is a one man, five act Shakespearean tragedy. Author and performer, Joseph Scrimshaw, randomly selects one audience volunteer, interviews them, and weaves the volunteer's real-life ambitions and tragic flaws into a complex mad-lib of murder, madness and comedy. What kingdom will they rule? Who do they love more than anyone else in the world? Who will they ruthlessly murder? A unique combination of storytelling, improvisation, audience interaction and traditional theater that is both a parody and an educational overview of the characters, situations and plot structure of Shakespearean tragedy.

"...a well-oiled, massively-entertaining thing"
The City Pages

"...a dazzling experiment in improvisation, buoyed by Scrimshaw's exceptionally quick wit...sheer hilarity.... You're not likely to see a more daring piece of theater this year; you're also not likely to see a more entertaining one."
mnartists.org

"BEST OF FRINGE-- Part Mad-Libs. Part Which Way Books. All entertainment."
L'Etoile Magazine


If you are interested in bringing Joseph to your theater or school please Contact Joking Envelope. The script for Tragedy of You is largely improvised, so please enjoy the brief preview performance below.

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