CPI - Lovestruck, Boy Meets Girl, and Can't Stop What's Coming
CINCINNATI PLAYWRIGHTS INITIATIVE - CPI New Voices Series
Lovestruck (four short plays about love and romance): Forever Soulmates, Naked Neighbors, The Big Bad Wolves, and Tiny Dancer by Susan and Doug Decatur
Inspired by the Decaturs' own love story, Lovestruck is told through a series of short plays showing the trials, tribulations, and triumph of love. From feeling like you’ve been together in a prior time in Forever Soulmates, keeping things spicy in your marriage in Naked Neighbors, showing your vulnerability about relationships and love in The Big Bad Wolves, and connecting to that special person whenever and however it happens in Tiny Dancer, we recognize that anyone can become lovestruck.
Susan and Doug Decatur became a writing team after their marriage in 2018 when each of them had their ten-minute plays selected for Cincinnati Playwright Initiative’s first playwriting competition, Lovefest – Romantic Shorts from the Heart, at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater. Susan’s play Denise’s Do-Over was rated third and Doug’s play The Pool Boy received second-place audience ratings. Denise’s Do-Over was later selected by the Drama Workshop in Cincinnati for both its HomeBrew and HomeView playwriting events before and during the pandemic.
Susan and Doug co-wrote their first full-length play, Unfinished Business, which was nationally recognized as a Second-Round stage play finalist at the 2020 Austin Film Festival in addition to being selected as a Finalist in the 2020 Screencraft playwriting competition. Unfinished Business also received a staged reading with CPI at a sold-out performance in September 2021 at the Fifth Third Bank Theater.
Lovestruck, a series of eight short plays, was inspired by the Decatur’s journey from “almost” meeting when they were in their twenties to finally finding each other forty years later at a dance class and some of the humorous, touching, and romantic moments in their life as singles leading up to their marriage.
The Decaturs are both native Ohioans. Susan graduated from Miami University and holds an MBA in Executive Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. Doug is a University of Cincinnati graduate with an MBA in Finance from Xavier University. Doug plays basketball with the Shooting Stars Senior Games team (of Unfinished Business fame), who won the Gold Medal for the State of Indiana last September and competed at the National Senior Games this July bringing home sixth place honors in the 65+ age bracket.
Boy Meets Girl, a ten-minute play by Bertha Davis
Colby and Michelle couldn’t be more different, on the face of it. Colby is a hard-charging, White business executive, and Michelle is a meditative Black woman. When the elevator they share stalls, facades fall and new discoveries are made.
Bertha Lynn Davis (“Bertha/Lynn”) is a playwright, motivational speaker, life coach, and retired corporate manager based in Norwood, OH.
Bertha/Lynn has appeared on stage and film produced by Throne of Grace Productions. She also enjoys volunteer work in the community supporting youth programs and diversity and inclusion programs.
Bertha/Lynn "graduated" from the Procter & Gamble company in 2022 after thirty-three years of service. Soon after, she launched Three Babies Productions, which combines her business experience and her passion for the arts and people through her plays and public speaking.
Can’t Stop What’s Coming, a ten-minute play by Barry Cobb
Can’t Stop What’s Coming is a play about two men who meet at a 30-year college reunion and renew a somewhat tenuous previous relationship. The play focuses on their lives, trials, and tribulations. Fred was on a positive trajectory to be a professional cellist, but that career ended due to serious wounds from combat in Vietnam. He also suffered the untimely loss of his wife. Will, on the other hand, a ne’er-do-well in his early life and always in trouble, became more established as he matured and took more responsibility for himself. Through happenstance, Will was offered a once-in-a lifetime opportunity which is revealed at the end of the play.
Barry is a retired clinical psychologist. A Maine native, he graduated from the University of Maine and then Miami University (Ohio) graduate school. Barry moved to Cincinnati in 1970, where he began a clinical psychology career in Kentucky, Cincinnati, and Middletown. He practiced mostly in community mental health and was CEO of the Middletown Area Mental Health Center, following which he worked at TriHealth in the Employee Assistance Program. He is currently a community member of the Ethics committee at Jewish/Mercy Hospital. Barry and his wife have two sons, a daughter, six grandchildren, and two dogs. Barry started writing play scripts in 2018 while in a course offered at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). His hobby has been learning to play guitar.