More Accolades Writers' Statement The First Ten Pages Bios Praise


In hopes of attaining self-worth, a young and earnest playwright struggles to produce his next work while facing a devastating battle against his own futility and inner demons.


JOSH MILLER made a name for himself in the local theatre scene with his award-winning debut play and thus showed promise for a fruitful writing career to soon follow.   Since the untimely death of his mother, however, Josh has been operating on a low frequency.  He’s lost his creative drive; the bills are piling up; the monotonous days are becoming monotonous weeks, months and years.  With no immediate family to turn to, and with his friends having left town, Josh is hopelessly lonely and in a state of limbo.

When some familiar faces show up things begin to turn around for him.  His best friend DANIEL, a struggling actor in Los Angeles, returns home for an indefinite vacation.  His ex-girlfriend ZOE makes an effort to reconnect, and, for better or worse, Josh uses her as an emotional crutch.  Their presence energizes and inspires him, and he’s soon able to feel like his old self again.

A significant turning point occurs when Daniel takes him to see a well-received play in the city, where Josh enviously discovers the production belongs to a rival playwright of his.  Suddenly it hits him — if this guy can do it, why can’t I?  Tired of idling by, Josh firmly proposes to have a full-fledged production of a new play up for the summer season.  He even ominously proclaims that, with the current state of things, the play is now his life support — it’s all or nothing at this point.  Daniel’s on board to star in it; Zoe’s on board for set design; Josh’s mentor and former writing teacher, MR. SHELBY, offers his services to produce it.

Initially Josh shines as a leader with reawakened purpose, practically in a fever pitch as ideas and new goals come pouring in.  He and Daniel hold meetings to discuss the character, they scope out potential theaters for the performance, and Josh’s ambition for the show grows increasingly larger with each new development.

But as plans for the production begin to solidify, self-doubt slowly creeps in.  Josh’s uncompromising aim for perfectionism causes him to turn inwards and grow too critical of his abilities.  Haunted by personal demons, his mental state takes a downward spiral.  Further complicating things, Daniel is offered a part in a Hollywood blockbuster, causing a dilemma of whether to return to Los Angeles or stick around for Josh’s play.  On the verge of a nervous breakdown, Josh uses Daniel’s withdrawal as an excuse to abandon the play entirely.  This sets off a chain reaction that brings Josh further into depression.

His relationship with Zoe crumbles.  He violates Mr. Shelby’s trust and confidence by giving up on the project.  His financial situation worsens.  He now faces the dread of carrying out a meaningless existence.  At his loneliest and most desperate state, Josh reaches out to Mr. Shelby in a cry for help.  Sensing his precarious condition, Mr. Shelby digs deep to find the right guidance.  He tells him that many great leaders who faced similar burdens chose not to give up because they knew the value of leaving behind a legacy; by sticking to their life’s purpose they could get through anything.

With a fresh perspective and renewed energy, Josh faces his suffering more optimistically. But is he able to conquer the hurdles to come? It all comes down to a choice: give up or keep fighting.

Josh’s final decision carries an impact that will last forever…