Check out Joe's profile on the New Play Exchange.
If you are considering producing Principal Principle, please read this note about casting.
Photo by Emily Schwartz
Armed only with her dreams of making the world a better place and six weeks of training, Kay Josephs quits her corporate job to teach English in an urban high school. She wakes up to harsh realities: the copy machine is broken, the system is broken, and the spirits of her fellow teachers are broken. Or are they? A dark comedy of academic intrigue.
"There are very few excellent plays about public education. This is one."
- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
"★★★★ This clear-eyed glimpse into the teachers' lounge makes hearty laughs part of an all too relevant lesson plan."
- Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago
"Former public school teacher Joe Zarrow achieves something remarkable...an entertaining play about education that re-creates all the quirks and craziness of modern education without lapsing into either cynical hopelessness or Hollywood-style superteacher fantasies. His dialogue feels authentic, and his characters are flawed but likable human beings, not mouthpieces for this or that ideology."
- Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader
"Engaging, intelligent, and important. Highly recommended."
- Peter Thomas Ricci, Chicago Theater Review
NEW: A beloved comic book superheroine is finally getting her own feature film, but some fans are very unhappy with the casting. A universe-hopping play about geek culture, race, and keeping your story straight.
NEW: Domestic drone operator Boyd should be doing well: he has a loving wife, a supportive business partner, and a clean bill of health after a bout with cancer. Instead, he's so acutely desperate to escape his body that he turns to a mad scientist for help in this dark comedy about the mind-body problem.
NEW: A Chicago-based nonprofit director disappeared to a retreat in rural Wisconsin months ago, and in his absence the board has started firing staff left and right. One by one, they run to the woods to find new identities, new purpose, and new love. A modern update of Shakespeare's As You Like It.
Photo by Stephan Mazurek
When Martin's girlfriend kicks him out of their apartment for cheating, he has to find new digs quickly in Chicago's diverse, rapidly-gentrifying West Town neighborhood. To get the only existing apartment, he'll have to compete with a rabid overgrown frat boy, a Machiavellian real estate agent, a determined Polish saleslady, an embittered barista, and a flock of very angry pigeons. How far will Martin be willing to go to stay in the neighborhood he loves so much?
"Without a doubt, one can arrive unprepared forJoe Zarrow's new play, The Pigeons, produced by Walkabout Theatre, at Swim Cafe's space. It's easily the cleverest, foxiest and physically wildest farce I've seen since, well, forever."
- Paige Listerud, Chicago Theater Blog
"Very funny satire."
- Laura Molzahn, Chicago Reader (Recommended)
A science-fictional exploration of the transformational power of karaoke. Includes robots, pandas, and the Gettysburg Address.
Photo by Shane Simmons
At a small town high school's active shooter drill, the backdrop of blank shots and bullet hole makeup inspires two teens and two adults to explore what is real in their world. Written for The Appetizer Plays speed playwriting festival.
"Kodak Shirley" was the colloquial term for the models whose faces were used to calibrate color film printers. This time-hopping exploration of politics and photographic technology was commissioned for Broken Nose Theatre's Bechdel Fest.
Sibling rivalry, a circle of vengeance-wreaking, and a cat named Bongo with an unfortunate haircut. A fun short play for young actors, commissioned for the Piven Theatre Scene Study Class.
Jade is crushed that her D&D group is breaking up, but she convinces Kristin to hang around for one last very important dungeon crawl. Inspired by Radiohead's "Let Down," and commissioned for Tympanic Theatre's Today We Escape festival.
"A superlative example of character driving storytelling."
- Zach Barr, Chicago Theatre Review
A Chicagoan confronts the city's parking violation bureaucracy.
The game has gone into extra innings: dozens of them. Novice sports broadcaster Guy wants to get home to his wife and child, but veteran Buck has different ideas. A metaphysical comedy morsel.