Whether read alone, or enhanced by performance and discussion, the theme of the plays by award-winning playwright Milton Matz is clear: every life is a play, and we are all playwrights in search of good endings.
A retired clinical psychologist and Reform rabbi, Matz has thousands of case studies of interpersonal dilemmas crammed into his memory. He decided to explore some of them by writing nine fictional plays, three full plays with controversial endings and six short plays with no endings at all.
He builds his plays in intriguing and humorous ways.
Each play focuses on a major ethical issue: marital infidelity, end of life choices, family religious conflict, reconciliation of enemies, gay relations, supernatural experience, sexual abuse, race relations, and marriage of seniors.
Matz believes we understand others best when we put ourselves in their shoes. Plays, more than other literary forms, allow readers to develop empathy for key characters in the midst of their dilemmas, and to understand points of view never imagined. We can imagine ourselves, in turn, in each of the key roles and can ask ourselves, “What ending do I want? Why do I want it?”
Matz further suggests, if we decide to do so, sharing our answers with open-minded friends can make for even more powerful experiences. No longer right or wrong, dilemmas become rational questions with reasonable choices for answers.