Does the past define the future of love?

Seeing Maya

a screenplay by Joe Bardin

Danny, 25, American, goes to Israel (where he had lived as a child) to escape the trauma of a car accident, which killed his girlfriend. When the Gulf War breaks out, he’s invited to stay with a friend, whose divorced mother, Maya, 50, he becomes romantically involved with. The war ends, but Maya and Danny’s secret affair doesn’t. With her hard-earned independence threatened by this love, Maya breaks it off, only to discover she’s empty without him. When Maya wants them to come out, it’s Danny’s turn to run. Each must face their intimidations, and surrender to the depth of their love, in order to find happiness and each other.


Movies and timing and waiting and waiting

Almost every week, it seems, there is a new headline about the dark web, Internet fraud, and major international banks admitting to their culpability in some financial malfeasance,  usually in the billions of dollars range. These are three central elements in Detection, the movie I’ve written with Ori Eisen, leaving me quite impatient. Detection has gained the enthusiastic support of producer Warren Weideman. However, we are still waiting to hear on financial backing for the project and it has been many, many months.

But as Warren has reminded me, it took Spielberg 10 years to get Lincoln made, so what am I whining about?

The best way to be free of  waiting  is to be busy writing. To that end, I have been working on a new play, which I am quite excited about, as it directly engages the fascinating topic of radical life extension and physical immortality. As science starts to seriously challenge the axiom of a limited human lifespan, the arts need to help explore the implications in a passionate, progressive and thoughtful manner. Death is so intimately woven into the human identity that the human who doesn’t die is clearly something entirely distinct and worthy of our profound imaginative consideration. Put another way: who are we when we don’t die?



Love Disorder on Youtube

This is the play in its entirety, shot with two camera’s and the sound is pretty damn good.

Do we lose our individuality in love or do we gain it? Are we doomed to reenact our parents’ less than inspiring domesticities, or can we break free of the past to set our own course of the heart? These and other profound questions are just barely touched upon, as we follow Laura&Percy, RobnKiki and JustinErica through the passions, conflicts, delusions and resolutions of their love disorders.

Check it out on YouTube

Great review from Kerry Lengel, AZ Republic

Nice to get this strong review from Arizona Republic theater critic Kerry Lengel.

To say that “Love Disorder” feels like a sitcom on the stage is not meant as an insult. This world-premiere comedy from iTheatre Collaborative — the first full-length play by Valley writer Joe Bardin — is snappy, clever and irreverent. If you’re a fan of “How I Met Your Mother,” you’re sure to get a kick out of it.

The best thing is that while Bardin (rhymes with “sardine”) plays around with some familiar Mars-vs.-Venus stereotypes, he adds enough twists to create unique, compelling characters. And under the guidance of director Mike Traylor, iTheatre’s cast is convincing and eminently watchable.

Read on at:

Collaboration at Hooters

Great meeting with director Mike Traylor last night to hash out some aspects of the production, which premiers Nov. 14th at Kax Stage, Herberger. We met at Hooters of all places, which is perhaps appropriate to discuss a play entitled Love Disorder. On the other hand, Hooters is never really appropriate.

Mike is intense and passionate and deeply engaged with the play and I’m excited about the level of commitment and quality he is bringing. Having said that, we disagreed on some significant matters right off the bat, without any rancor or malice. But never the less, we disagreed. This produced out of Mike the best line of the night: “That’s what I like about doing Shakespeare, he’s been dead for hundreds of years, so I don’t have to worry about his opinions.”

I love the fact that Mike cares enough to be bothered by my wanting something different than what he envisioned. This is clear evidence that he has a vision. In the end, I think we both felt like we conceded quite a bit, perhaps more than the other fella. I’m pretty sure, though, that I really did … even though Mike seems to think that he really did.

Which is to say this show is going to get the care and attention it deserves, and I’m looking forward to the first cast reading on October 13.

Love Disorder — defining the condition



Director Mike Traylor requested I provide a definition of Love Disorder to accompany the play:


Relationship Disorder, or “Love Disorder”, as it is commonly known, is an anxiety disorder in which the authentic desire for human intimacy clashes with the survival impulse to control, producing an emotional fog that clouds the nervous system, causing perfectly intelligent people to behave absurdly.


Symptoms may include:

  • The inability to say what you mean
  • The inability to act on what you say
  • The inability to ever resolve anything
  • The acute prolonging of clearly unsatisfying partnerships
  • The blind overlooking of potentially satisfying ones
  • The dominating urge to fulfill gender-based roles:

o   the female role of “domesticator”

o   the male role of “protector”

  • The propensity to re-enact one’s parents’ relationship even as one heartily disapproves of it.


Risk factors include:

  • First dates
  • Getting to know each other
  • Sex
  • Cohabitation
  • Marriage
  • Separation
  • Love




There is as yet no proven treatment for Love Disorder.

Jazzed about my collaborators



Its great when the company that’s going to produce your play does work that definitively doesn’t suck. That’s what I found out on Saturday night at iTheatre Collaborative’s performance of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, a complex and challenging play that they staged with great confidence and coherence, under the evidently excellent direction of Charles St. Clair. Vera Stark is written by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage.

Nicole Belit, who played Vera Stark, was tremendous, as was Brenda Jean Foley and Todd Michael Isaac, and Tom Koelbel, all of whom will be performing in Love Disorder, which bodes very well in terms of talent.

I also got the chance to chat with Mike Traylor, hilarious in his role as Herb Forrester in Vera Stark, who will direct Love Disorder. The fact that he was funny as hell on stage, playing a sort of wildly effeminate culture talk show host, was quite encouraging.

Chris Haines, who along with his wife Rose, are the directors of iTheatre Collaborative, was gracious enough to announce Love Disorder, and that I was in attendance. One women down the row, clearly a patron of the arts, promised to come opening night November 14th, and to bring many friends, if I gave her a birthday kiss. Being the entrepreneurially minded artists that I am, I quickly agreed, holding off on delivery until she, and her friends, actually show up for the show at the Herberger’s Kax stage.

I am jazzed to be collaborating with iTheatre Collaborative, and look forward to sitting down with Mike and Chris sometime next week to talk about the look and feel of Love Disorder.

Love Disorder or Disorders?

I named the play Love Disorder. But when the staged reading was done at Theatre Artists Studio, it was introduced as Love Disorders. Then, on the producer’s contract, it was written Love Disorders as well. There seems to be an expectation of multiple disorders here, whereas I consider the considerable disorder displayed by the play’s three couples to be facets of a single, unifying Love Disorder. This singular Disorder covers the emotional condition or dis-ease that often accompanies love, as well as referring to the chaotic choices and behavior that ensues on the stage itself, which is quite a bit of disorder in a collectively singular sort of way.

I could put this up for a vote, but I’m not a huge fan of the idea of artists asking their audience to help them decide things about their work. Not just because I’m an artist, in this case. Even when I’m the reader or the audience, I really don’t care to have a say in the making of the art — you make the art, I’ll enjoy it … or not. It’s marketing 101 these days to engage customers by giving them the feeling they have some say in the product they are purchasing — one reason why you’re getting hit with online surveys all the time. But I reckon if a play isn’t good enough to engage an audience, without making the audience feel like they had a hand in its creation, then there’s something amiss with the play. Or the audience, for that matter.

Not long ago I went to a play reading, after which the playwright started asking us, the audience, all kinds of questions we couldn’t possibly answer, including: should this play be developed further? If the playwright has to ask the audience that,  there’s something seriously skewed. Actually it was a bit patronizing, because I found it hard to believe the playwright was really leaving that question up to us. At least, I really hope she wasn’t.

I’m keeping Love Disorder a collective singular, but if someone can convince me why it should be otherwise, I’m listening. I suppose.




Love Disorder moved up to November 2014

Just signed the contract to have Love Disorder performed Nov 14-29, at the Kax Stage at Herberger Theater. I’m really excited to have it moved up from May 2015. Next step will be to finalize the director and then auditions. There are three couples, so six parts. total.

References to the “dry heat” and sports mentions of Steve Nash clearly situate the play here in the Phoenix area. At the same time, there is no reason why it could not travel easily to any where in the country with all narrative and humor in tact. Nash was a two time NBA MVP, so he is simply a recognized/beloved sports figure from a particular place, which happens to be Phoenix. As for the weather, it’s familiar cliche about our area.

There is some other sports trivia, which is, well, trivial. So it’s not necessary to understand it really, just to understand that in fact, it is trivial. Glad that’s clear. I’ve long been aware of the reams of sports trivia taking up short and long term memory inside my body, and Love Disorder is just further confirmation. Men may be more likely to get those joke, while the women may get more of a laugh out of the emotional knots the characters tie themselves up.