Jeff has written plays, including:
- The Shotgun Players’ commissioned The Road to Hades for their 20th anniversary season. Starting with three of Aristophanes’ comedies about war and peace, Jeff created an epic comedy that played in the amphitheater at John Hinkel Park in Berkeley.
- An Appetite for Books was commissioned by Handful Players for their youth performing troupe based in the Filmore district of San Francisco. Jeff wrote a fantasy of stories and history based on the 50 year saga of Marcus Books, the oldest African American owned and operated bookstore in America.
- Father-Land, co-written with Jael Weisman: “The first fruit of Jeff Raz’s solo theatrical quest opens this week – and it’s a beaut..It’s a complex and resonant narrative of a young Jew finding himself visiting Dachau and making connections with the long-deceased father he didn’t know he was searching for (there’s more than one pun in that title)… it’s told with a disarmingly deceptive simplicity and unobtrusively ingenious layering of skills that makes its hour upon the stage feel like a full evening.” The East Bay Express
- Birth Mark co-written with Jael Weisman: “Raz has lots of fun teasing the audience with braided levels of reality in this pleasing riff that centers on the ups and downs of the adoption process but also lightly weaves in a search for cultural identity. “Birth Mark” charms us with its honest look at one man’s tentative path toward fatherhood.” Jean Schiffman, citysearch.com
- The Whole Megillah, Abridged – Commissioned by the San Francisco Jewish Community Center for their 2000 Purim Party, Jeff has also performed this jazz-tinged interpretation of the Book of Esther for hundreds of students in Nebraska and for the “Borscht Belt by the Bay” series at the Traveling Jewish Theater in San Francisco.
- Oedipus the King is Jeff’s adaptation of Sophocles’ most famous tragedy, commissioned by Arts Are Basic in Lincoln, Nebraska for middle school and high school students. Oedipus was also produced as a staged reading by Miracle Theater in San Francisco with a cast of three professional actors. California Theater Conservatory recently staged a full production of Oedipus with a cast of 20 middle and high school actors, adding music to Jeff’s script.
- Wonderland is an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland with Doyle Ott and music by Johannes Mager. In 2009, The Clown Conservatory produced this circus interpretation of the Lewis Carroll classic, with the cast of nine juggling, tumbling, singing and playing their way through Wonderland. The successful opening tour included shows at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, Front Door Theater, Arcata Playhouse, Pt. Reyes Dance Palance, Yerba Buena Center and Circus Center.
- ‘The Monkey King, a Circus Adventure‘ is an adaptation of Journey to the West with music by Johannes Mager. The Clown Conservatory produced this Comedia dell’Arte-tinged interpretation in 2010. Jeff condensed 100 chapters into 9 scenes that can be combined to make a show from 15 to 90 minutes, with scenes that were ‘family friendly’ and some that have adult themes and language.
- Lungman and Windpipe’s Excellent Adventure with music by Johannes Mager. “Lungman and Windpipe’s Excellent Adventure is a fast, energetic voyage inside a pair of lungs, where the heroes are attacked by the body’s immune system.” Christina Eng, San Ramon Valley HeraldCommissioned by Make*A*Circus, this educational theater piece about the biology of breathing and the dangers of second hand smoke was performed by a cast of 10 with a live band for Make*A*Circus’s summer 1998 tour. It has had two subsequent school tours with a cast of 4 and recorded music. Appropriate for grades K – 6.
- DogTails was commissioned by the Exploratorium in San Francisco. “Writer-director Jeff Raz concocted this playful exploration of the science of genetics as part of the Exploratorium’s “Diving into the Gene Pool” exhibit. It’s geared towards kids, but don’t let that stop you – even if you’re currently tot-free…(Dog Tails) combines physical humor and snappy repartee to deftly juggle genes and unravel the hereditary puzzle. Raz’s script provides a few gentle lessons in puppy-making and the benefits of muttdom’s rich diversity.”
Neva Chonin, S.F. Guardia
- Isabella, my Love; a Commedia Scenario. This versatile commedia scenario has been performed by Miracle Theater and by students at School of the Arts and Lowell High School. It is written for 8 commedia characters.
Jeff has created many plays, sketches and clown routines in many settings. He specializes in developing work that grapples with the most difficult issues facing his cast and society, using stories, research and physical theater to create a play.
Jeff has been commissioned to write for:
- Shotgun Players
- Worlds Arts West (People Like Me)
- Bay Area Children’s Theatre
- Dell’Arte International
- The Exporatorium
- San Francisco Jewish Community Center
- Handful Players
- The Gallup Area Arts Council
- Kaiser Permenante
- Arts Are Basic
- University of Nebraska, Lincoln
“Out of the ashes of a cross-burning incident involving a University of Nebraska fraternity comes a play looking at racially charged issues, symbols and vocabulary. “All Tangled Up”, a play directed by artist-in-residence Jeff Raz… generates discussion on issues of diversity; people leave (the play) talking and telling each other stories.”