The Stone Girl
Based on an idea from my daughter, Thea Eiland, The Stone Girl focuses on a small group of young girls living near Native American lands in the Southwest, each of whom wrestles with social/family challenges they must overcome in order to make an important decision upon which they can all agree involving a mysterious Hopi artifact.
Initial read-through cast: Phoebe Clark, Thea Eiland, Kira Houston, Fiona Morrison and Fiona Nash.
Audio Excerpt from The Stone Girl coming soon (mp3file format)
|It's me (Thea Eiland, Fiona Nash)
An adaptation for stage of the science fiction screenplay Enemy Within (see below).
It is a starlit night in the not-so-distant future at an isolated Top Secret medical facility supervised by Dr. Silas Frederick, the U.S. Military's top medical officer, along with Jim Masterson, a well-known 3-Star general, and his wife Sara Carpenter, a noted astrobiologist. Spotlight rises on Louis Grand, who lies in a coma on a hospital bed hooked up to a wireless advanced multi-telemetry monitor. His slow, comatose heartbeat pulses at a rate of about 10-12 beats per minute. Steadily, steadily - until an alarm goes off! Then all is as it was. For a brief while.
Through flashbacks, traumatic memories and eventually the coming to a head of resentments and secret plots, we discover the extraordinary events that led to Louis' coma, how it has changed him, and what is to become of him, and possibly the rest of the world.
Audio Excerpt from Heaven Sent coming soon (mp3file format)
|The lunatic edge (Actors tbd)
All For One
A new full-length, three-person piece involving a unique love "triangle" and a murder - and a big twist at the end. It is an adult drama that takes a head-on look at traumatized characters grasping for life preservers in stormy waters.
Soon going into development towards final draft, many thanks to the help of actors Janet Dauray, Michelle Mount and Jud Pierce.
Audio Excerpts from Previous Draft of All For One (mp3file format)
| Stud (Bob Eiland, Janet Dauray, Barbara Schapiro)
| Airy (Barbara Schapiro, Bob Eiland)
Star Bright accepted for publication by JAC Publishing and Promotions, publisher for Super Cooper and Philosophical Differences
Available for purchase from JAC Publishing and Promotions - Star Bright
PDF of a to-the-letter recreation of the interview I did with Christina Collins from CNC's Harvard Post:
Post Interview, 08/02/07
Free Public Reading w/ a terrific cast at Harvard, MA Public Library a great success!
Into a hospital set straight out of a Magritte painting "with stars shining above a hospital waiting room and birthing room,"– Jamie, a B-movie actress and her microbiologist husband Elliot enter, anxious for their individual reasons about meeting Holly, the birth mother of the baby they hope to adopt. Their story unfolds in parallel to that of Dehlia, another pregnant woman, one whose medical condition places her baby at risk. Then there are those with ulterior motives: a seeming cafeteria worker who hangs around the waiting room, the wholly unreliable man in Dehlia's life who shows up late as always, a young man popping up at the end of the first act claiming to be the birth father of Holly's baby, and a mysterious little girl who is "waiting, waiting" for something. A comedy with serious underpinnings about the families Fate seems to create.
PDF of a to-the-letter recreation of the interview I did with Ellie Vinacco from CNC's Harvard Post the following week:
Post Interview, 11/17/06
Audio Excerpts from Star Bright (mp3 format)
| An On-Purpose (Janet Dauray, Barbara Schapiro, Bob Eiland)
| Fusion (Thea Eiland, Bob Eiland)
| When Baby's Ready (Viv Tyndall, Janet Dauray, Barbara Schapiro)
|Extremophiles (Viv Tyndall, Bob Eiland)
| Autumn Rainbow (Janet Dauray)
Janet, Barb, Bob and Viv
Now available for purchase from : JAC Publishing and Promotions - Super Cooper
He put the lump in schlump. That's Cal Cooper, small town man-boy always at the ready behind the counter of his dad's butcher shop, a place where most folks aren'’t what they seem. Lately Coop's been getting the weirdest cravings: for toothpaste, cigarette butts, even ammonia! Not to mention for Lana, his fiancé. It all seems to correspond with the recent shortage of the peculiar green serum his adoptive parents have been giving him since he was a baby. And with the entrance onto the scene of the very British, provocative but not very kosher Lois Lanagan. Soon Coop, much to his wonderment and consternation, finds he is able to do things he could never do before. Like sense what people are thinking, hypnotize virtually anyone at will, perform inhuman feats of strength. Cal's best friend Lexie loves watching him tear phone books in half. If only Cal could fly! Oh well. So what has he become? Not a bird. Not a plane. It's Super Cooper. A warm comedy about families and social consciousness. For the hero inside of us all.
Audio Excerpts from Super Cooper (mp3file format)
|Birthday Surprise (Viv Tyndall, Bob Eiland, Barbara Schapiro, Janet Dauray)
| Flying? (Viv Tyndall, Bob Eiland)
| Spit (Bob Eiland, Barbara Schapiro)
Available for purchase from: JAC Publishing and Promotions - Philosophical Differences
Winner of Honorable Mention in Writers Digest Script Competition
1 of 3 plays selected for Stageloft's New Plays Festival
It may be a long off-season for poet Sam Klein. He just can'’t seem to hit Fate's change-ups, and now he's whiffed in the game of marriage -- again. Third divorce. The good news? At a chance meeting in a shrink's office, a psychic senses that Sam and the lovely young woman in the next seat have loved and lost each other countless times over myriad lifetimes. Jackie's her name. Sure enough some months later, Sam and Jackie meet again -- for the first time they think. Soon he's in love anew. And we know love is grand! But -- wouldn't you know it -- she's involved with someone. Teri's her name. Figures. But down is not out. Sam and Jackie become fast friends, and discover they both have desperately wanted to parent a child. "“Tick tick tick,"” says the biological clock. What follows are angst, laughs, poetry and complications.
Audio Excerpts from Philosophical Differences (mp3file format)
|Allergic to Cats (Barbara Schapiro, Bob Eiland, Janet Dauray)
|Dinner (Bob Eiland, Viv Tyndall, Barbara Schapiro*, Janet Dauray)
* dog barks: Barbara Schapiro
|I Saw You Last Night (Bob Eiland)
Advice and Consent
An excerpt from a comi-tragic monologue about birds-and-the-bees education in elementary school, and a high school girlfriend
My junior high school, with its keen insight into the sorts of angst that plague kids in those hormonal years, devised a truly sensitive, and remarkably discreet program to respond to our lust for knowledge: a school-wide assembly. All the girls and their moms one evening, all the boys and their dads the next. And my dad was not about to shirk his fatherly responsibility. Especially in a public forum. Unfortunately. See, he ran the TV station there, gave editorials every night; everybody knew who he was.
No place to hide.
So they herded us into the school auditorium, all of us seeker-sons skulking in the shadows of our all-knowing fathers who, we knew, were bent on exposing us as the facts-of-life greenhorns we'd never owned up to being....
Suddenly...the house lights streamed on, the headmaster, Mr. Bates - I kid you not - grabbed the microphone and bellowed, "Questions?"
And wouldn't you know it, my dad, bless his heart, launched a hand straight towards the ceiling. Whereupon I slumped into my seat, wishing I could just, you know, merge with the cushion fibers, beseeching the Lord: "God, please don't let him call on my dad!..."
But I suppose I wouldn't have a story here if Mister Bates hadn't; so you know he did. "A question from Mr. [reverb] Eiland...Eiland...Eiland?"
So here it was to be, from my dad the community role model, with [chant] the whole world watching, the whole world watching!
We're talking about the pinnacle of prepubescent revelation, my personal heritage of the manly arts passed down as a shining torch from my father and his father before him and on through the vast sea of generations, the defining moment of my evolution from the libidinal sandbox to PG adulthood.
"Mr. Bates," my dad said in a voice of golden command, "would you please explain the importance to these young men of wearing athletic supporters when they play sports?"
Winner of Honorable Mention in Writers Digest Screenplay Competition
Stage adaptation currently in development with working title of Heaven Sent.
On a rainy summer night, a meteorite crashes, hissing and smoking, onto the White House lawn, and becomes perched like some burnt balled up dragon in its crater bed. In the crater, something emits a small dim light, then fizzles out, heating speculation that a hostile intelligence triggered the incident. Soon after, a previously invisible spacecraft is discovered hovering over a mountain pond. A young black man from South Chicago, Louis Grand, is presumed hostage inside. Hurled terrified and confused into this crisis are a scientist and her husband, a general, the foundation of whose marriage is just starting to fracture. In the wake of some ambiguous behavior from the aliens, with the greatest single scientific advance in the history of the world - and the world'’s survival - at stake, Dr. Sara Carpenter-Thomas must make the hardest choice of her life. A choice with consequences the likes of which no one has ever before had to consider.
And Thea Makes a Family
Children's book about Thea available for preview and purchase at Blurb.com
The children's book I wrote for Thea about her birth and adoption, and which I had illustrated by the gifted Samantha Busfield, is now available for sneak peek and purchase if you like at my Thea book page on Blurb.com. If you have a young adopted child, or know someone who does, it was designed to provide a means of helping adopted kids understand and feel proud about their being adopted. When you get to the page for the book, you can click on "Review" to see the first 15 pages in low-resolution PDF.
And Charlie Completes Us
Children's book about Charlie by Bob Eiland, illustrated by Samantha Lane Fiddy (formerly Busfield) now available for preview and purchase at Blurb.com
The children's book I wrote for Charlie about his adoption, which I had illustrated by the gifted Samantha Busfield, is now available at my Charlie book page on Blurb.com, where you can preview the whole book and purchase it if you like. If you have a young adopted child, especially adopted internationally, or know someone who does, it was designed to provide a means of helping adopted kids understand and feel proud about their being adopted.
Daddy's blue Toyota 4runner bucked like a wild bronco. It had seen a big North Carolina trip, many Florida trips. . . . All too many trips! Now, on it last trip, it just barely huffed and limped to the side of the road.
"Oh no! Why today, of all days?!" Daddy groaned aloud. It was January 6th of the new year 2006. It was the day Mama and Daddy were to celebrate Daddy's birthday!
PICTURE DESCRIPTION: On the side of a small wooded road, Daddy, standing beside his weary-faced, stalled-out blue Forerunner, gestures to the sky. Unseen by him, a quetzal family of three laughs at him from atop a nearby tree. Was this their practical joke? They wear winter garb.
. . .
Finally the tow truck showed up interrupting Daddy's reverie. The driver hooked up the broken 4runner, lifted it into the flatbed, and drove off with a downcast Daddy.
PICTURE DESCRIPTION: The tow truck zooms off with Daddy's sad-faced car on the flatbed, Daddy in the passenger seat, and the Quetzal family secretly riding on the roof of the cab. The daddy quetzal points forward.
Soon Mama and Daddy drove off - in Mama's car - to squeeze in a late, second-choice movie, and to deal with a day that was sliding downhill fast.
But on rare occasions, a day's turn can blossom into a life's turn. And so it was on this day for Mama, Daddy and Thea's life.
As Mama and Daddy pulled into the parking lot of the old Leominster Cinema, Daddy noticed in the lampposts' luminescent circles of light, the first fall of big, feathery white snowflakes. And magic happened!
Daddy's little silver cell phone shimmied and rang. Mama looked at the caller ID. "Oh my gosh! It's Traci!"
PICTURE DESCRIPTION: Mama and Daddy sit in a silver Nissan Pathfinder in the cinema parking lot, with light, fluffy snow gliding down, highlighted in the circle light of the lampposts. Little Silver Cell Phone is ringing excitedly, with a light on the For This Child button. Daddy Quetzal holds an umbrella over his wife and daughter as they perch on the top of the light post. A kind of magical aura surrounds them.
Traci from the For This Child Adoption Agency was calling to tell them about a beautiful little boy who had just recently been born in Guatemala, and whose birth mother, from the ancient mountainous city of Quetzaltenango, was unable to take care of him. His birth mother wanted the best possible life for Charlie, and so in a wonderful act of love, she made an adoption plan for him.
Mama, Daddy and Thea were matched with Charlie!
And only a week after Mama, Daddy and Thea had, together, mailed off their adoption packet at the little Still River post office on New Year's Eve Day - never imagining that their Charlie had been born just two days before! Over the phone, Traci said a picture of the baby boy awaited them in their email back home!
"No one has ever had a better birthday present that this!" thought Daddy.
PICTURE DESCRIPTION: Daddy has a cloud-like daydream bubble of a smiling baby Charlie wrapped in a big birthday present package, and visible from the outside.
. . . .
Essays and Articles
One Father's Journey
©Robert A. Eiland, 2002
In its entirety, as published in Branches, a publication of Act of Love adoption agency
A little silver phone in your pocket quivers and rings, you answer it, your life changes. How did such a little thing amass so much power?
Seven years ago, during the first year of my wife Sharlotte's and my relationship, we pointedly decided to dispense with birth control. Ten weeks ago, we met our daughter's charming, and very pregnant, birth mother. We drove away after a three-hour visit trying to hold steady amidst a dauntingly complicated sea of emotions.
Seventeen years ago, I chose to end a marriage primarily because my first wife grew to realize the course of life best suited to her needs and aspirations did not include parenting -- and I realized I wanted to become the person I'd become by being a dad. Then after eleven years of playing Survivor in the world of dating, I met and fell in love with Sharlotte, both as a life partner and a mother for our children. I just didn't imagine at the time that the journey to the "mother" part would be so fraught with setbacks.
And that the setbacks could eventually lead to such joy: our Thea Deanna.
The physical road to that joy started with our driving down Interstate 81 at night on the 4th of July, heading south for Thea, our baby girl soon to be born, as the multicolored fireworks burst over the tree line on the east and the west, reflecting both our exhilaration and our sense of the surreal.
Although Thea's birth mother had asked us by phone to come down as soon as possible, it turned out Thea was two weeks late - and induced at that! So Sharlotte and I had two weeks of having to bide our time - cell phone constantly at our fingertips - and handle the nervousness about whether the adoption would work out. That I was nervous seemed to fly in the face of all indicators, overt and otherwise. We were so very moved when Thea's birth mother said to us something like:
"I have prayed and thought long and hard about this. I wish you all could have a child in this way, and I'm sorry you can't. But it's nurture over nature every time. I feel like I'm the vessel to bring this little girl into the world for you to parent."
Sharlotte and I arrived at the birthing room at about 7:30 the morning of the inducement, our Thea's birth day. In that one breathtaking instant, we had walked through a kind of magical doorway, into a palpable energy, audible but not visible. Thea's life force. It was her heartbeat amplified by the fetal monitor. It thumped steadily between 150 and 200 times a minute. We sat vigil with her birth mother, waiting, chatting, operating as though we moved only within an ordinary plane; while Thea's heartbeat drummed out the extraordinary message of a world, a life soon to be revealed; and an adventure soon to reach its next episode.
As Sharlotte and I were returning from our lunch break, a nurse came out and informed us the birth mother had decided not to have us in the room during delivery. For an abundance of possible reasons, her change of heart was understandable. And a little nervous-making.
We had to wait twenty minutes after hearing Thea's first cry in the world before we were invited in. During that wait, after all this time waiting, worrying, grieving, planning, we acknowledged to each other that it was possible Thea's birth mother was changing her mind. Though she had stated outright that she understood she would continue to go through a whole range of emotions and reactions during delivery and post-partum, could anyone really predict with absolute certainty the conviction of the heart in the ruthlessly real face of this little baby girl? We reaffirmed that if this were to be the case, then we would have to hold to our faith that it would ultimately be the best thing for this baby, regardless of how devastating to us.
As I waited, I think I was simply overwhelmed, unable to process, and moving in and out of psychic numbing. This was true even as I stood in the birthing room and witnessed Thea's being handed to Sharlotte. When it was my turn to hold her, I whispered, "Welcome Thea Deanna. Daddy and Mommy are here."
About two hours after Thea was born, just after we'd taken her to the nursery and placed her under the warming lamp, she clasped my thumb with her impossibly delicate, baby-long fingers and fell asleep. The numbing chaos and exhaustion in my head metamorphosed into something clear, pure and akin to bliss, only more peaceful. And full of rightness.
All the pain, the anxiety, the turmoil and disappointment we went through are floating in some alternate dimension of our consciousness, at least for now. Because everything we went through led to this baby girl, our Thea, no other.
Bob Eiland's Bio
Bob has published three plays, with three more currently in development. Philosophical Differences, won Honorable Mention in the Writers Digest script competition, and was selected for Stageloft Repertory Theatre's New Playwrights Festival. It, along with Super Cooper, and Star Bright, are published by JAC Publishing and Promotions, and are available for purchase on Amazon.com. His screenplay, Enemy Within, also received a Writers Digest Honorable Mention, and is currently being adapted for the stage.
Bob graduated cum laude as an English major and Drama minor from Tufts University, during which time he wrote for the Tufts Observer and the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio as an intern. After graduation, he worked as an editor for Xerox/Ginn Publishing.
Bob was founder of the Gazebo Players, Gazebo Players, which has been performing Shakespeare in the Park productions for over 10 years. He has been active as a director, producer and actor for many years. He directed The Miracle Worker twice to critical acclaim, as well as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Night of the Iguana, Androcles and the Lion, Murder Has Been Arranged and The Most Dangerous Woman, a one-person play about Mother Jones written by his father, Ted Eiland.
A few of Bob's favorite roles as a stage actor have been Charly in Flowers for Algernon, John Proctor in The Crucible, Ford in Merry Wives of Windsor (twice!), Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night, Biff in Death of a Salesman, Mortimer in Arsenic and Old Lace, Zach in A Chorus Line , Applegate the Devil in Damn Yankees , Jud in Oklahoma and Bill Sikes in Oliver.
He has worked at Stageloft Repertory Theatre, Piccadilly Theatre Company, Masque Theatre Company, Oktoberfest Theatre, Arlington Friends of the Drama, Theatre on the Mount, Southboro Players, Medway Players, the Framingham Civic League and the Berlin Players, among others. He has produced, directed and acted in staged readings of Old Time Radio Theatre productions for he Harvard Friends of the Arts (HFOA) each year since its founding.
In film, Bob has played principal roles in Michael Legge's Braindrainer, Night Basement and Alien Agenda: Under the Skin; and in Teja Arboleda's mockumentary Got Race! He was John Hammond, P.I., a character based on Humphrey Bogart's Sam Spade, in Big City Blues, a United Way fundraising film.
After his time as an editor, Bob spent five years as a social worker and director of a children's outreach program outside of Boston. For over twenty years since, he has run EGS Elite, a retainer-based search firm for high tech executives, and CTOs, Distinguished Engineers and Technical Fellows.
PDF of Bob's theater resume.