BLACK BOX is a story of players, on stage and off, making deals to save or sell their souls.  An actress, a critic, and a patron form a dramatic triangle whose ambitions collide within the confines of a “black box” theater – an unadorned performance space enclosed by black walls.  BLACK BOX probes the power of performing art, as well as the price some pay for its pursuit.

Ned Prince leads an enviable life.  An acclaimed young writer and heir to an ample fortune, he spends a handsome allowance playing at working.  But when tragedy strikes Ned’s father, leaving a depleted estate, Ned is forced to take a real job as a theater critic.  He is mesmerized by an actress who has sold herself to a financier for a stage of her own – a black box.  After all off-stage attempts fail, Ned resorts to theater to avenge his father and liberate the actress.

Click here to view four scenes adapted for the stage from Black Box

BLACK BOX contains mature content and is recommended for adult readers.

Praise for Black Box

Black Box is a nicely paced tale, told with insight and affection for both the theater and the suspense genre – a nifty mash-up of Ibsen, Shakespeare, and Mickey Spillane.”

Paul Frellick, Former Artistic Director, Deep Dish Theater Company

“… If you’re a lover of theatre, you’ll really love the journey through Black Box.”

Michael Mendelson, Artistic Director, Portland Shakespeare Project

Black Box is a cornucopia of delights …. In this world, money incites the action: who has it, who doesn’t and what the characters do to get it …. What fun!”

Karin Magaldi, Associate Director of Theater and Professor, Theater Arts, Portland State University

Black Box is a lot of fun. Gary D. Cole takes a beloved staple of mystery novels—the hard-nosed, wisecracking gumshoe—and transforms him into Portland’s latest theater critic, devising a local version of Hamlet’s Mousetrap stratagem to nudge a dangerous secret into the open.”

Mead Hunter, Former Literary Director, Portland Center Stage