Playwright

Luke Yankee’s plays include THE LAST LIFEBOAT, THE MAN WHO KILLED THE CURETHE JESUS HICKEY, DIVA DISH!A PLACE AT FOREST LAWN and DIVA DISH: THE SECOND HELPING.

THE LAST LIFEBOAT

“Luke Yankee has written a surging drama that is riveting, dramatic, educational and entertaining all at the same time.  THE LAST LIFEBOAT is destined to become a theatre classic!”   —  Rex Reed, syndicated columnist

Last-Lifeboat-FINAL-TA-MED-SIZE_001THE LAST LIFEBOAT has received more than 20 productions across the United States and Canada since 2014.  Published by Dramatists Play Service, it is the untold story of the owner of the White Star Line when the Titanic sank, whose decision to save himself rather than go down with the ship made him the scapegoat fro one of the greatest disasters of all time.  This epic story told on a bare stage with an ensemble cast playing multiple roles explores not only the events leading up to the shipwreck itself, but the aftermath and sensationalized trials of an event that changed the work forever.

In the style of THE LARAMIE PROJECT or the PETER AND THE STAR CATCHER, the play can be presented with a cast ranging from 7 to 40 actors with an ensemble cast playing multiple roles on a bare stage.

Here’s what nationally syndicated critic Rex Reed said about The Last Lifeboat:

“Imagine the epic story behind the drama of the sinking of the Titanic, revealed with easy, minimal staging on a bare stage!  Luke Yankee has written a surging drama that is riveting, dramatic, educational and entertaining all at the same time.  THE LAST LIFEBOAT is destined to become a theatre classic!”

 ➡ PURCHASE A COPY OF THE SCRIPT FROM DRAMATISTS PLAY SERVICE

 ➡ VISIT THE WEBSITE FOR “THE LAST LIFEBOAT”

 ➡  READ REVIEWS OF “THE LAST LIFEBOAT”


THE MAN WHO KILLED THE CURE is inspired by the life and death of Dr. Max Gerson, one of the pioneers in the world of natural healing.  When Max Gerson and his business partner, Rudolph Heller, escaped Nazi Germany, they had no idea what awaited them in New York. Rudy wanted the good life, treating his patients the traditional way. But when Max created an all natural cure for cancer, the medical world felt threatened…not to mention his friend and colleague. The AMA and the big pharmaceutical companies would stop at nothing to keep this natural cure off the market, but Max was equally determined that the world should know about it. Inspired by true events, this gripping and controversial story delves into a world of medicine where the end goal is not healing, but profits. This play recently received its first workshop production at the University of California – Irvine in February 2017. It was nominated for the Otis Guernsey New Voices in the American Theatre Award and is a semifinalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. 

 ➡  READ A SYNOPSIS OF “THE MAN WHO KILLED THE CURE”


THE JESUS HICKEY

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THE JESUS HICKEY is a modern day fable about the seduction of celebrity funneled through the window of religious fanaticism. Funny, bawdy, outrageous, and touching, it tells the story of an impoverished family whose lives are irrevocably changed when their only daughter goes “down to the embankment” with a young man. Though she’s been warned repeatedly by her father and grandmother about what happens to girls who do, no one could have foretold what could happen when the love bite on her neck appears in the image of Christ.

The world premiere production opened at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles, starring Harry Hamlin, star of TV’s LA LAW and such films as MAKING LOVE and CLASH OF THE TITANS.

THE JESUS HICKEY is the winner of the TRU Voices Award as well as the first annual Joel and Phyllis Ehrlich Award. given for “a commercially viable, socially relevant new work of theater.”  It received staged readings at the Phoenix Theatre, The Long Beach Playhouse in New York at the Players Theatre starring Tony Award nominees Matthew Arkin and Merle Louise.

Luke has recently completed a film adaptation.

 ➡ VISIT “THE JESUS HICKEY” WEBSITE
 ➡ Read what critics are saying about “THE JESUS HICKEY
 ➡ Read a synopsis of “THE JESUS HICKEY 
 ➡  See a video clip from the original production, starring Harry Hamlin

A PLACE AT FOREST LAWN

forest-lawn-poster-copyLuke has co-written (with James Bontempo) A PLACE AT FOREST LAWN, based on the award-winning one-act play by Lorees Yerby. Winner of the New Noises Festival Playwriting Award, it was also a finalist in the Palm Springs International Playwrights competition.  In addition, Luke has directed numerous staged readings of the play on both coasts with all-star casts.  The Off-Broadway cast included Tony Goldwyn, Frances Sternhagen, Marian Seldes and George Grizzard. The Los Angeles cast included Betty White, Marian Ross, John Glover, Marcia Cross and Steven Culp.  The world premiere production was at The Arvada Center for the Performing Arts, a 500-seat Equity theatre outside of Denver. It is published by Dramatists Play Service.

 ➡ Purchase the script from DRAMATISTS PLAY SERVICE
 ➡ Read the review of “FOREST LAWN” in WEEKLY VARIETY 
 ➡ Read the review of “FOREST LAWN” in COLORADO BACKSTAGE 
 ➡  READ A SYNOPSIS OF “A PLACE AT FOREST LAWN” 

DIVA DISH!

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Most people only get to see Hollywood stars on screen. Luke Yankee got to see them up close. As the son of Academy Award-winning actress Eileen Heckart, Luke got up close and personal with some of the biggest stars the world has ever known. In this loving tribute, he shares these hilarious and heartfelt stories of what it was really like growing up as a showbiz kid.

Whether it was Ethel Merman teaching him how to make a martini at age ten, Marilyn Monroe babysitting his brothers or Paul Newman giving him acting lessons, he’s seen it all.

In this warm, funny and highly entertaining multimedia presentation, this masterful storyteller and performer will regale you with rare photographs, video clips and fabulous stories. It’s like party with the biggest names from Broadway to Hollywood…and you’re invited to hear the dish…the Diva Dish!

“Touching, hilarious and completely enthralling! Luke Yankee is such a wonderful storyteller you’ll want to hear the stories he tells again and again!” — Rex Reed

➡ VISIT THE WEBSITE FOR “DIVA DISH”!
➡  VIEW THE TRAILER FOR “DIVA DISH!”
➡  READ REVIEWS OF “DIVA DISH!”

Diva Dish 2 - Postcard (UNSCALED) - DESERT ROSE_CMYKLights! Camera! Glamour! Actor, director, producer, author and playwright, Luke Yankee has the dish….and boy, is it tasty! As the son of Oscar, Emmy and Tony winning actress Eileen Heckart, Luke has experienced first-hand the glitz, the glory and the heartache of life in the spotlight. This storyteller extraordinaire has toured the world for the last 15 years with DIVA DISH, his critically acclaimed one-man show. Just when you thought you’d heard it all, Luke serves up a second helping of juicy tidbits and candid moments with some of your favorite celebrities. Pour a glass of champagne, loosen your ascot, kick off your heels and enjoy the ride!