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The Play Titles of Laurie Nienhaus

  • About Teatime Theatre
  • A Teatime Travesty
  • Tea-A-Ria
  • Christmas Shorts
  • Fractured Tales

Teatime Just Took a Turn!

This image is of a pretty teacup filled with tea and with a theatre mask also in the cup.I daresay playwrights and novelists expect to occasionally awake in the morning with a fresh plot eager to spill from their pens. But for a history lover whose writing aspirations had never stepped beyond the well researched piece on the early 19th century gothic heroine or the evolution of the Victorian valentine, etc., it is a rare occurrence.

Yet, this is how my first teatime comedy, A Teatime Travesty, came to be. I opened my eyes one Saturday morning and there it was - complete with the necessary twists and turns. You can imagine my surprise. I arose, made myself a cup of tea, and began writing.

I don't want to imply it was easy and all was complete before the day was out. There was, thankfully, research to be done. I never doubted the action had to take place at teatime, but how does one blend the graciousness inherent in afternoon tea with comedy and murder? How does one dispose of a body during tea? Anything messy seemed grossly inappropriate and anything verging on the callisthenic was clearly fraught with problems. It simply wouldn't do for even one tea hat to fall askew.

It was quite a conundrum, but I quickly saw poison to be the answer. Yet which one? I set about my research with the fervent hope that my husband stayed well. I imagined being interrogated by the police should something dire occur. "Ma'am, we understand you were researching poisons in the weeks prior to your husband's demise..."

Aside from the fact my husband did maintain his good health, I can tell you that, yes, even during the most elegant afternoon tea, it is possible for events to take a most unexpected turn.

And this, my friends, was the origin of teatime theatre.

The idea for Tea-A-Ria arose the very day Travesty's first run closed. However, the inherent problem of removing a body from a tearoom made it clear my next antagonist must somehow exit of her own accord. I can't possibly tell you any more than that!

And recently has come the Christmas shorts - A Nun's Tale, Where's Santa, and The Real Spirit of Men - holiday plays lasting less than 15 minutes and which can be fit into the tea hour as well as into larger productions.

There are few things I adore more than teatime and all of these plays were created with tea lovers in mind. My hope is that they make one of your own tea hours particularly memorable. I hope they make you laugh - perhaps so hard that tea comes out your nose.


The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
ee cummings

A Teatime Travesty...It's Murder and Mayhem at Teatime!

"Witty and clever...A Teatime Travesty is worth every penny!"
The River Weekly, Fort Myers, Florida

This is a playbill image from A Teatime Travesty, written by Laurie NienhausSetting:
Somewhere in the south, sometime in the 1920's
Number in Cast: 5 women, 2 men
Length: 1-hour

Play Synopsis:
It's opening day at the Lily Pond Tearoom and society hostess Lydia Sunnybrook has invited a guest speaker, the reclusive horticulturist Fern Well. However, Miss Well - a fashion disaster - arrives prepared to speak on a most unexpected topic. An old rival of Fern's, determined to goad her, also puts in an appearance. As if all could go any further amuck, Mable Fontaine has high hopes of taking over before the day is out. The stage is set for comedy, mishap and ...murder.

Click here to read a portion of the script.


Tea-A-Ria...Teatime Goes Italian and It May Never Be the Same!

Nominated for the Fort Myers Beach Arts & Culture Award, 2012

"Tea-A-Ria steeps the audience in laughter."
The Island Sand Paper, Fort Myers Beach, Florida

"...a constant stream of amusing giggles and pleasant titters that are enough to take the mind away from the world's troubles for a time."
Posts From the Stage Door by Chris Silk, Naples Theater Reviewer


This is a playbill image from the teatime farce, Tea-A-Ria, written by Laurie NienhausSetting: New York City, sometime in the late 1940's
Number in Cast: 5 women, 2 men
Length: 1-hour

Play Synopsis:
It’s the opening day of Leonie Palazotto’s tearoom, Tea-A-Ria. Leonie's very Italian family doesn’t quite grasp the concept of "teatime" but is willing to do anything to help her. As if a distraught aunt, a formidable grandmother, and a young Italian man mooning over her don't provide enough challenge, an English couple new to America put in an appearance, as does a most unwanted guest. Friends and family must pull together to overcome the obstacle that is Enza Malandra.

Click here to read an excerpt.

The Christmas Shorts...The Beachy Christmas Series

The three plays below were part of Beach Haus Productions first show, It's a Beachy Christmas: An Evening of Christmas Shorts - held at Fish Tale Marina on Fort Myers Beach December 10, 2011.

"Beachy Christmas is a hit! You had us all both laughing and crying!"
The Island Sand Paper

This vector image is of a beachy Christmas tree and links to information about the short play, Where's Santa?

This vector is of a stylized golden Christmas tree and links to the monologue, The Real Spirit of Men.
The Real Spirit
of Men
This vector links to A Nun's Tale.
A Nun's Tale:
And the
Letters Fly

When Julie Met Cindy


This is a black and sepia image of Cinderella's carriage.Setting: A Doctor's Office
Number in Cast: 2 women
Length: 12 minutes

Play Synopsis:
Juliet Capulet's outlook on life and love changes when she meets Cinderella - a Cinderella, by the way, who's not quite your unusal story book princess.


Click here to read an excerpt.