2 women
Running time: 85 mins.


Early 30's - although the last few years have made her seem somewhat older

Late 20's. Diane's younger sister.

A landfill

Two estranged sisters clash when they attempt to recover their mother's will that was thrown out with the trash and is in a municipal dump.

About Trash

A full length drama in two acts for 2w

Alison Dornheggen and Megan Schemmel in the 2012 premiere directed by Delia Ford.
Photos by Johnny Knight.

TRASH won the 2011/2012 Joining Sword and Pen competition - my second win - and was also a semi-finalist for the 2012 O'Neill Playwrights Conference, and an official selection for the Last Frontier Theatre Conference.

TRASH premiered in 2012 at the Side Project Theatre in Chicago by the amazing Babes With Blades Theatre Company; the UK Version premiered in London at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in 2015, produced by Indigo Iris Productions. The play was revived in Chicago by Forget Me Not Productions, and the most recent production was by Defiance College in Ohio.

The play takes place entirely in a dump - a municipal landfill, where two estranged sisters have come to look for their mother's will. They've come from their mother's funeral - the first time they've seen each other in years, and as they dig through the literal and metaphorical trash heap, they get further and further into their complicated relationship with each other - and with the lives they led under the shadow of a domineering mother who still controls and influences them even after her death.
It's a heavy drama, although with a lot of funny moments.

Why this play?

I had a close family member who struggled with - and overcame - an addiction, although it was a process of years. This play takes some of my worst fears in some of the darkest moments, and explores the conflict I was feeling at the time, with love and anger and despair and all the emotional turmoil of watching someone you love struggle with something so challenging. Writing this play was my way of trying to understand what I went through as an observer, as someone who desperately wanted to help and found that they were helpless... but the actual core of the relationship between Becky and Diane is more based on a close friend who went through something similar with her sister. I think anyone with a sibling has probably felt those simultaneous and opposite emotions, this play just drags them out, takes them down to a municipal dump, and rolls around with them in the filth and trash for a while. The play, like the real life people that inspired it, does have a hopeful ending... sometimes you just have to dig through the whole dump to get to it.


Trash - the Play width=
Babes With Blades Theatre Company. Photo by Johnny Knight.

The UK version

A UK version is available from the playwright, adapted for language, location, and the difference in the municipal refuse system! It premiered in London at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in September of 2015, directed by Andrew Fielding-Day, with Emma Shenkman as Diane and Georgina Phillips as Becky.
Read the FOUR STAR review! ★ ★ ★ ★

Sample Dialogue...



★ ★ ★ ★ London Theatre One wrote " Trash is such a powerful play that once the setting has been quickly established, I wanted to stay and pay attention to this part-conversation, part-argument, part-fight between Diane (Emma Shenkman) and Becky (Georgina Philipps), sisters for whom sibling rivalry not only runs deep but intensely troubling, and even life-threatening."
review by Chris Omaweng

Chicago Stage Review said: " It is a strangely playful and extremely clever metaphor for the chaos of familial dysfuntion that unfolds in Jolly's script... an evening of thoroughly delightful guilty pleasures."
review by Venus Zarris

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For information on producing this play, contact Next Stage Press. If you'd like to get a feel for the play first - try reading the monologues available here.