The Plays:


An artist must always confront what is true in life; she must first confront the truth in herself.


Ames is a successful painter in New York City, whose muse has flamed out. When she hires an incendiary model, Carla, to for pose for her, relationships move into the danger zone of intimacy. Carla’s baby-daddy, Hart, shows up, throwing the match in the turpentine.

Denver Post Theatre selects (W)hole as one of “The Top Ten Most Intriguing Plays” in the Fall Arts Preview. Click to view the interview with actress, Luciann Lajoie, who plays Carla. Award-winning Paragon Theatre Company presents the world premier of(w)hole by Tracy Shaffer October 23-November 20 2010

Playwright Notes

(W)hole began during my time in the Denver Center Theater’s Playwright’s Unit. I took the idea and my random scenes to Curious Theatre Company who helped me develop it through a few good drafts.  Curious Artistic Director, Chip Walton, then submitted the play to the National New Play Network and surprisingly they selected it for inclusion in their New Play Showcase in Chicago.  Prior to the showcase Chip and I flew to Ann Arbor to work on the script in collaboration with member theatre, Performance Network. That same year I had my first play, Saints & Hysterics*, produced by Paragon Theatre so it was natural for me to submit (w)hole for their Trench series. Selected/rewritten/read and written again at the Telluride Playwrights Festival
Plays take time, they take people who are generous enough to share their soulful insights and considerable talents.  Thanks to my Playwrights Unit colleagues, to Chip Walton and the members of Curious Theatre Company, Laura Tessman, Christy Montour-Larson, Jason Lee Gimble, Michael Stricker and Paragon Theatre for believing. (w)hole is dedicated to my brother Steve.

Nominated for Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Award Outstanding New Play

Staged reading Abingdon Theatre , New York City

Reviews Westword , TellurideInside MileHi Critics, Denver Post and Colorado Drama.

Read excerpts from the script in the Denver Post New Plays Sampler.
Denver Post Tells the Story of (W)hole

Saints & Hysterics

Saints and Hysterics is neither self-righteous nor ponderous. It has a swift, translucent qualityand a leavening of humor, and the playwright’s language is a pleasure to listen to.”

Juliette Whitman, Westword Magazine


January 2010, playing the iconic Mrs. Robinson in the Aurora Fox Theatre production of The Graduate. Much attendant fuss over the production’s called for nudity, or lack of it in my case, helped fill the houses and I was able to focus on the two goals I’d set for myself. 1) To play the role with the courage to be vulnerable 2) To reconnect with my theatre community."Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson"

It’s important to set your own measure of success for any experience where there may be expectation. Not only do I feel like I accomplished both of my goals, there were many surprises in the experience… and a few house guests.

Denver Post Theatre