Work samples

  • JUICE -- monologue
  • POPE JOAN II-- Saint Joan's Monologue

    REACH FOR THE GOLD: a two-minute monolog -- one of fifty commissioned by Baltimore Center Stage for its 50th anniversary "My America" series in 2013, the year Maryland's gay marriage bill was on the ballot.

    Performed by Delphi Harrington.

About Pat

Baltimore County

        I am a Unitarian ex-nun lesbian I have spent much of my life confronting and trying to resolve conflict--in the context of a dramatically changing world.  Thus many of my  plays reflect a life-long obsession with values: how they are formed, challenged, changed; what happens when they are inadequate, misguided, conflicting.  The themes of my plays include faith and forgiveness, religion and repression, challenging authority and cherishing mentors, seeking justice and… more


Based on the submission of this script's first draft to the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the playwright was awarded a fellowship.  Based on submission of a revised script, she was awarded residencies at the Millay Colony for the Arts (NY) and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program (CA).  The script was a finalist in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and a semi-finalist in the National Arts Club  (NYC) Playwrights First Award.  It was given a professional reading at the Abingdon Theatre (NYC), was a finalist in the New Harmony Project, and received Honorable Mention for the Jane Chambers Award.

  • KALI DANCES Reading -- NYC
    KALI DANCES Reading -- NYC
  • KALI DANCES Reading -- Chicago
    KALI DANCES Reading -- Chicago

    SYNOPSIS: When a music teacher is found at the church organ with her throat slit, her lesbian lover, the pastor, and his young daughter confront one another with their grief and anger.  The investigating detective interrogates each of them as a suspect, though the homicide may be a hate crime.   The terrifying Indian Goddess Kali challenges them all to come to terms with her.  Although at its most superficial level, the play is a detective story, at its heart it is a mystery play--exploring the intersection of Hindu and Christian beliefs regarding death.

  • Kali Dances production poster -- Chatham College
    Kali Dances production poster -- Chatham College


POPE JOAN II is a RUBYS grant-winning project and an ​MSAC Individual Artist award project.  It has had professional readings at Rep Stage in Columbia, MD and at the  Shaw Society of London, UK, where it won the T.F. Evans Award.  It was a semi-finalist in the Bridge Initiative, AZ, and enjoyed a reading at Cumberland Theatre, MD.  

​_________________________________Dramaturg's recommendation:


Pat has always been drawn to big ideas; her plays tend to frame the largest human questions that have always tempted dramatists.  No fractured American families of four re-hashing the past in a living room for her.  A Montley play tackles themes of faith, the afterlife, racism, gender and sexuality, mysticism,  historical and political process, justice, education, the beleaguered good, and the persistence of evil.

And yet there is an irrevocably fractured family of three at the heart of PJII, Pat’s fanciful "What if?” comedy about the papacy in the contemporary world.  What if an American nun with Buddhist tendencies and a mission for social justice finagled her way into the Vatican? 

More important, what would she do when she got there?  Aided by her spirit guides—Joan of Arc and Pope Joan I,  the 9th century subversive—Sister Joan reaches the top by the end of Act One, but her policies are leading the Church to Schism from the conservative male cardinals headed by Henry Cardinal Gardiner, whose secret connection to Joan…but enough plot.

 PJII is fanciful, theatrically vivid,  a high-stakes look at the interwoven crises—political, environmental, religious—currently threatening to sink the globe for good.  In this play, Pat is shaking Shaw, Paula Vogel, and Joe Orton in the same blender of satire and dialectic in order to come up with a fresh start for the world.

 The reading was a huge success.  Any worries that the play was “too Catholic” were swept aside by the laughs, the engaged silences, and the spontaneous bursts of applause throughout.  All audiences have a stake in the future of the planet.  Pat Montley’s PJII is a hilarious reminder (and a wake‐up call for those who need it) that when the going gets tough, no question, put a woman in charge.

 James Magruder


  • Flyer for Reading of Pope Joan II at Rep Stage, Columbia, MD
    Flyer for Reading of Pope Joan II at Rep Stage, Columbia, MD

    SYNOPSIS Urged by apparitions of her namesakes St. Joan and the apocryphal 9th-century Pope Joan I, and armed with an infusion of the Life Force, Sister Joan—faster than a speeding angel, more powerful than a prayer, able to leap clerical hierarchies in a single bound—blackmails her way to becoming pope, so she can fight the never-ending battle for truth, justice, gender equality, and the American way by transforming the Catholic Church into a liberal democracy and saving the world from overpopulating.


Crossing Borders was produced as part of the Variations on Hope project at Theatre Project, Baltimore, in 2009 and as part of the Estrogenius Festival at the Manhattan Theatre Source, NYC, in 2010, where it was voted “Best-of-Show.” In both Adult and Youth versions, it was produced as part of the Summer Shorties Program by Turtle Shell Productions, NYC, in 2011 and 2012.  It was published by CreateSpace in the anthology: EstroGenius 2010: a Celebration of Female Voices.

The Competent Heart was a final finalist in the Actors Theatre of Louisville 10-Minute Play Contest, was given a reading at the Women’s Project in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and productions at the Women’s Project at Theatre Project in Baltimore and Love Creek Productions in NYC.  It was published in 2002 by Dramatic Publishing in 25 in 10: Twenty-Five Ten-Minute Plays.

The Unveiling was produced by the Women’s Project @ Theatre Project, Baltimore, and by Potluck Productions, Kansas City, MO. It won First Place in the Baltimore County Creative Writing Contest for senior citizens and was published by HaveScripts/Blue Moon Plays in 2016, in  ElderPair: Four Senior Courtship Comedies by Pat Montley.

  • CROSSING BORDERS - Publication
    CROSSING BORDERS - Publication
  • THE COMPETENT HEART - Publication
    THE COMPETENT HEART - Publication
  • THE UNVEILING publication
    THE UNVEILING publication

    Crossing Borders: An intrepid, hopeful bookstore mouse tries to persuade timid parsonage mouse to move in with him and enjoy the perks of culture hanging out at Borders Bookstore, but she resists leaving the parson and embracing a high-risk lifestyle that may include crossing species.    

    The Competent Heart: A customer enters a bookstore and—in the hope of pleasing her/his less-than-satisfied Significant Other—asks the proprietor for advice on becoming a competent person.  The proprietor (clearly a Trivial Pursuits champion) offers advice and self-help books on medicine, home repairs, and plant care.  The customer is awed, but questions the definition of competency with an Emily Dickinson poem.  The proprietor’s response provides a revelation.


Based on this script, the playwright was awarded a month’s residency at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California, and an Individual Artist Award by the Maryland State Arts Council.  The script was a semi-finalist in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and was given a reading in the Baltimore Dramatists Guild Footlight Series.  It was a semi-finalist for the 2019 Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference.  As a consequence of being a winner in the AACT New Play Fest 2020 contest, it premiered at Tacoma Little Theatre, WA, in January, 2020, and was published by Dramatic Publishing in 2022.



  • Labelle pressures Jonah
    Labelle pressures Jonah
  • Set design for Tacoma SHATTERING
    Set design for Tacoma SHATTERING

    Jonah has just been released from juvenile commitment into the foster care of Jacqueline Dawson, whose estranged son he helped to murder.  She witnessed the crime and testified against the other two perpetrators, which resulted in their imprisonment. Now the gang leader who organized that crime wants to teach a lesson about what happens to “snitches.”  He orders Jonah to torture and kill Dawson—or be killed himself.  The instructions come through Jonah’s girlfriend LaBelle, whose investment in the outcome is intensified by her pregnancy.  Jonah and LaBelle plot the murder, even as his relationship with the strict but caring Dawson develops and his imagined visits with her dead son jar his conscience. 

  • Recommendation for SHATTERING
    Recommendation for SHATTERING
  • Shattering


PLAYS ON PRINCIPLE  (which originally included seven of the ten plays here) premiered at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore in 2019 as part of a bicentennial celebration.  The production was funded by a Creativity Grant awarded to the playwright by the Maryland State Arts Council.  With three additional plays, PLAYS ON PRINCIPLE: TEN 10-MINUTE PLAYS was published by Dramatic Publishing Company in 2022. 

  • Poster--Plays on Principle
    Poster--Plays on Principle

    What gives meaning to life? What do the rich owe the poor? How can we disagree without being disagreeable? Who deserves forgiveness? Is it ever OK to compromise our values? Which is more important--justice or mercy? Does the end ever justify the means? How can we move beyond racial stereotypes? Whose life is worth living and who gets to decide that? What would you sacrifice to save the earth?  These are some of the questions posed by this collection, whose characters--parents and children, friends and lovers, colleagues and classmates, constant comrades and scary strangers--grapple with injustice, love, political passion, fear of dying and the curse of conscience.

  • thumbnail_IMG_1546.jpg


The first draft of Let All Mortal Flesh received a Maryland State Arts Council Award ($1,000), was a semi-finalist in the Siena College (NY) playwriting contest, a semi-finalist for the Stanley Drama Award (Wagner College, Staten Island, NY), and a Finalist for the Y.E.S. (Year-End Series), Northern Kentucky University. A second draft was a semi-finalist for the New Play Festival, Centre Stage, SC. The play subsequently received readings at the Athena Project Festival, Denver, CO and Pride Films & Plays, Chicago.


    It’s 1955 (40+ years before the Boston Globe breaks the clergy-abuse scandal) and Christina Gallagher isn’t ready for puberty.  Her parochial-school education, stern confessor, pious grandmother and run-away adulterous mother have made her distrust her body and pursue spiritual perfection.  But her understanding of morality is challenged when her best friend gets pregnant and when she realizes the next-door neighbors—her adored music teacher and her trusted family doctor—are lesbians.  Meanwhile, the couple battle their own demons at the close of the McCarthy era, struggling to accept their feelings for each other in the face of fear and guilt and an unscrupulous priest.

  • Center Stage Dramaturg recommendation for Let All Mortal Flesh
    Center Stage Dramaturg recommendation for Let All Mortal Flesh
  • Program--Let All Mortal Flesh
    Program--Let All Mortal Flesh


The first draft of this play was completed while the writer was in residence at the Millay Colony for the Arts (NY).   The script made it to the final round of reading at Kitchen Dog Theatre in Dallas, was a semi-finalist in the New Works Multistages Contest (NYC), and a finalist at IATI Theatre (NYC).  A selected scene was given a reading at the Inkwell Theatre (DC).








  • Recommendation

    SYNOPSIS: Is equitable distribution of wealth an impossible, unnatural ideal? Or are sharing and compassion the most human of impulses? Are these impulses compatible with capitalism? Is technology dehumanizing us? At a future crossroads, Zero, a shabby Shaman/Salvation Army Santa, pesters financier Ray for half his assets. When Ray bets nobody behaves that generously, Zero finds Viola, a bewildered senior who trusts Ray with her finances and is attracted to her assisted-living robot. Viola opens her heart and apartment to the homeless shaman and a teen-age, Latina, pregnant-virgin, social worker who, at their Winter Solstice ritual, births “el sol,” a source of magical, greed-healing powers.


DANCING THE GOD has been produced at the Nebraska Repertory Theatre in Lincoln, the Burbage Theatre in Los Angeles, and the Women’s Project in Ft. Lauderdale.  It was a finalist in the Actors Theatre of Louisville National Playwriting Contest and a semi-finalist at the Florida Studio Theatre Mini Festival.  It has enjoyed readings at Notre Dame of Maryland University and Palm Beach Drama Works.

  • Poster--DANCING THE GOD -- Burbage Theatre
    Poster--DANCING THE GOD -- Burbage Theatre
  • Reviews of the Nebraska Repertory Theatre production of DANCING THE GOD
    Reviews of the Nebraska Repertory Theatre production of DANCING THE GOD
  • Reviews of Burbage Theatre Production of DANCING THE GOD
    Reviews of Burbage Theatre Production of DANCING THE GOD
  • Dancing the God
    Dancing the God

    SYNOPSIS: A lawyer returns to her college to investigate the alleged seduction of a student by her dance teacher.  The student’s accusation is vehement; the teacher refuses to defend herself. Prompted by the lawyer’s questions, the pair re‑enact, through flashbacks, the stages of their playful, passionate relationship, reporting different versions of the culminating episode.  In uncovering the truth about them, the lawyer is challenged to come to terms with her own experience in the face of what seem to her disarming ideas of education and intimacy.  

ROSVITHA'S REVIEW -- a Musical Comedy

ROSVITHA'S REVIEW, winner of the Jane Chambers Award, was a regional finalist in the American College Theatre Festival.  It was produced at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Loyola University in Baltimore, and the Castle Theatre in Hyattsville, MD, and given a reading at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

  • The nuns enact Lives of the Saints
    The nuns enact "Lives of the Saints"
  • Rosvitha and Sophia plot their trip to the  inn/brothel
    Rosvitha and Sophia plot their trip to the inn/"brothel"
  • The nuns enact on of Rosvitha's plays
    The nuns enact on of Rosvitha's plays
  • The nuns sing their welcome to Bishop Diehard
    The nuns sing their welcome to Bishop Diehard
  • Bishop Diehard introduces the Empress to the Abbess
    Bishop Diehard introduces the "Empress" to the Abbess
  • Princess Sophia is reunited with her runaway grandmother disguised as Empress Theophano
    Princess Sophia is reunited with her runaway grandmother disguised as Empress Theophano
  • Rosvitha writes
    Rosvitha writes
  • Rosvitha's Review
    Rosvitha's Review

    SYNOPSIS: Based on the life of Hrotsvita of Gandersheim, the 10th century nun who was the first woman playwright on record, Rosvitha’s Review is both a playwriting lesson provided by Rosvitha and a farcical, tongue in cheek speculation on how she came to write her plays, specifically one about the conversion of a prostitute. When the nuns’ enactment of a bawdy Terence comedy provokes Bishop Diehard’s censure, Rosvitha determines to write her own play. With the help of Sophia (an uppity princess consigned to the convent by her Emperor-father), Rosvitha does “research” at a nearby tavern/brothel. Their plan backfires when the proprietor, ex-Empress Theophano, Sophia’s long-runaway grandmother, sees through their ploy and sets them up for a rendezvous with a “customer”—her own paramour—the bishop, disguised on weekends as a blacksmith. The mutually terrified trio manage to escape one another’s clutches, but not before the girls get the goods on the bishop.