Today I can claim -- rather to my astonishment -- more than 200 produced scripts for stage, screen, and radio. Some of my stage scripts are available to professional and amateur groups for production, and you can learn about all of them here.
My best-known work continues to be HOLMES & WATSON, in which Holmes returns to Baker Street after being presumed dead for years -- and finds he will have to heal the rift this has caused with his former best friend. In 1990 I had the extraordinary experience of playing Sherlock Holmes in the off-Broadway production, which closed to standing-room-only houses and gained the praise of two of my heroes: Isaac Asimov and Jeremy Brett.
The success of HOLMES & WATSON encouraged me to keep writing stage plays, and my dear old alma mater kept producing them. (UAB had mounted the first-ever production of H&W in 1989; it was there producer Bernard Block saw it and offered to take it to New York.)
Those plays have included all the adaptations for young audiences mentioned above, a number of ten-minute plays, the notorious mayfliesfast, and -- perhaps most famously -- a new adaptation of R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)
That production was, in many ways, a dream come true. I'd been looking for a way to combine my passion for live theatre and my love of science fiction, so it seemed only logical that I write a new adaptation of Karel Čapek's 1920 Czech play that gave the world the word "robot."
The UAB production in 2002 was a beauty to behold, thanks largely to scenic designer Kelly Allison and costume designer Kim Schnormeier. Since the show's 2013 off-Broadway run, it has gone on to become the most-widely-produced adaptation of the classic play. ("Have I got a treat for you," wrote Liz Smith! "...reimagined and restructured for our times by Lee Eric Shackleford...the play remains faithful to Capek's masterpiece...It's excellent.")
When I'm invited to sci-fi/fantasy conventions, it is usually so I can talk about my experiences in writing for TV, a brief period in my career which included writing stories for STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION (particularly the one that would ultimately become "Ship in a Bottle") -- and scripts for a then-fledgling cable network that would one day call itself The Sci-Fi Channel (and later -- ick -- Syfy). One of these was the disappointing UFO DIARIES -- which you can still find on tape in various places, being mocked as the schlock that it was.
Since then I've worked on countless small film projects, usually as a script consultant and occasionally as script doctor. I've enjoyed being of service to many young filmmakers as their scripts were in development ...you won't find my name in the credits because, well, I figured they did the hard part.
My favorite film project so far has been the webseries pilot HERLOCK, which we shot in Hollywood (well, nearby) and put up on YouTube where it has attracted a devoted and ever-growing following. Will we ever make more? Time alone can tell.
For about a decade my writing for stage and screen practically stopped -- because I was busy writing for radio. I have always loved radio drama and wistfully dreamed of having been born a few decades earlier so I might have had a chance to write for something like The Shadow or Suspense. And my wish was granted with the advent of BODYLOVE, thanks to my friend in education-entertainment Dr. Connie Kohler. First she and I led a team of writers creating the series, then I was Head Writer and ultimately Head Writer and Producer. Between 2003 and 2006 we wrote, recorded, and aired 80 fifteen-minute episodes -- basically a single story 20 hours long, a whopping 1,200 script pages. The show was heard all over the southeast and turns up in markets as far-flung as the Caribbean.
The BODYLOVE project gave rise to a sequel of sorts, a serial in three-minute episodes called KEEPING UP WITH THE WALKERS. Once again I was the head writer, this time collaborating with the gifted Alex LaFosta.
My most recent radio project has taken me to prison, specifically the Donaldson Correctional Facility in Alabama. Once again I had Dr. Kohler to thank for the opportunity of working with a group of people to create the health-issues radio drama CORRECTIONS. This time the collaborators were inmates, a select group of dedicated guys who wanted to express their concerns and feelings about the health issues they face in that environment.
Made to Order
Now I specialize in creating new scripts to suit any occasion, group, or venue. And you can read more about that here.