Brenda Withers

THE DING DONGS or What is the Penalty in Portugal?

This title is now available worldwide. 



by Brenda Withers

When a sweet-faced couple shows up on a suburban doorstep, an unsuspecting homeowner finds himself the victim of a surreal home invasion. Using wit and wordplay to mask a more sinister threat, the couple wages a battle over indigenous rights from the living room, and we are asked to examine the brutality that fuels our system of private property.

Production Notes


Character Breakdown: 1F, 2M.

NATALIE (Female, 30s-40s)- A quick-witted, assertive soccer mom. She’s been through aserious trauma, but favors pragmatism over grief. Funny, smart, and determined.

JOE (Male, 30s-40s)- An affable, easy-going suburban dad. Married to Natalie, the good cop toher bad. Sweet, likable, more aware than he lets on.

REDELMO SMITH (Male 30s-40s)- The homeowner. Smart, civil Everyman with a hint of theOutsider. Raising his brother’s kids, but not obviously a family man.


Brenda Withers

When I'm not writing plays, I spend a lot of time acting, directing, and helping to run the Harbor Stage Company, a magical theater on the shores of Cape Cod. 

Sometimes I perform in my own work and sometimes I work at terrific places like Actors Theatre of Louisville, Hartford Stage, Firelight Theatre Workshop, McCarter Theatre, and the Guthrie. Join the theater, see the world.

My plays have been produced at places like Portland Stage, Urbanite Theatre, Amphibian Stage Productions, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, HERE, Performance Space New York, and Square Product Theatre and have been the recipients of the Clauder Prize and an Edgerton Award. I studied drama and religion at Dartmouth College, and have enjoyed playwriting residencies with New Georges, the Camargo Foundation, and the Huntington Theatre Company.

​​I believe in theater as a democratizing force, something that can breed healthy discussion amongst people from all walks of life. I aim to create work that acts as a catalyst for compassion, delight, and civil debate in a larger arena. I'm deeply curious about the connection between the personal and the political and love funny plays about serious stuff....[FULL BIO]