“Math Universe” is out now!

We’ve just published our next book: the first in what will be a series of curriculum-based play collections, each centered around a STEM subject and a theme. “Math Universe” is centered around, you guessed it: MATH. The plays are a loosely-connected collection of glimpses into the lives of those fighting the good fight in a sector of space that’s, er, rather a far distance from here and quite some time in the past, if you catch our drift.

Your author (that’s me!) grew up really enjoying such educational after-school entertainment as Square One TV, and you can definitely see that influence on these plays. Each one is centered around a different core mathematical concept, and the action of the play both helps illustrate and explain that concept, and also makes some really very silly jokes with the concept, because being able to understand jokes about something means you understand it enough to play with it in your mind. The math concepts are geared towards about a third-grade level, and the scenes themselves are sophisticated and funny enough that even eighth-graders (or even older kids than that) would likely enjoy acting in them and directing them, especially if they were for performance for an audience of smaller kids — so depending on the level of math and reading you’re working with, the age range for these is potentially pretty wide indeed.

Also important: these plays were purposefully written with no specified (or implied) gender for the characters, so ANY student can play ANYONE right out of the gate, with no script modifications; no name changes or slight rewrites necessary.

If you’re a teacher or know a teacher, we’d love to know what you think! Did you have fun with these plays? Is there a genre or style of story that your kids adore that we should work into another collection in the series?

(Licensing info: The licensing notes in the front of the book specifically state that if you bought a copy of the book, that license allows you to make as many script copies as you like for as many students as you like — we know how being a teacher is! — all we ask is that A. you don’t share the text *between* classrooms; each individual teacher should buy a copy for their own unlimited classroom use, and B. if you’re planning to do some sort of *paid* performance where either you’re paying grownup actors or charging for tickets, that you contact us for a licensing agreement.)

The book is currently available from Amazon, and will be available on other platforms soon, no doubt. May the Zero be with you…

The cover of Math Universe, by Mandy Khoshnevisan, featuring a brown-skinned, purple-haired math telepath

Here comes 2021!

Hello world! It’s been awhile since we’ve written you. Boy, 2020 has been a heck of a year, eh? As a family-run business, we hope you and your family are safe and healthy this holiday season. We know we’ve got projects in the works, and we hope 2021 brings all of us some good luck to make up for this crazy year.

Just as the light starts to return after this week’s Winter Solstice, may the light return to us all. Happy holidays, everyone.

Summertime Approacheth!

The weather’s getting warmer, and the end of school is almost here! It’s the season of starry nights, road trips, campfires, running in the park on sunny days, and making the most of summertime. At times like these, it seems like you’d want to maximize your real-live face time with friends and loved ones. (Get your head out of those screens!)

Managed Mischief is full of games to play with your kids and your friends, whether you want to spend your time in the car telling stories, or whether you need something to do while running around outside. (Also makes a great thank-you gift for a teacher or coach!) Use your summer fun time to laugh a lot and create delight.

The Holidays Approach!

The holidays are approaching, and that means it’s almost gift-giving season! Despite (or maybe because of) the time we spend in front of screens these days, books are still very popular. All of our titles are available online or print on demand from your favorite booksellers:

Political junkies and fans of satire or speculative fiction would appreciate The Great Separation, by John Doe, Ph.D.

Families with children, or anyone appreciative of cheeky illustrated poetry (think Shel Silverstein) would appreciate What Does a Truck Driver Do? by Mary Sievert and the Khosh cousins (edited by Mary Sievert Khosh).

Teachers, parents, or anyone who wrangles children—or even groups of adults—would appreciate Managed Mischief by Mandy Khoshnevisan.

And if you want an ultra-portable electronic copy, our books are also available in e-book format! There are mad Kindle discounts on the way for What Does a Truck Driver Do? and Managed Mischief, just in time for the holiday shopping season. Stay tuned!

Managed Mischief

Now available for Kindle, and soon to be available in Trade Paperback:

Managed Mischief: A Toolkit of Improv-Inspired Games
by Mandy Khoshnevisan

Improvisation is MAKING something fun happen—and not just onstage before an audience, but ANYWHERE. Managed Mischief is an improv how-to kit, helping parents and teachers celebrate everyday creativity with the kids in their lives. Whether or not you have any prior improv experience, this book will walk you through how to teach and play these self-guided games that boost creativity, confidence, and collaborative thinking.

Managed Mischief is chock full of fun, valuable lessons, activities, games, and coaching advice to promote camaraderie and self-confidence for a creative, supportive classroom environment for all children. I have used several of Mandy’s activities with great success. I would highly recommend this book.

—Linda Beam, Elementary School Teacher for 28 years


Mandy, a 20-year improv and educational theater veteran, collects dozens of improv and theater games into a must-have compendium. Looking to have some fun, loosen up, or sharpen up your brain? Look no further than this fantastic book!

—Tara McDonough, Improvisor


A whimsical tour of how to empower kids (and their adults) through play. I’ve been improvising for 20 years, but I was at a loss to how to translate my experience into playtime with my children. This book made it easy.

—Alan Goy, Improvisor

Available in e-book and trade paperback; click here for more information!

Review of “The Great Separation”

We recently received a great review from James Erickson of “The Great Separation”:

” I have read and admired the writings and the political understanding of authors of the stature of Manchester, McCullough and Sanberg, but I have never read a volume with the enlightened understanding of the American political system as demonstrated by the anonymous Dr, John Doe in his marvelous satirical volume entitled, The Great Separation.

” Dr. Doe must have been clairvoyant when he authored The Great Separation, for I cannot imagine a book being more timely, more appropriate or more meaningful than this brilliant satirical analysis of the current political scene in America.  While he would have had to have written it before the current political campaign was even begun, his hysterical portrayal of a fictional campaign could not more closely mirror what the nation is currently experiencing.

“It is a must read for political junkies caught up in the current U.S. Presidential campaigns, even though it is captured in a different time and a different place.  And no book could be more timely, as the nation faces the most controversial and the angriest Presidential race in its history.  It is also a volume that is certain to offend everyone on the right and on the left of the political spectrum, with those of conservative leanings taking an even greater beating.  While no direct reference is made to the current Clinton, Trump, Sanders campaigns, it would not take a rocket scientist to see the comparisons to those serving in the Presidential roles in this book.

“There are no sacred cows in this book.  Dr. Doe analyzes every issue from abortion rights to homosexuality, from global warming to fracking, and from civil rights to immigration reform, and in the process he takes no prisoners.  He sees flaws in our political system that are ignored by the establishment leaders on both sides of the political spectrum.

“His ‘Red State’ – ‘Blue State’ depictions are satirical, but ironically accurate.  The Red State designation of ‘Guns, God and Greed’ and his Blue State symbols of ‘Science, Socialism and Serenity’ capture the essence of these vastly divergent views which perfectly identify our two major political parties.  The setting of a natural tragedy centered on the U.S. Supreme Court sets the ideal stage for the dual presidencies representing the two political parties.  But what follows is a hilarious portrayal of something that might actually be plausible in this crazy and frenzied political climate in which the nation now finds itself in 2016.  The author, obviously a political science scholar of the highest magnitude, even goes as far as to name controversial programs in honor of Richard Cheney and  Donald Trump, thus obviously anticipating events yet to come when he authored this months earlier.

“At first review, the reader may question whether the author has gone much too far in exaggerating a ridiculous political scenario that defies all reason and logic.  But as one observes the unfolding of the current Presidential races in each party, he sees how plausible and realistic this creative and visionary author might be.

“Again, if one is a political aficionado who appreciates satire and humor, this is a volume that cannot be put down,  it is clever, creative, innovative, sophisticated and highly entertaining.  But it should also provide stimulation and great enjoyment for the intellectual, the enlightened and the reasoned student of politics who will see how accurately the author captures the political world of today, and perhaps tomorrow as well.

“I am one who began his career as a political reporter for a prominent news service and went on to become involved in higher education administration and teaching for over 50 years, and I am a prolific reader of political novels.  And I find this a must read for those attempting to find the answers to the problems and issues confronting our political and governmental leaders of today. And The Great Separation may in fact be the most stimulating and fascinating critique of that political system that I have read in that half century of analysis of such volumes.”

—James Erickson, June 2016

Reality Nears Fiction

It looks as though The Great Separation may ring even more true than it seemed last year. From BBC.com:

“More like ‘alien tribes’ than rival parties. That’s how the Pew Research Center describes how the two sides in an increasingly divided America see each other.

“They can’t stand the other side’s viewpoint – and because hyper-partisan news and social media enables them to live in ideological isolation – they don’t even have to try to understand it.”

Watch the video here:


Original appears at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35629015