Joel Eis at the door of Pablo Neruda’s house. Arles, France, 199. (photo, T. Labori)

Joel Eis in Point Reyes Station, CA 1988. (Photo, J. Brightwolf).

A Short Bio

Joel David Eis, MA, (Directing/Design, MFA Sculpture/Performance Art/Semiotic Studies,) has been opening new doors all his life.

  • Began as an actor and technician in college, continued to two graduate degrees,
  • He’s taught on both degrees for forty-five years, including work at five universities, five 2-year colleges, and two Arts Magnet Schools.
  • He designed for dozens of academic, community, and professional companies, with over three hundred design credits and a dozen individual and company Critics’ Circle Awards.

Back-to-Back, (Al Brown) Julian Theatre, 1981. The lighting earned a Bay Area Critic’s Circle nomination. (Photo: J. Eis)

American Play, staged reading, Univ. of Maryland, Salisbury. (Photo. J. Eis)

  • He has consulted on the construction or renovation of major performance spaces all across the country.
  • His film work includes special effects and lighting as well as some acting, with an academy award nomination for casting and locations work on an important film on sexual harassment.
  • His plays have been produced around the country, some in staged readings at major playwriting showcases. One script on Picasso was awarded a development grant form the government of Spain. World premieres of some of these highly praised scripts are still available.

Fresno State College Anti-Cambodian Bombing rally. May 21, 1970. Mr. Eis is on the podium about to speak (Photo: Univ. Archives, Cal State Fresno)

  • He has published a text on stagecraft, dozens of articles, three important books on theatre history and politics, (one of them earning the Adele Mellen award for academic contribution in 2015.) He has presented papers at conferences in the US and Canada.
  • His political theatre activism has led him to serve with progressive theatre companies as actor, designer, road manager, and consultant.
  • His life of political activism as a citizen and an artist has led to a well-received memoir. This manuscript has garnered enthusiastic support. He is currently seeking publication of his memoir, “Standin’ in a Hard Rain, the making of a 1960’s Revolutionary.”

He and his wife Toni have been owners of the Rebound Bookstore in San Rafael California for fifteen years.

He is an author of science fiction. Several of his science fiction stories have seen publication. He is currently offering four full-length completed Sci-Fi novels and a collection of short stories for publication.

The following pages are a “scrap book” of these explorations. You are invited.

Contact Joel D. Eis at Wanderfoot@aol.com.

He might tell you a great story…

Listeners outside the jam-packed bookstore at Litquake 2016 (Photo, J. Eis).

A Published Textbook on Stagecraft/Design

Stage Crafts: A Complete Basic Manual For Performing Arts Technologies

Joel D. Eis, MFA ©2004

Rendering sketch for, Come Back to the Five-n-Dime, Jimmy Dean, produced at Montgomery High School, Santa Rosa, CA.

Production Photo, Come’ Back to the Five-n-Dime, Jimmy Dean, Montgomery High School Santa Rosa, CA. (set construction by students)

Stage Crafts: A Complete Basic Manual for Performing Arts Technologies was developed over years of teaching, design, shop management, and production in secondary, undergraduate, and professional sites.

This experience resulted in a workbook style text that gives the entry-level student exactly what they need to begin a living wage job in a professional shop or enter advanced study. There is just enough theory to excite the “idea oriented” student, and all of the safety concerns required to be sure the student leaves the class with their digits intact.

The language is understandable the instructions for tasks are easy to follow. There are easy-to understand drawings in each chapter.

Procedures are the emphasis. Specific equipment is not mentioned excessively because in this very fast moving industry the equipment you just bought can be obsolete right after you go to lunch. The cost of the book is reasonable.

Stage setting: Into The woods, San Francisco School of the Arts. (Set by J. Eis, Lighting design by student: Heidi Rittershausen).

Some Reviews of Stage Crafts…

“I have reviewed your High School/College Technical Theater book. The material is very well thought out and presented. As someone with a strong theater background I believe it is very well done.”

-Marlene A. Poggiali, Executive Editor
Vocational Education Dept. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to consider your project on PERFORMING ARTS TECHNOLOGIES. It seems to be an excellent contribution to its field.”

-Steve Dalphin, Editor Prentice-Hall Inc.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ

“Thank you for your recent sample material explaining Stage Crafts. Your work is well-written, easy to read.”

-Nan Upin, Editorial Assistant
Little; Brown and Company Boston, MA

“Your material is terrific! I'm taking the liberty to route it to some others at Interlochen this summer and then I will make others in the NETWORK aware of its existence.”

-Bruce W. Galbraith, Director
Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen, Michigan

“I am extremely excited by your outline and sample chapters and therefore am acquiring a copy with my own funds for the Technical Theatre's library. I have already encouraged my principal to make this our basic text for next year.”

-Jennifer Garrett, Technical Director
Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Washington, D.C.

“I was extremely pleased with the sample of your new text. Your practical approach in this field is much appreciated. Thank you for offering this valuable material.”

-Beth G. Thurmond, Supervisor of the Arts
Wake County Public School System
Raleigh; North Carolina

Editing & Articles

Shakespeare Quarto, Spring-Summer 2016: “Chatchkas and Magic, Making Weird, Wonderful Things for Shakespeare”

U. S. I. T. T. Magazine, TD £ T, "Approaching the Light: Communication Between X Choreographers and Designers” November 1993.

Editorial consultant, Mayfield Publications' The Creative Spirit: (Stephanie Arnold) Second Edition, 1999.

Editor, 6th Edition The Stage and the School, technical/design chapters. McGraw-Hill, 1982.

With Dr. Steven Earnest, "Mauser and the Horatian: Heiner Muller and Post Modem Production'“ in: Mueller in America , Castillo Theatre Press, N Y 2003.

Other Stage Technology Articles

Stage Directions Magazine, 'Fit and Trim' (creating decorative moldings) January 1996. Stage Directions Magazine, "Letter Perfect” (lettering for scenic painting), Oct., 1995.
Stage Directions Magazine, 'Bedside Manners" (A solution to beds on stage) May 1995.
Stage Directions Magazine, 'Period Style Trim. Cheap and Easy', April 1995. Stage Directions Magazine, 'Period Style Music Stands” April 1994.
Stage Directions Magazine. “Lines and Letters: A Surefire Method” February 1994.
Theatre Crafts Magazine; “Recycled Safety Masks Debut on Stage” April, 1986.

Published Books and Articles on Theatre History and Politics

“A Full Investigation of the Historic Performance of the First Play in English in the New World, The Case of Ye Bare and Ye Cubbe, 1665 (2004 Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY).

“A Full Investigation of the Historic Performance of the First Play in English in the New World, The Case of Ye Bare and Ye Cubbe, 1665 (2004 Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY)

(The reexamination of an obscure case at law…)

Some Reviews:

“The argument that the play was of political intent and perhaps political effect well beyond its tiny remote region and early time, is quite strong. Thanks to Eis’ treatment of the totality of this performance, the audience, and actors, as well as the legal case that ensued, this play has achieved a context that casts light on its potentially far-reaching implications.”

-William R. Reardon, Emeritus Professor of Theatre
University of California, Santa Barbara

"This work is a rigorously undertaken and meticulously detailed speculation on the nature of the play in question, Scholars generally agree this was the first play performed in English in the New World, but there the matter ended until Professor Eis took up the considerable challenge of unraveling the probable content and political implications of the play itself…”

-Phoebe Davidson
Professor Emeritus,
University of South Carolina, Aiken

An image from the text, A Full Investigation of the Historic Performance of the First Play in English in the New World. Photo, circa 1890-1895 of “locals” in front of what was erroneously attributed as the site of the first play in English in the New World. Russell E. Nixon, LSIT. Hurt & Proffitt, Lynchburg, VA, June 6, 2001.

A new look at the Greek theatre and the State….

The Function of the Ekkyklema in Greek Theatre: The Sculptural Display of Murdered Victims and the Success of Greek Tragedy for the State (2014, Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY)

From the foreword…

“…For a theatre designer to write a scholarly appraisal of ancient Greek theatrical techniques and equipment is a rare bonus for classical studies. The Scene Wagon and the Ship of State: A Full Examination of the Ekkyklema and the Success of Tragedy is an unusual and welcome addition to traditional studies of the Greek theatre.”

-Sir John Boardman
Emeritus Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology and Art, Oxford University, and the Ashmolean Museum

"In this fascinating and well-documented cultural study, the author explores the proposition that the success of Greek tragedy was connected to the pre-mediated use of religious tropes in the drama, thus triggering profoundly ancient and effective traditional loyalties."

-Dr. Stephen Earnest
Department Chair, Coastal Carolina University

"Mr. Eis has put together a text of scholarly achievement on Ancient Greek Theatre.
Professor Eis’ work exposes new and important material. The book touches a truthful chord on the rapport of control which sponsoring entities can and do exercise over ideology in productions."

-Assistant Professor Anthony Bish
Head of Technical/Design Division Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA

"Joel Eis’ consideration of the uses of the ekkyklema as an element of Greek theatrical tradition is impressive. The scope of Eis’ work is far reaching and combines much extant material regarding Greek scenographic approaches into a single text. Overall this is an exciting text and an excellent addition to the scholarship of technical theatre.”

-Gail Strickland Published in New Satyrica Journal
King’s College, Oxford University
First non-Greek member of Worlds of Myth

"Only someone who brings practical knowledge of the inner workings of theatre can find acceptable answers to these and other questions. The Scene Wagon and the Ship of State stands as a brilliant piece of scholarship and a challenge to others to start building new wagons for the production of these ancient plays.”

-Frederick S. Lapisardi, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus California University of Pennsylvania
Dramaturg, Director, Actor, & Playwright

Copied from a Classic Greek vase, the image clearly shows the tragedy of Medea as it was performed, including stage properties and rich costume detail.

A new Publication:

A Complete Investigation of ‘Ye Bare and Ye Cubbe’, (W. Darby, 1665) The First Play in English in the New World, and its Contribution to the First Amendment. (Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY, 2020

Reviews of A Complete Investigation…

"Joel Eis addition of the extremely-well researched epilogue: “The Smoking Musket” to the original work on The Case of Ye Bare and Ye Cubbe, now extends the possible value of this currently obscure event in 1665 in rural Virginia into the development of our new nation after the Revolutionary War. Based on his research into the local records, he shows that it is likely that the eighteenth century Virginia leaders, descendants of the 17th century Accomack Justices who heard the case of “ye Bare and ye Cubbe”, would have grown up hearing about the case in conversations by the fireplace, repeated generation after generation."

-G. Ray Thompson, PhD Professor of History Emeritus Founder and Past Director, Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History Salisbury University

“A Complete Investigation is the richly revised edition of Professor Joel Eis’ examination of the first American play, ‘Ye Bare and Ye Cubbe’ and its impact on Colonial American principles and politics. Eis’ relaxed (yet still scholarly) approach makes this under-appreciated event accessible to anyone with an interest in History, Politics, or Theatre. A Complete Investigation is the work of commendable research yet it never feels like “History.” I heartily endorse giving this unusual and portentous book serious study.”

-T. Paul Pfeiffer, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Salisbury University

“Professor Eis' meticulously researched investigation of the performance of the play “Ye Bare and Ye Cubbe” and subsequent trial reads like a legal who-done-it. Eis lays out the evidence available for an intriguing idea. The men in the Virginia Assembly from the region where play and trial took place in 1665 could have heard the story as dinner table conversation. Subsequently, in their mature years, they would have been acquainted with the case in the public records. They were therefore aware of the event when they composed the First Amendment of the Bill or Rights. The book is a superlative document of how oral history supports factual record. Professor Eis’ tale is pungent and well told. This book will not gather dust on the library shelf."

-Dr, Stephen Earnest
Professor of Theatre,
Coastal Carolina University

Professor Eis at the site of the first play performed in English in the New World.

Theatre History Articles

2016: Acta Classica Journal, Classical Association of South Africa LIX (2016)

“Confirming an Ekkyklēma in Sophocles’ Acrisios” This article draws from previous incomplete conjecture and proves that yet another Greek play, of which we only have a fragment and some vase imagers, did in fat end in the use of a “scene wagon.”

“The Actor as Archaeologist: Restoration Dramaturgy Discovered in Performance”

Restoration & Eighteenth Century Theatre Research Journal, (With Dr. Steve Earnest,) (Univ. of Denver Press, November 2005.)

This exploration deconstructs the various types of asides employed in Restoration drama, taken from the action and inference of the text of William Wycherley’s Country Wife.

Actors demonstrate a range of asides in The Country Wife (Wycherley); State University of West Georgia, (Photo, J. Eis).

Plays

Joel D. Eis ©2019 (All Right Reserved).

The American Play (A Play About the Right of Protest)

The dramatization of a real historical event that took place in Virginia in 1665 In 1665, a farcical skit is performed in a bar, protesting the oppressive conditions of colonial rule. The cast members and the author are taken to court on charges of sedition. It’s a play about speaking out in dangerous times. (Commissioned for a reader’s theatre production at Univ. of Maryland, Salisbury).

From the director of the reading…

“I directed a showcase production of this intriguing play at Salisbury University, in Salisbury, Maryland, not far from the location of the original events. The production was highly successful. The American Play presents the tensions in the 17th century colonies anticipating the American Revolution. The play offers it’s audiences a view of ordinary people in their struggle for Independence, all of which have increasing relevance in our world today. I heartily endorse this unusual and portentous play for a full professional production.”

-T. Paul Pfeiffer, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus,
Salisbury University


Play script/stage information from Joel Eis, MFA, at: Wanderfoot@aol.com

Fire in My Hands…the Price of Being Famous in Dangerous Times: (A Performance Text on the Life of Pablo Picasso)

Pablo Picasso deals with the dark side of being famous in dangerous times. He deals with his demons of obsessive fame in the midst of Nazi-occupied Paris. (Produced as a reading at the Western Regional Invitational Playwrights Showcase. Script developed with a grant from the government of Spain)

The Exceptional Journey of Fire in My Hands

Fire in My Hands is a cubist text for performance with overlapping and almost-repeated scenes much like the actualization of a cubist paining. It has seen an exceptional journey in development.

It began as a commissioned play underwritten by the Cultural Ministry of Spain, with an offer to host the reception after full production at the Spanish Consulate in San Francisco.

The reading was invited as a performance in several important venues suitable to its unique “performance text” qualities. It was performed in a class at the San Francisco Art Institute, the finest art school west of the Mississippi.

Joel D. Eis ©2016 (All Right Reserved).

Animated by the exceptionally stimulating venue, the students sketched their impressions of the text and the experience during the rendition.

Fire/Hands at the L. A. T. A. Festival, San Francisco, CA

Fire/Hands at the L. A. T. A. Festival, San Francisco, CA.

Fire in My Hands was then invited to the biennial Western Regional Playwrights’ Showcase in Denver, Colorado, performed as the capstone reading for the gathering in the main theatre. An offer came to us to take the show to Edinburgh. Finally, Fire/Hands saw an Equity sanctioned reading at the Studio Theatre, an art theatre venue in the San Francisco /Bay area. If there ever was a script that has been smoothed and polished before production, it is Fire in My Hands.

For synopsis, text sample, or full script contact Joel D. Eis, MFA at: Wanderfoot@aol.com

Joel D. Eis ©2018 All Rights Reserved.

Justyce Prevayles, A Play of Robyn Hoode

A rollicking, swashbuckling tale, A new play about the people rising up against a despotic corrupt ruler. (Saw an Equity sanctioned reading at the Marin Shakespeare Company in 2018.

History, Folklore and the Drama of Robin Hood

Robin Hood is a legendary heroic outlaw depicted in English folklore, who supposedly lived in the days of Richard and John.

There have been five known plays of Robin Hood, dating to very early days. None of them was considered very good even in their own day.

Justyce Prevayles, a Play of Robyn Hoode is taken from the core myth built around Robin Hood and his Merry Men, the tale of Robin Hood’s rescue and deliverance of King Richard’s ransom.

In this rendering of the legend, there are new scenes to fill out the story and new characters invented in the tradition of the heroic tales of the outlaw.

Nobility, humor, and a sense of justice are woven through the positive characters. Greed, cruelty, and narcissism dominate the evildoers. Nevertheless, justice prevails. It’s a crowd-pleaser with a message

The play calls for a multi-talented cast of fifteen-eighteen to play perhaps thirty-two roles. It is set in the medieval period. There's plenty of color and pageantry. There are three major locations (that be accomplished with indicative, atmospheric pieces) and several smaller “French scenes.”

Some Comments on the Stage-ready Script

“As the Artistic Director for Marin Shakespeare Company for thirty years, I have been offered many scripts for production. This one got my attention.
Mr. Eis' yet-unproduced play is well paced with plenty of audience-pleasing action and three-dimensional characters that give an actor something to bite into. I urge you, at the very least, to take the time to give it a personal reading for consideration.”

-Robert Currier, Artistic director
Marin Shakespeare Company
San Rafael, CA

“Joel Eis' script, Justyce Prevayles A Play of Robyn Hoode is dynamic and fast-paced. It is visually evocative with plenty of good roles for men and women in a range of ages. The characters are well drawn and immediately engaging. There is plenty of action. The tale it tells is energized by a timely subject; the importance of taking a stand against an oppressive, self-serving leader. I urge you to consider this work for production.”

-George Maguire
Professor Emeritus, Solano College
Member, Actor’s Equity


Play script/stage information from Joel Eis, MFA, at: Wanderfoot@aol.com

Way Out West (A Comedy, Really)

(Adapted from Nickolai Gogol’sThe Inspector General)

Gogol’s The Inspector General is re-set in pre-gold rush San Francisco. The text has received professional Equity reading and a well-received non-professional production. Cast of 10, one period interior set, one small inset or wagon, period costumes (American Western, 1840’s.)

‘Way Out West’ Passes Inspection
By Alexa Chipman (for “Imagination Lane, Theatre reviews)

“Way out West, (written by Joel D. Eis directed by Buzz Halsing at Ross Valley Players) is Loosely based on Nickolai Gogol’s The Inspector General. It is 1848 in the frontier outpost of San Francisco, where corrupt officials hear that an incognito inspector will be arriving in town. Overall, it is an entertaining play and imaginative retelling of Gogol’s satire. Way Out West is outrageous tomfoolery… a fun jaunt through “Old West” San Francisco.”

Theatre Review: ‘Way Out West’ –Adaptation of ‘The Inspector General- Set in Gold Rush San Francisco (For the Berkeley Daily Planet)
-Ken Bullock
Friday April 14, 2017 - 05:36:00 PM

"And what's wrong with a little palm oil?"

"A small town government stuffed with the village bumpkins begging to be raked by the first con man to disembark. Joel Eis' 'Way Out West’ is an original adaptation of Nicolai Gogol's great satiric farce, 'The Inspector General. It’s a double-barreled tour de force adaptation ' reset in newly Americanized San Francisco on the eve of the Gold Rush. Its wildly humorous dialogue becomes American tall tale banter."


Play script/stage information from Joel Eis, MFA, at: Wanderfoot@aol.com

By Joel D. Eis. Copyright © 2017.

Hamlet or the Great Mechanical

Hamlet, or the Great Mechanical, was by Dr. Doris Adler, Emeritus Chair of the English Department at Howard University and Fellow of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

She said, “There are two scenes that seem to be missing from the play; a scene between Gertrude and Ophelia where Gertrude confronts Ophelia about why Hamlet is acting crazy.

The other moment is in the Closet Scene. We would expect Gertrude to remind Hamlet that the minute she is pregnant by Claudio, Hamlet is due to be murdered. If they were written in early versions, they were expunged because the play was already long.

Also, the famous speech, “To be or not to be,” are not Hamlet’s thoughts at all! When dissected, phrase-by-phrase they appear to be Hamlet remembering all the kinds of advice he has gotten from everyone else. This is in keeping with his struggling with indecision and impulsive choices.

From these shocking inspirations, a new Hamlet was composed and performed.


Play script/stage information from Joel Eis, MFA, at: Wanderfoot@aol.com

Ubu ! (The Musical) (A Tale of Politics, Greed, Violence and Mayhem in the Spirit of the Classics, Only Funnier)

A game show host goes TOTALLY BANANAS

Ubu ! (The musical). A raw rock musical reworking of Jarry’s Pere Ubu. A world domination game show called “Shit Happens!” with audience participation. 21st Century Commedia! (Saw professional production in a nightclub cabaret stage, San Francisco, CA)

Based on the plays of Alfred Jarry


Play script/stage information from Joel Eis, MFA, at: Wanderfoot@aol.com

Joel Eis © 2004.

Additional scripts available

Are We Turned On?: A Marx Brother’s styled farce that takes place in the 1960s. A group of military crackpots plots to take over the country by using a computer to give them the correct strategy. (Cast of 14, '60s costumes, four simple, colorful “cartoon" sets.) (Previous reader’s theatre production.)

*The Bench: based on a true story experienced by the playwright. An Afro-American teen must choose between being in the theatre and being an athlete to gain the respect of his friends. The Bench explores homophobia and what it means to be a man and an artist in America. (No previous production)
All the Right Moves: What is the President-elect of the United States doing in jail for murder on inauguration day? Why did his ex-girl friend from college kill herself while watching him on a late night talk show? This frightening, realistic soap opera style play century explores what is wrong with our concept of ''success.” (Previous professional production in San Francisco.)

*The Village and The Dancing Dragon. (CHILDREN'S PLAY). An ensemble- children’s fable. A village is saved by its children who discover a plot by corrupt officials. Influenced by Brecht, (Students can make the sets, masks, puppets, costumes)

Under Development:

The Blood of Lions: A high-energy book musical described as “The West Side Story of the 21st Century.” In a broken and blasted inner city of the future, a young girl returns to the city dominated by drugs, voodoo, and fighting bands of rovers. to find her lost family. Strongly endorsed by leading members of the African American theatre community. World premiere opportunity. Music is not composed.

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop Dreaming a Modern Multi-Media Opera

A modern 3-actor, multi-media opera. A bicycle messenger injured in an auto accident thinks he is in “reality” when he is dreaming and thinks he is dreaming when he is in our “reality.” (No previous production) Music is not composed.

Memoir

The Memoir of a Life in Political Activism

Seeking publication…

“How—and why—did a boy raised in suburbia become a committed radical?
Because history is personal.

books-24

Author’s arrest picture. (Stolen from the Fresno Police Department’s evidence file).

The Battle of People’s Park, Berkeley CA 1969.

Standin’ in a Hard Rain, The Making of a 1960s Revolutionary

Joel D. Eis © 2019
(121,000 words, 80 documents)

History is always personal.

Another subtitle for this memoir might be, “Lessons from the Last Revolution.” It’s the story of a man who became involved in the politics of his day and found himself at the table with the planners of important events.

Says Gerald Nicosia, author of Home To War, A History of the Veteran’s Anti-war Movement, “In an era in which protesters are looked on as enemies of our democracy, Joel Eis' memoir, Standin' in a Hard Rain answers the question, were do radicals come from? Radicals turn out to be the boy next door, the youth who believed in the promises of America that were then denied."

"Eis talks about revolution, not in grand abstractions, but in the details of everyday life. Eis' rich stories demand that you pay attention, and that you choose a side before we all lose the right to choose for good.”

“Hard Rain is an everyman's story of a white man who found himself at the right place at the right time to be on the front lines of history. The author was with the Freedom Riders, the Draft Resistance, the Grape Strike, Angela Davis, Eldridge Cleaver and the Panthers, at Peoples Park in Berkeley, the Strike of '68 at S.F. State University."

It’s endorsed by David Harris, organizer of the National Draft Resistance (and former husband of Joan Baez,) Peter Coyote, Laurel Krause, sister of Allison Krause, (killed at Kent State by the National Guard in 1970), and such critics and journalists as Norman Solomon (War Made Easy). Will Durst, (S, F. Chronicle columnist) and T. C. Wallace, former Editor in Chief at Simon and Schuster, as well as over a dozen former draft resistors and organizers from "back in the day."

Standin' in a Hard Rain draws on personal experiences and a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Says the author:

  • In my first civil rights action with the Freedom Riders in the Memphis bus station in 1964.
  • I was the organizer of the famous “off-campus agitators"—Agit-prop theatre groups who toured the state—during the student strike as San Francisco State in 1968, the longest student strike in American history.
  • I faced a bayonet at my own throat from the National Guard at Berkeley’s People’s Park. (The soldier with his bayonet at my throat was a friend from junior high school).
  • I was a friend of David Harris, (Organizer of the National Draft Resistance, married to Joan Baez) since high school. Joan Baez used to hang out in our kitchen at the Draft Resistance house.
  • I was a member of El Teatro Campesino during their important early development, when they went from performing on flatbed trucks in the fields to a performing at the International Theatre Festival in France.
  • I was close to the people around the 1970 massacre in the Marin County Court house and the railroading/arrest of Angela Davis. I was even in charge of security on the man's farm who put up bail for Angela.
  • Will Durst, Award-winning, nationally acclaimed comedian and columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle has said, “Joel Eis’ memoir is an amazing story. It’s the story of a left wing Forrest Gump, only it’s real."
  • I was followed and informed on. My phone was tapped. I was shot at and I did some time in jail. My FBI file was kept active for years after the Vietnam War. The last time I saw it, in 1974, it was as thick as a city phone book. I was not afraid to be one of the people our parents warned us against.

More Comments on the Manuscript:

“Joel Eis' STANDIN’ IN A HARD RAIN: The Making of a 1960’s Revolutionary traces his personal progression to the radical posture that was rampant in the student uprisings of that decade. STANDIN’ IN A HARD RAIN lets us experience, up close and personal, the hard choices, dangerous situations, and political dilemmas that made a significant impact in the uprising that changed America forever. Eis’ book is a useful and compelling read as the nation once again tries to find its bearings.”

-David Harris,
Organizer, National Draft Resistance during the Vietnam War,
Federal prisoner for refusing the draft

“Joel Eis has written a clear, concise tale of active radicalism in the Bay Area in the 1960s. Absolutely free of cant, clear-eyed, and good-humored, it’s great to read this tale of someone sharing radical activities at the same time. It’s a great history lesson. He’s an immediate new literary friend.”

-Peter Coyote, Actor with the SF. Mime Troupe,
Author, co-founder San Francisco Diggers, Zen Buddhist Priest”

“Joel Eis’, Standin’ in a Hard Rain, is an enjoyable page-turner providing an emotionally charged journey through life as a radical in the 60’s and since. Eis’ book on the life of an activist in the arts illustrates how “history is personal,” about how it felt for all of us. Everyone who feels a rising surge of anger and frustration at today’s headlines will relate to this book. This is a tale that needs to be told.”

-Laurel Krause, sister of Allison Krause,
Murdered by the National Guard at Kent State, May 4, 1970

Sci-fi/Fantasy Novels & Short Stories

Strange things come out of my head... (Photo, T. Labori).

The Harp of Time

BY JOEL D. EIS © 2018 All rights reserved
(96,900 words)

“Matsuo Hodei’s Navy Type 0, Mitsubishi A6M “Zero” fighter roared upward over the jungle-covered mountains. His secret mission: to silence the two radios on this island before the Japanese Air Force descended on Pearl Harbor, a hundred miles to the south. The young ace smiled confidently as he snapped on his radio.

Without warning, the speaker roared with a tide of static so savage he had to rip the phones off his head to save his ears.

Where the hell is that coming from?

Then, with horror, he noticed the wings of his new fighter were rusting and rotting in midair…”

Matsuo had stumbled upon a portal to another world in the peaceful jungle below.

****

We’ve all been to towns that feel years behind the world around them. What if these harmless “rifts in time” were real, caused by forces deep in the earth? What if there is a place on earth where this rift is so extreme that once you enter, you cannot escape?

The Harp of Time is more than just shock and adventure. It’s a character-driven story about people coming to grips with their feeling out of place with the world. It takes place from minutes before the attack on Pearl Harbor to the 1960’s. The characters, (two of them, Japanese women), are trapped in the forces of their own history and the power of an unexplained time rift caused by a subterranean anomaly.

The Harp of Time is a classic tale of altered history in the tradition of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Clifford Simak, and Robert Heinlein. It is reminiscent of the work of current writers like Mat Ruff (Lovecraft Country).

Writing Sample or full manuscript available upon request from Joel Eis at Wanderfoot@aol.com.

The Fate of Jericho…a Journey Around the World, a Mystery Across Dimensions…

Joel D. Eis ©2019 (75,500 words)

“Up to this moment, Blaine hadn’t shared his secret with a single soul. Blaine took a swig from Dr. Lundstrum’s flask. His confession came out of him like honey from a busted can. Softly, he said, ‘I’ve seen ‘em.”

Lundstrum shot forward in his seat. ‘You’ve seen what?’

Giant creatures in gossamer robes crossing the dimensional divide, warping the air, opening the heavens. I’ve seen ‘em. I was stone-cold-sober, and as friggin’ scientific as you!”

(From The Fate of Jericho, by Joel D. Eis)

*****

The Fate of Jericho is a story conjured from the unexpected and inexplicable that’s just around the corner from the ordinary world. Jericho takes place in the American Southwest from 1937 to 1954. More than two-dimensional adventure, Jericho is a character-driven story about people, like many, who feel out of place in the world. Blaine MacNaught, a boy who loves ancient mysteries, finds out that he’s connected to a real humdinger. Blaine is one human in a billion who has an uncanny sensitivity to the presence of beings from other dimensions.


Contact Joel D. Eis, MFA at Wanderfoot@aol.com or a publisher’s packet for The Fate of Jericho or a full manuscript.

The Curse of the Black Mirror of Yucatan (An Alex and Johanna Foxworthy Quest)

Joel D. Eis ©2019

  • Alexander Hamilton Foxworthy, retired paranormal events investigator, is called back into active duty to keep a gang of plotters from using a mysterious, mirror (made from a meteor) to manipulate the future.
  • His schoolteacher wife joins him into the jungles of Yucatan and turns out to be a clever ally.
  • His warm-hearted friends turn out to be less than friendly.
  • A stunning woman archeologist turns out to be a priestess for an ancient Mayan cult.
  • A band of jungle banditos save the day.

Just as four mysterious guests arrive at the Moonshadow Inn, Foxworthy is visited unexpectedly by his old boss from the Agency…

“We need you.”

“I’m out of the game five years now.”

“Actually you don’t have a choice.”

“Why is that?”

“Because the trouble has come to you.”

Get a glass of wine and your favorite chair. Foxworthy and Jo are in the field…


Full synopsis, sample chapters or full manuscript of The Curse of the Black Mirror of Yucatan are available upon request from Joel Eis at Wanderfoot@aol.com.

The Ghost Library & the Star Travelers (An Alex and Johanna Foxworthy Quest)

…It began as an ordinary rain-drenched afternoon on the Oregon Coast.

Alexander Hamilton Foxworthy is retired from a top secrete agency who’s task is to investigate unexplainable mysteries. Foxy and his German born ex-school teacher wife are running a cozy B and B on the coast of central Oregon. …

The postal delivery handed them an unexpected package from Alex’s old agency.

“Somebody is desperate to protect this file.”

“Are we in danger?”

My ‘gumshoe itch’ tells me this isn’t good.”


Full synopsis, sample chapters or full manuscript of The Ghost Library & the Star Travelers are available upon request from Joel Eis at Wanderfoot@aol.com.

We Are From Earth, A Collection of Short Stories From our World, Imagined in the Past, Present, and Future

A Collection of Short Stories from our world, imagined in the past, present, and future.

Joel D. Eis

These are stories from our world, past, present, and the future, re-imagined in the style of Asimov, Heinlein, Makey, Simak, and Bradley. Worlds remain whole, and like real life, the struggles are personal and unexpected.

A Run for My Life: A cadet cartographer of Navajo blood is sent out by a mean-spirited Commander to reconnoiter what appears to be a benign, unsettled planet. Things take more than one turn for the worse.

Contact: In an unexpected encounter, a young, innocent female of the Waterkind teaches a member of the Landkind to “sing.” The world and the stars will never be the same.

A Second Coming: Genetic researchers in the 23rd century discover that we are not alone on earth, nor have we ever been…

Fix-it Shop: In a story reminiscent of the Twilight Zone, Thomas Edison McCulloch, graduate in Tech History from the Academy on Mars, still doesn’t know what to do with his life. The answer comes on an innocent errand to an old repair shop…

Over the Rainbow: Jim had developed a virtual earth-sized holo-project including populations, trees, rivers and weather. It has is own people and history including a future for itself in a complete virtual galaxy. Jim thought of everything. That was the problem…

Radioman: In 2078, the artifact was found on Mars. In 2020, a regular radio signal was discovered from outer space. In 1991, radio telescopes caught a repeated intentional signal. In 1955, four strange lights appeared over the eastern seaboard, faster and higher than any craft from earth. In 1947, there was the Roswell UFO crash. Before all of these, there was an unrecorded first contact…

The Crime and Madness of Dancebot 66647: In the year 2130, the Interplanetary Code of Robot’s granted limited autonomy for ‘Bots. However, something went gloriously wrong…


Full text or samples from the We Are From Earth Stories are available upon request from Joel Eis at Wanderfoot@aol.com.

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