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 A Full-Length, Two-Act Stage Play

By Scott Lax

Based on his novel The Year That Trembled

For Professional, Community, and High School Theatres

Scott has rewritten his stage play adaptation of The Year That Trembled, a Novel. Previously produced, in 2003 and 2013, as The Year That Trembled, a Two-Act Play, the play is now called 1970, and is also a two-act, full-length play.


Previous productions of the play had 22 characters. The new adaptation has 10 characters, and is intended for professional, community, and high school theatre companies.


The first staged reading of the new iteration occured in May, 2022, at University School, in Hunting Valley, Ohio, under the direction of Carol Jaffee Pribble.


The next staged readings will be on July 31, 2022, and will be performed by the theatre company of The Little Theatre of Tuscarawas County in New Philadelphia, Ohio.


If you or your theatre company have an interest in a staged reading, please use the Contact page, above, to send your inquiry. 


And stop back for more details of Scott's poignant, exciting, and moving new version of the play, which speaks as much to our time in 2022 as it does to the tumultuous days of 1970. 


– June 2022

About Scott Lax


Novelist, playwright, screenwriter, nonfiction writer, and producer Scott Lax graduated from Hiram College in English with a concentration in American Studies. While at Hiram he studied Shakespeare at the University of Cambridge in England. Scott currently works as a lecturer in the Liberal Arts Department at the Cleveland Institute of Art, where he teaches Creative Writing.

Scott is a recipient of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bernard J. O'Keefe Scholarship in Nonfiction, and of the Sewanee Writers Conference Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Fiction. The Scott Lax Prize in Writing, established "in recognition of novelist Scott Lax of Ohio," was endowed anonymously by a former student of Scott's and was awarded yearly between 2008 and 2014 as a full-ride scholarship to the week-long Wild Acres Writers Workshop in South Carolina.

Scott was inducted into the Chagrin Falls Schools' 2016 Achievement Hall of Fame, and in 2002, at the premier of the feature film The Year That Trembled, the City of Cleveland presented Scott with a Certificate of Congratulations for his body of work.

He is the recipient of two short fiction awards, as well as six journalism awards from the Cleveland Press Club's Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards and the Ohio Professional Writers Association for his essays, features, series, and commentary. As an essayist, Lax wrote human interest, profiles, humor, and opinion essays. His 2008 magazine column, "The Paddle and the Damage Done," was used by an anti-corporal punishment organization to help persuade the Ohio legislature to ban corporal punishment in schools, which they did in July 2009, becoming the 13th state to do so. Working with Native American groups, Lax also argued extensively in print, beginning in 1992, against the Cleveland Indians use of the team's name and mascot, Chief Wahoo, which was finally banned in 2018 by the Cleveland Indians – now Cleveland Guardians.

For his role as producer of the feature film version of his novel, The Year That Trembled, directed by Jay Craven, Scott was awarded the Midwest Filmmaker of the Year by the Cleveland International Film Festival; the Producer's Award, Winner, People's Choice, Cincinnati International Film Festival; the Producer's Award, Winner, Best Regional Feature, Cincinnati International Film Festival; and Bessie's People's Choice Award, Burlington, Vermont City Arts, Favorite Film.

The Boston Herald wrote of Scott's film, "Memorable…beautifully reflects the depth of experience of the late 60s and early 70s …a touching glimpse into the lives of young people enmeshed in the political and emotional climate of the times."

The Denver Post called his novel, The Year That Trembled, "powerful" and named it one of 1998's "milestones in fiction," listing it alongside books by authors such as Alice Walker, Stephen King, Ann Rice, Tim O'Brien, Andrea Barrett, and Phillip Roth.

Lax adapted his novel as a two act full-length play directed by Carol Jaffee Pribble, which premiered at Cleveland's University School in 2003 to sold-out audiences and was again produced in 2013 at US. As of the summer of 2022, Scott has rewritten the play for national community and professional theatres.

Scott's second novel, Vengeance Follows, was called "A minor masterpiece of suspense and human nature," by the Midwest Book Review. Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and New York Times #1 best-selling author Ron Powers wrote, "Mesmerizing and masterful . . . aching suspense . . . gets inside the head of a lethal sociopath while maintaining a loving evocation of a quiet Ohio town with a Richard Russo–like respect for the human soul." Scott's screenplay adaptation of the novel is currently being shopped.

Lax has also worked as a journalist, business professional and executive, speechwriter for social justice leaders, and writing coach for the Cleveland Guardians Major League Baseball Team. He is a frequent presenter and speaker at libraries, workshops, schools, and writers' conferences, and gave the 2001 Commencement Address at Hiram College.

As a freelance writer and content creator he's written for dozens of clients such as Comedy Central, ESPN, and Oracle. He's also worked in television, most recently as co-creator and co-writer of a television pilot with comedy legends Martin Mull and Fred Willard, filmed at the PBS ideastream studios in Cleveland, Ohio.


Scott Lax is a member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild.

A professional drummer, Scott has performed with many musicians around the country, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bo Diddley.


Scott lives in the Chagrin Valley with his wife Lydia and son Finn.

– May, 2022

Awards & Recognition


Oct. 6, 2016 - Inducted into the Chagrin Falls High School Achievement Hall of Fame

2002 - City of Cleveland Certificate of Congratulations for body of work.

1999 - Named to fourteen-person list of Hiram College’s “Most Illustrious Alumni"

February 14, 2010 - Scott Lax's short story, "Sales Call," won 2nd Place for MUSE Magazine's 2010 Literary Competition.

1999 - The Year That Trembled, a Novel named Vermont Book of the Year, Runner-Up.

Dec. 1998 - The Year That Trembled, a Novel, named of of 1998’s “Milestones in Fiction by Denver Post.

1998 - Sewanee Writers’ Conference (Univ. of the South), Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Fiction

March, 2011 - In the Ohio Professional Writers 2011 Communications Contest, Scott Lax won First Place for Writing for the Web, Columns or Commentary

May 22, 2010 - In the Ohio Professional Writers 2010 Communications Contest, Scott Lax won Second Place for "Original Columns, General."

May 16, 2009 - In the Ohio Professional Writers 2009 Communication Contest, Scott Lax was awarded:

1. First Place for "Original Columns, General"

2. First Place for "Feature Story, Magazine"

3. Second Place for "Special Series, Print Media."

June 2008: Ohio Excellence in Journalism Award, statewide competition, sponsored by The Cleveland Press Club, Honorable Mention, Best Single Essay, Open Print

1993 - Bread Loaf Writer’ Conference (Middlebury College), Bernard J. O’Keefe Scholarship in Nonfiction

1994, 1995 - Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Staff Scholarship

2002 - Midwest Filmmaker of the Year, Cleveland International Film Festival

2002 - Producer’s Award, Winner, People’s Choice, Cincinnati International Film Festival

2002 - Producer’s Award, Winner, Best Regional Feature, Cincinnati International Film Festival

2002 - Bessie’s People’s Choice Award, Burlington, VT City Arts, Favorite Film

2010 - The Hub City Writers' Workshop of South Carolina awards the second annual Scott Lax Prize in Writing to Bertrice Robinson. The Scott Lax Prize is a full-ride, one-week scholarship to the Wild Acres Writers Workshop in North Carolina. This award was established in 2008 by Hillcrest Publications of Spartanburg, S.C., "in recognition of novelist Scott Lax of Ohio."