Joyce Becker Lee


Short Stories



Children's Musicals


A collection of short stories

  From Tortoise Books, Available online and wherever books are sold


Casualties--Two rural Wisconsin teens, one Jewish, one not, face the pressures on their friendship during World War II.  

Not all the war's battles were fought overseas.

Withdrawal--An office worker hilariously staves the pangs of a failed romance by stealing his lover's cat.

Heredity--A man unwillingly faces the mother who left him in a desperate effort to save his own son.

Plainsong--A jazz singer must choose between her family or her music.

The Gift--A family faces the positives and negatives in their crazy family's legacy of foretelling death.

The Mikvah--A young woman enjoys a secret rebellion from the confinements of her religion.

Release Point--At her husband's military funeral, a grieving woman must come to grips with the truth of her marriage.

The Home Team--When her husband leaves, a woman must learn to deal with her son's disappointments--and her own.

The Difference--A teen uncovers a surprising secret and experiences an unexpected moment of personal growth.

Home Again--Wallowing in his poor choices, a college grad returns home to reconsider his future.

The First--A woman questioning her own life choices finds unexpected hope in her grandmother's dementia.

Retreat--As her world is tumbling down, a woman attends an office retreat with shocking results.

The Night My Mother Danced With Fred MacMurray--A mother's death kindles a man's memories of his parents and growing up in Depression-era Chicago.

The Medal--A family reluctantly attends a ceremony to receive a medal for their son's heroism even as they question his death.

South Shore, Chicago--A return to the old neighborhood stirs old memories and sparks an unexpected new strength.

What they're saying about Casualties:

"Whether you're a young reader searching for a way forward or an older reader reckoning with a past self who won't leave you alone, you're likely to find unexpected insights in Joyce Becker Lee's emotionally complex and superbly crafted collection."

                                   --Miles Harvey, bestselling author of The King of Confidence and The Island of Lost Maps

"We are all casualties in conflicts of some kind, we realize from reading these fine stories. . . . Lee gracefully makes it brutally clear how her characters are subject to the power of large events and institutions, reminding us that our lives are subject in the same way. These stories are compelling."

                                   --S.L. Wisenberg, author of The Wandering Womb and The Adventures of Cancer Bitch

"This collection of introspective stories acknowledges both the light and the darkness of the world in a way that leaves the reader feeling awake to the wonders and braced for impact."

                                   --Jennifer Companik, author of Check Engine and Other Stories

For Script and Lyric information, contact the author.

Ordering Information

Each show comes with a printable script and music sheets with easy piano parts. For more information, contact

Click a show to hear sample songs.

Ordering Information

Each show comes with a printable script and music sheets with easy piano parts. For more information, contact

Joyce Becker Lee received her MA and MFA from Northwestern University, where she was nominated for The Best New American Voices.  Her short story collection, Casualties, is published by Tortoise Books. Other publishing credits include stories and features both in print and online in the U.S. and Canada. A former teacher of English, Writing and Theater, she has taught at the middle school, high school and college levels, and enjoys presenting the occasional writing class. She served seven years as the founding chair of her local Arts Commission, where she helped infused the arts into the community. A lifelong theater enthusiast, directed and performed in educational, community and professional theater and opera, and its the author/composer of several children’s musicals. She lives and writes in the northern Chicago suburbs, where she volunteers at a local animal shelter and helps writing grants. Her greatest joy, however, comes from her children and grandchildren, and she is a busy hands-on Bubble.

Oh, and she also enjoys the occasional character role on stage.

Into the Woods

Damn Yankees


                         "Benign Madness," Lit Magazine, Spring, 2024                              


                              "Spaces," GreenPrints, Summer, 2023                                  

                    "Signs," Discretionary Love, April 10, 2022              

             "Heredity," Woodcrest Magazine, 2021-2022        

"The Writer as Actor," Author Magazine, Februrary 3, 2020


            "Hippotherapy," Lunch Ticket, Issue 16, Winter/Spring 2020    


       "Plainsong," Jerry Jazz Musician, April 3, 2018         

                    "The MIkvah," Escape Into Life, June 15, 2015              





The Home Front


Still Waters


The Ex Factor

Little Things


Casualties (Film based on short story)

The Plum Players Present (TV Dramady-Pilot)



Example Text

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