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The Canadian playwright Christine Foster has posted this nice review of MY 10-minute play THE UNOPENED VALENTINE on the New Play Exchange:
“This is such an intriguing piece on memory and regret. Do you really want to know what you don’t know?
Will the discovery only make your emotional state more painful? If you don’t investigate the mystery now, could you leave it for another time or is it better to destroy the possibility (and the knowledge) now and get it over with? One of the lovely things about the play is the resolution of this puzzle, which fully engages the audience’s imagination.”
THE UNOPENED VALENTINE
A grumpy widow with a tendency to worry is packing up her things to move into a smaller place .Her enthusiastic granddaughter is helping her, when the granddaughter opens an old schoolbook to find a valentine her granddaughter had never opened. The granddaughter wants to open it; the grandmother worries about what it might contain, and whether the course of her life would have changed if she’d opened it when she received it. Note: There also are five-minute and one-act versions of the same story. Cast: Two females — one senior, one teen-ager. Running time: Ten minutes.
Fountain Community Theater in Fountain, Colorado produced my full-length script THE ARMADILLO QUEEN June 12-13 as an outdoor show. The show had been scheduled for indoors in April but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. More photos here.
This was the premiere production. The show first had a staged reading in 2016 at Renaissance Theatre in Lynchburg, Virginia. It will be published later this year by Norman Maine / Big Dog Plays.
In June 2020, our pandemic summer, Showtimers in Roanoke, Virginia produced my short play THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS as a Zoom production, directed by Sally Miller. Here ’tis.
I held a reading of my new play LE VERRIER VS. ADAMS, about the discovery of Neptune, on June 13, with an international cast:
Stage directions: Emily Bolyea-Kyere (Hamilton, Ontario)
Stage manager: Arlene Thomas (Kitchener, Ontario)
Urbain Le Verrier & others: Mason Micevski (Hamilton, Ontario)
John Counch Adams & others: Stephen Baltz (Christiansburg, Virginia)
George Airy & others: Brian Otto (Waterloo, Ontario)
The Quannapowitt Players Suburban Holidays festival in Reading, Mass. produced my one-act
THE GIRL WHO MADE EMUS BELIEVE THEY COULD FLY in November and December 2019. Out of the blue, they sent me these photos with the note: “It was perhaps the best received play this year.”
More below: Read the rest of this entry »
Playwright Marj O’Neill-Butler has posted a very nice review of my full-length AN IMPROPER EDUCATION FOR AN IMPROPER LADY:
This is a delightful romp in Victorian England. A twist on the qualifications of being a governess, a bankrupt bumbling uncle determined to get his niece’s fortune by marrying her off, a forward thinking and acting young woman all leading to a happy ending (and not including a marriage). Lots of asides and creative maneuvering of Victorian mores.
I held a Zoom reading of this script in April with a mostly Australian cast. Watch it here!
AN IMPROPER EDUCATION FOR AN IMPROPER LADY
Two orphans in Victorian London pass themselves off as governesses. They find themselves employed by a minor nobleman who is trying to get his niece married before she’s 21, so he can inherit her late father’s estate instead of her. The girl appears quite mad but, in fact, is merely faking it to discourage suitors. When the governesses are instructed to get the girl presentable for a new suitor, comedy ensues. Cast: Six – four females, two males.
On May 30, I held a reading of my Christmas comedy FOLLOW HER STAR via Zoom, with an international cast:
Stage directions: Kate Cash (Kansas City, Missouri)
Happenstance Holliday: Ella Kennedy (Hamilton, Ontario)
Mary: Carolyn Zeigler (Roanoke, Virginia)
Goldie: Emily Bolyea-Kyere (Hamilton, Ontario)
Frank: Mason Micevski (Hamilton, Ontario)
Murray: Bill Armstrong (Norfolk, Virginia)
Officer Gabriel: Brian Otto (Waterloo, Ontario)
Angel O’Lord: Katerina Yancey (Fincastle, Virginia)
Guard: Tim Wood (Bogata, Texas)
Sheep One: Owen Lapsley (Hamilton, Ontario)
Sheep Two: Giselle Magie (Hamilton, Ontario)
Sheep Three: Mayalynn Koot (Hamilton, Ontario)
Shep: Frederic Doss (Paris, Texas)
Moose: Arlene Thomas (Kitchener, Ontario)
Canadian police: Tim Wood (Bogata, Texas)
Sheriff Yule: Will Walker Montgomery (Paris, Texas)
Polar bear: Scott Cooper (Waterloo, Ontario)
FOLLOW HER STAR
A different kind of Christmas story. A 12-year-old girl in the United States, disappointed that her mother couldn’t afford to celebrate Christmas, runs away from home in search of Santa Claus. Along the way she meets a series of characters eventually join the search for her as she makes her way north, eventually winding up in Churchill, Manitoba. While this appears to take a “fractured fairy tale” approach – the girl meets three people named Goldie, Frank and Murray, there’s a shepherd out tending his flock, and so forth – the ending conveys the message that Christmas isn’t about Santa Claus at all. There’s also a talking moose, three talking sheep who steal a farm truck and a police car, and a talking polar bear. Cast: 14-16, depending on doubling: 4 female, 4 male, and 6-8 non-gender. One of those female is 12 years old; one of the non-gender roles must be able to play a horn.
New York playwright Doug DeVita has posted an wonderful review of my play MOON OVER MANITOBA on the New Play Exchange:
“Ah, the innocent ballsiness of youth! It stands the two teen girls in this high-stakes road trip in good stead, and gives us a sometimes charming, sometimes harrowing ride throughout. The relationship between the girls is particularly well-drawn, and draws us into their story effortlessly, leaving us rooting for them all the way. Tense and touching, this is a wonderful script.”
Here’s a previous review of the script.
MOON OVER MANITOBA
A play about immigration, with a cast of two teen-age girls. Veronica is a teenager from Canada, whose father’s job has taken the family to Texas. She’s homesick for Manitoba. She meets Isabella, who turns out to have arrived recently, and illegally, from Honduras after a harrowing trip from Central America. The two girls know no one else and strike up a tentative friendship. When Isabella’s cousin, with whom she’s living, is arrested by immigration agents, Isabella flees to Veronica’s house. Veronica impetuously decides they should run away to Canada, which Veronica is sure will accept Isabella. That’s Act 1. Act 2 is their trip north, which is full of danger and unexpected developments. Cast: Two teenage girls, one Latina.
* Semi-finalist, New American Voices Playwriting Festival, The Landing Theatre, Houston, 2020.
Center Stage Israel in Ra’anana, Israel produced my short play Q DOWNSIZED on May 17, 2020 as part of a virtual festival of short plays.
This marks my Israeli debut and the 16th country in which I’ve had my work performed.
On May 16, I held a reading via Zoom of my play A MAPLE LEAF ON THE WIND, a romantic comedy in which half the characters are non-human and one is non-corporeal. I also did it with a cast from Canada.
Stage Directions: Arlene Thomas (Kitchener, Ontario)
Veronica: Ella Kennedy (Hamilton, Ontario)
The Wind: Emily Bolyea-Kyere (Hamilton, Ontario)
Tex: Owen Lapsley (Hamilton, Ontario)
Rex: Mason Micevski (Hamilton, Ontario)
A MAPLE LEAF ON THE WIND
A quirky international love story. The Wind tries to play matchmaker between a lonely Canadian girl on the prairie of Manitoba and a lonely American boy in Texas. There’s also a talking chicken. Cast: Four – two male, two female.
* Finalist, Best Medicine Rep, Gaithersburg, Maryland, 2018.