Posts Tagged virginia’s real

Staged reading of “Virginia’s Real” in Virginia

The cast. Director Kerry Plank is second from the left. Brigid DePalma (center, in purple) played the title role.

Eleven years after it was first produced, my play VIRGINIA’S REAL came back to life with a staged reading at Attic Productions in Fincastle, Virginia on March 4, 2017.

VIRGINIA’S REAL
A Southern family is divided over what to do with the family farm when the patriarch retires. The drama focuses on the farmer’s youngest daughter, a waitress and single mom named Virginia, who is eager to subdivide the farm as a way to make her fortune. Her goal is complicated by the prospect
of a new highway going through the neighborhood – and the discovery of Civil War artifacts on the site. The story deals with a variety of universal themes, but also many topical references, from urbanization of rural areas, the preservation of historical sites, and NASCAR. Cast : 11 – 4 adult females, 3 adult males, 4 female children (two teens, two pre-teens), and one off-stage voice which can be either male or female. Set requirements: Minimal, although at various points you’ll need to create some aspects of a
kitchen and a diner.
• Finalist, Shenandoah International Playwrights, Staunton, Va., 2004.
* Produced by Cobb Playhouse, Acworth, Ga., July 2006.
* Staged reading at Attic Productions, Fincastle, Va, March 2017.

Below are two rehearsal photos:
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Poster from “Virginia’s Real” at Cobb County Playhouse

virginiarealSMALL

I’m not sure how I overlooked this earlier, but this was the poster for my full-length script “Virginia’s Real,” which played at the Cobb County Playhouse in suburban Atlanta in 2006.

VIRGINIA’S REAL
A Southern family is divided over what to do with the family farm when the patriarch retires. The drama focuses on the farmer’s youngest daughter, a waitress and single mom named Virginia, who is eager to subdivide the farm as a way to make her fortune. Her goal is complicated by the prospect
of a new highway going through the neighborhood – and the discovery of Civil War artifacts on the site. The story deals with a variety of universal themes, but also many topical references, from urbanization of rural areas, the preservation of historical sites, and NASCAR. Cast : 11 – 4 adult
females, 3 adult males, 4 female children (two teens, two pre-teens), and one off-stage voice which can be either male or female. Set requirements:
Minimal, although at various points you’ll need to create some aspects of a kitchen and a diner.
* Finalist, Shenandoah International Playwrights, Staunton, Va., 2004.
* Produced by Cobb Playhouse, Acworth, Ga., July 2006.

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“Sweets to the Sweet” to be produced in Chicago in September

The Gorilla Tango Theatre in Chicago will produce my full-length script “Sweets to the Sweet” in September at its Skokie theatre in the Windy City’s suburbs.

If the name of the show sounds familiar, it’s because it comes from Shakespeare. Specifically, Hamlet.

This is my re-telling of the tale — cast in the modern-day, and with the genders reversed.

Or, as my synopsis says:

SWEETS TO THE SWEET
This is the female version of Hamlet. It’s the basic Hamlet story, transported to a modern setting and with all the genders reversed. So Hamlet becomes Hamlette, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern become Rosie and Gilda, Claudius becomes Claudia, and so forth. Instead of being set in a castle in Denmark, this version is set in a suburban home — and opens at a slumber party instead of the nightwatch. And, of course, it’s told in modern language. Otherwise, everything’s here — the skull, the gravediggers, the poisoned swords, the climactic sword fight. And, because the genders are reversed, this script gives women a rare opportunity for a swordfight on stage. If you’ve ever wanted to stage Hamlet, but didn’t think the cast or audience would get the language, or that you didn’t have enough men, here’s the solution. Cast size can range anywhere from 13 to 20, depending on doubling. If 13 — 11 female, 2 male. Or the cast can be expanded up to 20 — 13 female, 6 male, 1 non-gender.

Gorilla Tango reduces that to this on its website:

Lies. Murder. Sword fights. After her mother’s untimely death and her father’s remarriage to the murderer, Hamlette is looking for vengeance in this modern retelling, gender reversed version of Shakespeare’s classic tale.

Show dates are Sept. 7-8 and 14-15.

This will be done with a teen cast, which is how I envisioned the show — as something for high schools or community theatres with youth ensembles.

This will be the fifth full-length script I’ve had produced.

The others are:

* “An Old Story for New Times,” by Attic Productions, Fincastle, Virginia, November 2004.
* “Virginia’s Real,” by Cobb County Playhouse, Acworth, Georgia, July 2006.
* “Red Moon Rising in the East,” by Alley Stage, Mineral Point, Wisconsin (July 2009); 40th Street Playhouse, Norfolk, Virginia (July 2009), The Venue, Norfolk, Virginia (February 2010), and Duluth Playhouse, Duluth, Minnesota (November 2010.) You can find coverage of the Duluth show here and the Norfolk show here.)
* “57 Hours in the House of Culture,” by Studio Roanoke, Roanoke, Virginia, May 2012. (You can find video and photos starting here.)

I’ve had a staged reading of another full-length script, “Klaus,” by the Hollins University Playwright’s Lab, in December 2012 in Roanoke, Virginia, and a reading of “The Ballad of Alejandro Lopez” scheduled in June in New York by the Barefoot Theatre Company. You can find video and photos from “Klaus” here.

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