Encore

For those new to my blog, I’m reposting a video from a blog post from 2018. It is a very short play (no more than 5-7 minutes) I wrote back in 2015 for my Introduction to Creative Writing class when I was still in college.

I was lucky enough to have a local theater’s actors perform my fun play on January 20, 2018. I’m a bit shy, so my husband introduced my play. Hope you enjoy and laugh just a little. 🙂

From a Shrew’s Point of View

shrew photo

 

Below is a creative writing exercise I wrote in my university’s Shakespeare class a few years ago.

Journal piece on Taming of the Shrew from Katharina’s perspective in first person. Hope you enjoy.

[Baptista’s house and street]

            As I gaze out of the window onto the cobblestone streets below, there are a gaggle of knaves and gentlemen, all of whom are weak in heart and body.  They fear me, which I take pleasure in because I do not wish to marry if all men in Padua are in this state or manner, nor do I enjoy being forced into marriage.  I will not obey my father in marrying whomever he wishes to join with me into foolish matrimony.   Besides, he favors my delicate sister, Bianca, who has no backbone, who bends her will to nearly every man, believing her obedience is proper and in good female fashion.  Ay, but how does this act serve her in the end?  Will she marry one of the weak fools stumbling eagerly about before our father’s house?  For she bears her tender heart to those knaves, who will lord over her, I suspect.

No man is able to trick me with their trembling knees and wan faces into having me believe they are stronger than I and love me more than a hundred crowns.

Hark, who goes there?  Father is conversing with a rogue who calls himself Petruchio, who is crooning flowery proses and elaborate orations about me.  Oh, but he is relentless, keeping to me like a persistent hunting dog.  How clever he thinks he is!  And grossly tactless in his threatening to strike me if I were to slap him again!  Alas, he says he will marry me next Sunday, and he leaves my presence and my father’s house, giving me reprieve for a time.

I sit in wonder.  He hath the strength of an ox and the cunningness of a fox, flattering, lovely words that elevate my person, whilst at the same moment, spurts forth violent words with his acidic tongue.  He must be mad!  Yet, he is dedicated and determined with the deliverance and appearance of a rogue lord.  I am overcome with confusion and a swelling heart.  Father gives his blessing for us to be married.

The following Sunday, I’m robed in a beautiful wedding gown, but Petruchio not is he here.  Hath he made a fool of me?  After the efforts I’ve produced to be present for this farcical marriage, the brute has no tact, no feelings.

[Enter Petruchio in gaudy garments on a tattered horse]

            He hath arrived in garments meant for a jester, but he is present.  He and I marry before the priest, God, and the townspeople, and my new roguish husband wishes to leave our wedding banquet because of business.  Pray, what business?  He says not what business.  My heart beats obstinately, and I will please myself and stay with family and friends to feast and dance.  But he forbids my staying and carries me out, sets me on a donkey, and we travel to the long trek to his home in the cold, wet day and evening.

When we arrive, exhausted and famished, he gives me no meat, no food, no rest.  My strength has abated, and I am desperate for sustenance, but none is given to me for a day and more.  What knavery, what heartlessness!  Why hath my husband done such horror?  He does not love me as he incessantly declares.

He tears up my dress for my sister’s wedding before we are to leave to go to town.  I am more sorrowful, hopeless than bitter.  But a dress I do at last have.  I realize I cannot get what I want without obeying him.  I must agree with all he says for he, his servant, and I to go to the wedding.  In doing so, he softens a bit, and I, too, have softened my heart…although my heart did become tender toward him in that first encounter in which he visited my father’s house and wooed me in strange, unique ways and declared he was going to marry me.  I am pleased that my obedience has brought about gentleness from Petruchio.

It was fate that brought Petruchio and I together, inasmuch as he’s tamed my stubbornness and pride, I, too, have tamed his.

 

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My Short Play Making it to the Stage (Video Included!) & My Short Story Making it in the Finalist Category in a Writing Contest — All in One Week!

Book. Opened book with special light. Education

This week has been an amazing blessing from God.  I am so thankful for the gift of writing He has bestowed in me since childhood, that has been able to grow more than thirty years later.  As I have mentioned in past blog posts, I wrote a play for my creative writing class in 2015 when I was in my first year of online college at Southern New Hampshire University.  I had never written a play before.  It was really a screenplay at first.  I had to write something and had absolutely zero ideas of what to write.  I didn’t want to write something overdone, regurgitated too often, and for me, that meant a love relationship or some dire storyline.  But I couldn’t pull anything from my gray matter.  It sat there, lounging, out to lunch, not wanting to be present for this assignment.  So, I decided there was nothing else to do but to just start writing whatever came to my mind, no matter how stupid or incoherent.  Hey, it’s best to just get a gaggle of words down on the paper and worry about order and lucidity later.  In this process, I wrote ten pages of a play about nothing.  I named it “Falling Up Stairs” — the topic of the discussion in the play.  Ninety-eight percent of this play was written from a stream of consciousness, which tells you a lot about my brain’s functioning power to come up with ten pages of nothing.  The other two percent was making sure it made sense.  And lo and behold, it did.  What a relief!

I turned it in the week it was due, and shared it on the discussion forum the week after and got positive feedback from both my fellow students and professor.  They found my story funny and enjoyable.  This was good to know, not only grade wise, but that I was able to pull off a play that made some people laugh.  What a joy that is!

Fast forward to this past December when the director of artistic programming after several emails with me, set up a night for actors from the local theater in which she worked to read my two plays, “Falling Up Stairs” and “The Tricker’s Treat.”  Both plays came to life through these readings, and were enhanced by these actors’ brilliant jobs of reading with such animation and emotion.  I do hope that “The Tricker’s Treat” will come to the stage next fall.  God willing…!

And from that point, I signed up for the theater’s Open Mic night that was scheduled for January 20, 2018.  If you’ve ever seen the movie Noises Off with Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, John Ritter, and Christopher Reeve, you’ll understand me when I say I felt like Michael Caine’s character, Lloyd, the director of the play.  Yes, my nerves were just about as bad as his, worrying how the play would go down in front of the live audience, and wondering if the actors had their lines completely down.  I’m an anxious sort of person, so this wasn’t unusual or surprising.

Noises Off pic of Caine taking valium

Well, I fretted over nothing (which is usually the case).  My play was performed by these three fantastic actors to a receptive audience last night (January 20, 2018).  I couldn’t have been more proud of them and their great work, or more pleased.  I am so grateful to them for having agreed to act out my play, and I thanked them both verbally and with a small gift for their effort.  You can watch the performance on the video below.

On Thursday, January 18, I received an email from a publishing company who had ran a writing contest online back in November 2017.  I was informed that my short story, “Summer Memories” had been chosen as one of the twelve finalist pieces that they will include in their anthology of short stories for this year.  I can’t tell you how incredibly thrilled, but at the same time stunned, I was that my story had been chosen.  This past November had been the first time I’d entered any of my stories in writing contests. I entered three of my short stories in three different contests, and one of them was selected.  It’s nearly impossible to express the elation I have felt from this.  My work has been recognized by editors at a publishing company.  My work that I’d edited myself and submitted thinking I may have a chance, but if my work wasn’t chosen as a finalist or didn’t win, that was all right, too.  It was a great learning experience and helped me to overcome my fear of putting my work out there for people to read and examine.  The catalyst was turning my plays over to the director at the theater.  This was the first time I’d let those in a professional field (in this case, play related) read over my work.  It broke the huge wall of fear I’d constructed for the past two years.  This fear paralyzed my ability to make headway in my writing until last October when I sent my plays to this director who was so supportive and encouraging.  Things changed rather drastically after that.  It was as if God had opened the doors and windows ahead of me as I walked this path of mine, the writing path, the path I’d been given the gift to trek.

I now wait to work with this publishing company through further correspondence on what comes next for my short story in their anthology.  I look forward to it.

The video is under eight minutes.  Please share your thoughts after watching my play on what you liked about it, and if it made you laugh.

 

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