As mentioned in the post dated Sept 23, Write Now! is an annual writing challenge spearheaded by Alumnae Theatre Company’s New Play Development group (NPD). Company members who accept the challenge must write a 10-minute play over a specific weekend, having been sent the “challenge ingredients” on Friday evening.
This year, the event’s producer Anne MacMillan, a playwright and actor, devised the challenge: to write a detective story based on this poem (the famous first line was penned William Wordsworth in 1802; the rest is by Annie!):
A DETECTIVE STORY
In Prose or in Verse
I wandered lonely as a cloud
Spouting ancient poetry aloud
When all at once I saw a sight
which filled me with a sense of fright
An old trunk by the river’s edge
Floating by a single shoe
A glove with blood tipped fingers
Lying half covered on the ground
All under a weeping willow tree
No one else around to see
When a smiling stranger appeared
from behind a high earthen mound
Upon seeing me, frowned.
Annie shares that one of her favorite romantic poets is Wordsworth, and especially his “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, which reminds her of her father – a photographer – and a photo he took of daffodils under the oak trees in the beautiful Botanical Gardens in Glasgow. “When I was a schoolgirl I would sometimes walk home through the Botanical Gardens after school,” she said. “You could hear the Kelvin River rushing, there were weeping willow trees – their fronds in the river… It was, and still is, a magical place.”
So those memories of the willow tree by the river wound up in the poem, combined with Wordsworth, and became the Write Now! Challenge.
16 writers accepted the challenge on Friday, October 14, and 13 submitted their scripts by the Sunday noon deadline on Oct 16. These plays will be presented as staged readings; actors (some not yet cast!) have not memorized the scripts, and will only have one or two rehearsals. Here are the writers / plays / directors – note that this list is in alpha order; not in performance sequence:
Teresa Bottaro – No objects from the past are allowed to stay directed by Laurie Williams.
Barbara Brown /Rhona Bennett – Finding Amy in four scenes directed by Nina Kaye.
Norma Crawford – L & D directed by David Suszek.
Judith Fiori – Poetic Justice directed by Stacy Halloran.
Connie Guccione – Road Less Travelled directed by Aleksandra Maslennikova.
Stacy Halloran – If you come to a fork in the road directed by Kat Horzempa.
Krystyna Hunt – Out of the Past directed by Rebecca Grace.
Nina Kaye – The Magician directed by Jennifer McKinley.
Donna Langevin – Dear Professor directed by “Present Conductor”.
Carol Libman – At Peace by the River directed by Kelsey Laine Jacobson.
Tina McCulloch – The Last of Tuesday directed by Sandra Burley.
Jennifer McKinley – Dark and Deep directed by Carina Cojeen.
Morna Wales – Worthy Words directed by Pat McCarthy.
Write Now! Staged readings take place 2 – 4:30 pm on Sunday, Oct 23 in the Studio at Alumnae Theatre. There will be an intermission, with refreshments available. PWYC admission; no reservations required.