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Driftwood Theatre Playwright Theatre Trafalgar 24

Another 10-Minute Play – MAID OF HONOUR

As I’ve been so busy with life these past few days, I thought I would share one of my Trafalgar24 plays as a blog post. There’s already one of my 10-minute Trafalgar plays on this blog somewhere. You can search THE SPEECH to find it. This one, MAID OF HONOUR, is from Trafalgar24 2010. If you are unfamiliar with this event–playwrights get locked into Trafalgar Castle in Whitby, Ontario overnight. They each write a play and then leave the castle when the sun comes up. At that time, actors and directors enter the castle and rehearse all the plays for 8 hours. That evening, there is a gala event where approximately 300 audience members move throughout the castle seeing the plays performed in various rooms. It’s a phenomenal event. I’ve participating in the 2009, 2010 & 2011 Trafalgar24s. If you get a chance to attend, don’t miss out!

Here’s the play I wrote for 2010. I was given the Piano Room in which to write my play. I had to use only the props found in that room and I had to set the play in that room. (Somewhere on this blog are pictures of that room, in a previous Trafalgar24 post…but I’m not sure where it is right now. I’m on my way out the door to enjoy an evening of Italian food, family and friends! ETA: found it! Trafalgar pictures ) I hope you enjoy MAID OF HONOUR…

(as usual, if someone stumbles upon this post while googling 10 minute plays, etc, and wishes to use this play…please feel free to do so. ALL that I ask is that you email me for permission so that I know it is being performed.)

TITLE: MAID OF HONOUR

GENRE: COMEDY

SYNOPSIS: Can a bride’s rocky relationship with her Maid of Honour survive a last-minute confession that she’s in love with the groom?

CHARACTERS:

MELANIE : Overly dramatic and self-centred.

PENELOPE: The Bride to be. Down to earth. The victim.

DESCRIPTION: On the night before Penelope’s wedding, her Maid of Honour makes a confession. Is Melanie’s secret severe enough to finally break up these struggling BFFs? Or will Penelope find it in her heart to forgive her egotistical, self-centred Maid of Honour one final time in order to save her day?

 SETTING

MELANIE’S house.

MELANIE [Sitting at the piano with the swivel chair]: It’s hopeless! [Hits a low key on the piano.] It’s tragic. [Hits the same low key again.] It’s irrevocably ruined. [Hits the key one last time.]

PENELOPE [Sitting at the opposite piano, facing MELANIE’S back.] [annoyed]: What is? What’s hopeless, Mel? Tell me. How bad could it be?

MELANIE [Sighs. Swivels in her chair to face Penelope]: Remember that time your hair caught fire in the back of that limo? How mad you were? How you blamed me for ruining your prom?

PENELOPE: Nothing is that bad, Mel. Nothing could even come close to that disastrous moment—

MELANIE: I’m in love with Brad.

PENELOPE [Stands. Pats her hair, as though putting out flames]: What!

MELANIE: It’s true. I can’t pretend any long—

PENELOPE: What!

MELANIE [Stands]: We already covered that, sweetie. I’m opening up here. Please pay attention.

PENELOPE: I’m marrying Brad tomorrow.

MELANIE: Which is another reason you should hush and let me speak.

PENELOPE [Rushes Melanie]: What do you mean? Him too. You’re stealing him too.

MELANIE [Backs up.]: I believe the proper nomenclature is ‘also’. Let’s not jump to conclusions.

PENELOPE: You’re my Maid of Honour. My best friend.

MELANIE: But if you keep things in perspective, I’m also the one who torched your hair. I’m the reason you spent prom in the E.R.

PENELOPE: Not related. Does Brad know how you feel?

MELANIE: They are related, sweetie. You should pay closer attention to the woman who lit your head on fire. I’m flawed, Pen. Deeply flawed.

PENELOPE: I know, Mel, but back up. What’s going on? I’m supposed to be getting married tomorrow.

MELANIE: Pay attention. I’m trying to tell you. Hopeless. Tragic. Ruined. Remember?

PENELOPE: What?

MELANIE: Don’t go down that road again, Pen. You go down the ‘what’ road far too often. It’s a sign you don’t really pay attention when people speak. [Sits and swivels to face the keys.]

PENELOPE: Don’t turn your back on me. We have to discuss this. What about Brad?

MELANIE [Hits a low key]: Hopeless.

PENELOPE [Swings Melanie around to face her]: Enough with the theatrics. What’s going on? Have you stolen another fiancé from me?

MELANIE [With tragic look on her face]: I try to be a good friend, Pen. I really do. [Gets up and walks over to mirror. Casually studies herself] Do my eyebrows look even to you? [Turns to face PENELOPE, with back to mantel.]

PENELOPE: This is my life you’re playing with! I don’t care about your—

MELANIE: You don’t have to get so sensitive.

PENELOPE: Brad.

MELANIE: Yes, yes. The man you’re going to marry.

PENELOPE: Have the two of you been conspiring behind my back? Did you call me here to ruin my life again?

MELANIE [Walks away from mantel, towards PENELOPE.]: Honestly. You think so little of me.

PENELOPE: History has a way of dictating these things.

MELANIE: I said it was tragic, didn’t I? Would I think it tragic if Brad left you to run off with me? Give your head a shake. Why, I’d be elated. [Continues to piano and hits a low key.] I certainly wouldn’t be hitting the doom and gloom keys.

PENELOPE: Shirley. Gwynn. Or maybe Gloria. Oh, I know! Susan! It’ll be Susan.

MELANIE: I’m opening my spleen here. Why do you insist on rhyming off the guest list?

PENELOPE: Like hell I am! I’m trying to come up with a replacement.

MELANIE: Replacement? Replacement for what?

PENELOPE: You don’t honestly think I’d allow you to be my Maid of Honour now! Honestly, sometimes I think you’re so far up your own—

MELANIE: Words. Careful. No need to get nasty and trashy.

PENELOPE: It’s true. It must be awfully dark up there in the underbelly of Mel’s Great Universe. Why do I allow you to constantly wreak havoc with my life?

MELANIE: I’m good for you.

PENELOPE: If you mean like in the same way amoebic dysentery is good for a diet, well, yes. I’ll agree.

MELANIE: Oh, sweetie. Must you? Could we please be more civil?

PENELOPE: You were actually the twelfth person on my list the night I chose my Maid of Honour. Twelfth choice, Mel! And yet. Here we are.

MELANIE: Number one with a bullet!

PENELOPE: Oh, for a bullet. My kingdom for a bullet.

MELANIE: Listen. I only wanted you to know. Big deal. It’s my tragedy. Not yours. Surely you could overlook this tiny detail.

PENELOPE: Tiny detail? Tiny detail! You’re in love with the man I’m going to marry. That’s not a tiny detail.

MELANIE: In the grand scheme of things [Hits another low key.] it is a small thing. You’ll still marry him. I’ll want to slit my wrists when the vows are being spoken, but…but only on the inside, sweetie. I’ll be a champ on the outside.

PENELOPE: I can NOT have you standing with me on my wedding day. Being in love with the groom is the deal breaker, Mel. I just can’t.

MELANIE: But I love him. I need to be there. You can’t keep me away. I want to be—

PENELOPE: Why weren’t the skin graphs enough for me? What is it going to take to finally wash you out of my life?

MELANIE: Don’t dramatize. It was a perfectly respectable accident. I’m not the first one to light candles in a limo. It was Mark’s birthday. The prom was overshadowing his big day.

PENELOPE: Don’t bring him up. Please, God…let’s leave that one buried. I’m feeling stupid enough as it is. I’m always forgiving you.

MELANIE: Mark was a yit. You were better off without him. Good riddance to good trash.

PENELOPE: Bad rubbish.

MELANIE [Returns to mirror and begins preening.]: What now? What’s that about rubbish?

PENELOPE [Sighs.]: Bad rubbish. It’s bad rubbish. It’s good riddance to bad rubbish?

MELANIE: Like I said. At least we can agree on that. In Mark’s case, I was doing you a favour.

PENELOPE: You put me in the E.R. to make your move on him. That does not a favour make!

MELANIE[Leaves mirror and returns to PENELOPE.]: That’s not true. We were together long before the flaming hair incident, and you know it.

PENELOPE: It’s over, Mel. I’m glad you called me here tonight. I’ve finally come to my senses.

MELANIE: Please. Penelope. Don’t be rash. I already said this was tragic…don’t make it unbearable too.

PENELOPE: Does Brad know about this?

MELANIE: I love him, sweetie, but he’s as useless as bark on a donkey. Seriously, he wouldn’t know it if I wrote it on his face and pointed him at a mirror.

PENELOPE: Oh yes. That sounds like love.

MELANIE: Love is knowing the flaws and limitations of those on which you shower it.

PENELOPE [Sighs, defeated]: Love is a battlefield. I’m going to have to let you go.

MELANIE: It’s too late to fill my shoes. I just wanted to share my feelings. You can understand that, can’t you? He’s just so dreamy…for an intellectual stump.

PENELOPE: You told me. Now I’m telling you. You’re out. Susan’s in.

MELANIE: Susan? Ha. What time is the wedding? One-thirty? You’ll be lucky if Susan can walk a straight line by then. Do you really want her attempting the aisle in front of all those guests?

PENELOPE: Why are you torturing me? Couldn’t you keep this to yourself until after the wedding?

MELANIE [Moves to the mantel, fondles the lovers sculpture. Sighs.]: Brad. Oh, Brad. This could be us!

PENELOPE: Stop it. Stop it! I asked you a question.

MELANIE [Continues to fondle sculpture.][Distracted.]: Brad, Brad, Brad. [Irritated] What question?

PENELOPE: I asked why you insist on destroying me.

MELANIE [Turns away from the sculpture]: You! What about me? You’re marrying the man I love.

PENELOPE: You’re so infuriating.

MELANIE: Look. I just wanted to let you know how hard this is going to be for me. But I’ll do it. And I’ll do the best damn job ever. I’ll Maid of Honour like nobody’s business. I just needed to tell you it’s gonna break my heart, is all.

PENELOPE: You can’t tell me something like this and expect me not to react. You just can’t.

MELANIE: Understand where I’m coming from, Pen.

PENELOPE: Where’s that? The third circle of hell?

MELANIE: Clever. No, Hon. I’m here for you. I’ll hide the pain. I just needed you to be aware it was there. That’s all. [Smiles.]

PENELOPE [Shows signs of giving in, wavering.]: Argh. Can I trust you not to ruin everything? How do I know you won’t—

MELANIE [Brightens.]: I’ll be a bastion of maidenly honour. As God is my wit—

PENELOPE: Don’t do that! I’ve seen people struck down for less. Don’t make any promises you can’t keep.

MELANIE: Please, honey. Let me come. I won’t even look at Brad.

PENELOPE: I love him. Got it? Nothing can ruin our day. I can hardly look at you.

MELANIE: I don’t believe you. I’m irresistible! [Holds arms out in a Ta-da! gesture.] You’re crazy about me, Pen. We’ll pretend I’m not madly in love with him, shall we? I’ve been doing it this long…you can do it for one measly day.

PENELOPE: One day. That’s it. And only because Susan can’t hold her liquor. After your Oscar worthy performance, we’re splitzville. Understand?

MELANIE: Absolutely.

PENELOPE: You really leave me no alternative. But it’ll be duh-duh duh-duh-duh-duh-duh (<<Hums wedding march), then bye-bye, Mel.

MELANIE: You got it. I won’t even bleed. All the wrist slashing will happen up here [Taps temple and smiles.].

PENELOPE: I hate myself for allowing this charade.

MELANIE: You find me irresistible. That’s why we’ve lasted so long.

PENELOPE: I think it has more to do with self-loathing. What time is it? I have to go. Tomorrow’s a big day.

MELANIE: The day my love gets married. [Sighs. Hits a low key.] Tragic.

PENELOPE: I’m going to ignore that little dig. Get to sleep. I’m trusting you to do this one last thing for me, before we part ways. Be well rested.

MELANIE: I’ll be flawless. [Gets up and opens door.] You won’t even know I’m dying on the inside.

PENELOPE [Crosses to door.]: Goodnight, Satan.

MELANIE: Until tomorrow.

PENELOPE[Turns back to face MELANIE.]: Please don’t let me down.

[PENELOPE leaves.]

MELANIE [Closes door, sits down at the piano and strikes a long low note.]: Tragic. [Puts head down—in hands.]

END PLAY

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September – ALWAYS a busy month! (Updates)

I don’t remember a September that wasn’t action-packed. Historically, it just seems like one of those months where everything happens at once. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! This September is no exception. Things started to roll today, and it’s looking like yet another exciting September for me.

September 1st – My poem WHEN VENUS TAKES A RIDE was posted on the website of the Parliamentary Poet Laureate. It was chosen as the Poem of the Month by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate, Pierre DesRuisseaux. It will be featured for the month of September, and archived on the site for two years. I wrote this poem after my first day on the island of Lamu, off the coast of Kenya. I went there this past December with the Summer Literary Seminars, as part of their Kenya writing program. We took a plane to Manda Island from Nairobi and then hopped a dhow over to the island of Lamu. Once there, the group was given a walking tour of Lamu Town. During this tour, one of the poets in the group, Venus Thrash, was given a ride on a donkey (there are no cars on Lamu, but there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of donkeys). The poem is about that experience.

September 11 – Just like the second Saturday of every month (except for August), the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR) hosts it’s monthly Breakfast Meeting. If you’re a writer in OR NEAR the Durham Region, these are NOT to be missed. The September Breakfast Meeting speaker is Neil Crone. Personally, I think he’s one of the funniest people in Canada. It’s a DON’T-MISS month! Neil will be talking about writing humour.

September 24-25Uxbridge Celebration of the Arts. It’s a 25-year anniversary celebration of the vibrant artistic community of Uxbridge, Ontario. And when I say vibrant, I mean electrifying. I’m constantly amazed by the artistic community in this small town just west of Port Perry, Ontario. I’ve been drawn there on several occasions for BIG TIME artistic endeavors. This time, I’m partaking in the fun. I’ve been chosen to be the playwright for the 25-year anniversary celebration. On the 24th of September I will be given a prompt and I will have 25 hours not only to write a one-act play, but to send it off to my director, Jessica Outram, have her run through rehearsals with the actors AND have it performed live on stage at the Uxbridge Music Hall at the 25th hour. So I’m giving myself about 5-6 of those 25 hours to actually pen the script…as I think they’ll need the bulk of the hours to rehearse. This is the kind of thing I absolutely love! I was fortunate enough to do this type of playwriting on two other occasions, for Driftwood Theatre, as one of the playwrights for their 2009 and 2010 Trafalgar24 Play Creation Festival. I can’t wait to find out what I will be writing about! AND…the best part…watching it come to life just a few hours after it’s written. I am constantly amazed by the talent of the directors and actors that I am fortunate enough to work with!

September 26th– I will be MUSKOKA BOUND! It’s the wrap party for the 2010 Muskoka Novel Marathon. This event, held every July, has quickly become one of my favourite writing related activities! You sit in a building with approximately 30 other writers and you write a novel—in either 48 or 72 hours. How amazing is that! It was a great group this year (as it is every year). We had a lot of fun, and it’s hard to believe at the end of the weekend that there was actually time to put together a manuscript between the fun. I wrote a Young Adult novel this year – HALF DEAD AND FULLY BROKEN. I’ve been editing it since July. The wrap party is on the 26th…all the writers regroup and award trophies for various different things–BIC AWARD for Bum in Chair, Most Prolific Writer, Spirit Award, Rookie of the Year Award and the Remy Award for most money raised. Most money raised, you ask? The marathon is a double-edged sword. It is a huge benefit to those writers brave enough to participate, but it’s also a marathon of hope. Each writer raises funs for the Muskoka Literacy Council…it’s writers helping readers. The marathon raises funds and awareness for the council—it helps them to spread the joy of literacy. Another prize awarded at the wrap party is the BEST NOVEL AWARD—awarded, actually, in different categories—Best Adult Novel, Best Young Adult Novel and Best Children’s Novel. The manuscripts are sent to 6 industry judges immediately following the marathon…and they read and judge them over the summer. The winning novels get sent to participating publishers for consideration. The benefits of this event are just neverending! I have my eye on the hands on favourite for Best YA this year—I’m not going to name names (she will not be mentioned here!), but I had the opportunity to read one of the manuscripts and I found it STELLAR. We will see what the Wrap Party brings us. I consider this wrap party the official end of summer, even though Huntsville is already quite in bloom with turned foilage by the time it rolls around.

Month EndMuseitup Publishing is preparing to launch! My Young Adult novel SUMMER ON FIRE will be published by Muse in July, 2011…but the publisher is launching in October. We’ve been talking excitedly about this launch behind the scenes. September is bound to thrive with chatter between publisher and cover artists and editors and writers. It’s a great family to be a part of! I’m really excited about the launch…and can feel the tsunami of its approach! September is THE month to be a Museitup member!

Not to mention! September is another month of busy planning for the 2011 ONTARIO WRITERS’ CONFERENCE. This is an ongoing labour of love that factors into every month on the calendar. We want to organize the best conference every year. To do this, we must be dedicated to putting in a lot of volunteer hours. It’s worth it, though…so rewarding to see the happy faces of writers on the day of the conference!

And I’m certain there will be more excitement along the way. Like maybe a reading from author friend Karen Cole  somewhere in Uxbridge, maybe! Or maybe some poetry read by friend Barbara Hunt!  (-;

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Driftwood Theatre Playwright Theatre Trafalgar 24

2010 Trafalgar24 Play Creation Festival

This past weekend I took part in the amazing Trafalgar24 Play Creation Festival put on yearly by Driftwood Theatre.

Trafalgar 24 is Driftwood Theatre’s 24-hour play-creation festival and fundraising gala featuring over 40 artists who write, produce, rehearse and perform ten new short plays in just 24 hours.

As a playwright, I showed up at Trafalgar Castle in Whitby, Ontario at 10pm on Thursday March 11th. I was given a room in which to create my 10 minute play and was told to use the words ‘twelfth’ and ‘night’ in the same sentence anywhere within the dialogue of the play. That was it. The room I was in was the setting for the play. And I had 8 hours to write it.

At the end of the eight hours, a flock of directors and actors converged on the castle, while all the playwrights got to go home to their beds (or their lives). So, 6:00am…changing of the guard! And then on the Friday evening, the audience arrived at the gates of the castle, eager to watch 10 brand spanking new plays!

This was my second year participating. It’s a fantastic event with a two-fold goal: to raise funds for Driftwood Theatre and to be an amazing night of entertainment in itself. As a guest to the plays, I can verify that it’s a fantastic night of entertainment! Each guest sees 6 of the 10 plays…they were all phenomenal! The actors who take part in this event are just incredible. Their talent, and ability to memorize lines in 8 quick hours, amazes me!

I created a play called MAID OF HONOUR…and it was performed by two incredible actresses: Melissa Morris & Caitlin Driscoll. They were flawless!

Don’t miss out in next year’s Trafalgar24 event. It really is something to see. And it’s for such a worthy cause.

Thanks to Jeremy Smith of Driftwood Theatre for allowing me to be a small part of this event again. It’s one of my favourite writing experiences to date!

DRIFTWOOD THEATRE WEBSITE

Ruth Walker and Kevin Craig
Trafalgar Castle, Whitby, Ontario
The Piano Room – Trafalgar Castle
The Piano Room – Trafalgar Castle
The Piano Room Entrance – Trafalgar Castle