Stephen Evans

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Stephen is a playwright and author of The Marriage of True Minds and A Transcendental Journey. http://www.amazon.com/Transcendental-Journey-Stephen-Evans-ebook/dp/B00IHPLCB6

The Ghost Writer

This year marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's demise. It was also roughly 25 years ago that my play The Ghost Writer had its first performance at the Annapolis Theater Project in Annapolis, Maryland*.

In the play, the spirit of William Shakespeare comes back to earth to assist a failing playwright named Michael. Here is a scene from that play in tribute to (and deepest awe of) that incomparable genius. 

 

MICHAEL:

Are you a dream?

WILL:

We are such stuff as dreams are made on.

MICHAEL:

Clever. Did you make that up?

WILL:

That is the question.

MICHAEL:

Quick. You're very quick.

WILL:

In truth, I am not.

MICHAEL:

I see. So. Where are we?

WILL:

My question exactly.

MICHAEL:

You mean you don't know?

WILL:

Nothing is clear. I am, or was, Will Shakespeare, born Year of Our Lord 15 and 64, son of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden, late of the King's Men in London.

MICHAEL:

Not of an age, but for all time.

WILL:

What was that?

MICHAEL:

I'm sorry. I was quoting a contemporary of yours, Ben Johnson.

WILL:

Beastly man. Never liked him.

MICHAEL:

He must have liked you. He wrote the dedication to the first collected version of your plays.

WILL:

He did what? That scoundrel had the impudence to write his name on the same page as mine? I'll...How do you know this?

MICHAEL:

I know many things about you. You were born and died on the same day, April 23. At age 18, you were married to Anne Hathaway. And in your will, you bequeathed her your second best bed. I always wondered what you meant by that.

WILL:

What witchcraft is this? How is it that you know these things?

MICHAEL:

Not witchcraft at all. I've studied your life since I was a child. You're taught in every school.

WILL:

Taught? You mean, remembered?

MICHAEL:

You're an artistic saint, considered the greatest playwright of all time. And, you've been a personal hero of mine for years.

WILL:

Remembered. I am remembered. How many years?

MICHAEL:

It's 2013.

WILL:

Nearly two score decades. What of my work? Has anything been saved?

MICHAEL:

Nearly all of it, I guess. 37 plays, 154 sonnets, two longer poems.

WILL:

37 plays. Did I write 37 plays?

MICHAEL:

Some say yes, some no. There are 37 attributed to you.

WILL:

37. They are still performed at times?

MICHAEL:

More often than any other playwright, except possibly Neil Simon.

WILL:

And they are well received? The public mind may now be too refined. Lust and violence may no longer interest them.

MICHAEL:

Actually, they're still fairly popular.

WILL:

The actors, are they well trained? They must be well trained. And the stage-it must be large, but not too large. And the entre-acts. Do they still have bear-baiting? Nothing like a good bear-baiting to keep the audience's interest up.

 

*Many thanks to the many friends who have worked on/in the productions over the years. 

Copyright

© Copyright 1990, 2013 Stephen Evans

Recent Comments
Katherine Gregor
Very funny. Have you read Washington Irving's short story set in Westminster Library, when he has a conversation with a rare book... Read More
Sunday, 01 May 2016 22:35
Stephen Evans
Thank you. I have read that story - just in the last few years. He had a unique sensibility.
Monday, 02 May 2016 00:05
462 Hits
2 Comments

Another Irishish Limerick

There once was a playwright named Sam

Who thought life was a devious Scam,

Because once you are in It

There’s no way to win It,

And then you get hit by a Tram.

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Beckett for Beginners, eh? He would have appreciated that it's a limerick. And it's so You :-)
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 12:08
Barbara Froman
LOL! Love it.
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 19:16
648 Hits
2 Comments

An Irish Limerick (or is that redundant)

There once was a writer named Joyce

Who could sing with a beautiful voice

Till he fled to the Seine

with his voice in his pen

And then wrote because he had no choice.

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
A good one for this Thursday... :-)
Monday, 14 March 2016 13:41
Barbara Froman
Love it. :-)
Tuesday, 15 March 2016 16:12
403 Hits
2 Comments

Long Ago

'Twas twilight and he―

idle, in lengthening dark―

gazed at the fire (pyre)

fire that crouched before.

 

He turned and turned

the blade he chose

and chewed, turned

the lone companion

snuffling by the coat

and spoke―it's time―and left.

 

The coolness winding on his face,

he zipped and raced the shadow

'round the tree whose

apples once he hid,

a secret place, they didn't last,

wrinkled but still sweet

at summer's end.

 

C'mon, we're late

he said, and fled,

and followed close behind,

his shadow and his friend.

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
I bet his shadow didn't linger. They're wonderfully obedient, shadows :-)
Monday, 07 March 2016 18:29
Stephen Evans
Try telling that to Peter Pan!
Tuesday, 08 March 2016 03:44
Rosy Cole
Exactly :-) Intriguing poem!
Tuesday, 08 March 2016 13:59
516 Hits
3 Comments

Latest Comments

Stephen Evans A Transcendental Journey
24 September 2017
Thank you!
Monika Schott A Transcendental Journey
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This is so beautiful, Stephen. Transcending.
Rosy Cole A Full August
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I was probably less than average at sports, Sue, but did love tennis and netball and excelled at rou...
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Thanks, Ken. I think you are right - it really helps to get out of your comfort zone to up your awar...
Ken Hartke A Transcendental Journey
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I enjoyed this. I used to live on a bluff above the Missouri River but I had to go elsewhere to beco...

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