Sunday, January 12, 2014

Best Monologues

I recently received in the mail my contributor's copy of Best Monologues From the Best American Short Plays, which is part of the Applause Acting Series. Volume One includes my one-woman play The True Author of the Plays Formerly Attributed to Mister William Shakespeare Revealed to the World for the First Time by Miss Delia Bacon.

Dawn Cardinale produced the play in New York in 2009 starring Katherine Harte-DeCoux as Delia Bacon. Ken Kaissar directed the piece. More recently, Kate reprised her role at the Looking Glass Theatre as part of the evening of short work Broadside!

I was very fortunate to have the piece included in The Best American Short Plays: 2008-2009, and last year William Demastes, who currently edits the series, asked me if he could include it in the Best Monologues book. You can imagine how long I took to think about that one. (What do you call a tenth of a nanosecond again?)

The play tells the story of Delia Bacon, a Connecticut woman who was the first to popularize the idea that Shakespeare's plays were written by someone other than that man from Stratford. (For the record, I do not share Miss Bacon's opinions.) She gained the attention of a number of prominent intellectuals, including the author Nathaniel Hawthorne, who at the time was American consul to the city of Liverpool. I condense a great deal of Miss Bacon's life, to show her excited research, frenzied revelations, and slow descent into madness all in one speech at the American consulate.

In reality, it took a lot longer than that for her to go insane, but sadly she did end up in an institution writing sheer jibberish. (Not that her initial writings were the most coherent, anyway.)

Needless to say, I'm honored to be included in the monologue anthology, which also has pieces by Adam Kraar, Julia Jarcho, Liliana Almendarez, and Neil LaBute. If you're interested in buying it, here's the link on Amazon:

Best Monologues From the Best American Short Plays