Wim’s plays

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 4.10.05 PMWim is an award-winning playwright, poet, and novelist whose diverse work in theater has included playwriting, directing, acting, set design, and technical and construction work. His play The Shackles of Liberty is the winner of the 2016 Southern Playwrights Competition. Two collections of his one-act plays, Nine Muses and Stages of History, are currently in print, and his plays have appeared in anthologies along with works by authors ranging from Molière to David Mamet. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and PEN International.

 

 

 

The Shackles of Liberty

Wim’s most recent award-winning full length play …
Paris, 1789. The French Revolution has begun. On his last day in Paris as America’s Minister to France, Thomas Jefferson helps Patriots of the National Assembly to write the Declaration of the Rights of Man. But he is bedeviled by personal distractions. Maria Cosway, his Italian-English lover, dreams of sharing Napoleonic power with him as the revolution unfolds. His oldest daughter, Patsy, wants to become a Catholic nun. His quadroon servant Sally Hemings insists upon staying in Paris—and she is pregnant with his child. During the play’s powerful final moments, Thomas and Sally bargain over the terms of her return.

18300908_1593515600660928_3404351905728072049_nThe Shackles of Liberty was performed by the University of Jacksonville Department of Drama in May, 2017. This workshop production and a $1,000 prize were awards for winning the Southern Playwrights Competition, which was open to writers in thirteen states. The play was also a semifinalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s 2017 New Playwrights Conference; one of two finalists of 2015 Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition; a semifinalist for the 2016 Ashland New Plays Festival; a semifinalist and for Road Theatre’s Summer Playwrights Festival 8, 2017; and reached the second round for The Phoenix Theatre Festival of New American Theatre, 2017.

The text of this play is available on the New Play Exchange or by contacting Wim personally.

 

Postmortem

A full-length, three-character play dealing with a love triangle and unresolved grief, Postmortem has been presented in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles (in L.A. with actors Brian Kerwin and Lee Garlington). The play was chosen as a finalist in the 1985 CBS/Foundation of the Dramatists Guild New Plays Competition; Fourth Place out of 1,100 entries. Produced by Drake University Theatre Arts Department in May, 1985. Also awarded sixth place in the Stage Play Category of the 80th annual Writer’s Digest Writing competition in 2011.

The text of this play is available on the New Play Exchange or by contacting Wim personally.

 

Ten-minute Plays

Operation Ares

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Berlin, December 1944. As the Western Allies retake France and the Russians close in from the east, a delusional Adolf Hitler dismisses as lies any news hinting at the Reich’s impending defeat. Instead, he summons his chief rocket scientist Wernher von Braun to plan a project that he hopes will “make the planet great again”—a military invasion of the planet Mars. The complete text of the the play can be found here.

 

 

The Throne and the Mirror:
Elizabeth and Shakespeare after Essex’s Rebellion

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London, February 1601. Is William Shakespeare guilty of treason against the throne? Queen Elizabeth seems to think so, and summons him to her privy chamber to explain himself. As Shakespeare pleads for his life, he and the Queen engage in a sharp debate about freedom of expression, the divine right of monarchs, and the looming specter of democracy. The complete text of the play can be found here.

 

 

The Maiden and the Nation: Joan of Arc at Orléans

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After the Siege of Orléans, Joan of Arc listens to her advising saints as she nurses a dying soldier. But when an English saint speaks through the soldier’s mouth, Joan is shocked by her own saints’ response to it. “The Maiden and the Nation” is a drama of divine and worldly dimensions. 

The complete text of the play can be found here.

 

In the Belly of the Fish: Darrow and Bryan After the Scopes Trial

Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, 1925

On the day after the Scopes “monkey trial” of 1925, Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan are exhausted and bitter from their now-famous debate over evolution. When they meet at the Dayton railroad station, what do they have to say to each other? It might surprise you; it certainly surprises them.

The complete text of the play can be found here.

 

 

Talking Leaves: Sequoyah and the Conjurors

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In the early 1800s, a silversmith named Sequoyah invented a syllabary for writing the Cherokee language. It was an astonishing achievement—all the more so because Sequoyah himself was illiterate. But as the science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke wrote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Sequoyah’s own people suspected him of witchcraft, and he was almost put to death by Cherokee shamans—an episode dramatized in this play.
The complete text of the play can be found here.

 

The Gateway of the Soul: Queen Christina and the Death of Descartes

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This little play brings together two fascinating historical figures—the French thinker René Descartes and Queen Christina of Sweden. In 1649, Christina brought Descartes to her court to serve as her personal tutor. What role did the brilliant and impetuous monarch have in Descartes’ death the following year? This black comedy of ideas suggests an answer. The complete text of the play can be found here.

 

 

When the Wolfbane Blooms

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One fall night, Professor Elaine Simmons is visited at home by Sydney, one of her favorite students. It seems that Sydney bit Prof. Simmons the night before—in the form of a wolf. But contrary to traditional lore, not everybody who gets bitten by a werewolf turns into one. What will be Prof. Simmons’s fate? The moon is rising, and she’ll find out all too soon.

Awarded Third Prize in the 2016 Winston-Salem Writers 10-Minute Play Contest; presented as a staged reading at Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Salem on April 1, 2016. The text of this play is available on the New Play Exchange or by contacting Wim personally.

 

Talk to the Hand

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A patient asks a physician to amputate her hand. The hand isn’t really hers, she tells the doctor. Naturally, the doctor wants to hear what the hand has to say about all this. But when the hand speaks from the depths of a hypnotic trance, the doctor’s own world undergoes a disturbing transformation.

The text of this play is available on the New Play Exchange or by contacting Wim personally.

 

 

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Click here for Wim’s performance of the first 13 stanzas of his epic-in-progress, The Comedy of Falstaff, relating the adventures of Shakespeare’s immortal rogue in the afterlife. When completed, this aggressively eccentric work will follow Falstaff from the moment of his death through hell, purgatory, and paradise—along the way exploring themes of human destiny, sin and redemption, and the evolution of life and consciousness.

 

Published plays … 

0789153564Nine Muses: Modern Plays from Classic Myths, plays based on Greek and Roman myths and legends for middle and high school students and community theatre groups. (Perfection Learning Corporation, 2001) The photo is from McCall Children’s Theater production of Phaeton and the Sun Chariot in 2015; directed by Kay Addington MacDonald.
Buy Nine Muses.

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Download an excerpt of Phaeton and the Sun Chariot from Nine Muses. 

 

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Stages of History: Plays About America’s Past, eight one-act plays for middle and high school students based on themes and episodes from American history. Co-authored with Pat Perrin. (Perfection Learning Corporation, 2005)
Buy Stages of History.

 

 

pub plays

“Eye in the Sky,” a one-act play in Reading & Performance: Collection One, with works by Horton Foote, Athol Fugard, Carlo Gozzi (adapted by Lowell Swortzell), Stephen Gregg, Cleve Haubold, Wendy Kesselman, David Mamet, Merrill Markoe, Kathryn Schultz Miller, Celeste Raspanti, Rod Serling, Charles Smith, Gary Soto, Wendy Wasserstein, and Paul Zindel. (Perfection Learning Corporation, 2nd ed., 2008)

“Phaeton and the Sun Chariot,” a one-act play in Drama for Reading & Performance: Collection Two, with works by Woody Allen, Christopher Durang, Horton Foote, Athol Fugard, Silvia Gonzalez S., David Ives, Kikuchi Kan, Stephen King, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, David Mamet, Molière (adapted by Marvin Kaye), Rod Serling, Neil Simon, Katherine Snodgrass, Rabindranath Tagore, and August Wilson. (Perfection Learning Corporation, 1st ed., 2000)

Wim has also written many short plays for school use, including 20 Readers Theater plays published in READ magazine and 8 titles published by Red Chair Press (some co-authored with Pat Perrin).

Here, Wim and Monse read a scene from Wim’s play “Sequoyah and His Talking Leaves.”

 

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