Western

Warning Shots: A short monologue for young actors

What is this! Two blog posts in one week. What is this madness?

Well it’s been a productive week so far, in fact there may be another blog coming this week as well. You’ll just have to wait around and see won’t you?

Now, to get to the point of today’s posting. A couple of years ago, I saw an opportunity to write a short piece inspired by the American Civil War for a production in Washington DC. In response, I wrote Warning Shots. It is a dramatized retelling of the two attacks on Lawrence, KS before and during the Civil War; the first by “Border Ruffians” (pro-slavery supporters) the second by Confederate leader William Quantrill. In this monologuWare, a young girl named Aella (which means “whirlwind” in Greek and was the name of an Amazon warrior in Greek mythology) witnesses these attacks and tells her story and what she learned.

Warning Shots was performed originally by the EMU Theater company in Lawrence, KS in November of 2015 to great response. Since then, it has kind of sat on my shelf. But I recently asked the daughter of a friend to perform it for a recording. I then “sweetened”the recording and present it to you now.

Warning Shots performed by Jocelyn Goodwin, directed by William J Goodwin, produced and mixed by Everett Robert.

If you would like a copy of Warning Shots you can find it on my Scripts page, at New Play Exchange, or feel free to contact me directly. I am offering this script, FOR FREE to students, schools, and community theaters.

New Year, New Goals, New Shows

2016 has come to a close and 2017 has begun. In the past I’ve talked about how I’ve wanted to spend the new year blogging more, writing more, producing more content. I think I write a variation of this blog every year. this year, the goals are the same; blog more, write more, create more content.

Lets look at what I’ve written in the past year though. I adapted my play  #JohnDoe from podcast format to stage format and had it performed by my local theater, Hays Community Theater, in late April/early May. You can watch these (not very well recorded but still) performances on my YouTube page.

In late May/early June I worked on three new short plays; The Suicide Club (based on a story by Robert Louis Stevenson), A Knack For Living (a play set in the old west), and Moonlight (based on The Moonlight Road by Ambrose Bierce). At least two of these will be performed in the upcoming season of Sherri’s Playhouse, heard on the podcast Chatting With Sherri (the same podcast where Murder At Home and #JohnDoe premiered). In addition, I wrote some new 10-minute plays including Thoughts And Prayers in response to the Orlando shooting in June, which was performed in Kalamazoo, MI.

In December, I started work directing a new play for Sherri’s Playhouse as well, Sherlock Holmes and the Terror By Night Train. I came up with the story, my writing partner wrote the script, and I added in additional material. I’m really proud of this cast and can’t wait to share this story with you. It’s coming January 29th.

What does 2017 hold for me? I’m hoping to get Warning Shots, my monologue for young female actor, into the hands of some students for forensic competitions this year. I’d also like to get Superstar, a 10-minute two-hander, into some students hands as well. Both of these are available here on my website, along with some other free scripts. I’m working on an adaptation of the medieval poem The Owl And The Nightingale,  that I think would make for an interesting contemporary political themed piece.

Other goals include getting #JohnDoe into other theaters, seeing more productions of Tom Sawyer and Allie in Wonderland, getting a production of my adaptation of A Christmas Carol and continue writing about the arts and arts advocacy as needed.

So here is to more blogging, more writing, more content creation in 2017 (it probably won’t happen by the way 😉 )

Changes changes changes

So I know I haven’t been the most blog active lately but that’s because I’ve been busy putting together a performance. This weekend I performed THE WAY OUT PLAYERS RIDE AGAIN or THE FASTEST PLAY IN THE WEST, a parody of melodramas for 3 actors. I was privileged to perform this show as well as write, direct, and produce (a challenging task I tell you) and got to perform with my brother and a very talented 13-year old actor, who stole the show and humbled me with his professionalism (with a day’s notice, he had his lines memorized), his willingness to do whatever asked, his stage presence, comic timing, and general good attitude toward everything. Way to go Nathan, and thank you again.

This brings me to the point of this blog, some new changes! I have updated a few of the pages on my website, including the Video page, so check them out and look for those changes!

To conclude this post, a picture of…THE WAY OUT WEST PLAYERS!

The Way Out West Players

The Monday W.I.P.: Mini Western update

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a mini western contest I entered hosted by Western author Brett Cogburn. Well I’m proud to tell you that I was selected as one of the 39 winners (out of 500 or so entries). In addition to my winning story, another of my stories was selected as a honorable mention.

So what exactly does this mean? Well it means that my winning story will be published in High Hill Press’ upcoming anthology Cactus Country III and the possibility exisits that my honorable mention winner will be published in Cactus Country IV.

I’m very excited about this new publishing opportunity and I’ll let you know more about it when more information becomes available.

On a different note, I do want to apologize for my blogging absence the past couple of weeks, I had some things come up in my world outside of writing to forced me to be away from my computer for 2 weeks. Hopefully this won’t happen again anytime soon.

The Monday WIP: Mini Westerns

My main focus as a writer is as a playwright, primarly a children’s playwright. However I do have a love for the American classic: the Western. I hate “tooting my own horn” but if you read my biography, you’ll see that not only do I enjoy writing westerns I’ve won awards for my western writing. In 2012 I placed First in the Kansas Writer’s Association Novel (First Chapter) competition and I placed Second in the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation Western Novel competition. Both awards were for my work The Last Hand.

So Thursday night, while taking a break from studying for a test in my English Lit class, I read over at brettcogburn.com that he was holding a contest for what he termed a “mini western”. The rules were simple, the story had to tell a complete story, that is a beginning middle and end, in 4 sentences or less and must be a western.

I took to the contest like a man on fire and since Thursday night, I’ve written 4 of these mini westerns. I’ve shared the idea with an English teacher friend of mine and he incorprated it into his classroom teaching on Friday and with a writer friend of mine, who has written 2 of her own.

It’s a fun contest, but it’s also a challenge. How do you convey a full idea in 4 sentences? How do you get the reader engaged and care about the characters in 4 sentences? How do you tell a beginning, a middle, and an end in 4 sentences? Like I said, it’s an interesting challenge but a fun one as well.

If you want to read my story, head over to my Facebook page and Like me while you are there, if you haven’t already.