Authors: E-Merging and Fn Productions (Eds: Frank Blocker, Dana Todd, and Sydney Stone)
ISBN: 978-1442184183

Click Here To Purchase Stage THIS! Volume 3: Monologues, Short Solo Plays and 10-Minute Plays

Stage THIS!, Volume 3, Monologues, Short Solo Plays and 10-Minute Plays is a book committed to saying the most in the least amount of space. A word to those that might be interested in this, remember a play is great when read, but is truly expressive when performed. As expressed in the forward “…promote playwrights whose work should be seen and nut just read.”

According to the editors, these reviewers and the judging panel spent time watching productions, reading and re-reading hundreds of submissions to get to those presented in this book. They are divided into Monologues for Men, Monologues for Women, Short Solo Plays and 10-minute plays. There are 22 separate works presented.

In the forward, the editors noted that the monologues “The Right Not to Take Me Seriously,” “Gone,” and “Psychic” were noted as special interests; and the 10-Minute Plays of particular note is “All the Way”.

At first glance, the reader wonders what kind of story, what depth can be achieved in this abbreviated format. How can a character be developed and expressed so quickly? How complete can a tale be when there are so many fewer words then with other types of work, even other plays?

Through each of these enough is revealed to draw very clear pictures in the reader’s mind, when read aloud or performed the picture springs to life, attenuated and accenting the passion and the action of the actors.

This review will comment on certain works here that struck a chord or moved an emotion.

 “Geraldine” discourses on the dilemma of African-American and Jewish-American communities mingling in Milwaukee. The lone character reveals a depth of commitment that only a mother can express satisfactorily, but particularly here, only a African-American mother knows and believes.

A Piece of Candy” gives the reader a glimpse into the life of a prostitute praying for work. The words fly out of the actor’s mouth letting the reader see into the depths of such a soul. All of this concisely expressed by “…But I did the best I could.”

All the Pretty Horses” is about the passing of time for the actor while he draws images in the air. Eventually he shrinks to a small ball, but the final message is left hanging above him, just barely visible.

The Librarian” reveals secrets and a hidden life in the quiet existence of a quiet librarian living in a quiet library in a very quiet town. All this quietness makes what the actor says all that much more dramatic.

 “Producer” highlights how a waiter/actor and a producer interact filling the air with cliché, apropos theatrical play lines, and personal physical threats. Clichés fly, filling the space between the two. But so much can be said with a flourish and some dramatic threatening action. Not everyone knows the mystery of why Othello was portrayed by a black man.

The others are also worthy of note and play with preconceptions while opening the reader’s eyes to other possibilities.

Construction of the book follows traditional play format, but the very passionate dedication bears emphasis here. There is still so much lost when the creative and the vital are struck down in their prime.

The individual pieces combined into an oddly cohesive whole. There is depth of emotion, passionate expression and sound resolve throughout. All forcing the reader to look in the mirror of their own reality to measure how easy the transitions from reality to fantasy might felt.

The commitment of the persons involved to theater and its expression opens the reader’s mind to the need and the important role actors and playwrights can and do contribute to life. The biographies reveal the playwrights and actors well while providing excellent contact information.

This book is very appropriate for anyone that understands and enjoys theater, but also for those that have lost that joy. This collection should be included in all community theater libraries. It also gives everyone another reason to watch a play and to do so soon.

Click Here To Purchase Stage THIS! Volume 3: Monologues, Short Solo Plays and 10-Minute Plays