Plays by S. A. Shipley 

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"To Be" (a backstory for "Hamlet")

The sole witness to the King's murder returns to Elsinore, seeking revenge. When she whispers what she knows, kings will fall and bastards be raised up. Her slender fingers hold the blade to the throat of Denmark. The royals may play their murderous game, but servants rule by stealth and cunning. 
8M 4W (some M roles may be doubled) one set 2 Acts 2 Hrs

Author's note: "To be or not to be" is the classic actor's riff. Each generation takes its turn at the question we must all ask ourselves. But the question takes a different turn entirely when a woman asks it of herself.

FELICITY :The question's down to this: what's my estate:
Flesh and blood; or ethics, honor, faith?
Those seventh days I marked at father's foot,
My mother's voice; her praise and her reproof,
So all they taught does come down to this choice;
My honor clean or progeny have voice?
Into this deaf'ning silence must I roar
Who longs to peck before the kitchen door?
I stand, uncertain, at this path's divide
Unchosen, but mine own.
Abandon all their teachings and be safe?
Or keep the covenant they made with me?
No one to witness now which choice I make.
And when I choose, what consequence will be.

"To Be" Production History

Staged Reading Resonance Theatre New York 2004
Staged Reading Mae West Fest, Seattle WA 2003
Staged Reading JWT Project, Los Angeles, 2002

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