MASTER SKYLARK OF STRATFORD

Co-Winner: AATE Unpublished Play Project

First Prize: Jackie White National Playwriting Contest, Columbia Entertainment Company (MO).

Semi-Finalist Award: IUPUI (Indiana/Purdue University at Indianapolis) Youth Theatre Playwriting Competition.

Produced: Lubbock Community Theatre (TX), mainstage.

"First play I picked up... caught my interest right away... a good read... author does a great job of creating rich, interesting characters, even among the very small roles... [they] help create a rich an interesting world... The historical detail of the play is excellent... detailed characters, interesting family relationships... lovely historical touches throughout and the language is fun and evocative... A good story in an interesting time period with plenty of action." (American Alliance of Theater and Education, AATE)

"A delightful and quite convincing visit to Elizabethan England! Each of the large cast of characters is well-defined, even to the smallest roles. . . the plot is compelling from the very first... the ease of area stage is well-suited to the fast paced action." (IUPUI critic judges' evaluations)

". . . a different look at the Bard's world than we're used to. .. good use of language and good attention to dialect. The action flows well from one scene to the next. This is an interesting, well told story with distinct characters and a nice use of heightened language. . . contains many good roles to challenge actors. (Comments:   Columbia Entertainment Company)


CAST: Suitable for ensemble of 10-12 (5-6F, 5-6M); total of 23 roles, 13 F, 10 M.

PLAYING TIME: 90 minutes without intermission; an intermission can be added.

SCENERY: Area staging, limited scenery.

PLOT:
Set in the background of Elizabethan theatre, the story centers on the misadventures of Nick Attwood who runs away to see the Admiral's Players because his puritanical father forbids it. Hearing him sing, disreputable actor Sebastian Carey deceives Nick in order to profit from the boy's talents. First Carey offers the virtually imprisoned Nick to entrepreneur Phil Henslowe; next he offers him to the famous St. Paul's Boys Company.

After a Boy's Company performance at Greenwich Palace, the Queen invites Nick to stay on as a singing page. He asks instead to be taken to kinsman Will Shakespeare. When Carey is jailed, Will helps both Nick and Olivia, Carey's now parentless daughter, journey to Stratford. Nick reconciles with his father and Olivia finds a new home with the Shakespeare family, including Nick's friends, Susanna and Judith.

For more information, contact Sylvia Ashby at: sylashby@aol.com