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SCRIPT SYNOPSIS

Works by Molly Louise Shepard

About TABULA RASA:

TABULA RASA by Molly Louise Shepard (Copyright © 1995-1997. Registered, U.S. Copyright Office / Writer's Guild West.)

TABULA RASA is a new American classic in the Southern Gothic tradition. The action revolves around "Miss Toxie Merriweather", a beautifully aging African American woman, who appears one day at the door of a photography shop in "Vandelia", Texas, dressed in her Sunday finery. Her objective? To have her "one and only earthly treasure" -- her photograph retouched ... a picture of her long lost husband and daughter who were killed in a freaky car/train accident during WWII. A young Anglo photography student, "Thadia", who works at the photography shop, is given the precious photograph to retouch. As "Thadia" works in the champagne colors of the old sepia tone photo with her brush and ink, she comes to love the little old lady who owns the picture. The two women become friends in spite of the shop owner's racism. TABULA RASA is a poetically beautiful piece full of sumptuous visuals, "The lyricism and spirituality of TABULA RASA resembled … [a work by] August Wilson…" [The Off-Off-Broadway Review.] The two women bridge a gap, of memory, race, class and time, to forge a bond that supercedes the confines of the earthly plane. "Thadia" all grown up, a professional New York Photojournalist, tells us the story through her memory narrative … a slow, gorgeous tango of the mind.

OTHER SYNOPSIS

Two Acts

FLAT BLUE PANAMA

The Banta Family struggles with the destruction of their family due to their father’s stroke. (3 males, 2 females, minimilast set).

TABULA RASA

(See Above)

INTERLOPER

Set in San Francisco, the play revolves around the glamorous world of trade publishing. An exploration of the eternal dilemma between man and woman. A young editor becomes enmeshed with a famous poetess in a modern romance gone wrong, to extreme consequences. (Unit set; 3 characters, 2 hours in length, comedic drama.)

GRASSHOPPER SUMMER

A dark comedy about love and death. Set in Austin, with a rock-a-billy theme, this play has everything: a 1957 Chevy center stage; the Angel of Death, who resembles Johnny Cash; not to mention a grasshopper invasion of biblical proportions. (Triptych set, 5 characters, 2 hours in length,comedic drama.)

One Acts

THE MAN WHO WOULD BE HENRY MILLER; and THE NEXT MARILYN MONROE

An urban comedic romance written in an adventurous style. A young couple trapped in a studio apartment struggle with their separate realities. Each are trying desperately to become their artistic idols, to the detriment of their relationship. Only when they are brave enough to be themselves do the pieces of their romance come together. (Unit set; 2 characters; 90 minutes in length; comedic drama.)

Screenplays

INTERLOPER (In Progress)

Written from the playwright's perspective, the screenplay version portrays the rather humble lifestyle of a young playwright, whose glamorous play about the jet set comes to fruition in a production. A heartwarming contrast between the playwright's reality and the world of her dreams. (Set in San Francisco, interior apartment set, street scenes, interior theatre; approx. 16 characters plus extras; 2 hours in length; comedic drama.)

THE MAN WHO WOULD BE HENRY MILLER... collaboration with Mary Hestand

An expanded version of the play, set with city interiors and exteriors. Written with award winning film maker, Mary Hestand, whose first film, HE WAS ONCE, won entry into the San Francisco, USA Film and Sundance Festivals in 1990. (Interior apt., streets scenes, club scenes, and more; 2 central characters, 10 featured extras, extras; 90 minutes in length; comedic drama.)

RAINY SEASON, collaboration with Michelle Feldman (In Progress)

A wacky comedic spoof on the "B" Horror films of yesteryear, set "behind the pine curtain." (Exterior countryside, weird small town ŕla Night of the Living Dead, exterior/interiors of old weird buildings, including a Victorian mansion; 5 central characters, 10 featured extras, extras; 2 hours in length; comedic horrific drama.)

Short Plays

DOG

A man finds he can no longer live with a secret from his past. Set in an East Texas bar. (Unit set of table and chair; One character; 20 minutes in length, Drama.)

NEVERTHELESS

Set in New Orleans during a Mardi Gras celebration gone haywire, an Oznian "Dorothy" meets a "Cowardly Lion" who comes to her rescue. This year's submission for the Actor's Theatre of Louisville 10 minute play festival. (2 characters and a TV; apocalyptic setting and sound effects; 10 minutes in length, comedy.)

Q&A

A spoof on the works of Ionesco. (3 characters; no set; 10 minutes in length, comedy.)

51 TIMES

A young couple sign their bill of divorcement during an uncomfortable scene at a restaurant. Written during the Eric Ehn seminar at the Undermain Theatre in Dallas. (3 characters; table and chairs to imply a "restaurant"; 10 minutes; Drama.)

THE 11 HAMPTON

A woman is subtly terrorized by a mentally ill man on the bus. (4 characters; folding chairs for bus seats; 10 minutes; Drama.)

Works-in-Progress

NUCLEAR KITCHEN

Set near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida during the "Mod" sixties, an outlandish family grows up during a series of family crisis. (Kitchen set; 8 characters; 2 hours in length; Comedy.)

APACHE DANCE IN THE NETHERWORLD

A young actress is sexploited by a theatre producer and barely comes out of the relationship with her mind in tact. (Triptych set; 10 characters; two hours in length; Drama.)

HOME

A young painter comes home for the first time in years to rediscover secrets from her past. (Minimal set; 10 characters; two hours in length; Drama.)

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