If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our March author interviews: 3/7--Karen Cantwell, 3/14--Shawn Reilly, 3/21--Annette Dashofy, and 3/28--WWK Blogger Debra Sennefelder (on her debut novel!). Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our March Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 3/3-Heather Weidner, 3/10-Holly Chaille, 3/17-Margaret S. Hamilton, 3/24-Kait Carson, 3/31-Charles Saltzberg.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here: https://www.amazon.com/Necessary-Ends-Tai-Randolph-Book-ebook/dp/B079MS67CM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1520014972&sr=8-2&keywords=Tina+Whittle

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), will be available on April 3, 2018 at: https://www.amazon.com/Empty-Promises-Seamus-McCree-Book-ebook/dp/B078XJRYDG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1520089649&sr=8-2&keywords=James+M.+Jackson&dpID=51kcxPsst-L&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here: https://mammothpublications.net/writers-m-to-z/rodriguez-linda-dark-sister/

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in August, 2018.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

One More Glimpse of Scrooge

Photo by Rob Sprankle
Since 2009, I have collaborated with others to write original musicals to present at my church. We work with church and community members as actors and production staff. We strive for community theatre quality, but welcome anyone who wants to take part in the production. We’ve seen incredible things come from the experience.

Poster by John W. Henry and Susan F. Craft
My collaborators and I stretched ourselves by writing the book, lyrics, and music for each production. Twice, we based our work on a local author’s short stories. Last year, we took the historical tale handed down through generations of members about how our church received its stained glass windows during World War I, adding a bit of whimsy with a mouse accompanying the windows on their voyage across the ocean.

This year, we did our version of A Christmas Carol because one of our long time participants and supporters wanted the opportunity to play Scrooge. He did a fabulous job.

In some ways, adapting Dickens was easier than using short stories or original material. Everyone knows the story of Scrooge. The trick was to make it our own telling, and to do it with the people who came forward to be part of the production.

"A Toast to Scrooge"
Rehearsal Photo by Paula Gail Benson
We were extremely lucky to have some very talented individuals try out. One was such a gifted musician that we wrote an additional song for her. That’s a luxury and gift you have when you write your own musical.

Another element of good fortune was that we tried to simplify. The only character with many lines was Ebenezer Scrooge. The others could relax and have more fun.

We had to keep the piece moving. The audience would know what came next, so we couldn’t let it bog down. We used many different styles of music, from funny to funky to waltz to show tune to wistful lullaby. Our lyrics were simple, but heartfelt. Scrooge was a man in need who in the end found the “something more” or “something extra” about life that he was seeking.

All the old familiar lines came alive in new readings. We danced our way from one scene to another. Our cast and crew ranged in age from almost five to early seventies. We got to know and love each other and spend a holiday season together that we won’t forget.

Don’t discount all those 1930s movies with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney getting a group together in a barn to put on a show. It’s not easy, but definitely doable and always worth it.

Have you worked with a production? I hope you’ll have a chance to experience the thrill of the greasepaint and roar of the crowd without too many “Bah humbugs!”

Publicity Photo by John W. Henry of Actor C. Joseph Roof
God bless us, everyone.


James Montgomery Jackson said...

Never had the chance to participate in earlier days when I had a memory. Now I would have to play a deaf-mute.

It does sound like a lot of fun and a lot of work.

~ Jim

John said...

It was a joy to produce and work with these fine people who wanted to be part of a "World Premiere" show.
Many friendships were formed that will last a lifetime. To see the look of satisfaction on a child's face of his/her accomplishment was worth all the long hours we put into the production.
Now on to the Next Show!!

Gloria Alden said...

It sounds like such a marvelouis experience. I wish so much I lived close enough to have gone to see it since I love community theater productions whether it's musicals, comedies or serious plays.

Thanks for sharing with us, Paula.

Kaye George said...

What fun! Wish I went to your church! The nearest to this that I've come is to direct the children's pageant one year when no one else would, and write a script for an Easter thing called Journey to the Cross--a very original concept by another church member. I also did a full orchestration of a hymn, Lord of the Dance, and that was hard! Wish I could have seen this. Congrats on putting this together!

Alyx Morgan said...

I've been in high school & community productions. There's definitely a sense of family that forms when you're working on a project for several months. You also quickly forget about modesty when changing backstage, but nobody's looking anyway, because they're too busy changing into their next costume, too.

Kara Cerise said...

How fun! I would have enjoyed seeing your production, too. I'm sure the variety of music styles and original lyrics added to the fun.

I hope we can hear how your church received its stained glass windows during World War I. It sounds like an interesting story.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Jim, you're right. Some days you have to remind yourself of the fun so you don't worry about the work. But, don't count yourself out--I can write a deaf-mute role for you!

John, thanks for commenting. You are a fabulous producer and I'm so grateful that you are always ready to soldier onward!

Gloria, just plan a Southern vacation next year in early December! We'd love to have you attend. Thanks for the kind words.

Kaye, you have a rare talent to do a full orchestration. For a couple of years, our group worked with our arranger long distance. Now that you're in Tennessee, maybe you would collaborate with some South Carolinians? Thanks for your lovely comment.

Alyx, we had a lot of dress changes this year and had to make all of them in the kitchen adjoining the stage. Let me just say, we added to the body suit economy!

Kara, thank you, both for your kind words and for an idea for another post!

Kaye George said...

Deal, Paula! I've done a lot of arranging and a little composing, but not for awhile. I miss it!

Paula Gail Benson said...

I'll be contacting you, Kaye.