On June 16, 1816,
in the early hours of the morning
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin had a dream.
19 months later, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
The world has never been the same.
This June 16, 2018,
on the 202nd anniversary of the night Mary had her dream,
in the 200th year since ‘Frankenstein’ was released (on Jan. 1, 1818)
David Templeton’s one-actor (plus narrator) horror-drama-fantasy
‘MARY SHELLEY’S BODY’
is being made available, royalty free, for one night only
to any community or regional theater, school, or theatrical organization
presenting the two-act play as a free reading for community members, subscribers, students, and fans of ‘Frankenstein.’
LIST OF PARTICIPATING THEATERS TO FOLLOW
[Want to join the fun? See below for details]
[Click on About the Play to read an excerpt of ‘Mary Shelley’s Body’]
ABOUT ‘MARY SHELLEY’S BODY’ THE PLAY
Mary Shelley is dead.
Or so she assumes.
When the once-scandalous author of ‘Frankenstein’ suddenly finds herself haunting her own grave in a strange, abandoned, apparently inescapable cemetery — in the middle of a lightning storm, no less — she reluctantly accepts the challenge of retelling her own tumultuous life story. With no one to speak to but her rocky tomb and the freshly buried body within it, Mary wanders among the crypts, vividly recounting the sometimes humorous, often heart-breaking details of her long life and many losses – including the mother who died in childbirth, her drowned poet husband Percy Shelley, and their tiny baby, born too early, lost too soon. Mary soon finds unexpected links between her own knotty life and that of The Creature from her novel. To these, she adds a few of her fanciful “Flesh Histories,” the unspoken back-stories Mary once conceived, but never wrote — one for each of the Creature’s various limbs and organs. Eventually, Mary comes to suspect that all of these tales are pieces of a puzzle that, if solved, might free her from from this graveyard purgatory. As the rising storm rages on overhead, Mary pursues a terrifying series of startling self-discoveries. Ultimately facing her one greatest fear, the terrible secret she carried through her life, and hoped to escape by taking it to her to the grave.
A lyrical blend of science fiction, horror, fantasy, and historical fiction, ‘Mary Shelley’s Body’ – a play for one actor – is an enthralling celebration of artistic passion, resilience, and the power of undying love.
[‘Mary Shelley’s Body’ is a play for one actor. For staged readings, we recommend to add one additional performer to read the stage directions. A special ‘staged reading’ script has been developed for ease of performance]
Want to join in on this theater-community-wide celebration of the legacy of Mary Shelley and ‘Frankenstein’? Have an open night in your theater on June 16, or know of a theater willing to collaborate?
It’s fiendishly simple:
Permission will be granted to theater companies, schools, and other non-profit theatrical organizations, to use the script of ‘Mary Shelley’s Body,’ royalty free, for one staged-reading on June 16, 2018. (If that night is not possible, Friday June 15, or Sunday June 17 could also be arranged). Performances must be free to the public. This is a party. Have fun.
(Donation boxes in the lobby are fine. In fact, you are encouraged to use such donation centers to raise money for local organizations, schools, art projects etc.)
Here’s what you do to participate.
1. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact the MARY SHELLEY’S BODY team, and let us know you are thinking of participating. We’ll get right back to you. You’ll want to peruse the script, of course. We’ll get you a copy right away.
2. In your email, tell us who you are, where you plan to present the reading, and confirm that you will be making this a free event for your community.
3. Once you’ve received the script, we’ll stay in touch. Assuming all systems are go, you’ll let us know, and we’ll add your performance to this website’s list of participating shows, and to all press releases and publicity we launch.
4. Have fun. Take pictures. Let us know how it goes.
Call or text the playwright, David Templeton, directly at 707-338-6013]