Historical Fiction for Youth

History of any age has fascinated me since elementary school. When reading of another time, whether 80 or 800 years ago, I have often tried to imagine what it would be like to snap my fingers and travel back to see exactly what it was like for those people who laid our foundations and blazed the trails that brought us here. What did it look like? What really happened? What did they truly think and feel?

 

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Tea and Soda Pop with Shakespeare?

Tea & Soda Pop with Shakespeare, A Playwright’s Perspective is one of my projects for this year of our Lord 2016, a year which will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s final exit, stage left.

Tea with Shakespeare certainly sounds appropriate, don’t you think? So very British, eh what?

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Musical Scripts for Young Actors

As a playwright, my material has been aimed primarily at amateur youth, mainly teenagers, but also class and cast members from 7 to 10 and occasionally as young as five, with adults mixed into a number of our productions. I actually write for an adult audience, but in a family-friendly manner to appeal to a broad age range and to provide young actors and neighborhood families entertainment that they can all relax and enjoy. In all of our productions over the years, the formula has proved to work well.

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Having Fun with History, Shakespeare, Music & Plays!

My husband would tell you that I am like the Number 5 robot who came to life in the 1986 movie Short Circuit. “Input! Input! Input!” My curiosity seems to know few bounds, though it skews heavily toward history, Shakespeare, just about anything biblical, natural health, organic agriculture, and the family farm. There’s nothing more grounding than dirt. And horses smell good.

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No Tea with Will (or the Pilgrims!)

Tea cups AbbyIt is hard for us modern-day Americans to imagine England without tea. What?! England without tea?! In Will Shakespeare’s day, that was (gasp!) indeed the case.

Have you heard the expression, “for all the tea in China”? It is from China that the drink made from boiled water and special leaves spread to Japan, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and India. The adventurous Portuguese led the way for Europe. read more…

April 23 ~ A Significant Date for Some Famous People

April 23

The year 1616 was significant not only to Pocahontas, Squanto, and Captain John Smith, but also to men who would become two of the world’s most famous writers ~ William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes.

They are both said to have died on April 23rd of that year, Shakespeare at a mere 52 and Cervantes at 68. Because of their works and their influence, English would become known as the language of Shakespeare, and Spanish would be called read more…

1616 ~ An Interesting Year for Some Famous People

London Bridge in 1616 as seen from Southwark with the famous spiked heads visible

London Bridge in 1616 as seen from Southwark with the famous spiked heads visible

Do you know who was in London in 1616? All at the same time? Lady Rebecca Rolfe, an American Patuxet called Tisquantum, and the soldier-adventurer Captain John Smith. Did they meet? Two of them had a well-documented meeting. The third? No proof or mention, but perhaps a possibility, if we use our imaginations! Let’s find out more about what happened in London in 1616! And how it impacted the New World called America. read more…

Digging for 400-Year-Old Details

Claes Visscher's 1616 panorama of London featuring London bridge

Claes Visscher’s 1616 panorama of London featuring London bridge. Whitehall is 2 miles west (left) of the bridge, around the curve to the south, in Westminster. Note the spire & bell of St. Paul’s is missing. Lightning struck and it melted!

Ever try to get a mouse through Whitehall Palace in 1616? To do it with any reasonably accurate, descriptive detail is a daunting challenge, even with the wondrous resources of today’s internet.

First of all, it’s Whitehall Palace in 1616 ~ not what was created to become Whitehall in the 1530s by Henry VIII, and not quite what eventually resulted as the mind-boggling complex of Charles II in 1680 (there’s actually a diagram available for that one). read more…

2016 ~ A Global Celebration of Shakespeare

shakespeare_400On December 28, 2015, the website of the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana (USA!) announced “A global celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and legacy.” Merely type “400th” into any search engine and you will quickly see the truth of that statement. This is indeed the year for Shakespeare! I can’t help but wonder what he would think about all this! read more…