WONDER OF OUR STAGE

[Full-Length Sci-fi/Historical/Drama]
In the 16th century, the greatest minds of the day created wooden robots called automatons. What if one of the greatest poets of all time was himself an automaton? What if William Shakespeare were one of those robots?

Queen Elizabeth I commissions the notorious necromancer John Dee to play matchmaker in order to find her a very particular suitor....
[Full-Length Sci-fi/Historical/Drama]
In the 16th century, the greatest minds of the day created wooden robots called automatons. What if one of the greatest poets of all time was himself an automaton? What if William Shakespeare were one of those robots?

Queen Elizabeth I commissions the notorious necromancer John Dee to play matchmaker in order to find her a very particular suitor. But when John Dee presents her with an Automaton, a man made completely out of wood, the Queen laughs in his face and leaves the newly made creation unable to fulfill his purpose. Unsure what to do, the Automaton stumbles into the theatre, almost literally. As he gains popularity upon the stage, tensions arise with his creator, and he sets out to forge his own destiny.
  • Recommend
  • Download
  • Save to Reading List

WONDER OF OUR STAGE

Recommended by

  • Ky Weeks:
    18 Sep. 2020
    A fun, clever insight on science, the arts, and how the two can become intertwined. Uses magic and the imagination to explore Shakespeare while acknowledging the unanswerable mysteries surrounding him, a premise that's astounding and plays out in such a way that it just makes sense.
  • Daniel Prillaman:
    16 Jul. 2020
    Shakespeare was so good it's inhuman. No, literally. Shakespeare was a robot. Think about it. Cross, deftly arranging her genre influences into perfect harmony, gifts us with a stupendous, powerful character study that instantly transports us back in time and affixes marvel in our brains. Even though dressed in Elizabethan garb and language (the latter never feeling like the barrier it could so easily be, a testament to Cross's skill), the classic themes of stellar science fiction sing out and loud, and watching young William find his identity is a journey artists and audiences of any background will gleefully devour.
  • Doug DeVita:
    4 Jun. 2020
    This work of art fires and succeeds on so many levels my head is still spinning from the magical rush of wonder it gave me. A deeply affecting, wildly inventive spin on the Pygmalion and Galatea myth – positing William Shakespeare was actually an automaton created to become QE1's consort –it captures its Elizabethan era so perfectly the anachronisms become a natural part of the world Cross has created, and while all the characters are brilliantly conceived, I defy anyone not to fall in love with the Automaton: he is the irresistible heart and soul of this play.

Character Information

  • Automaton/William Shakespeare
    25-50,
    British
    ,
    Presents Male
    A wooden Automaton.
  • Queen Elizabeth I
    55-70,
    British
    ,
    Female
  • John Dee
    60-80,
    British
    ,
    Male
    An Alchemist and, maybe, Necromancer.
  • Richard Burbage
    20-45,
    British
    ,
    Male
    The Leading Actor of the Lord Chamberlain's Men.
  • Cuthbert Burbage
    20-45,
    British
    ,
    Male
    Richard's older brother.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Players Centre for the Performing Arts, Sarasota
    ,
    2018
  • Reading
    ,
    Sarasota Area Playwrights Society
    ,
    2017

Production History

  • Community Theater
    ,
    Players Centre for the Performing Arts
    ,
    2019

Awards

Winner
,
Players New Play Festival
,
Players Centre for the Performing Arts
,
2018
Winner
,
John Ringling Towers Individual Artist Grant for Performing Arts
,
Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County
,
2018