How Sweet The Sound

FULL-LENGTH
2019 Eugene O’Neill NPC Semi-Finalist

John runs a neat and orderly plantation home in the Deep South where he lives with his three young wards - Ellie, Felicity, and Grace - and his right hand woman - Martha. The arrival of a newcomer - Benjamin - and Grace's chance encounter with a mysterious stranger - Caleb - propels fate into motion and hurtles the family toward...
FULL-LENGTH
2019 Eugene O’Neill NPC Semi-Finalist

John runs a neat and orderly plantation home in the Deep South where he lives with his three young wards - Ellie, Felicity, and Grace - and his right hand woman - Martha. The arrival of a newcomer - Benjamin - and Grace's chance encounter with a mysterious stranger - Caleb - propels fate into motion and hurtles the family toward their dark fates.

CW: emotional, mental, and physical abuse
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How Sweet The Sound

Recommended by

  • Nick Malakhow:
    3 Dec. 2019
    McVay crafts an impeccably built fantasy/horror world that chills to the bone! She manages to both establish a wholly new society with its own set of rules, while forcing readers to think of their own roles in society as victims, perpetrators, bystanders, and complicit accomplices to social dysfunction. The Southern gothic elements pair well with the nightmare horror. Each character is distinctly defined, and the haunting and beautiful visual and aural landscape McVay builds provides fodder for directors and designers alike. There aren't enough good horror plays in the world, and I hope this one gets produced often!
  • Shaun Leisher:
    9 Jul. 2019
    I love plays like this that leave you really moved but not totally sure what exactly happened. This play is creepy to the max and the possibilities are endless for directors, actors and designers in terms of capturing the atmosphere spelled out on the page. Like all great horror this play is about real fears that all humans deal with. In this play those fears are death and living a purposeless existence and McVay explores them in really unique ways with these rich characters. PRODUCE THIS PLAY!!!
  • Stephanie Neuerburg:
    3 Jul. 2019
    Wow wow wow. Bizarre, chilling, terrible, lovely - one of the most engaging scripts I have read in a long time. Can see myself coming back to this again and again. The characters are fascinating and tragic, the conflict twisted and dark. Just the right blend of fantasy / horror / history that I have been searching for for so long.

Character Information

  • John/Owl
    30s-60s,
    Man
    The actor who plays John voices the Owl
  • Martha
    20s,
    woman
  • Ellie
    18,
    woman
  • Felicity
    15,
    woman
  • Grace
    9 3/4,
    woman
  • Benjamin
    20s,
    Man
  • Caleb
    20s,
    Man

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
    ,
    2019
  • Reading
    ,
    Play Garden
    ,
    2019

Production History

  • Community Theater
    ,
    Bellingham TheatreWorks
    ,
    2019

Awards

Selection
,
National Partners of the American Theatre
,
Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
,
2019
Honorable Mention
,
National Undergraduate Playwriting Award
,
Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
,
2019
Semi-Finalist
,
National Playwrights Conference
,
The Eugene O'Neill Center
,
2019
Honorable Mention
,
National Undergraduate Playwriting Award
,
Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
,
2018