Louise Wigglesworth

Louise Wigglesworth

Master of Arts in Theatre, Catholic University, DC, Fellow of The Geraldine R. Dodge Program for Teachers and Playwrights. Productions include COERCION by Playwrights Round Table, SEASONAL MIGRATIONS at Foundation Theater, her stage adaptation of Albert Camus’ THE PLAGUE for The Laboratory Theater of Florida, FINAL STAGE, an adaptation for females of Anton Chekhov’s SWAN SONG, at the Davis Art Center and...
Master of Arts in Theatre, Catholic University, DC, Fellow of The Geraldine R. Dodge Program for Teachers and Playwrights. Productions include COERCION by Playwrights Round Table, SEASONAL MIGRATIONS at Foundation Theater, her stage adaptation of Albert Camus’ THE PLAGUE for The Laboratory Theater of Florida, FINAL STAGE, an adaptation for females of Anton Chekhov’s SWAN SONG, at the Davis Art Center and DRAWING THE HUMAN FORM at Cultural Park Theatre. Her ten minute REAL ART was a finalist in City Theatre of Miami’s competition. One acts SECOND MOVEMENT, ANYWHERE FROM HERE and PENUMBRA, along with REAL ART, were winners in the Naples Players Etc…Company annual competitions. Louise’s youth plays SEEING RED and IN MY BROTHER’S NAME have had productions in schools and children’s theater groups. She has received grants from The American Association of University Women to support the development of work. Louise teaches playwriting at Laboratory Theater of Florida and is a member of The Dramatists Guild, Theatre Conspiracy Playwrights and Playwrights Round Table.

Plays

  • The Afterlife of Swans
    It’s 2:30 a. m. and Manhattan has gone dark-- no power, no phone service. The technological “fail-safes” did not live up to their names. Sounds of distant explosions and gunfire signal violent confrontation in the streets. Inside a dressing room in the city’s oldest theater, Lilly Largo awakens alone from a boozy post-performance nap. Amidst remains of the closing night party for her run in The Cherry Orchard,...
    It’s 2:30 a. m. and Manhattan has gone dark-- no power, no phone service. The technological “fail-safes” did not live up to their names. Sounds of distant explosions and gunfire signal violent confrontation in the streets. Inside a dressing room in the city’s oldest theater, Lilly Largo awakens alone from a boozy post-performance nap. Amidst remains of the closing night party for her run in The Cherry Orchard, she thinks her dangerous heart problem has saved her the trouble of ending her life. Something she intended doing after tonight’s closing. As Lilly waits for the “crossing over” a member of the theater staff who chose not to evacuate the blacked-out building finds her wandering around the dark stage. The young woman, Celeste Dusha, had recognized the actor’s self-destructive tendencies in recent days and stayed behind to save Lilly from herself. Years ago Lilly unknowingly had inspired an enormous change in Celeste’s life. Now Celeste believes it’s her calling to rescue this illustrious artist from a tragic, ugly and untimely end. As the two women hole-up in Lilly’s dressing room against the violence outside, the action becomes a cat and mouse game. All of Celeste’s strategies have no effect on Lilly’s death wish. Celeste tries using Lilly’s passion for acting to distract her from the danger in the street, which Lilly believes is death coming for her. In an entertaining sequence Lilly performs highlights of her theater life which paralleled her personal history, then gives Celeste an acting lesson based on a scene from Chekhov’s The Seagull. As Celeste begins to hope Lilly has found a new purpose in her life a mob attacks the theater. Lilly makes a run for the entrance to let them in. Celeste seizes her and holds her back, the two clinging to each other on the floor of the stage through the yelling and pounding until the mob moves off. In the silence that follows Lilly admits it’s not her time to die. “Because we both know something really has happened. To them. To us. To everyone. I must see what that world after tonight will be, and what I might still do in it.”
  • THE MIGRANTS' HOUSE
    THE MIGRANT’S HOUSE Between 1942 and 1947 many uprooted by war and economic stress sought temporary refuge and employment on America’s farms. The term “migrant worker” came to mean an outsider whose presence was fleeting and not worth much attention. “The Migrant’s House” tells four stories of family units who spend different summers in the same worker’s cottage on a fruit and vegetable farm in southern New...
    THE MIGRANT’S HOUSE Between 1942 and 1947 many uprooted by war and economic stress sought temporary refuge and employment on America’s farms. The term “migrant worker” came to mean an outsider whose presence was fleeting and not worth much attention. “The Migrant’s House” tells four stories of family units who spend different summers in the same worker’s cottage on a fruit and vegetable farm in southern New Jersey. With little more than their wits they arrive from vastly different worlds: George and Ada from a renowned traveling circus; Ruth and Avi Cohen from the concert halls of Europe; Irene Fugimoto from a Japanese internment camp; Nola, Julien and Robert from a culturally rich southern city. Each of these summer people must find a way to re-kindle hope and move on from their displacement to a real future, often doing this in an atmosphere of bias. The play celebrates the strength and character of the silent, inconspicuous women who love and support their determined men. Three of the stories are dramas seasoned with comedy and lyricism. The comedic fourth piece is a blend of magical realism and satire. All are stories of love, survival, and the ultimate force of the human will. A WAY INTO THE DREAM Trick circus rider Ada Cheatam needs to get to the truth about the destruction of The Carmel Family Circus’ illustrious team of show horses before she can accept menagerie keeper George Sutton’s marriage proposal. TALENT Violinist and composer Avi Cohen worries over the loss of their musicianship as he and pianist wife Ruth take refuge from the Holocaust on an American farm. Add to that a large dose of survivor guilt over the families that stayed behind. Avi has lost all incentive to compose, or even to live. Like the iodine she pours on his cut hand, Ruth finds a way to burn out the germs and poisons in his soul so that he can pick up his violin once again. WRAPPED IN SILENCE Irene Fugimoto, wife of Tak and mother of Roy and Imogen, has not been able to break her silence with the other women working on the farm. She can’t speak of her family’s experiences because they were unspeakable. The boss’s wife Rosa brings her a strange, even awkward homemade birthday gift. Irene feels the first impulse to break that silence, but still cannot. After Rosa leaves Irene recounts the story of their migration as if Rosa were still in the room. In doing so she realizes the awkward gift in her hand and its giver could be a life line. A STRANGE NIGHT ALL AROUND A bully sheriff tries to arrest Robert, the fragile teen-aged son of migrants, for setting fire to a local storage barn. He gets the surprise of his life when this weak youngster rises from a deep sleep and in a voice like thunder lists all the sheriff’s crimes and sins. Nola and Julien, Robert’s parents, seize this opportunity for spiritual blackmail and pressure the sheriff into financing their upward move to a fortune-telling parlor on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
  • PENUMBRA
    Three couples from college age to senior adult find themselves on the same deserted beach to watch a lunar eclipse. Each person is at a crisis point in his/her life and relationship. Harry and Estelle are former academics embarking upon their long awaited retirement life in a new place. Estelle, a poet, suspects she’s losing her sight and Harry already dreads the loss of his privacy in the hyper-social retiree’...
    Three couples from college age to senior adult find themselves on the same deserted beach to watch a lunar eclipse. Each person is at a crisis point in his/her life and relationship. Harry and Estelle are former academics embarking upon their long awaited retirement life in a new place. Estelle, a poet, suspects she’s losing her sight and Harry already dreads the loss of his privacy in the hyper-social retiree’s world. Matt has just found Leanne, the love of his life, at the same time he’s undergoing testing for an inherited fatal disease and feels pressure to break it off with her. Leanne is a single mother struggling to work and finish her education but does not want to lose Matt. Dwight, college student and aspiring writer, is being guilted into dropping out of school and joining an older brother in the military, while his partner Evan wants him to make his own choices. In the eerie dark they plumb their own depths and intrude upon each other in ways that are poignant, funny and true, and finally see themselves and their future paths clearly in the light of the red moon.
  • PLAY UNTIL YOU WIN
    A physicist with a passion for gambling in both his research and at the gaming tables spends precious grant money to play in a huge lottery in the hope of winning larger amounts to fund his research into the origin of all things. On his ancient cabin cruiser anchored off the coast of Atlantic City he awaits the final multi-million dollar drawing. A strange woman emerges from a dense fog bank and boards his...
    A physicist with a passion for gambling in both his research and at the gaming tables spends precious grant money to play in a huge lottery in the hope of winning larger amounts to fund his research into the origin of all things. On his ancient cabin cruiser anchored off the coast of Atlantic City he awaits the final multi-million dollar drawing. A strange woman emerges from a dense fog bank and boards his boat asking for help with a dead motor and a shorted out radio. In return she offers him a deal he would not have believed possible in a thousand life times.
  • ANYWHERE FROM HERE
    A seventy year old woman and a sixteen year old girl, both runaways, meet in a city bus station and discover an improbable common bond. After several unsuccessful attempts on the part of the woman to gain the confidence of the depressed teen she discovers the girl fantasizes about musical theater. The woman is herself a Hollywood has-been, a once bright and promising performer with the savvy to appreciate the...
    A seventy year old woman and a sixteen year old girl, both runaways, meet in a city bus station and discover an improbable common bond. After several unsuccessful attempts on the part of the woman to gain the confidence of the depressed teen she discovers the girl fantasizes about musical theater. The woman is herself a Hollywood has-been, a once bright and promising performer with the savvy to appreciate the wealth of creative talent that drove the industry then. Time and a mental event have dimmed her mind to the everyday but sharpened her appreciation of the healing effect of musical discipline. And this teen needs that healing effect.
  • DANCE LIFE
    A former dancer’s way to shield her daughter from impending heartbreak is to reveal her own private past. Will she? Should she? This brief tale is told in flash forward.
  • GULLS IN THE WIND, A Ten Minute Play
    A wheelchair bound street singer and a petty thief are both competing for handouts from visitors to the Atlantic City Boardwalk at peak tourist season. Both are at the end of their ropes, emotionally and spiritually. In a surprising shared moment they discover that their own frayed ropes can become a lifeline for another person.
  • REAL ART
    After years of disciplined struggle to achieve success, up and coming oil painter Abby Bolton wins a prestigious juried art competition only to be blindsided by Loretta Faggle, who needs Abby’s prize painting to change her wretched life.
  • COERCION
    A high school principal protecting harassed students struggles against a town closed to outsiders, a misguided Superintendent of Schools, angry parents and a fault-finding Board of Education, to stop dangerous administrative agendas that allow the persistence of bully behaviors in his community. District Superintendent Max Slater shocks principal Steve Roland with news that that several of his high school...
    A high school principal protecting harassed students struggles against a town closed to outsiders, a misguided Superintendent of Schools, angry parents and a fault-finding Board of Education, to stop dangerous administrative agendas that allow the persistence of bully behaviors in his community. District Superintendent Max Slater shocks principal Steve Roland with news that that several of his high school seniors are part of an adult hate group arrested for an immigrant’s beating and murder the night before. Worried about getting the public to vote in favor of the new school budget, Max forces Steve to silence any talk about the murder among teachers and students. He wants Steve to distance the school from these incidents of violence common in their community, and portray it as “calm, controlled and quiet, the image these people want of their school.” Max’s cowardly strategy dismays Steve but he’s trapped by his job into compliance with his boss. On the same morning fifteen other students come to school wearing shirts imprinted with a gentle plea for tolerance. The shirt project’s leaders, Ben, Lina and Daron, are bully targets themselves trying to bring attention to the harassment and threats they and others suffer in school and out. The shirts bring the issue of the community’s bully culture into the open and cause the school to come apart with intense reactions. Wanting to get the three students out of harm’s way, Steve offers them the choice of abandoning their project or a week’s suspension. Ben, a clever adversary, chooses to stay in school and use his wit to goad Steve in other ways. Lina and Daron take the suspension on principle. While out of school, both students suffer grave harm from the hate group. Blame and public censure fall on Steve. He struggles with the cloudy issues of free speech, concealment, public agenda and coercion on every level of contemporary society. Clinging to his beliefs in moral right and wrong, he brings out the truth of who ultimately bears responsibility for the persistence of hate and bullying in schools. With the love and help of Iris Jansen he publically embraces that responsibility and brings his community a shot at changing their world and his own.