A Play on Words (In Three Acts)

A Play on Words (in Three Acts)

by Douglas Hardman

[Lights, camera, action!


That’s not right

Calling upon Shakespeare’s voice to guide us

The Bard. William. Billy.

Help us set the scene]

Shall we start a flashback sequence?

War stories and past mistakes

Lover’s quarrel and star-crossed snitches

Blood-soaked daggers whispering sweet nothings

Echoes in the rafters

Drowned out by the applause

As our heroes fall like a curtain call

[Critic’s will rave, “we love a cliché”]

Take centerstage to project unto the audience

Make them feel what we’ve been through

Isn’t that the name of the game?

Two masks to conceal, you never know what is real

As fake as the so-called subtext between the two male leads

“Whoever wrote this script is baiting the audience”

Now something dramatic occurs, shifting the tone

Casted aside, this foreshadowing is unbearable

How much longer will we stay in the past?

We already know how this is going to end

So let’s move on to the big finale

[We see you on the edge of your seat

Anxiously awaiting the conclusion

Ripped from the pages of Richard the III’s playbook

We guarantee a massacre of epic proportions]

You didn’t know about audience participation

Idly sitting by, watching the events unfold

You’re just as guilty as the sleeping king

We can’t let you get away with it

In a surprise twist that absolutely no one saw coming

We turned the stage onto you so you can face your own truths

Instead of escaping into someone else’s

Can you handle the bloodshed? Can you drink your victim’s poison?

Expectations subverted like

The end

Take a bow, for now it’s done, but we’ll came right back ‘round

Globetrotting players performing a grand allusion again and again

The world is but a stage


Featured in our April 2021 issue, "Word/Play"