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
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"