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Blargh. I probably shouldn't do this. It's probably going to put an unnecessary responsibility on me when I should be devoting my energy to more targeted, less arbitrarily structured things. But I really have enjoyed doing 31 Plays in 31 Days in the past, and I would hate to break a streak running four years strong. So what the hell. On to 31P31D 2016!

To kick things off, I did a draft of a scene I've been imagining for the fifth Mrs. Hawking story. In that, I had the idea that Nathaniel could get captured by Mrs. Frost, Mrs. Hawking's Moriarty. I like that because it damselizes the one male character on team, requiring our two female characters to rescue him. It makes an interesting situation to put Nathaniel in, because how is a character whose power is to talk going to deal with a situation where they're trying to get information out of him? Plus, it's an opportunity to bring Clara in.

Generally, Clara is not going to be a team member for their regular missions. But her one condition in Base Instruments for allowing Nathaniel to continue helping is Mrs. Hawking protecting him. And if he gets captured, that's Mrs. Hawking failing in that promise. That means Clara will have to get involved, and not just to kick Mrs. Hawking into gear. I love the idea of her, Mary, and Clara working together for once to get their boy out of this scrape.

This is the first actual scene I've been able to concretely imagine for part five.

A Separate Battlefield
For Mrs. Frost
By Phoebe Roberts

VICTORIA HAWKING, a lady’s society avenger
CLARA HAWKING, her nephew’s formidable wife

London, England, 1886

(CLARA sits stiffly in MRS. HAWKING’s parlor, face frozen with rage. MRS. HAWKING herself stares out the window.)

CLARA: I suppose I knew. He’s been gone for days, after all. And you’d never ask me to call on you unless it were something very dire indeed.


CLARA: How could you not tell me?

MRS. HAWKING: I have told you, Clara, that’s why you’re here.

CLARA: And how long have you known?

MRS. HAWKING: I am telling you now!

CLARA: How could you let this happen?

MRS. HAWKING: He knew the risks.

CLARA: Did he?

(MRS. HAWKING stares.)

CLARA: Do you know how he speaks of you? He believes in you utterly. No matter what’s happened, even now, he still cannot believe you could lose.


CLARA: You promised me. You promised me you would protect him.

MRS. HAWKING: I failed, Clara. I can be beaten, as you delight in reminding me!

CLARA: That isn’t good enough, madam.

MRS. HAWKING: Do you think I don’t know that?

CLARA: Then what do you intend to do?

MRS. HAWKING: I… I’m not certain.

CLARA: Not certain? You are going to get him out of there, that is certain!

MRS. HAWKING: I mean I don’t know how to do it! Not yet!

CLARA: Come up with something! That’s what you do, isn’t it? Come up with the clever scheme to defeat the enemy and save the day?

MRS. HAWKING: This is different! This woman, this Frost… she is dangerous.

CLARA: Then how can you leave him there?

MRS. HAWKING: Because I cannot afford to make a wrong move! She is expecting me, Nathaniel is the bait in her trap. If I blunder in, all of us will be lost. And… she knows me. She knows the way I work, and she has always outmaneuvered me.

CLARA: Then…you must work differently. You must think of some new way to engage her that she will not expect!

MRS. HAWKING: And what is that?

CLARA: Whatever it takes!

MRS. HAWKING: An easy thing to say when you’ve no idea what we’re up against!

CLARA: Then— help me to understand! If there’s anything I know, madam, it’s that my way of thinking is entirely unlike yours. Perhaps there’s something I can see that you can’t.

MRS. HAWKING: She is… untouchable. She has so many layers of distance between her operations and herself, and her public persona is so unassailable that no one will ever know. There she commands a battlefield upon which I have no soldiers.

(Pause. She whips around to stare at CLARA.)

MRS. HAWKING: Except… you.

CLARA: What?

MRS. HAWKING: It could be you to do it. I have challenged her on my terms every way I could, and she countered me at every turn. But you… you she is not expecting.

CLARA: What could I do?

MRS. HAWKING: Meet her on your level. Stare into that unblemished public face she puts forth, and use the very structures she manipulates to trap her.

CLARA: Do you really believe that possible?

MRS. HAWKING: Madam. That is your power above all else.

(Pause as CLARA takes this in.)

MRS. HAWKING: But if we are to succeed, you will have to trust me in this. Can you do that for Nathaniel’s sake?

CLARA: Madam. There is nothing I cannot do for Nathaniel’s sake.

MRS. HAWKING: Then let us begin.

CLARA: Nathaniel told me once that you save people. I didn’t want to believe him then. But God help you if you make a liar of him now.

Posts from This Journal by “my pieces” Tag

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

Latest Month

April 2017


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