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31 Plays in 31 Days, #4 - "Make it Good"

As I mentioned in my entry for day #1, my conception of certain things in the Adonis sequels has evolved since I tried scribbling out ideas for them last year. Since I'm collaborating on these with Bernie, he gets equal input on the directions we take, and it works because when I run my thoughts by him, he's able to give a perspective that is different than I have but still constructive to my process.

I talked about Saturnina, the commander of the Roman armies fighting to stop the rebellion, who is the primary big bad of the next part of the story. But I don't know if I've talked much about Pavilla, the other important villain. In the first Adonis, the empress's Dragon is Livia Janaria Pavo Gothica, a successful general ten or twelve years older than Diana. Pavilla is her daughter, Livia Janaria Pavo the Younger, raised to believe it was her destiny to ascend to the reins of power in the empire. That meant that she could stand as the representation of the destructive nature of entitlement that I wanted in the story, which was initially an idea for Saturnina but which Bernie talked me out of.

Following from that, I really want Pavilla to then stand for Aidan as a force of dehumanization. But again Bernie balked at the idea of her actually having a history of abusing him personally. He still found it too coincidental that a big bad happened to randomly encounter him years before, and he didn't like the idea of too completely embodying "Aidan's rape trauma" in a person-- Bernie felt that implied that destroying that person would be the way to destroy/move past the trauma. "We don't want to suggest that sort of issue can be killed with a sword," he said, which is a pretty damn good point.

I still want to do something with the notion that Pavilla's monstrous entitlement is a legitimate threat to Aidan, and her absolute objectifcation of him gives her that psychological edge over him. Maybe the way to do it is her developing an obsession with owning him in particular as the war wages, without any previous history. I'm not sure what would be most effective.

But here is a scene depicting kind of what I was imagining, a flashback. It probably won't be useful because it includes the history I don't think we're including anymore. But it kind of explains the sort of person Pavilla is. Mild adult content advisory.

Day #4 - "Make it Good"
for Adonis
by Phoebe Roberts

Livia Janaria Pavo the Younger, PAVILLA, daughter of a prominent Roman general
LUCIANA MARTELLA, her secretary
AIDAN, a Celtic slave

Afield in Germany, three years before "Adonis"

A soldier woman holds open the flap on an elaborate tent so that Pavilla storms inside. Luciana follows on her heels.

PAVILLA: This is a travesty. That position was owed me.

LUCIANA: Be reasonable, Pavilla.

PAVILLA: She tells me constantly how she must nursemaid that mad empress, and how she needs trusted women in the Senate. And yet she will not allow me to serve!

LUCIANA: You are not of age yet. The Senate would never permit it.

PAVILLA: I am the daughter of Rome’s greatest commander! I should not require their permission!

She drops down onto her chaise and snaps to her soldier.

PAVILLA: Find me a boy. Take care that he knows his business. And one that I can stand to look upon.

The woman bows and ducks out. Luciana moves close.

LUCIANA: You must be patient still. Your mother has sent you here so that you might learn of life in the field while you can.

PAVILLA: My destiny is not in the field. I am meant for the halls of Rome.

LUCIANA: This is to prepare you for those halls. Yours is a military legacy. You may never be a soldier, but you cannot remain ignorant of that on which your family built their name.

Pavilla leans back and glares. Their attention snaps to the door of the tent when the soldier reenters. With the butt of her spear she shoves in a blond slave. When he lifts his head, we see that it is a young Aidan, unshaven, skin unmarked, and gaze downcast, hunched in a posture of submission.

SOLDIER: Like you asked, domina.

Luciana stares. Pavilla sits up on her chaise.

PAVILLA: Where were you keeping him?

SOLDIER: Oh, we all know this one. He’s everyone’s favorite. Will he do for you?

PAVILLA: Yes. He’ll do.

She dismisses the soldier with a wave, eyes never leaving Aidan. She is almost surprised when Luciana lays a hand on her shoulder.

LUCIANA: Think on what I said. It will be to your profit if you wait.

Pavilla sighs. Then she tosses a curt nod, and at last Luciana backs off. She bows and, sparing a glance at Aidan, slips out of the tent.

When she is gone, Pavilla leaps off the chaise and throws her arms behind her head in frustration. After a moment she turns back to look at Aidan, who waits at tense attention with his eyes on the floor. She approaches slowly, taking him in.

PAVILLA: Juno. You are wasted on some legion in the backs woods of Germany.


PAVILLA: You know what you're on about?

AIDAN: Yes, domina.

She gestures to the chaise with a sharp jerk of her head.

PAVILLA: Make it good.

AIDAN: Yes, domina.

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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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