My new play, Helga, had its world premiere July 9th in front of a sold-out audience in the Playhouse at the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin. It's an uproariously dark comedy that follows Hamlet's storyline with some bizarre twists along the way. Good news . . . everyone still dies. Well, almost everyone.
Below is a short scene that happens near the beginning of the play. Helga's best friend Helena has recently seen the ghost of Helga's dead mother, Queen Helga, along with a servant named Balder. Here, Helena is about to relay the news to Helga, who enters wearing a grief mask.
Helga: How now, Helena? Balder told me - - (Helena turns and sees Helga.)
Helena: Nice mask. Note the sarcasm, of course.
Helga: Noted. It is my mother’s face. With an “X” through it. Because she’s dead.
Helena: I see. It’s a terrible likeness of her.
Helga: It’s a grief mask. Family custom.
Helena: Well, it’s awful. And your customs are odd. Speaking of your dead mother, I have news of her.
Helga: She’s alive?
Helena: No, she’s dead. How would she - -
Balder: We saw her ghost! (Helga turns to Balder.)
Helena: (To Balder.) I was supposed to tell her!
Balder: I thought - -
Helena: You thought incorrectly. Now leave us.
Balder: But - -
Helga: Leave us, Balder.
Balder: Yes, my lady. (Balder exits. Helga turns to Helena.)
Helga: What’s this now? Of my mother?
Helena: I’ve seen her, Helga. Her spirit was standing here mere moments ago.
Helga: Why did she depart?
Helena: I think I scared her.
Helena: I was going to throw a rock through her.
Helga: You were going to throw a rock through my dead mother?
Helena: Well, the ghost of your dead mother, and . . . yes. (Helga crosses away, pondering for the first of many times. She turns back to Helena.)
Helga: Do you think it would have gone through her?
Helena: I guess we’ll never know. She fled like a coward.
Helga: I don’t feel that calling her a “coward” is appropriate. She thought you were going to assault her with a rock.
Helena: It probably would’ve - -
Helga: Why is she here?
Helena: I don’t know. She will speak only to you.
Helga: I shall find her restless spirit then. Perhaps alone, though.
Helena: Because of the rock?
Helga: Yes. But wait for me. I might need your company afterwards.
Helena: How long will you be?
Helga: I don’t know. How long does talking to the ghost of one’s dead mother normally take?
Helena: Don’t have a basis for an estimate.
Helga: Nor I.
Helena: I will wait regardless. But don’t take too long.
Helga: Of course. (Helena starts to exit and then turns back.)
Helena: (Holding out the rock.) Do you want this? (Helga considers it.)
Helga: I don’t think I should. (Reconsiders.) But you know what, on second thought, I’ll take it, you know, just in case it comes up.
Helena: Of course. (Helga takes the rock and Helena exits. Helga watches her go and then turns and sees . . .)
Here it is. Steven's blog, where his thoughts about things are revealed. Good luck.