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E - Everyone

The Bookman Act I Scene I

by JoeBookman

The stage is completely dark. The setting is a small crowded room with a bed, bookshelves, and a desk. There's a diagonal wall with a window in it. Books and crumpled up papers are scattered everywhere. Edgar Bookman is seated at the desk scribbling in the darkness as the audience enters the auditorium. He's a well-dressed Victorian gentleman, gaunt in appearance, with gray hair and spectacles. He lights a candle on the desk to signal the start of the play.

He rips a page from the journal he’s writing in, crumples it up, and carelessly tosses it away. Slowly, the stage brightens and soft sounds of birds start to play. Edgar looks up towards the window, startled by the dawn, and blows out his candle. He stands up from the desk, journal in hand, and opens it to the first page.

EDGAR: My dear reader. My name is-

He stops suddenly as a pair of characters stroll past the room’s window, chatting casually. He rushes over to shut the blinds. The two continue off-stage. He clears his throat and starts again, voice softer. 

EDGAR: My dear reader. My name is Edgar Alexander Bookman. The world that you know is not as it seems. If you are reading this now, something is watching you.

EDGAR: I realize I am nearing my end and, should I take my secrets with me to the grave, they are things which mankind may never know again. I am writing this journal to detail what I have seen and done, but I warn you: I study things which would like to see us suffer. Reading this book is dangerous to you and all whom you love. I have lost everything.

Something nearby shifts. Edgar pauses, but everything is deathly quiet. He glances around the room and cautiously continues.

EDGAR: The doors which connect us to the Looking Glass are numerous. 

Edgar's chair scoots slightly across the floor. Books and papers shift and fall around the room, at first subtly, but becoming more disruptive as Edgar continues reading.

EDGAR: Each day people access those doors by mistake, not realizing what they’ve done. Behind some of those doors there’s nothing, or at least, nothing of great consequence; but behind others are things wicked, appalling, beyond anything human.

The lights darken.

EDGAR: The supernatural isn’t just around us. It surrounds us. It watches us. It waits for us to open the wrong door.

Books cascade from one of the shelves. Edgar's journal is tugged out of his hands by an invisible force and slides across the floor. He lunges for it.

EDGAR (yelling): Blast you! Blast you! Get out of my house!

Papers fly around the room. Edgar drops to his knees, searching for his journal among the other scattered books. The furniture shakes. Edgar pulls a vial of clear liquid from his coat and starts to wave it around, as if warding something away.

EDGAR: I know you're there! I know you're there and I'm having none of it! I'm not afraid of you! I'm not afraid! I swear, I will destroy you, even if it costs a thousand lives-

Edgar lurches forward suddenly and the stage goes dark. 

End scene.

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351 Reviews

Points: 11482
Reviews: 351

Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:45 pm
Kanome wrote a review...

Hello, JoeBookman. I am here to provide you a review. Let’s get started, shall we?

I am assuming that the plot of the play is that there’s a book that pertains certain knowledge, but dire consequences happen when you read this book. The plot itself is intriguing so far. There isn’t much going on at this point since this is just the premise of the play.


EDGAR: The doors which connect us to the Looking Glass realm are numerous.

No need for the word realm. It’s better for the audience to ponder on what the Looking Glass is then just say it’s a realm in the beginning. It can keep your audience interested and stay hooked onto the play.

Other than that, overall, this was a good start of the play so far. It lets the audience know on what the story is going to be about, and it questions on why a book is cursed or something to that effect. I don’t have much to discuss on this play yet because the premise is short, which is fine. I am just stating that fact. Keep up the great work. Keep writing and enjoy the rest of your day.

- Kanome

JoeBookman says...

Hi there! I only just realized I never replied. I wanted to be sure to thank you for your feedback, and I agree with your comment on using "realm." This was a project for my creative writing class and I haven't decided if I would like to continue it, but your input was helpful!

JoeBookman says...

Hi there! I only just realized I never replied. I wanted to be sure to thank you for your feedback, and I agree with your comment on using "realm." This was a project for my creative writing class and I haven't decided if I would like to continue it, but your input was helpful!

User avatar
96 Reviews

Points: 48
Reviews: 96

Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:05 pm
Katnes wrote a review...

Please feel free to ignore my advice it is not meant to offend you hurt you or make your story seem bad or to demean it. However I do advise that you brace yourself regardless of my words that said . . .
1. What I liked
I think it actually was spooky and haunting. It was like it took me there. Really well done.
2. Wordiness & Plot
Okay, so first off I think the long paragraph at the beginning describing the setting and all of that was not needed. I understand that's how plays are done however they normally don't have long descriptions of whats going on around the characters. Secant there doesn't seem to be much in the way of plot. Okay he dies in the end but this would be better with a little more action. Thats just me,
3. Flow & Style
Next off we have the constant breaks describing what Edgar is doing. Once again it is part of a play I know, however once again most plays do not have descriptions of what a character is doing right after he speaks. There usually is a time when the character only is speaking with not description of whats going on around him.
4. Punctiuation & Grammar
Your grammar was fine. But a word about the line that is before the last.
(EDGAR, YELLING: Blast you! Blast you! Get out of my house! that line)
I think that yelling should be in parentheses, and maybe be in lower case. Also I don't think that blast you needs to be repeated two times.
5. Encouragment
You are a playwriter it seems. Keep on writing plays maybe you 'll be another Shakspere. I think you have found your knack.
6. Overall
Overall, I think this was well done, and I liked it aside from the excessive descriptions, it was pretty good.

JoeBookman says...

Hey, thanks for the review! I really appreciate it. I took your advice and reduced the initial setup up. This is also for an assignment in my CW class and our prof wants a descriptive scene and at least half the drama conveyed by setting or action.

This is intended to just be the starting a first scene and the rest of the play is about Edgar's life leading up to this, but I understand that it might still be falling flat.

Fixed the dialogue piece, thanks for noting that and for your encouragement!

"The right is not given, Henry. It is taken. It is taken by blood, by murder. Where is God in that? The king's divinity is a tale men tell themselves, but the right is [i]taken[/i]. It is taken by force and held by force."
— Elizabeth Tudor, The White Princess