by Marshall McGurk
The morning dew invites thoughts of stand-to and puts me on alert because dawn is when the enemy attacks. The draw and the creekbed speaks to me of deadspace and a kill zone. I sketch range cards in my mind, searching for claymore mines and grenade launchers. I know my riflemen can cover the grassy fingers of earth sprawling from the ridgeline. The woods will prove the toughest fight, but by then, we’ll have won… Wait…who am I fighting? Am I doomed to a life of battle arrangements in contrast to the beauty of the ground before me? Open fields evoke Cemetery Ridge. Beautiful gentle steeds are platforms for bowman and cavalry. Hilltops become strongpoints, the forest provides concealment, and the babbling brook see canteens gurgling their fill upstream. My mind turns miles into meters and machine gun math, and I don’t have my basic load… I stand in the midst of peaceful mountains majesty; I am not at war, but my mind won’t let it be so.
Marshall McGurk is currently on active duty. He has served in the 4th Infantry Division and two Special Forces Groups and is a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Want the best date night possible this Saturday night? Drinks, dessert, a hilarious live performance, professional actors, an intimate unforgettable space, pay-what-you-can tickets…it simply does not get better than this. So come on out and join us at our Parlor on Quaker Avenue for our staged reading of Ira Levin’s legendary Broadway comedy/thriller Deathtrap.
Don’t know Deathtrap? It was the winner of the 1978 Edgar Award for Best Play and record holder for the longest-running comedy thriller on Broadway. It’s about Sidney Bruhl - a successful Broadway playwright with writer’s block and a recent spate of box office failures. Desperate to break his dry-spell, Sidney finds hope in Clifford Anderson, a student in his seminar class who has submitted a thriller script, cleverly titled Deathtrap as well. Can Sidney convince Clifford to collaborate and give him co-credit? Or is there a way to cut Clifford out altogether and get sole credit?
As always, you’re welcome to show up and hope for a cancellation. But if you really want to see the show, why not book now and save yourself the uncertainty?
This week on the Savage Wonder podcast…
Phanésia Pharel is our third-place finalist in our inaugural full-length playwriting competition for her drama LUCKY.
About her play, our judges said, "Beguiling, moving, deeply satisfying — and genuinely original. Her theatrical devices were both enchanting and extremely credible. She offers a fresh look at Creole and Haitian cultures and how both have been affected by wartime. The pacing and dialogue are terrific, and the end of the play delivers a richly-earned gut punch."
Phanésia is a playwright from the great state of Florida and even greater city of Miami!! Grounded in poetry and Afrofuturism she often writes about the divine metaphysical dilemma of colored girlhood. Her plays span revolutions, islands, and explores futures built on love by centering women's pleasure, safety, and joy. AKA hopeful and magical survivor stories for the young, poor, women, colored, and those audacious enough to be all of the above. Full lengths; LUCKY (developed at New York Stage and Film) . BLACK GIRL JOY (Frank Moffett Mosier Fellowship for Works in Heightened Finalist Prize, Jane Chambers Finalist, Bay Area Playwrights Festival Finalist, O’Neill Semi-Finalist). Other Honors include City Theatre National Short Playwriting Finalist and Blank Stage “Future of Playwriting” Semi-Finalist. Phanésia is a member of the Obie award-winning EST/ Youngblood group. Commissions include City Theatre Miami, the Latinx Playwrights Circle & Pregones/PRTT Greater Good Commission and Thrown Stone Theatre. Residencies include New York Stage and Film, Echo Theater Company of Los Angeles, the Playwrights Center Core Apprenticeship and the Inaugural 068 Magazine Thrown Stone Theatre Fellowship. Publishing: Concord Theatricals, Smith and Kraus Best Plays of 2020, Reset Coalition 2020 Anthology and the City Theatre Anthology. BA: Urban Studies, Barnard College of Columbia University.
Follow Phanésia here.