From Monologues to Dancing the Tango, ‘The Locket’ Evolves into a One-Act Play

‘The Locket’ started out as a series of monologues, grouped by emotions. Seven different girls played the ‘girl’ at different stages of her growing up and different moods. The ‘girl’ as a grown-up woman in a troubled marriage was played by one woman, Heather O’Scanlon. As the various parts of her talked about their own issues and problems and surprising wisdom, and as she responded with adult wisdom and love a dialogue took place culminating in the sharing of a locket which contained a secret that helped both the ‘girl’ and the woman she had become.

This version of ‘page to stage’ was presented in Asbury Park in 2013.

Another version began to emerge by the following spring. This time there were still 7 girls playing the ‘girl’ and again Heather O’Scanlon played the woman. However, also appearing was a Fairy Godmother and a Self. These characters added further wisdom and humor to the play. And of great importance: the husband appeared. The next reading was held at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park in 2014. The reading, performed in front of a packed house, was met with rave reviews by many audience members. Some of the reactions to the reading were:

“Wonderful depiction of a young girl’s journey through adolescence.”

“This play helps adults understand how children feel. For example, how much they are hurt by parents fighting.”

“The Locket identifies with tweens and teens and the issues they face.”

“A very entertaining journey a woman takes from perceived crisis to self-awareness to empowerment through re-living her past.”

“An unusual yet needed attempt at describing the development of young girls to adulthood that is rarely considered.”

“The Locket is a compelling snapshot of the story of an everyday woman’s life.”

“The Locket is a warm reminder to girls and women to honor the truths in their hearts.”

“The play is a great reminder of who we are and why we think and behave the way we do.”

My relationship with my play ‘The Locket’ continued to develop at a dynamic pace. By 2015 a full one-act, 3 scenes play emerged. Stay tuned for more about this version as this is when the Tango became essential as part of the opening music and then full blown dance at the end of the play. Here is a taste of the full blown play with the Tango playing an essential part as the couple work on reconciliation.

‘The Locket’ encompasses facets of life, including the magic of resiliency, magic for real and the joy of dancing Tango! from Barbara Becker Holstein on Vimeo.

How did the Magic for ‘The Locket’ Begin?

One day I was thinking about the girl in my book, ‘The Truth, I’m a Girl, I’m Smart and I Know Everything’ and I began to wonder, what would she be like once she grew up? Would she recognize the girl she had been? Would she be wise? Would her dreams come true? How would she handle the hurts, the dreams, the failures and successes that life brings? Would she find true love?

The universe I guess decided to help as I was awoken several times by lyrics that I had to write down. These lyrics were not sweet. They were the yearnings we all feel at times from the depths of our souls. Who will understand? Who will be there for me? Who will see what I see? The pain of living, the thrill of finding relief. It was all there. ‘Songs’ began to appear. Was this to be a drama or a musical? The universe hadn’t decided.

I guessed the universe was contriving for me to work on a plot I had not expected. But of course, who can refuse the universe and its forces? Certainly not I. What emerged was complex, several different scripts. I’ll get back to that later. For now, I’ll focus on what emerged as a One Act Play, with three Scenes.

And so ‘The Locket’ began to unfold with the ‘girl’ meeting herself as an adult woman. The woman being in pain from a marriage that wasn’t working. The Enchantress arriving to help both of them and the SELF, an invisible character helping in the plot to remind all of us that we each have an eccentric, selfish, loving self that we must preserve, help mature and enjoy.

Stay with me for more plotting and fun as I share how ‘The Locket’ began and what its all about!