Renaissance Faire 2022


Hello Readers and Playgoers,

Several months ago, the owner of the Renaissance Faire, Cornelia, met me at a popular restaurant for lunch. She and her business partner were ready to produce Virginia Renaissance Faire 2022. The event had been suspended since 2020 due to COVID-19. She had agreed to assist me in producing my musical “‘Tis All a Game of Chance,” at a later date, so I felt it was only right to participate in some capacity in the Faire.

I attended the auditions in March just to get the lay of the land, to see where it was being produced (Lake Anna Winery) and see what the Faire was all about. Cornelia asked me to audition. When I told her I had nothing prepared she responded that all I had to do was tell a story. The “bit” performances at the Faire are not memorized. Cast members at times may agree on a subject in advance but the actual delivery of the performance is strictly improvised. More often than not, it’s wholly the creation of one actor whose “bit” player is unaware of what drama he/she is about to participate.

This scared me to death.

I had taken acting classes as an undergrad at the University of Detroit, and improvisational scenes were part of the class requirement. Years later after I moved to Fredericksburg, I performed in Annie, and Oliver! Both musicals were produced by Stagedoor Productions who awarded me first place in their second annual playwrights festival, for a comedy called The Eclipse.

After four weeks of rehearsal, my role as Lady Penelope Stafford, Host Noble, fit like a glove. I can hardly relate how much fun I had. Surprising myself, I concocted a charge against Baroness Hunsdon (who called me her best friend) for sending me on a wild goose chase in a segment called “The Court of Common Pleas.” She plead guilty, after many histrionics. I was asked what kind of punishment would satisfy me. Well, I had Lady B apologize while she danced a gig. The Baroness outdid herself. It was hilarious.

In the photograph above, I’m wearing gloves on that very hot day because I had on red fingernail polish. An oversight, I had neglected to remember that by the end of the week, I would be “living” at the Faire in the 16th century. Huzzah!

Playwright’s Corner


Let’s go through the building blocks of a play. They consist of theme, setting, characters, plot, conflict, climax and resolution. First of all, you must have a theme. The theme or premise of the story is the reason you want to write the story in the first place. What is there about a certain situation or character that could inspire you to write a story? What would drive a man whose family is feuding with another to pursue a romance with the enemy of his family? What would drive a man to kill in order to gain the throne? Love and greed are the driving forces in these tales. I’m sure you recognized the themes in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and “MacBeth.”

When I wrote “‘Tis All a Game of Chance,” a musical that is set in the late 17th century, I was inspired by the title of a children’s story called, “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.” It’s one of Aesop’s Fables. Each mouse visits the other’s domain. Although there is danger in both environments, each mouse has learned how to circumvent the adversaries on his own home turf but finds the unexpected life-threatening dangers on his cousins’ turf overwhelming. Each appreciates his own home more than ever.

However, in “‘Tis All a Game of Chance,” I have one man trying to live a duplicitous life successfully in both town and country. Don Giovanni is a proud Roman merchant who resides in the city of Rome with his spoiled wealthy wife. Henpecked and resentful that his wife is still a daddy’s girl, he finds the admiration and obedience he seeks in his much younger wife, who’s recently inherited her family’s prosperous winery. The story takes place in the span of a day when both the Roman harvest festival and Giovanni’s 15th wedding anniversary will be celebrated. His city wife is distraught that her famous family heirloom that she has planned to wear at the anniversary celebration is missing. Anxious to retrieve the heirloom from his innocent and unsuspecting country wife, Giovanni devises a plan to secure the diamond and have her true love arrested for theft.

But alas! As luck will have it, our anti-hero must tackle an onslaught of hapless obstacles to secure the veil upon which his duplicitous lifestyle is cloaked.

All is fair in love and lies? ‘Tis All a Game of Chance is a comedy set in Renaissance Italy in the sprawling beauteous capital of Rome and the fictitious pastoral setting of the Marcello Vineyard, a place festooned with vegetation, beauty and deception.

A Rotary Club Presentation

Yesterday, on September 29, 2021, I was the guest speaker at the breakfast Rotary Club in Fredericksburg, VA. It was the largest audience I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to so far. I was more nervous the Wednesday before a week ago than I was the day of my appearance.

It was most fortuitous that an invitation was extended to me. Years ago, as an employee of a bank, I became a member of a women’s professional organization. Although, I had been laid off for years, I stayed a member and continued to receive invitations through emails. So, a few months ago, I decided to start attending the get togethers. It would be a wonderful way to meet smart women who have enriched the various entities in the city.

Along with the invitation, we were asked to donate a gift for the door prizes which are a staple of these networking events. Well, I certainly could donate my book. So, I bought a festive gift bag, decorated it with pastel tissue paper, and inserted a tasseled bookmark and my business card inside On the Wings to Freedom.

When it was my turn to present my door prize, I was unprepared to talk about the book. Had I known, I would have read my latest synopsis. Anyway, I quickly described the plot in a few sentences and drew a name out of the box.

Afterwards, a woman approached me and inquired if I would like to be a guest speaker at the Rotary Club’s breakfast meeting. Well, yes, of course! What a wonderful opportunity! As it turned out, Beth was a member of the same church as I. We got together about a week or so afterwards so she could find out what kind of book I wrote and give me the scoop on what to expect as a speaker at the Rotary Club. She hadn’t read the book but had intended to do so.

As it turned out, I was worried for nothing. My presentation went well. I talked of plot, characters and of course the history in which my characters lived. There were about 40 guests, besides those on Zoom. At the end of my lecture, I sang my original song Steal Away Home (to Jesus). It was unexpected which made it a bonus to my listeners.

Needless to say, I was so proud of myself. I feel I’ve reached a milestone. From now on, I don’t think I will feel as nervous as I did this time when I next have a speaking engagement. I’ll simply enjoy myself.


In May of 2021, my dear friend Paula, gave me a garden party to discuss and promote my book. We had planned this event last year before COVID 19 hit but had to postpone it until this year.

Paula is so talented. She arranged tables and chairs in her lovely backyard garden festooned with flowers and an array of lush green foliage. It was a perfect day. The sky was blue, the temperature pleasant, the conversation, stimulating and the food, delicious. She made no less than three cakes along with an assortment of delicacies. Below is my hostess, Paula, the second from the left. She requested guests to wear a hat, optional of course, since the accessory is sort of my trademark. I’m standing with book in hand, grinning like the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland. This was my first public gathering regarding my book. Since everyone who attended had read it except for a few, I opened with a short synopsis of the story. I had prepared questions beforehand but looked forward to hearing what friends had to say about the book.

We had a lively discussion about theme, symbolism, character and plot. It was delicious. Our conversations went beyond the scope of the plot. There were themes in the book which we contrasted with the political dynamics of today.

It was an immensely enjoyable occasion. Thank you, Paula!