— From January 2016 New Plays
Full Length Play (approximate running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes)
He was born in 1564, but after early adolescence, historians lose track of Will Shakespeare until 1590, more or less. By then he's already married, the father of three and a full-fledged, wildly successful young actor and playwright! Shakespeare's so-called "lost years" have confounded scholars for generations. Writer's Cramp (or How Will Shakespeare Got Into Show Biz) gleefully jumps in to fill in the gaps!
It's 1585, Will is a 21-year-old dreamer, the father of three and quite jobless. He'd rather cavort with children and fiddle around with phrases than worry about bread on the table and household chores. Small wonder his older and long-suffering wife, Anne, is easily distracted by the amorous attentions of Hamnet, a profligate neighbor with insatiable appetites—and right under Will's nose! But how to consummate the attraction when Will is unemployed and always underfoot?
A series of fool's errands to get Will out of the house almost work, but the steamy tryst is spoiled by one intrusion after another: screaming babies, a giddy adolescent girl, a band of strolling players. It's uphill for Ann and Ham. Poverty, lust and gender confusion rock everyone's boat, but, in the end, fortune smiles on the aspiring young poet. As for Ham and as for Anne, what of this folly that they began? When neighbor betrays neighbor and friend, there's only one way the story can end. Always and ever, at the end of the day, when trust is broken, there's hell to pay. But how great the inferno when trust is broken? A farthing, a shilling, a modest token? Or would you prefer more justice this time … something hideous to befit the crime? Well, yes. Absolutely!