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Stand Still - a musical play in two acts. Domestic Violence is the main plot element.

Michael Morris

First Post
I have been working on this play, now titled "Stand Still," for the better part of 4 years, though for the first half of this year I set it aside to do other things. If I go back to the earliest draft I'd have to go back 16 years to a play I wrote in college, then lost all copies of, and decided to reconstitute from memory four years ago. I intend to get it cold read again later this month or next - and will be scoring it through the end of the year. At that point I may do a Kickstarter for it unless I can get a company to actually help with production.

The play has been and continues to be difficult to deal with because of the issues it touches - family violence, alcoholism, and worse. Sometimes I wonder why I wrote it since ironically I haven't directly experienced anything in the play. Then again, I've listened to many accounts and worked closely with several people that have had direct experience. I want the final result to honor their suffering, and start conversations on how to spare future generations the same.

Unusually for a play, I've chosen to open with a preface explaining some of these difficulties and the reasoning behind some of my choices - most significantly the fact the play is written in iambic pentameter except for the song lyrics. Major monologues are in sonnet form. Here is one of the exchanges from early in the play between the main character, Catherine, and her mother, Christine.
No mom. We've had this argument before.
I'm sick of it. I don't want anymore.
I'm tired of fighting him or anyone.
I mean, it’s my life isn't it? I'm done
With it. I don't want any more of it.
I want to run away but can't do it.
I'm just through with questions. What good are they?
He's not always been like this. He'll stop this.
One day he’ll stop the drinking. I know this.
I have faith in him. I have to. I must.
If I let go, something inside will bust
To pieces. I must try. He's all I have.
There is no better man. He's all I have.
Besides, there are no answers anyway.

There are answers. The answers are fatal.
A part of you dies, the relationship dies,
or he loses all control and you die.
fear, Cat. I know fear. Fear, not love, is what
Drives you now. It's what drove me. I forgot
myself, lost myself somehow then. I tried
to keep what was already lost. I died.
That was my choice. The answers are fatal.
When you question everything about life -
even life. You die inside or the strife
kills the will, Makes you numb to all the pain.
Open your eyes Cat. There's nothing to gain.
I learned this. When Frank died I understood.
Don't repeat my mistake. Please. He's no good.

If you enjoy that, you'll likely enjoy the whole play. If you hated it, well the rest of the play is more of the same.

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