By: Emma O’Neill-Dietal (Masterman High School/9th Grade)
Last weekend I went to Baltimore to see a performance of Dance of the Holy Ghosts, written by my mentor Marcus Gardley. Marcus wasn’t there but it was an incredible experience nonetheless. Dance of the Holy Ghosts is a play about a man who tries to hide from his past, which is riddled with misdeeds, but also times of love and happiness. He succeeds at keeping to himself until his grandson comes to visit and his past comes rushing back. The play is a collection of snapshots from the man’s memories and those of his daughter and grandson, interspersed with the man’s interaction with his grandson during the visit. Together, the memories weave a beautiful, poignant, sad, but at times, funny story. It tells of the family and how each person chose to move on from tragedy and deal with unwanted memories they are forced to confront. Dance of the Holy Ghosts was truly amazing and very inspiring for me as a writer. The writing was very poetic and all of the dialogue flowed perfectly. Smooth, realistic dialogue is something I have been striving towards in my own writing, so it was very helpful for me to see a play in which the dialogue was so perfectly formed. Marcus also incorporated music into his play. I love musicals, but including music into one of my own plays something I have pondered occasionally but have been quite scared of exploring. Marcus’s play encouraged me to look into adding a little bit of music into a play in the future. Seeing Dance of the Holy Ghosts was a wonderful experience and gave me many new ideas that I will continue to think about as I write my PVMP play this year.
Paula Vogel Mentors Project is made by possible by the generous support of the Independence Foundation New Theatre Works Initiative, the Nessa Forman (& Family) Fund at The Philadelphia Foundation, and Honorary Producers, Virginia & Harvey Kimmel.