“Christmas at The Three Bees” Teaser + Livestream!

I am so proud of the team who gave a wonderful premiere of my newest play, “Christmas at The Three Bees,” this past Sunday! They did an amazing job, and I couldn’t be more pleased!

There are two more performances happening tonight and tomorrow, and they will be livestreamed on Facebook! I’ll be sharing the livestream on my Facebook page tonight, and it’ll only be available online for about 24 hours or a little more, so watch it while you can! The directors and actors (and crew and everyone else involved!) have put an incredible about of time and energy into the production, and it has paid off! I promise you’ll enjoy it if you have time to watch.

To give you a tiny taste of how delightful these young actors are, here’s a teaser trailer, put together from some footage taken during one of the last rehearsals. Enjoy!

 

“Christmas at The Three Bees” Opens in 9 Days!

dramapostcard2017Coming up in just over a week is a production I’ve been looking forward to all autumn: the premiere of my newest play, Christmas at The Three Bees! The Wesleyan Church in Salem, Illinois, is giving three performances of the play on December 10, 12, and 13. I’m especially excited because I get to be personally involved in this production and watch it develop week by week in rehearsal — such a delight!

The set isn’t yet in its final state, but here are a couple snapshots from recent practices:

IMG_5340IMG_5365IMG_5349

Without giving away any plot spoilers, I’ll just say that the story is set in New England, in a little family-owned bed and breakfast + bookstore. What begins as a normal day quickly turns tempestuous upon the arrival of several guests, expected and unexpected.

If you’re in the area on one of the performance dates, you’re welcome to come see the play! The church is located at 301 South Broadway in Salem, and admission is free. Expect a little Shakespeare, a lot of fun, and a reflection on who we are and what we mean to each other.

In the words of Salem resident Cindy Dice, we promise you’ll find the production “purposeful as well as entertaining,” with “the perfect blend of humor, suspense, and TRUTH!”

 

30% Off “Narrow Escape” & “Rejected”

Rejected: The Inside Story

A favorite shot from Rejected: The Inside Story

To celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we want to give a huge shoutout to our customers, followers, readers, and other friends of Kittywham Productions. Thank you for supporting us and helping us spread the Very Good News through drama!

As an expression of our thanks, we’re offering a 30% discount on our anytime-of-year plays, Narrow Escape and Rejected: The Inside Story. If you’re looking for a drama to perform at the end of the spring semester or at your camp next summer, check out these two scripts here to learn more. Character descriptions and script excerpts are available for you to read, and if you have any questions, just contact us and we’ll be happy to help! Only between now and Monday, Nov. 27, for less than $100 you can purchase a complete script package and single performance license for either play.

Ask the Audience

    In response to Rejected:  “Rachelle Ferguson is a supremely gifted writer. I had the privilege of attending a live performance of Rejected: The Inside Story, and marveled at the depth and wisdom of her work. You’ll find her writing accessible, meaningful, and profoundly moving, and you’ll find yourself pondering what you’ve heard long after the curtain goes down.”

Craig Lindvahl

 

    In response to Narrow Escape:  “My husband and I got to see this play…and I thought it one of the best I had ever seen. It tells the story of being chained in sin and miserable but one (Jesus) crossing the minefields of danger to rescue all who would follow him out of the prison. Excellent example of the many reasons folks won’t follow Jesus into a new life today.”

Mrs. Winferd Blankenbeker

Philopluvia

tylaarabasbarbican6176tylaYes, I technically made up that word. But you might recognize its two parts: philo, from the Greek φιλος, and pluvia, a Latin root. Philo conveys the idea of love or friendship, as in “philosophy,” the love of wisdom, “bibliophile,” a book-lover, and so on. Pluvia simply means “rain,” as in Pluviôse, the fifth month of the calendar of the short-lived French Republic (it was a wet time of year, I guess?).

Hence, philopluvia means “the love of rain.” Whether or not you’re familiar with its etymology, you probably recognize the feeling. Sometimes it’s the rejoicing of a fresh March shower that pulls the green from the ground up into the grass at last; or sometimes the awe of light-falls and tumbling thunder on a summer night.

Today, it’s been the strange, simple comfort of a knocking on my window from the sky, which somehow reminds me of someone bigger and stronger and steadier than me. It’s been a safe, still day.

As I write, I’m also reminded of a poem I wrote in my freshman year of college, which feels like a very long time ago. Though my writing style has changed, I still relate to the thoughts my 17-year-old self tried to put into words. Perhaps there’s an image or idea the poem can offer that connects with your experience as well.

Two Men on a Rainy Evening

A man with a black umbrella
walks down an alley in the rain.
A rotting, collapsing alley
with corroded iron street lamps
glaring through the wet gloom
and tarnished knockers on each door
and a forlorn orange flower
in the box outside a second-story window
with cracked, scratched shutters
and grime-flecked panes
exposed by harsh light within.
The drizzling rain falls in spatters,
drooling over the gutters,
dripping and seeping down the naked walls,
pooling in dents of the sidewalk.
The man shivers and huddles
in the shadow of his umbrella,
and hurries on his way.

Soon after,
a man with no umbrella
walks down the alley in the rain.
The faded, battered alley
with old-fashioned lampposts
shyly glowing through the misty dusk
and antique brass knockers on each door
and one bright marigold
living outside a big square window
with chipped red shutters thrown wide
and light rippling out through its panes.
The rain sprinkles all around,
trickling over the eaves,
plopping onto the sidewalk in quick drops,
forming puddles for children to splash.
The man looks around him
with his hands in his pockets
and the rain soaking his hair,
and ambles on his way.


© 2013, Rachelle Ferguson

New Office Tour

IMG_2616 copyWe’ve officially relocated! Lots of work left to do on the building, inside and out, but we have finally moved in, and today’s my first full day working from my new office space! I snapped a few pictures and put them together in a little video tour of the main rooms in use right now. We have several other rooms in the building that we’ll be doing more with as time goes on, and in all the rooms there’s lots to improve, but here’s where we are for the present. Enjoy!

A Room of One’s Own…

IMG_5167

Our new home-sweet-home

I am SO excited to finally be able to tell you guys that Kittywham Productions has a new headquarters! This is our new office space, and we’ll be moved in by next week!

As you can see, the building wouldn’t exactly win a beauty competition, but we like it anyway. And in fact, we are working to improve its appearance. Last weekend, we pulled out all those monstrous shrubs (they had the place surrounded, wretched things), and now we’re in the middle of painting shutters. It’s a bit late in the year to replace the shrubs with better landscaping, but we plan to put in new plants as soon as it’s warm enough next spring. I’m sure other touches will continually be added too, as we get to them. I’ll post pictures throughout the process to keep you updated!

 

Guest Post for “Sweet Greens”

fullsizeoutput_32

What a pretty sunrise we had today.

Morning, all! I thought I’d share with you a guest blog post I wrote this week for my friends at Sweet Greens. They’re a local market garden and greenhouse operation in my hometown of Salem, Illinois, specializing in fresh, quality tomatoes. I got to explore their hoop house one evening last week and learn a bit about what they do at this time of year. This week’s post is just the first of several I’ll be writing for Sweet Greens over the coming months!

Click here to check out the post, and don’t forget to follow their blog while you’re over there!

How It Began

IMG_3858

I wrote my first play when I was fourteen. As you might imagine, it was rough. Quite rough. Some parts were implausible, others stilted, and others just ridiculous.

The story was called The Weston Family Christmas. It involved a father whose daughters couldn’t recognize him when he wore glasses and a fake mustache (I mean, come on) and a Mr. Stutt of the law firm Stutt, Stutt, and Stutters (I thought that was funny). (Okay, maybe I still think that’s a little funny.) Not to mention a nosy reporter named Ralph (pictured above in the Hawaiian shirt) who was always reminded by anything anyone said of some article or other he had once written. “Oh, speaking of food, I once did a column on the obesity of American children….”

Also a Christmas dinner somehow involving both spaghetti and gravy. (?)

The farther away I get from being fourteen, the more amazed I am that the play was actually performed that year. At the time, the drama directors at my church were having a hard time finding new scripts that were clean, fun, and meaningful for our yearly Christmas productions, and they (bravely!) invited us young people to try playwriting if we were interested. A couple of us gave it a shot, submitted scripts, and—lo and behold—two original plays were presented at our church that Christmas, one by the children’s theater group, one by the teens’.

What an awesome opportunity to have my first, raw script used and turned into a thing some people could enjoy. I even got to play a character in the drama: Megan, a spoiled teenager whose every other word was “like.” (That’s me in the photo, on the left, looking like I’m being tortured. I think I was actually in the middle of miming a cymbal crash?)

Now that I’m slightly older I begin to realize how much work our two play directors had to put into those first performances to pull everything together. But their generosity and commitment opened up a whole new realm of writing for me that has become a huge part of my life. In the seven years since that first play, I’ve had the incredible privilege to write eight dramas and cowrite five others, all of which have been performed! And yet I might never have tried writing a script if it hadn’t been for that first opportunity two drama directors offered to some young teenagers who liked to write.

All that to say, Thank you. Thanks for starting me on this journey, and supporting me on the way.

Despite its absurdities, I have to admit that I think of The Weston Family Christmas once in a while and wonder if I could salvage it, maybe even share it someday. Scrap the unbelievable bits, redesign some plot points, and dust off a few characters who would be worth keeping.

What do you all think? Anyone vote that I pull out the old document and give it a second try?

The Twelve Months of Christmas — Available Now!

It’s official! Our newest drama, The Twelve Months of Christmas, is finally available for purchase, just in time for the coming Christmas season.

Thanks to our renovated pricing system, you can now order the script for your theater group for just $136 if you plan to give a single performance. You can find multiple purchase options here, along with a plot description, production notes, and other details. The play has a cast of 15 characters, balanced between 8 female roles and 7 male (full character descriptions here). If you’re curious to learn more, you can meet a few of the characters for yourself by reading the play’s opening scene!

Update: The Twelve Months of Christmas

The Twelve Months of Christmas is now being printed! While we wait for the scripts to be packaged, we’ve put together a couple of documents for you with fuller details about the play, including a character list and production notes. Our character list includes not only a description of each role but also indicates the number of lines each part has. In the play’s production notes we’ve included a few casting suggestions along with information about costumes, props, and sound effects. Check out these more logistical details here.

What’s more exciting, we’ve posted an excerpt of the script itself! The complete first scene of the drama can be read here. We hope you enjoy it as you get an idea of the play’s setup and tone.