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  • Writer's pictureMonica Cross

Publication Announcement!



I’m excited I can finally announce that one of John Dee’s monologues (“She Repels my Letters”) from Wonder of Our Stage is going to be included in The Best Men’s Stage Monologues 2024 by Smith & Kraus, Inc.


As Jan Wallace (who originated the role in the workshop production Backstage at the players in 2019) mentioned recently in an email, this monologue was a late addition to the script. I added this monologue to help the audience see John Dee’s isolation juxtaposed with William (the Automaton)’s success and found family. And what a great addition it turned out to be!


Photo of Jan Wallace as John Dee, Workshop Production Backstage at the Players, Director: Candace Artim, Costumes and Photo by me.


Here is the text of the Monologue:


JOHN DEE

She repels my letters? Not so much as a reply, but she dismisses me out of hand! I, who served her faithfully for thirty years, cannot get so much as an acknowledgment of my existence now. I have written scores of letters explaining how, though the principle was sound, my creation rebelled from my intent. But she will none of it. While, William, or Shakespeare as he calls himself now, makes a scene out in Shoreditch. I do not doubt word of it will reach The Queen in short order. I have been out to the theatre myself a time or two see his carrying on. In spite of myself, I must confess the boy has a talent for writing. I've seen his last three plays. Aside from verging on the bloody, they are often quite good. In each one, his insight into human nature becomes more apparent. I see his writing grow and it convinces me that I have been too long away from my own work. I spent too much time on him, and I will never be shown the recognition for that which I so clearly deserve. But I have a thing now which will surpass this former task. Creating life, 'twill be considered a trifle when I have done this next great to-do: to decipher the language of the Angels. The Enochian Cypher. The words with which god spoke all of creation into being. I had been about to work on it before -- before the Queen commanded me from my task. Now I may be about it again. So was the tenor of my last letter to Her Majesty. And yet she refuses me. But when I have concluded this now herculean-seeming labor, she will not be able to deny me recognition. I will be revered for my accomplishments without the need of that ungrateful boy.


Photo of Ariel Tatum as John Dee, World Premiere at Silk Moth Stage, Director: Aili Huber, Costume Designer: Rachel Herrick, photo by Tiffany Showalter Photography.


This monologue was eligible for inclusion in The Best Men's Stage Monologues 2024 because of its world premiere production by Silk Moth Stage last year. I heart still carries the joy of being able to attend the production and have beautiful conversations with the Director (Aili), cast, and audience! A truly magical experience!


Finally, I would like to thank Debbie Lamedman, the editor of this anthology, for her tireless work on this project. I know she does so much each year to put these volumes together.


The Best Men's Stage Monologues 2024 should be out later this year.



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