The Play's The Thing

Book 2

The Play's the Thing ... {book two) Bibliomania 7, Apri126, 1997

A Waterways Project Publication Richard Spiegel & Barbara Fisher, Co-Directors A. Thomas Perry, Administrative Assistant

Presented in collaboration with the New York Public Library

Sandra Payne, Young Adult Borough Librarian Elise Cole, Y.A. Librarian Richmondtown Branch

Bibliomania is a voluntary community service initiative of Ten Penny Players, Inc.

The cover illustration is a traditional Balinese shadow puppet.

Participating Schools:

1.S. 61,75, St. Patrick School, St. Sylvester's School, Monsignor Farrell H.S., St. Joseph's by the Sea, Susan E.Wagner H.S., Notre Dame Academy, Tottenvillc B.S., McKee Vocational and Technical H.S., Port Richmond H.S., Staten Island Technical H.S.

Curtis High School

Participating Teachers:

Mrs. Mary Snyder, Mrs. Sharon Saronson, Mr. Amine Ashkar, Ms. Loretta McMillen, Ms. Anita Verdiglione,

Ms. Evelyn M. Lacagnino, Mr. Sean Mullen,

Mrs. Andrea DeLuca, Ms. Carol Lowe, Ms. Laura Drew

©I997 Ten Penny Players, Inc.

The People in a Play - Nisar Ahmed 4

A Night Out - ] ason Blake


Sick and Tired, A Poem for Two Voices - Denielle Diodato


Opening Night Fright - Adam Gage


The Prince and the Pauper A Poem for Two Voices Christina Semey


A Word of Advice to The Fiddler on the Roof Joseph Filippazzo


A Comic Soliloquy - Robert Senese


Ann Sheehy II

Ode to Cats - Frank Stabile II

Stage Fright - Frankie Giovinazzo 12

Jessica Goodstein


In the Theater of the Absurd - Joshua Zelman


Selena Coppa


The Actress - Debra L. Siegel 15

Glen Isip


Carl Merenda



After the Show - Michael Remolona 18

The Fashion Franties - Bennett Yuno 19

Plays - Lacey Humpherys


King Lear - Natalie Del Valle 21

Now!? - Samantha Helfer


Luek - Olivia Tam 23

My World, My Stage - Maria Luzzi


I'm My Eyes - Crystal Vasquez


Stage Fright - Christine Kimmer


Carinna Abitbol


Amanda Nelson


Ravens of Greed - Coy Sale 28

The Phantom of the Opera - Joseph Bellantuono 28

Sneha Patel


The Bard Lives On - ] essiea Pisano


My Performance - Elena Lamberti


Stage Fright - Marissa Leung





The People ill a Play Nisar Ahmed

, , I!


A play is not just something with characters in a script, Or just some people in a theater that is dimly lit.

A play is a story about fake, historical, or real people's lives As they undergo the hardships, toils, and joys of modern and past life.

A play is more than just ordinary song and dance, Plays are certainly not anything that just happens by mere chance.

A play is elaborately, thoroughly, and carefully planned. With the help of directors, actors, actresses,

and many stagehands.

The idea is not if the play seems right or even probable, But it is the many people who make a play all very possible.

A Night Out Jason Blake

When an author's words jump from the page, And characters come alive on stage,

I guarantee you won't be bored,

In fact, I'm sure you will applaud.

If you travel to Broadway,

And are lucky enough to see a play, It's an experience you won't forgetA night away from your TV set!

I am the stage

Sick and Tired, A Poem for Two Voices Denielle Diodato

I am the curtain

and we are both sick and tired of being raised

and everyone uses me as a cover, and I'm sick and tired of it.

We hate it!

Even when they have a problem opening or closing me, they still don't fix

me. I'm a nobody

We put our heads together and decided that we're both sick and

tired of it!


Everyday I get walked on

I'm sick and tired

of it. We want to go away, flyaway, to another world; another dimension.What do we think of our life now? We hate it

When I'm missing a few boards, do you think they care? No, they would rather fall and break their necks than keep me in repair

We're both sick and tired of it!


Opening Night Fright Adam Gage

I never thought there could be anything weirder, Than me taking part in a production in a theater, Until one day much to my dismay,

I got picked for the lead role in my school play.

Who knew that performing could be so nerve racking, Why did I even say yes to acting,

The big day was fast approaching,

And my director insisted upon a lot of coaching.

Finally, opening night arrived,

And much to my surprise I have survived, As I stepped foot onto the stage,

My lines seem to evade me page by page.

The music was beginning to play, And the first act was on its way,

I knew everything would be ok,

Because suddenly I remembered what to say.

Much to my surprise,

I had the attention of everyone's ears and eyes, What I thought was destined to be a mess, Turned out to be a great success.


We're different! I cat out of cans

I am a prince, who lives in a palace. At breakfast

I drink. from a golden chalice We're different!

The Prince and the Pauper A Poem for Two Voices Christina Semey

I'm a poor old soul, who lives in a rat hole.

And I, a bowl

I heat my house with fire

And mine with coal We're different!

We're different! I have money

But I have none We're different!

If we could trade places, We would inhabit different spaces.

We're different!

Me, a pauper

And I, a prince

We're different! For once I would have money, riches, and gold

To see ourselves in a different glimpse We're different!

But I couldn't afford anything, not even coal

What good would

it do to have money, without family or friends

We're the samel

Without any money or food, my life will end.

We're the same!

A Word of Advice to The Fiddler on the Roof Joseph Filippazzo

The fiddler on the roof, What a silly man you are,

Why do you sit way way up there, And fiddle wi th the stars?

I mean, come on,

You have to come down, People talk about you, They say you're a clown!

They'll say (just for instance) "This guy's such a wreck!

I doubt that he's playing with a full deck."

Don't you miss friends? And the telephone? What about family? You live all alone! Although (so I hear)

You were great in the play I just don't know how, You get through the day.



A Comic Soliloquy Robert Senese

As the velvet maroon curtains were drawn, revealing a most sophisticated crowd,

ever so slowly, I crept on the stage

feeling quite queasy and yet somehow proud.

And then all at once, the applause became silent. All eyes were on me, not a whisper was heard.

It was my moment - and then all of a sudden

I felt my heart beat and nervousness stirred.

Feeling surreal, I recited my lines

and methodically I fumbled each one.

And suddenly it hit me, I realized this play, the role of a lifetime - was anything but fun.

One step forward, I tripped on my lace.

I started to stagger and knocked the props down. From the corner of my eye, I spied the director. His showwas in turmoil, he gave a great frown.

A moment of silence and then all of a sudden, roaring with laughter and shouting with glee, to my amazement, I heard the audience cheer

at how funny a soliloquy from Shakespeare could be!

Ann Sheehy

It was a cold, cold night on the city street

As I walked to the theater through the snow and sleet, The play began sharply at eight,

I hurried along so I would not be late, With ticket in hand I raced to the door, For I have never been to a play before! Disappointment was just a moment away, The doors were locked, there was no play,

I checked my ticket and looked at the date, And found I still had a week to wait!

I turned around and home I went .

To wait the week for my first theatrical event.

Ode to Cats Frank Stabile

I went to a play because I wanted to see Cats of all kinds to entertain me.

The theater was quiet, dark and still,

Then suddenly with all kinds of cats the stage was filled.

There were good cats and bad cats Funny cats and sad cats

Cats that were curious and cats of mystery

And my favorite, an old cat name Deuteronomy.

So, if you want to have some fun,

And learn about some cats and their days in the sun, This play is for all of you to see

These cats will forever stay with you and me.


Stage Fright Frankie Giovinazzo

I tried to walk on stagc, I tripped.

I tried to drink some water, I slipped.

I wasn't quite certain, What I was to say,

Then the curtain opened,

And I was hit by a shining ray.

The lights were shining, oh so bright, That I couldn't see, and lost all sight. I got all scared and filled with fright.

I decided to put an end to this horrid night.

I walked off stage,

In fury and rage,

And showed a big frown, As I finally sat down.

So this is how it ended, Not at all how I intended.

I wished for another chance, As I sat there in a trance.

Suddenly the room started shaking, And a voice started calling,

I realized I was waking,

As someone said, "Stop stalling."

I got out of bed,

And looked around.

"What day is it?" I asked,

and received a big frown.

You know perfectly well,

That the play is tonight.

Now startgetting ready,

And don't get stage fright.

The play turned out great,

I got a second chance.

The next dream I had,

I was performing in France.


Jessica Goodstein

I t was finally the big day,

lvly class was putting on our school play.

I knew all of my lines,

I said them over and over several times.

The play began and all was well,

At least the teacher didn't have to yell.

I patiently waited for my cue

Which was when the teacher said, "Act 2."


As I walked onto the stage, The lights went ablaze.

I tried to recite,

But my mouth was sealed tight.

What was happening? I was so calm and cool, And now I was standing as though a fool!

When my eyes began to tear, The audience knew of my fear.

I realized this was my biggest fright, I was in the center of the light!

And so I just stood there, and then something snapped, I said my few lines and the audience clapped!

As I walked off the stage and into the back room,

I thought to myself, "I hope we put on another play real soon!"


:'1 ... '~


In the Theater of the Absurd Joshua Zelman

In the theater of the absurd, All of life is disrespected, The people all are actors, The actors are dejected.

In the theater of the absurd, The actors just don't act, Whatever's said on stage,

Is actually true life fact.

If all of this is true,

And thought of in a way, Doesn't this poem mean, Life toclay's a play?

Selena Coppa

Each person's life is like a play Before birth, an empty stage

As the curtain rises, each actor dons a mask That they shall present to the world.

Poet, artist, lover, fool

They attempt to walk - still stumbling, place their costumes on. The stage slowly swells with other actors

Each trying to play his part

To capture the applause and the cheers and keep them

to himself

To leave his mark upon the minds of the audience. So that long after the play is over

And the Playbill is covered with dust

Each actor's memory shall live on.

The Actress Debra L. Siegel

Alone on the silent stage she stands, Her heart alight and her spirits dancing. She does the things that others can't,

Her voice is known to be quite enchanting.

She's famed for her fabulous singing style; She always remembers her lyrics and lines. She never forgets to charmingly smile;

But of course, she's done it so many times!

She's often the object of jealous stares Of those who have much less conviction.

Her eyes may tear though she claims not to care, It never threatens to cloud her vision.

When other's envy begins to glow, With a sparkling, jaded precision,

She tosses her hair and lets them know, It takes more to be great than derision.


Glen Isip

Jean Valjean stole some bread, it stopped his family's tears, But he was caught, by the law, and kept for nineteen years. A convict then, no one would take him through their door, At the end of his imprisonment - a score.

A bishop took him in one day, and there he spent a night But not before stealing the bishop's silver, t'was his plight.

A policeman has been on his trail, the officer's name was] avert, It's 1823 now in France, Montreuil-ser-mer.

Valjean becomes a mayor, then, number 246m.

A story unfolds from that point on, with the French Revolution. His adopted daughter Cosette, will soon need a curfew,

She likes a man named Mariur, it's r832.

Mariur is lonely now, post-war, his friends arc dead.

He and Cosette are married now, at least that's what he said. Valjean andJavert, sadly now, both of them have died.

One is dead of old age and the other of suicide.

Read the book or sec the play, both will make you sob,

In the tale which many people die, the tale of Les Miserablcs.


Carl Merenda

As the curtain rises, you begin to gasp for air,

You look out at the audience and wish no one was there.

Your eyes begin to blur, your heart begins to pound, Your head is in the clouds, you cannot feel the ground.

~. It's opening night, there is a sold out crowd,

~ You think to yourself, wow, my parents must be proud.

The opening act is over, it's been a real long night, And that is when you realize everything will be all right.

The play is finally over, you feel about.ro feet tall, Then you run back on stage, for your final curtain call.

It has finally paid off, all the hard work and dedication. It was like a dream, you receive a standing ovation.


After the Show Michael Remolona

Of course I wanted a T-shirt as a cool souvenir, And of course my Dad said, "It's too dear!"

The actors on stage all took a bow:

Three women and a man dressed as a cow.

I stood and let out the loudest cheers, As the lady beside me covered her ears.

I tried to approach the actor dressed as a cow, But Dad said, "Mike, get in the cab now!"

The show's songs I sang all the way to the ferry, Th~ rude cab driver said a tune I couldn't carry.

On the boat I pondered an acting job,

But how will I deal with fans if me they mob?

All in all, the experience was great, Until the next time I can't wait!

The Fashion Frantics Bennett Yuno

This play I was in when I was eleven The title was bad; quite less then heaven

I tried out fOf three parts; and got the best one

It started out bad; but changed into fun

Sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera in the city They showed us our parts; and taught us to sing pretty It's about these kids who shop and get into a fight But they go to a party and things turn out all right

I got to be Aaron, not such a great guy

In all that makeup, I thought I would die

With my friends Liz, Nick and Chris at my side We practiced and practiced, and tried and tried I t all came to one final night

When we sawall the people we had a great fright Wi th butterflies in our stomach, we started to sing And when we were done, what applause did it bring! We got through the play with one little glitch

One light didn't turn on when they hit the switch As we sang our last song and said our last lines

The image was implanted into our minds

While we were embarrassed, we were filled with glee But we still didn't like the title you see


Plays Lacey Humpherys

Plays! Plays! Plays!

What more is there to say? They are as beautiful as

A clear morning and sunny day.

Sometimes they're sad Sometimes they're gay I can describe plays In so many ways.

Brilliant entertainment! Fun! Small!

Plays are about people of all ages. Some are bright, some are wonderful And finally, some are stunrting!

The stage! Oh, the stage! It's where the world comes

Alive from a page. .

There's Shakespeare and Williams And even Neil Simon who talks about Life in Yonkers.


IGngLcar Natalie Del Valle

King Leaf-

A man caught between two loves. One is his pride

The other is his daughter. She loves him, not his wealth He loves his things, not her.

She is banished from her home For not loving his money.

He is banished from her heart For not loving her.

Even through the pain She's still on his side For he's her dad

He is her joy.

King Lear-

A man caught between two loves. One is his pride

The other is his daughter.

The greater love conquers in the end

When he is touched by the love of his daughter.


'f •


Samantha Helfer

The stage, the lights, the people, Have I ever felt this way before? This is my big chance

What if I blow it, what are my lines? My stomach is churning,

My eyes are burning,

My legs have turned to jelly, My whole world is spinning, No, I'm not ready,

Not now, I can't do it!

Find somebody, anybody to take my place, Figure out something, I'm not going on It's too late, the curtain is rising! Mywhole life is riding on this night,

Will I succeed, will I survive?

I guess I'm about to find out

The lights are glaring, my face is so red, My mouth is moving, but ...

Wait a minute, words are coming out,

I can't believe it, I'm right at home on this stage! I guess I can do this,

It's not that hard, what was I even worried about?


Luck Olivia Tam

Break a leg?

Are they putting a curse on me? To be or not to be?

I want to be an actress, Not to be embarrassed. Red curtain is opening, Am I ready?

Do I remember my lines? Oh well, too late,

Audience awaits.

In my stomach,

Instead of butterflies, Shooting stars are there. Nervously, yet, looking sure, Words come out;

Are they right?

I've said them in my sleep for the past two weeks.

N a one's laughing or leaving, Thank goodness.

Equator's now gone.

Am I actually calm?

I'm finished?

Time just flew by.

Audience applauding me?

I must'vc broke my leg!


My World, My Stage Maria Luzzi

The world is my stage,

I t differs from region to region, For that is my variety of scenery.

The sun, moon and stars, They are my lights, The sun, my spotlight.

The moon, casts shadows upon my soul at rest and My stars, why of course they are my cues.

The water is my rhythm,

It flows with ease but tends to torment Those who hinder my performance.

The wind, my strength and charisma, Loud and clear, can you hear me?

My fate, of course my script,

If I will live to hate, it's in my script

And to be loved, that reo I hope is in my script.

The rain, my tears,

The snow, the frustration,

All that is left is the vicious critique ...

All those who watch the rain come down and the snow

fall down, those who feel the hate but tend it with love for those who flow with nature and appreciate the sun and stars.

That is my world and those, my critiques.

I'm My Eyes Crystal Vasquez

I'm my eyes and I can see,

Things that aren't good or shouldn't be. Nobody to talk to for any reason,

I'm searching for a better season.

If I were an actress, Things would be better. I'd use my experience, To act out hard scenes.

Things are so hard, And the harder it gets. I'd act the way I feel, Who couldn't forget.

Stage Fright Christine Kimmer

Small and young, standing on a stage,

The lights shining on you make you afraid. As you start to talk,

You want to walk.

When the lights turn off, You think you're safe. It's nice to act,

But you don't want to look like you're wacked.


Carinna Abitbol

as, the lively spring takes the role of the stormy winter a sigh of relief releases from the impatient audience.

They sit and wait, to witness this dazzling moment when the sound of the harsh winds turn to sweet songs of the new arriving birds and as the bare trees dress up in their costume of delight. To the audience the stage feels full of warmth, life and cleanliness. Winters messy rage has dissolved in the changing yellow light and this opens the scene of new life.

Amanda Nelsoru

This poem is based on Eponine': last moment with Marins, where euen thollgb she knew that be loved Cosette, sbe gave her life for bis and loved bim to tbe end.

I know there will be No tomorrow for meThe world is blurred, But it matters no more.

What matters is your arms-

Holding me .

Cradling me .

In my final death.

Your eyes, They are so sad ...


I t takes all my strength To raise a cold hand To brush the hot tear From your cheek.

I was living for you. I am dying for you.

A.pain fills my heart For you,

For me-

For what never was And never will be.

I look into your eyes for one last time.

You whisper words I cannot hear.

My body is empty-

Lifeless .

Soulless .

I rise above And watch. And mourn.

Y ou'll see the sun rise again.

You'll love another again. I've never seen you so sad ... tears ...

You don't need meWhy do you love me now?

To make me happy?

You did-

For those last moments My dying heart Was filled with joy.

Time will go on. You will go on.


Ravens of Greed Coy Sale

There are fruits reaped daily for planted seed, Karma boomerangs in joy for mischievous greed, Hell pays in full, all debts we accrue,

Caution man, wishes might come through.

Macbeth, how much more Scottish blood will you shed, How many more patriots must lie cold and dead

Before you let go of this witch's whim

And realize that consequence has indeed proven grim.

Pray tell in how many betrayals will you partake How much more duty can you possibly forsake. III gotten grapes sour to taste

Being stolen, rather than earned, they inevitably go to waste.

Godspeed Macduff for home lies dilapidated The adder yet burned and decapitated,

Your kinsmen in terror of tyranny reside

So ride, Macduff, ride.

The Phantom of'fhe Opera Joseph Bellantuono

A marvelous stranger, Looking for love and peace, A someone whose heart

is not all complete.

But why defeat?

Understanding and patience, why yes! That sounds so right and sweet,

No matter what shape, and

form, or color, let's all

love and care for one another.

Sncha Patel

30 seconds before the curtain opens, Only 30 seconds

My head is aching.

My body's shaking.

Only 30 seconds.

What if I forget my line?

What if I don't come in on time? What if I go too fast?

Why couldn't my scene be last?

20 seconds before the curtain opens, Only 20 seconds.

What if I fall flat on my face? Oh, wouldn't that be a disgrace! I start to quiver,

I start to shiver.

IO seconds before the curtain opens, Only IO seconds.

I'm gonna have a nervous breakdown.

I feel dizzy, like I'm gonna hit the ground. But then I think,

"What's the big deal, it's just a play. It's not like I'm on Broadway."

The curtain opens.

My scene begins.

The lines just flow out of my mouth. I knew them all without a doubt. My partner and I, we take a bow.

I actually feel a bit silly now.

I made a big deal out of something so little.

OH NO! The teacher wants us to do the scene again for the parents ...

30 seconds before the curtain opens .....

The Bard Lives On Jessica Pisano

His genius survives the centuries, His plays we hold most dear,

Man at his finest, man at his worst, The works of William Shakespeare.

He makes us laugh, he makes us cry, We feel the full gamut of emotion, We learn that guilt such as Macbeth's

Won't be cleansed "by all of Great Neptune's ocean."

Shylock demands his pound of flesh, Will Antonio keep his life?

Will Portia's plea prevent the death? Will Bassanio have a wife?

Two young lovers torn by feud,

One a Montague, the other Capulet, Tragically they both shall die,

Their immortal names - Romeo and Juliet.

"Fair is foul, and foul is fair," Three witches prophesied, The Bard lives on forever, Enriching all our lives!



My Performance Elena Lamberti

Moisture on my jittery fingers,

Like the dew on swaying spring leaves,

With hands clasped in an effort to conjure up

forgotten thoughts of bravery, I waited in the shadow of anxiety.

The spotlight had yet to play Follow the Leader with me, So I let the curtain hide my bashfulness.

Echoes of anticipating applause flooded my ears, Seeping slowly throughout every inch of my petite body. I felt like drowning in its ocean of noise.

I was no longer the understudy for my own life

Swirls of smiles and passive bodies awaited my presence. In my head Mr. Strength and Boy courage began their

boxing match

A heated blow, my stomach churned. Rescued by blue desired success,

I saw cowardliness lying with a defeated grin on the creased mat of thoughts.

I stepped out hesitantly to await my fate,

Then a rainbow smile crept across my face as confidence devoured me whole.


Stage Fright Marissa Leung

I got the part I wantedTonight's opening night. I feel so afraid-

will I forget my lines? What if they don't like me? If I mess up-

is my acting career ruined? How did I get into this?


The room is completely black I step out onto the stage.

A single bright light illuminates my face

my lip is quivering

I feel my blood pressure rising my heart is a drum

beating faster and faster.

I can hear it echoing

against the walls of the room. .

My stomach flutters more and more with every passing second.

My mind goes blank-

what am I to do?

It feels like an hour has gone by but it's only a second.

I begin-

my words shaky barely audible.

My courage begins to rise,

I regain faith in my performance. I can do it.

I know I can.

I t can only get better.



a Waterways Project Publication