Serena McClain

Writer. Conservationist. Progressive provocateur.

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11

Shadow Play

Original text: Serepta Mason, Spoon River Anthology

Why: Text evokes strong imagery. Conflict and mystery already embedded in the text.

I've never written a screenplay before and have instead focused my work on non-fiction essay and novels. The form feels a bit like an ill-fitting coat, but here goes nothing!

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INT. HOME WORKSHOP - DAY

WIDE ON ROOM

SEREPTA MASON, 47, hunches over her workshop table, her dirty blonde hair obscuring her face. SEREPTA reaches for a glue gun. On the table before her is the head of Guinevere, her body puppet.

CLOSE ON BACK OF SEREPTA’S HEAD

SEREPTA mutters, unintelligibly for 10-15 secs. A few key words--win, pay, flower, Guinnie--are discernable.

                                        CUT TO:

EXT. SMALL-TOWN COURTHOUSE - DAY

CORY BING, 23, is at a spring festival on the courthouse lawn. The area is awash with booths selling food on sticks, giant puppets, and other carnival-like entertainers. There is a local group singing on a stage off to the right. CORY spots SEREPTA-AS-GUINEVERE gyrating near the steps.

                    CORY O.S.

            Serepta! Serepta!

No response. CORY walks toward where SEREPTA-AS-GUINEVERE is standing. As he approaches, he realizes what he had taken for dancing is SEREPTA-AS-GUINEVERE attempting to free her costume from the clutches of a small CHILD. CORY reaches her and shoos the CHILD away.

                    CORY

Serepta, it’s Cory.

He touches her arm lightly. The two-foot wide puppet head cranes around in the direction of his voice.

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Full text of the screenplay to date:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/115hBGJC1hmXgIwbbxOQ8bigvbmcYZd190pAEBrrDT8Q/edit?usp=sharing

Logline: 

A young woman who has spent most of her life as a body puppet entertaining the vanilla crowds in small-town Arkansas plots vengeance against the community that kept her down.

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