Congratulations to Wim Coleman, first place winner in the Script (Stage Play or TV/Movie) category of the 91st Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's a preview of his winning play, "The Mad Scene."
The Mad Scene
On a night in 1793, Marie Grosholtz (the future Madame Tussaud) searches a Paris cemetery for the freshly guillotined head of Queen Marie Antoinette. While the young sculptress makes a plaster cast of the face, she engages with a conversation with the decapitated queen. Back in her workshop, she adds Marie Antoinette to a wax exhibit that already includes the firebrand journalist Jean-Paul Marat and his assassin, Charlotte Corday; they will soon be joined by the revolutionary zealot Maximilien Robespierre. As the Reign of Terror rages around them, the wax figures come to life and argue among themselves and with their creator about revolution, freedom, tyranny, power, history, personhood, and other themes as vital today as they were in Revolutionary Paris. By the end of the play, Napoleon is France’s emperor, and Marie Grosholtz has moved her exhibit to London and has become known as Madame Tussaud. While Madame Tussaud dances with a mute wax figure of Napoleon, the other figures become something more than mere hallucinations in the mind of their creator.
The Madeleine Cemetery, Paris; the night of October 16, 1793.
MARIE ANTOINETTE’s head lies in the lap of MARIE GROSHOLTZ, who will later become known as Madame Tussaud. MARIE works by the light of a lantern.
There is no sky.
… can you hear me?
I never noticed it before.
I must take your face.
Carolina, look for yourself. You’ll see it’s true.
I’m not Carolina.
There is no sky. There are only stars. Oh, and a slender curved scimitar of a moon,
hanging by … an invisible thread, I suppose. But tied to what? There’s nothing to tie
it to, nothing to hang it from. There is no sky. (wincing) Don’t. Carolina, why are you
touching my face like that?
I’m not your sister. I’ve got to make a cast of your face.
Keep Reading! Click here to download the first 15 pages of the script.