The Quickening
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A young couple moves into a new home on the outskirts of Richmond, VA to start a family. Their burgeoning life is quickly disrupted by a ghost from the Civil War. Can the soon-to-be mother find the courage to face the unknown in order to save the life of her unborn child?


What if the brain receives consciousness, like your computer downloads a program from the Internet instead of generating consciousness? Does that mean your consciousness does not end when your body dies?The Quickening, a ghost story for the stage, tells the tale of Matt and Beth Wells, a young couple expecting their first child, as they move into their new home on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia; a house, it turns out, built where a skirmish occurred during the Civil War. At first happy, but overwhelmed, Beth is soon puzzled and frightened by unexplained events that at first, only she experiences – events that propel her to discover the story behind the supernatural activity in her new home and finally, to take action to save her baby from being taken over by the spirit of a young boy killed during the Civil War. To succeed she must not only discover the truth, but overcome her own fears and the hostile skepticism of her husband. With the help of her mathematician neighbor and her earthy mother from Baltimore she finds the courage to learn the truth and face the unknown to try to save her unborn child. But does she succeed?


The play celebrates the courage and creativity of womanhood as they face a dire situation where science and folklore intersect in a frightening crossroads.


Philomena (Phil) Johnson: mid/late 40’s, divorced African-American neighbor of Beth and Matt; math professor and native of Richmond, VA.

Samuel Brodie: 10-12 years old. Farmer’s son from the outskirts of Richmond, VA. 

Beth Dipaula Wells: late 20’s, wife of Matt and daughter of Rose; 8 ½ - 9 months pregnant with her first child; native of Baltimore, Md.

Matt Wells: late 20’s/early 30’s, Beth’s husband and Richmond, VA. native.

Rosemary Dipaula: 50’s/60’s; Beth’s widowed mother; lives in Baltimore, MD.

Time - Act One: Early summer, the present
             Act Two: Three weeks later

Place - A ranch house on a cul-de-sac in a new housing development on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia

Mark Scharf is an award winning American playwright living in Baltimore, MD whose plays have been published and produced widely in the United States and internationally. He has served as Playwright-in-Residence for Theatre Virginia’s New Voices Program and taught playwriting at the University of Mary Washington and at Howard Community College. He has also presented Playwriting seminars for the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, The University of Mary Washington, The University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University, the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, and the Maryland Writer’s Alliance.

He served three terms as Chairman of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival. He has an MFA in Playwriting from the University of Virginia and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. Scharf believes in the power of the idiosyncratic voice of the playwright to move people to feel, think, remember, and understand in a way no other art can. For more information, please visit: www.markscharf.com.

Performance Royalties are based on theater particulars. Please fill out an application for a personalized quote. 
Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement.

The Quickening delivers a number of chills to the stage.”  –MD Theatre Guide

The Quickening is a modern ghost story with many ties to the past.” –MD Theatre Guide

“My challenge to you is to go see The Quickening and count the number of times you jump!”–MD Theatre Guide

“Should I stay or should I go?  Do you like horror movies?  Do you like suspense and discussions of supernatural?  This is your play!” –BITR Sisters 

“The thrills and chills are real! An enjoyable night of apparitions, inquisitions, and a bit of quantum physics, oh my!” –BITR Sisters

"Thought-provoking and successful at presenting the idea that a new life may not necessarily be 'new.' The Quickening raises your heart rate!"  –Baltimore Fishbowl Review

"An age-old battle between good and evil, leading to a suspenseful, shocking conclusion."  –DC Metro Arts

"Just when you think nothing is going on, you may find yourself jumping in surprise!" –BroadwayWorld

"Playwright (Scharf) poses an intriguing question on the nature of consciousness." –BroadwayWorld

"The Quickening is a good old-fashioned ghost story about questioning faith, life and death." –Backstage Baltimore

Materials: your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production and can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.

The production materials for The Quickening include:
Production Scripts
Official Logo Pack Now Included! To help you promote your show, Stage Rights now includes a logo pack with your license. The logo pack includes high resolution versions (both color and black and white) of our professionally designed show logo. 
Optional Materials:
Director's Script – Single-sided script with space for director’s notes.