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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 40s. 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 20s. Wife of Matt and daughter of Rose; 8 ½ - 9 months pregnant with her first child; native of Baltimore, MD.

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

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

Time: Act I: Early summer, the present.
Act II: Three weeks later.

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

Performance Royalties for AMATEUR and EDUCATIONAL Groups, please fill out an application for your personalized quote. 

Performance Royalties for PROFESSIONAL Theaters will be quoted as a box office percentage, with a minimum guarantee based on ticket prices and theater particulars. Please fill out an application for your personalized quote.

Authorized Materials must be purchased from Stage Rights as a part of your licensing agreement (see Materials). 

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

Authorized Materials must be purchased from Stage Rights as a part of your licensing agreement. Your materials will be sent to you digitally by your Licensing Representative. 

The Authorized Materials/Production Package for The Quickening are all fulfilled digitally and consist of: 

Acting Edition

Stage Manager Script