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“Close Encounters on a Beach”

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Williams, Paula (Australian playwright, short story writer, dabbler in other genres, 1925-____), “Close Encounters on a Beach,”

a 30-minute bare-stage comedy-drama in English, set on a stretch of deserted beach, Australia, 2002,


; © 1990 by Paula Williams; • in Paula Williams’ Close Encounters on a Beach (Bangalow, Byron Shire, New South Wales, Australia: The Author, 2002); • script/rights available from Maverick Musicals, Bergann Road, Maleny Queensland 4552, Australia, telephone +61 7 5494 4007, fax +61 7 5494 4007, e-mail gail@mavmuse.com; contact Paula Williams, telephone -61 2 6687 2728, e-mail miathara@linknet.com.au. • Cited by Paula Williams via ftp, July 29, 2003; Williams says,

§ Dramatis Personae He (m), 30, not handsome, shy; His Alter Ego (m), 30, better looking, and anything but shy; She (f), 30, plainish looking, long hair, reasonably good figure, shy; Her Alter Ego (f), 30, attractive, anything but shy.

  §  Synopsis “A Man and Woman meet on a deserted beach. Each is shy, lonely, and inhibited. Their Alter Egos very freely speak their wishes and hopes, urging each to break through their inarticulate barrier.

  §  Comment “Whether the Alter Egos wear black leotards, up-market clothes, masks, or evening dress, the over-all effect, with the sound of the sea, could be slightly surreal. This is a funny play despite the underlying self-engendered loneliness of the man and woman. The setting can be imagined, as the background sound of surf swelling and falling, and the dialogue, will convey it. Spots are needed to switch focus to whichever pair is talking. The Alter Egos could work dressed entirely in black; wearing more 'up-market' clothes; wearing masks—in one production they even wore evening clothes with small masks! Whichever way the Director chooses, the over-all effect, with the background of the sound of the sea, could be very slightly surreal. Although the alter egos have most of the laugh producing lines, they should highlight, not detract from the self-engendered loneliness of the man and the woman. Voices off could be recorded. • For adult groups.”—Maverick Musicals ~ Close Encounters on a Beach, http://www.mavmuse.com/plays/close.html#SYNOPSIS, and Paula Williams, http://www.bangalow.com/bangalow/writers/paula_williams.htm, both accessed August 19, 2002. • 1990 - One Act Play `Close Encounters on a Beach' (comedy) shortlisted for Noosa National Comp. Later in 1990, Brisbane's Mousetrap Theatre performed this play at Brisbane's Cultural Centre for Word Fest. In 1991 it was taken on the One Act Play Festival Circuit in Queensland.(6 performances)—winning an Adjudicator's Award on the final performance at Brisbane's Art Theatre. Subsequently (1993), this play has had 6 performances (Lismore Theatre Company) and another 6 performances (1995) by Baywrite Theatre Company, touring Byron Shire, and another six performances by Baywrite Theatre Inc. in Byron Bay, 2003.”—Paula Williams. • “Paula Williams, 78-year old playwright, began her association with the stage with Sydney University Dramatic Society (SUDS) in 1948-49, running around backstage with a string of safety pins, and delivering her one Shakespearean line with all the aplomb of a terrified mouse. She married in New Guinea highlands an engineer; they have two children. Subsequently they lived in Sydney many times, Hong Kong, and the Gove Peninsula, Northern Territory, Australia, until they 'dropped out' to become elderly self-sufficiency dudes on a rundown property on a mountainside near Nimbin, site of the Aquarius Festival. Has moved all her life, before during and after marriage. Likes change, hates cities, has been a questioner all her life. Began writing plays at he age of 61, after leaving her 37-year-old marriage. She and her husband are now good mates. Her plays sketches and monologues have been performed many times. In 2002, two one acts were published; another was shortlisted in an International One Act Play Competition in Malibu, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.. She writes with insight and humour gentle plays about relationships. Once a member of ANPC (Australian National Playwrights Centre), Sydney’s Griffin Theatre, and Brisbane’s Playlab (Playwrights Laboratory) and FAW (Fellowship of Australian Writers). Now confines her membership to Playworks (National body based in Sydney) and helping run Bangalow Writers’ Group (mixed genres) and the script/workshop arm of Baywrite Theatre, Inc. (Byron Bay) Has always done volunteer work wherever she’s lived. Does tai chi, aerobics and aqua-robics, and maintains a difficult, terraced vegetable garden.”

  §  Themes alter ego, beach, communication, first encounter.

See also Paula Williams’

This Website continues under construction and welcomes new citations and comments.

Page mounted August 3, 2003, and updated July 26, December 6, 2004, by the Webmaster.

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