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Philip Spensley | ArtsTown | ArtsTown

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Philip Spensley

Philip Spensley

Literary Arts




I, Will! a new full-length comedy about William Shakespeare

"Shakespeare used to poach deer and rabbits at Charlecote from Sir Thomas Lucy who had him often whipped and sometimes imprisoned, and at last made him fly his native country to his great advancement." (Richard Davies, 17th century clergyman)

Based on documents of the time, scholarship, and critical analysis of his plays, poems and sonnets, I, WILL! imagines young Will's mysterious departure from Stratford leaving his family deep in debt, and offers comically plausible insights into the nature of his genius, his relationship with his wife, his introduction to the theatre, and the kinds of roles he played as an actor.

For scripts and performance rights contact my agent, Mollye Reisler at >info@reisler.ca< or by phone at 514-843-4551.

I am a published, produced, and an award winning playwright as well as a published poet, a professional actor and director, and professor emeritus of theatre. I have also written scholarly and popular articles pertaining to theatre, as well as newspaper journalism. I am currently completing a 70,000-word YA novel, Road To Discovery.

For a list of writing and critical commentary concerning some of my plays, see below:
(site still in progress)

THE FORTUNES OF WAR (a trilogy comprised of...)
MISFORTUNE'S CHILD (adapted from Euripides' Iphegenia At Aulis)
CHOICES (adapted from Sophocles' Philoctetes)
"...extremely well written, tight, imaginative, dramatic...lyrical...expressed] more
explicitly than Sophocles...that an evil means cannot be used for a just end."
(Dr. S. C. Casey, Classics Dept. Concordia U. Montreal)
AFTERMATH (adapted from Euripides' The Trojan Women)
"Spensley has restructured the original text in a modern poetic form...gripping theatre
...a riveting feeling of dramatic tension and...suspense...extraordinary...outstanding
...hypnotic...completely absorbing."
(Myron Galloway, Montreal Drama Critic)
"...certainly the most playable translation of The Trojan Women for a modern
audience that I know. The poetry is excellent and the transitions are smooth.
(Don Childs, Founder and CEO, Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas)
"...ingenious and effective..."
(Urjo Kareda, Artistic Director, Tarragon Theatre, Toronto)
"...an exciting piece of theatre....I appreciated your method of handling the chorus
and the gods and the timelessness of the play lives now as it did at its creation."
(Robert E. McGill, Professor of Theatre, Wayne State University, Detroit)
"Among its many admirable qualities...it is actable!"
(Richard Monette, Artistic Director, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Ontario)
"The interweaving of the gods throughout the play creates a dramatic tension that for
a modern audience is more effective than the original, and I like the poetry...the
imagery, the metaphors, the rhythms...very much."
(Dr. S. C. Casey, Classics Dept, Concordia U, Montreal)
"...has the sort of strong simplicity that...is absolutely necessary."
(Michael Addison, Chair, Drama Dept., U of California, San Diego)
"...A medal should be struck for Philip Spensley"
(Myron Galloway, Montreal Drama Critic)
JOHNNY FIBBER (musical for child audiences)

EAST O' THE SUN AND WEST O' THE MOON (for child audiences. award winner.)

HELLS BELLS (one-act - published in two play anthologies)

Seven Stories For Children (with Patricia Spensley) Gage Publishing.
The School (opening chapter) Lemeac Publishing
Performing Arts in Canada (Contributing Editor)