HOW TO MAKE A ROPE SWING
a full-length play by Shawn Fisher
Delores Wright is the wealthy town matriarch and former elementary school principal and Bo Wells is the custodian who worked under her strict supervision for most of his life. When they find themselves stranded together in the old condemned schoolhouse, their reunion takes a dark turn and they relive their first meeting, decades earlier. It was 1952, when some schools were first integrated in this region nicknamed the “Mississippi of the North”. Bo’s wife, the school’s first black teacher, was found drowned in a nearby river, hanging by her ankle from an old rope swing after it was rumored she had struck a white child. The papers dismissed it as an accident resulting from the “wild and drunken actions of a young colored woman”. When Mrs. Wright reveals that she has dreams about the incident, Bo suspects she knows more than she admits. As the night grows colder and the failing health of Mrs. Wright becomes increasingly evident, Bo tries to understand his wife’s final moments and Mrs. Wright’s role in her death.
"Fully realized, emotionally rich performances breathe life into Shawn Fisher's beautifully crafted play."
- Salt Lake Tribune
"The play is a remarkable achievement, and its premiere at Salt Lake Acting Company is a rare opportunity for audiences to witness a truly brilliant production at its birth.."
- City Weekly
"[Shawn Fisher] has crafted a heart-wrenching drama getting its world premiere in a brilliant production at the Salt Lake Acting Company.
- Deseret News
"It's a testament to Fisher's skills that the audience is constantly served new morsels of information right up to the play's final scene...Fisher's script won the Edgerton Foundation new American Plays Award, and it's obvious why..."
- Salt Lake Magazine
- Published and Licensed by Original Works Publishing, © 2014
- Published (excerpt) by Hal Leonard/Applause Publishing,
LATER CHAPTERS: The Best Scenes and Monologues for Actors over Fifty, © 2018
- Produced by Cape May Stage (AEA) with Broadway and film veteran Lynn Cohen (MUNICH, HUNGER GAMES, SEX & THE CITY), directed by Roy Steinberg.
- Produced by Salt Lake Acting Company (AEA) with Broadway veteran Glenn Turner (A CHORUS LINE, FIVE GUYS NAMED MO, HIGH SOCIETY), directed by Adrianne Moore.
- Off-Broadway staged reading at Urban Stages (AEA), directed by Frances Hill featuring Broadway actors Arthur French (THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL, DEATH OF A SALESMAN), and Lynn Cohen.
- Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award winner - 2012.
- Stavis / National Theatre Conference Playwriting Award nominee
- Steinberg / American Theatre Critics Association Award nominee
- Osborn New Play Award national finalist
- Urban Stages Emerging Playwrights Award national finalist.
Lynn Cohen as "Mrs. Wright"
Barry Phillips as "Bo"
Lynn Cohen and Barry Phillips
Ben Rosenblatt and Lynn Cohen
Director Roy Steinberg with the cast.
Ben Rosenblatt as "Mick"
Glenn Turner as "Bo" and Jayne Luke as "Mrs. Wright"
Lucas Bybee as "Mick" with Jayne Luke as "Mrs. Wright"