From the Midwest, Dean Bevan brings us the tale of the “Grim Reaper.” Time waits for no man and an older couple hosts Death, who comes to knock at their door. But a case of hard hearing gets in the way and keeps the old couple from hearing the bell toll. They say that Death and taxes are the only certainty in life, but this One Act begs to differ.
Stage Door Stories recently caught up with Dean to learn more about his inspiration for writing “The Grim Reaper” and why the secret to cheating death might be to be hard of hearing!
- Can you tell us a little about yourself and what your background is in theatre?
Hi, I’m Dean Bevan. I always felt at home in theater, acting in shows from first grade on through college, even performing in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi while in high school. Even so, I didn’t really get bitten by the bug until I had more time for it after I retired from Baker University, where I taught creative writing for thirty years. In the sixteen years since I retired, I’ve written 21 plays, acted in 34, and directed six.
- How did you find out about Stage Door Productions’ One Act Festival?
I discovered Stage Door Productions through a very helpful online resource called Play Submissions Helper, a sort of clearinghouse for theaters soliciting scripts.
- What inspired or motivated you to write this One Act?
I wrote “Grim Reaper” in nonstop haste just before going to my high-school’s 50-year reunion. Like most of my plays, the whole thing just came to me, and writing it was like taking dictation from the characters. It didn’t occur to me at the time that a play involving 70-year-old hard-of-hearing people had anything to do with my own situation.
- How did you feel upon the selection of your Act to be performed by Stage Door Productions?
I’m thrilled that Stage Door will perform my play!
- What do you hope the audience takes away from your story?
I hope the audience gets a good laugh from it, and I hope they kind of admire the old couple who avert death just by being themselves. The language and manner of these two is taken straight from the life of any number of rural Kansans I’ve known.
- What doors do you expect to be opened for you from this selection and process?
Having one’s play receive a full production is always a boost for future developments. It’s like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval: once a theater invests its time and talent in a production, others will believe it’s worth a look. Stage Door’s inclusion of “Grim Reaper” in its One Act Festival can only bring good things.
- What’s next for you?
What’s next for me is to keep writing. I just wrote a new ten-minute comedy yesterday, called “Water, Water,” based on the stock cartoon of the man crawling across the desert. And this July, a 300-seat theater here in Kansas, Theatre Lawrence, will mount a whole evening of my short plays, so I’m looking forward to that.
Be sure to follow Dean on Facebook!
Come check out this comical One Act on the 3rd floor of the Kitt Creative Studios at 810 Caroline Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Performances will be at 7:30 PM on the following days:
Click on any of the dates above to get your tickets now!