Saturday, December 31, 2011


I just put the finishing touches on a new ten-minute play titled EDGAR ALLAN & VIRGINIA, FOREVERMORE, just in time for Valentine's Day.   Yes, Edgar Allan as in POE.  

Set in 1845 right before the publication of THE RAVEN, EDGAR ALLAN & VIRGINIA, FOREVERMORE is a two-hander (one male, one female with the male being older) comedy about love, marriage, Valentine's Day and the reality of living with an author.   Funny how some things never change.

The setting is a simple table with two chairs, and just a few props.  Costumes are standard Victorian.

Before I wrote the play, I did quite a bit of research on Edgar's life and his marriage to his much younger cousin, Virginia.  I've always been a fan, and read his stories over and over in high school and afterwards.  They never cease to thrill me.  I tried to sprinkle snippets of his "phraseology" into the play, to give it a period feeling while still using my signature word play.

I'm seeking productions and readings for this new play. For more information, please contact the playwright, Bobbi A. Chukran, by e-mail.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Resolutions, anyone?

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, as such.  I do try to think about my goals for the next year, though.  Since we've been working on our huge remodeling project of the 1930's house, I haven't had as much time to write as I'd like to.  I find myself spending a lot of time chatting online with friends. Granted, we do talk about writing, but that ain't exactly gettin' the writing DONE and out there.  So I decided that in 2012, I will excavate those little gems from my the depths of my writing drawer, polish them up and find someplace to send them.

Oddly enough, I realized that many of my poems and stories are what some might call "speculative" fiction.   So be it!  I also want to write another full-length play for youth theatre using some new tips I've learned.

I hope all of you have a safe and Happy New Year, and that your writing dreams come true!  From our family to yours!

Happy trails (tails?) from Texas!

bobbi c.

Monday, November 28, 2011


My JOURNAL OF MINA HARKER vampire play e-script for the Kindle has just been put on sale for 99-cents!  This is a limited time offer.  Suitable for young adults and adults, any vampire comedy lover would swoon to have a copy of their own!

Here are current reviews, from Amazon:

"Don't be put off because this is a theatre script - it's as enjoyable to read as any book. If you laughed at "Young Frankenstein," you'll love this twisted take on "Dracula." The plot and characters are straight out of Bram Stoker but with a wickedly funny slant. Renfield is a scream! The only thing better than reading this version would be seeing a production."  S.D.

"This play was fun to read and very entertaining. The characters, especially Renfield and Lucy, were a hoot! The play was easy to read and read more like a fast-paced novel than a playscript."  D. H.

"The Journal of Mina Harker is definitely a play schools should consider for production. It's funny, sly humor with some broad humor thrown in for contrast, and the familiarity of the Dracula legend makes for good fun and crowd pleasing potential. Reads well and will play even better. "

Happy trails, and thanks for supporting an emerging playwright!

bobbi c.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

ANNIERELLA rides again!

Just got some photos from the recent November 2 production of ANNIERELLA & the (VERY AWESOME) GOOD QUEEN FAIRY COWMOTHER,  performed by students at St. Peter Catholic School in Beaufort, SC.  Thanks to Sister Judy for sending the photos. :-)

Eula Gee, the stepmother, explains about the Cowpoke's Ball at the Lazy R&B ranch!

Stepmother, Eula Gee, tells Annierella she cannot go to the ball, while here three step-sisters---Mozelda Joe, Brizelda Jane and Frizzelda Ann--look on.

Annierella meets the Good Queen Fairy Cowmother.

The Fairy Cowmother does a little magic and with the help of her helpers transforms poor Annierella into a princess right before our very eyes!  :-)

At the ball, Annierella meets the rich rancher, Roy Bob, who's immediately smitten.  (LOVE those red boots they found for Annierella to wear!)  But alas, time runs out and she has to leave, but not before losing one of her fancy dancing boots!

The step-sisters are SURE that one of them will make the boot fit.  But it's not to be!  (We knew that.)

After finding out that Annierella was the one wearing the missing red boot, he proposes.  But what was her answer?

Sorry, you'll have to read ANNIERELLA to find out!   LOL!!

(By the way, ANNIERELLA was the FIRST PLACE WINNER at the SUMMER SHORTS 4, Youth Education on Stage Festival at the Old Armory Theatre, Williston North Dakota June 23-24-25, 2009. 
Directed by Jack Dyville.)

bobbi c.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

New improved website

Dear friends,

I've finally found the time to update my official website, and have included information on buying play scripts as well as full descriptions of all my  plays.  I've also included information on my ten-minute plays, which are great for speech competitions, drama class forensics, readings, etc.  Take a look!

Comedy Plays for Youth Theatre by Bobbi A. Chukran

Happy trails,

bobbi c.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Writing is a messy business...

Being a writer doesn't feel like you think it will...

When I was ten years old, writing my first poetry and submitting them to contests, I'm not sure what I thought the life of a "real" writer would be like. All I knew was that I loved to write, and wanted to do a lot of it. I don't really remember a lot more of how I felt back then.

But as I got older, perhaps a starry-eyed teenager, I guess I formed a picture in my mind of what it would be like when I finally became published, became well-known, or at least, well-read by intellectual types. Maybe I would sit at a wonderful old oak roll top desk, with a little lamp on the corner sporting a cheerful green glass shade (it had to be green). I thought I'd be sitting at that desk all day with an old typewriter clacking out page after page of wonderful Stuff. Or I'd be sitting by a crackling fire, sipping cognac, pondering Great Thoughts.  Honestly, where did THAT come from?  Masterpiece Theatre?  LOL.

When it came time to go to college, I decided to major in art. To this day I wish ONE person had said “You have talent. You should write.” It took years of frustration trying to sell my artwork before I started writing about it instead and stumbled onto a whole new path.

Well, you know what? I finally got published. And it was NOT the way I thought it would be. My first desk was a fold-up, rickety card table in the corner of my bedroom in a low-rent apartment. I had an electric typewriter by then, but produced a manuscript using plain white paper and a lot of White-Out.  (Ironically enough, I'm writing on a rickety card-table again.  This time it's temporary, and is in the utility room of an old 1930 house we're remodeling, and I'm writing on an old laptop, and not a typewriter.)

My first advance for a 250-page book was $500. In those days, that paid about one month’s rent and a few bills. Over the next few years, the royalties weren't much more than that. But I didn't care; I was published!

My first books were resource guides that took hours and hours of research and correspondence. After twenty plus years,  that got old, and my old dream started nibbling at the corners of my mind.  I wanted to write STORIES, maybe even see people act them out.

You think you’ll sit down, and begin at the beginning, and write a story or a play from beginning to end. You think that if you have your little stack of color-coded index cards, that you’ll have your plot all worked out, nice and neat. Little do you know that once you put two characters in a room alone, they’ll start a conversation and pass you by so fast your head will spin. You’ll have no control over them, what they say or do. You’ll be freaked out about this, but go with it.  And they will wear the most atrocious clothing, like Mina Harker does in my new vampire comedy spoof inspired by Stoker's DRACULA.

You won’t have set hours to work. You’ll feel like crap all day because you stayed up too late the night before, have a cup of tea (caffeine!) at 5pm, then the next thing you know it’s 4am, you’re freezing, and you have produced some pages. You have no idea what you wrote, or where it came from.

You feel Out of Control. You are a writer.  Writing is a messy business.

You think that you’ll “dream up” the beginning of a story, and if you keep working on it, you’ll work straight through from beginning to end. Nope. Doesn’t work that way. The first inkling you have of a story might be a snippet of conversation you hear over breakfast in the neighborhood diner.  Like the one I overheard recently.  "…after my first son was born, I had a flap of skin that hung down to the floor, honey…” Take that and run with it. Turn it into a character. Write about that poor woman, then see what she wants to do. Or it might be a news story you hear in passing about a mutant rodent. Go with it.

Here’s the Big Secret that it took me years to learn. You don’t always start at the first sentence---you hardly ever start at the first sentence. Writing is not a linear activity, it’s more of a spiral thing. A story is organic, it grows, a little this way, a little out that way. You don’t have to know the ending until you get there.  You don't even have to know the beginning until later, either. Wow, what a mind-boggling idea that is!

I sure wish I’d known this long ago. I think it would have helped me be a little freer with my writing and get to the authentic stuff before now. I would have written more without stressing over having to know the first sentence, or trying to write a perfect book straight through. I would have paid better attention to the folks in the back corners of old diners.

Here’s the other Big Secret…you are not in control. Not really. You are a writer.

Bobbi A. Chukran
Copyright 2010

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's alive, it's alive! My DRACULA e-play adaptation...

Come on, you KNOW you want to read it...

No, not Frankenstein's new Kindle e-book on Amazon!  Just in time for Halloween reading...THE JOURNAL OF MINA HARKER is now ready for purchase for only $2.99.


Since a few of my friends have asked, I thought I'd write a bit about the background of this play, and how I came to write it.

A few years ago,  I was looking for a classic book to adapt into a serious, literary play, suitable for high school students. I decided to do Bram Stoker's DRACULA since I grew up watching (and loving!) the old DRACULA movies with Bela Lugosi and other vampire movies of the time.

Look deeep into my eyes...

Although the Lugosi movie was loosely based on the book, it didn't completely follow along with the original story.  I didn't know that until I actually sat down and read the book.  Once I started, I was mesmerized by the language, the imagery, and the story.  And I was fascinated to learn that a lot of the things we think we know about vampires didn't come from the novel; they came from the movie.

Turns out, the book is told through a series of journal entries, some by Jonathan Harker (Daniel in my story), and some by his wife, Mina.  Some of it comes through letters sent back and forth between the main characters (Jonathan even collected recipes that he sent home to Mina).  When I read it, I was astounded to learn that it really was Mina's story that she had pieced together from all these letters.  So I decided to tell it from her viewpoint.  Since it is a play, I had to shorten it so I choose to leave out a few of the original characters and scenes.  I do mention Holmwood and Texan Quincey Morris, but they don't show up in the play as real characters.

So, if I started out writing a serious adaptation, what happened?  LOL.  Well, the characters took over.  When I write fiction or a stage play, it plays in my head like a movie. When Dracula first enters and stumbles and almost falls, it occurred to me that he was "blind as a bat."  Hmmm.  I tried to ignore that, but  later, when poor Mr. Renfield ran into the room with his underwear over his head, spouting his Renfield rap---in Latin, no less--he's a really bad poet---I knew it wasn't going to be a serious adaptation.  Mina started wearing the most ginormous hats,  Daniel got a craving for an onion tart, and the Count demanded to know if his new home had nice curtains. After that, the characters took over and it became a comedy.  What else is an author to do?

Let's just say, it ain't Bela's DRACULA.  :-)  Sorry, Bela!

 (And with apologies to Bram.)

(And this hilariously fun play still needs a production.  Run time is approximately an hour.  E-mail me if interested.)

bobbi c.

Monday, October 10, 2011

DRACULA adaptation, The Journal of Mina Harker, published for Kindle

Dear readers,

Ever since I got a Kindle for Christmas last year, I've wanted to make some of my work available in that format.  Last year, I started work on my DRACULA adaptation, THE JOURNAL OF MINA HARKER, a comedy vampire play.  I edited and re-edited, reworked the characters, decided to go for a pure campy style and decided to tell it from Mina's point of view.  Yes, it's a bit twisted; it is a spoof, after all.  Finally, I was satisfied with it enough to publish it.  (By the way, I'd say it's rated PG-13...with just a few naughty innuendos. :-) )

So, just in time for Halloween 2011, I uploaded it to the site tonight.  Within 24-hours, it should be available for purchase in Kindle format for $2.99.

I'm convinced that people love to read plays and act out the parts in their minds.  I know I do.   At any rate, the script is also available to groups who want to do readings (and of course, productions).

I'll post the link when it's available on the Amazon website.

Happy trails,

bobbi c.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Monologues for Middle School published

I'm excited to announce that two of my original monologues for middle school age actors will be published by Dramatic Publishing in a new collection coming out soon--ORIGINAL MIDDLE SCHOOL SCENES and MONOLOGUES.

The two pieces are titled POWER PLAY and TELLING STORIES, and the short monologues are perfect for competitions or drama classes.

For more information, contact me.

Where the heck have I been?

Ah, good question.  For one thing, I've been trying to survive the drought from H.E.Double-Toothpicks here in Texas.  So far, so good, and doing that while simultaneously trying to remodel a VERY old (1930) home in Taylor, Texas.  That's like vintage, man.  It's been a dream of mine for years to do this, but didn't have the chance until recently.  Working on the house has left little time for writing much more than a few blog entries at my new Two Sisters 1930 Cottage blog. In the process of working on the house, I have come up with a few dandy ideas for plays and novels based on some of the characters I've met.  My lips are sealed!  For now.

In playwriting news, my ANNIERELLA play has chalked up a few more productions and my newest full-length fairy tale twist-up, PRINCESS PRIMROSE & the CURSE OF THE BIG SLEEP, won Third Place in the East Valley Children's Theatre Aspiring Playwriting contest for 2011.  Yay!  That's my second win with the great folks at the EVCT.

More news later.  And oh, by the way, why not consider doing a fun comedy play for a fund-raiser for your school, non-profit group, church or community event?  I have a GREAT Christmas play that needs a production.  Just sayin'....  :-)

Happy trails from HOT Texas!

bobbi c.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I am right chuffed!

One thing I do with my plays is offer some of the new unproduced and unpublished short ones to schoolteachers who use them in reading or playwriting exercises. In the past, school classes in several places in the U.S. have read my plays, and that was thrilling. Recently, I got an e-mail from an elementary school teacher in Cambridge, England who wanted to use one of my short plays with some drama exercises in her primary school class, to get them ready for a Wild West theme. I LOVED this idea, and sent her a few scripts that she's using now (The Lonely Cowboy and Little Red Riding Boots). I'm honored that the teacher reached out to me, all the way here to Texas. I hope eventually I'll get a report on how the kids used my plays for their exercises.

Happy trails from cold Texas!

bobbi c.