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ALL THE WAY BACK (previously “Replays”) January 4, 2014

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Started the year with a birthday and a finished script. REPLAYS, which received a staged reading under the name “Replays” in May 2013, received my full intention during the intervening seven months. The result, from its new name, ALL THE WAY BACK, to its revised storylines has been a pleasant journey.

From the moment the staged reading at Somerset Valley Players ended, it was clear there were choices to be made. One was the competition between the four main characters and whose play it really was. Another was whether the plays was a comedy, as intended, or a drama, as evolved. A third was whether the large cast, more than 25 performers, was viable.

After allowing all the feedback to sink in, further development went forward under a two-objectived mantra: Commit to the comedy and cap the cast size.

On capping the cast size, ten was chosen arbitrarily as a limit. To that end, the best insight was as follows: Consider collapsing the functionality of the characters as a means to reduce the cast size. Not knowing how that process would happen, it was started.

The other objective, commit to the comedy, was a more clearly realized path. Drama was removed or rewritten with the intent of smiles rather seriousness. And the existing humor was pushed closer to being over the top but consistent with the characters and their own arcs.

As functionalities combined, characters began disappearing. Even characters which received warm receptions at the reading were discarded without loss to the overall piece.

Finally, in late December, the script was left to marinade for a few days. When resumed, everything held together save for a few spot edits.

In early January, the first submission went out the door for ALL THE WAY BACK. Now definitely a comedy, ALL THE WAY BACK tells 98% of the same story with a cast of nine. It was lovely way to start 2014.


Staged reading for “Replays (Great Moments Live Forever)” March 30, 2013

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On Friday 10 May 2013, Somerset Valley Players in Hillsborough, New Jersey will present a staged reading of “Replays (Great Moments Live Forever)” by William E. Spear. Replays is set in a failing restaurant of the same name where four characters confront their pasts so they might plan their futures.

Marie Times is an aging reporter who is pursuing one last payday before retiring. In the final hours before her broadcast tribute to legendary and recently passed away sportscaster, Johnny Parks, she befriends three people:

  • Joey Stilts, a writer who played on a championship football team over 35 years ago and whose teammates are gradually dying off;
  • Jack Downs, owner of the sports-themed restaurant named Replays which is on the verge of bankruptcy; and
  • Lois Chaos, a 16‑year‑old high school student whose passion for playing classical music is colliding with her parents’ wishes for her to pursue lacrosse.

Each will choose action based upon their own circumstances but inspired by the sports in their pasts. And they will learn, through their experience at Replays, no matter how they choose, their best moments will live forever.

All tickets for “Replays (Great Moments Live Forever)” are free and are limited to the the first 99 patrons. The time of the reading is being finalized. There will also be a question and answer session afterwards.

Please come out and support the cast of “Replays (Great Moments Live Forever).”

The Playhouse for Somerset Valley Players is located at:

689 Amwell Road (Rte 514)

Hillsborough NJ 08844-3317



Replays first draft is finished January 27, 2012

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The first draft of Replays, a full-length stage play, is finished and weighs in at 103 pages. The story is about four characters whose lives come together in a sports tavern named Replays.

The draft was started concurrently with the 2011 NaPlWriMo even though there was never a realistic hope it would be finished during November.

The four lead characters in Replays have been influenced directly or indirectly by sports. Journalist Roberta Times began he career as a sportscaster before moving into investigative reporting. Jack Downs, the owner of Replays, has been associated with the sports tavern for 25 years. Ex-footballer Joey Stilts, won a championship fifty years years ago. And high school student, Lois Chaos, wants to compose and perform classical music despite her parents’ wishes to play sports.

As the story progresses, and the characters’ conflicts are presented, each will remember, or realize for the first time, how their lives have been shaped by sports.

Further updates and developmental notes will be forthcoming.


River Men Get Riled, Rough Up Visitors January 9, 2012

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Frenchtown’s own professional footballing eleven musically mauled league champions, the Lumber, on Saturday night. After getting pushed around the first half, the River Men came out with renewed vigor in the final thirty minutes and flattened last year’s champs. Near the end of the slugfest, the Frenchtown squad’s newly fierce offensive line, the Five Titans of Terror, were heard singing an impromptu ditty titled “Wrath of the River Men.”

– Excerpted from REPLAYS by William E. Spear