ARTISTIC STATEMENT – MINDA STEPHENS
Throughout my career I have written for commercial businesses, for media, and most importantly, I have written historical dramas and comedies for the screen and stage. The latter activity is the love of my life, because I believe that writing a play is giving three dimensional life to thought. As a person who endeavors to understand the human experience through the study of history and archaeology, my greatest pleasure is bringing people from the past back to the present and giving them a voice, so that they may reveal themselves and explain the times in which they lived to contemporary audiences.
I am held by a special fascination for people who have prevailed while bound by social, and/or political constraints, people who for one reason or another found themselves between a sociological rock and a hard place; whether it be a fifer in colonial Florida who survived a massacre (as in my play Matanzas: A Survivor’s Story), a soldier who accepts her fate as a political pawn in Iraq (as in my short play, A Good Harvest), or a courtesan in ancient Athens who is placed on trial for the capital offense of impiety (as in my short story and play The Trial of Phryne). I write to make these people understood in the hope that we who follow them may be inspired by their stories and gain a clearer picture of our own times. My plays are inhabited by slaves and conquerors, artists and aristocrats, courtesans and composers, and above all - survivors.
Theodora – Historic Drama - Screenplay
The life and times of Empress Theodora of Byzantium are depicted in this 6th century biopic script about her rise from street actress in the Hippodrome district of Constantinople to become the empress of the most influential empire of her day.
Hands of the Potter - Hands Across Time - ©MindaA.Stephens 2008/2017 11Minute short film
Hands of the Potter, a film documenting the archaeological process through the eyes of a young archeologist and an Ancient Athenian potter. Film also includes the story of the Central Florida Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, the mission and membership. In current use by CFS/AIA.
Directed by Hector Sierra, Ches McLeggan, Art Director.
The Trial of Phryne (Before the Aeropagus) –- Historic Drama Full Length Play and Short Story
©MindaA.Stephens 2009/2010. Reading : Minneapolis Playwrights' Center, July 22, 2015. True story of a courtesan from ancient Athens who was put on trial before the city council for impiety for reenacting the bathing rituals of the goddess Aphrodite.
Saturnalia –(5 songs) – Historical Comedy - Full length play
1st century C. E. - A Jewish street entertainer living in Caesarea Maritima experiences travel adventure, and turmoil in the Roman world. Moving from the coast of ancient Roman Palestine to Pompeii, the adventure culminates after the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE.
The Dead Cannot Cry ––– ©MindaA.Stephens1992 Short Play
One man show of actual events which took place as the Black Death ravaged Europe. The last survivor of a monastery in Kilkenny, Ireland documents his community's demise.
Length: 20 minutes
Matanzas: A Survivor’s Story – ©MindaA.Stephens 2004, 2005 -One man/Act Play Length: one hour - The true story of a young musician who survived the Florida massacre of the French Huguenots in 1565, and signaled the British fleet of the location of the Spanish settlement of St. Augustine twenty years later. He tells his poignant story of horror, imprisonment, escape and rescue.
My Last Duchess – ©MindaA.Stephens 2008 - 2015 Historical Drama - Full length play
From the Robert Browning poem, “My Last Duchess,” playwright, Minda Stephens, has crafted a tale of murder and social intrigue in Renaissance Italy. Based on themes and actual historical characters portrayed in the Browning poem, this play explores control and revenge, ascendance and dissipation in the exalted courts of 16th century Europe during the age of art and exploration.
MADRIGAL KNIGHTS (PARTS I, II, & III) – Short Story Trilogy - 1500 words each
Christmas chronicle of a knight and his family as they survive the times of the crusades.
Françoise and the Revolution – ©MindaA.Stephens 2017 - 250 pages -
Historical Romance Novel- Steamy
This book depicts the life of Françoise Dubois from her childhood in the farmland of France, to the court of Louis XVI, to the streets of Paris and imprisonment during the French Revolution.
Writer: Plays, Screenplays, Contemporary Culture