Type: Stage Play
Genre: Historical Fiction Drama
Logline: Rare Coins Spent describes how St. Lawrence, Rome’s Archdeacon in 258 A.D., traded treasures from wealthy Christians for supplies to help poor congregants. Meanwhile, pernicious decadence, warfare, and inflation were bringing Rome to the brink of bankruptcy which Caesar Valerian then obtusely blamed on Christians and ordered their leaders’ immediate death.
Get to know the writer:
What is your play about?
It fictionally summarizes the charitable work of Lorenzo, Archdeacon in Rome in 258 A.D. and culminates in the week of his martyrdom on a fiery spit. It not only reflects the well documented decadence of the era and the emergence of a somewhat underground Christian community, but also illuminates the governmental ineffectiveness caused by a shrinking patrician-progeny to carry on Rome’s goals. In addition to these conditions, constant and distant wars plus deceitful minters deflating the coins, started the economic/military/political downfall of the Empire.
What genres does your play fall under?
Historical fiction or possibly classical literature-light.
Why should this play be produced?
I think the play covers some of the foibles and mistaken logic that befall leaders who try to control citizens in their daily belief and practice of faith.
How would you describe this play in two words?
What movie have you seen the most times in your life?
How long have you been working on this play?
In 1992, I heard the martyr’s story read from the pulpit. Inspired, I made a commitment to write it when time allowed. In 1999, a friend gave me several volumes of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon along with research papers on the Roman times. In 2002, I moved to St. Lawrence, Newfoundland where I had the atmosphere to read/ wade through/absorb/categorize useful information. In 2005, I began assembling scenes and writing the play. In 2007, as a non-Catholic, I thought it best to send it to a Catholic theatre in California to check historical flavor, doctrinal accuracy, and dramatic effect. Then for several years, I had some actors/directors/teachers read it, fielding their suggestions when possible. In 2014, a theatre department head at a small Michigan college critiqued it thoroughly and set up readings in 2015 and then 2016. However, due to illness, he could not complete that goal.
How many stories have you written?
What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)
“More” from Mondo Cane. Old, yes! Haunting, absolutely! It has lyrics that show hope and a melody that resonates with my soul. But, more than anything, it has a tune I can whistle and play by ear on the piano.
What obstacles did you face to finish this play?
The amount of research to make the play ring true in secular and religious history.
Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Family, friends, piano, and Bible.
Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson
Camera Op: Mary Cox