Beverly F. Stout
BME Delta State University
Interests: Photography, Writing, Cheetahs, Housecats, and Music
I've always thought that excellence is forged in the details, and anything of quality is almost always
born of hard work. My respect and thanks to Theda Bara for inspiring me to write my screenplays, one of which is about her.
Excerpts from “Remember Me” ©
An original screenplay
By Beverly Stout
Mrs. Goodman: (on phone):: Hello?
Mrs. Friedman: Mrs.
Goodman, this is Estelle Friedman, how are you?
Mrs. Goodman: Fine Mrs. Friedman, and how are you?
Very well, thank you. I just called to let you know that little Theo is down here on the sidewalk again, dressed to the teeth
and giving the performance of her life; I’m afraid people are stopping and encouraging her on; there’s quite a
crowd gathering, and I just thought you ought to know. There’s just no telling what type of characters may be in the
neighborhood, after that burglary on Elm…
Mrs. Goodman: Are you sure it’s Theo? Because I latched the screen
door, and she’s not tall enough to reach the latch.
Mrs. Friedman: Well, this child is wearing that expensive French
gown you ordered last year, complete with hat and gloves to match. It certainly looks like little Theo from the window here.
Dr. Calibriesi: Then I assume you've studied the history of the Cleopatra role?
Kerrie: Well, no sir, except
I am familiar with the 1963 version with Elizabeth Taylor. What a magnificient entrance into Rome!
Dr. Calibriesi: Joseph
Mankiewicz. The man couldn't think on a small scale. I cringe to think what he would have done with "The Whales of
August." Nevertheless, he was an icon--an innovator in film. We need others of his talent.
Mr. Adelman: (instructor):
I want to welcome all of you to Acting 101A. My name is Michael Adelman, adjunct professor of television and film at UCLA.
Some of you may know me from my work in sitcoms and films of the 70’s and 80’s. …Acting is hard work. Long
hours, impossible lines, frustration in dealing with people—some intelligent, some who don’t have a clue, and
frankly, if you are an actor, that may be your director, and if you are in lighting, that may be your stage director. You
learn to deal with these situations and still turn in a good performance.
Dr. Calibriesi: (instructor, loudly,
as he noisily drops a notebook on the lectern): Dr. John Calibriesi here. Screenwriting 101. (He turns around, takes the chalk
and writes on the board: Fundamentals of screenwriting. He turns back around and continues) You probably read that little
description in your course catalogue. If you have a tendency to believe everything you read, then read this: I’m Dustin
Hoffman. (Muffled laughter ripples through the room. He continues.) I thought you might like comedy. I do. But I’ve
seen it take my best writers to the bottom of the lake, comedy being the concrete block that took them down.
Page 134. I believe the first line is yours.
Kerry: It’s Mark Antony; he was a very forceful man, and…
Theda: So he thought, Kerrie. Even though he had been taught war and was very good at it, Cleopatra was the source of his
inspiration. Without her, he was nothing.
Kerry: I never thought of him that way…
Theda: (outright) I knew
the man and he was a wimp! Yet (trailing off) I loved him… (abruptly) Now be Antony!
Kerry: If Rome chooses to
fight me with Octavius’s legions, then so be it! They have…
Theda: (Interrupts) Kerrie, you are the exiled
leader of the Roman Empire. You are very angry!
Kerrie looks at Angela and bursts into tears.
Mr. Adelman’s making me do Cleopatra—I can’t do Cleopatra! (sob)
Angela: I thought Kathryn was doing
Cleopatra. What happened to her?
Kerrie: They offered her a part and she
Angela: Who offered her a part?
Mr. Adelman: That’s a wrap. I want everyone
back tomorrow night—same time. I know it’s Saturday, but hey, that’s the business!
to Alan): Yeah, and we’ll pick up our checks on the way out.
Excerpts from “The Last Ptolemy”
An original screenplay
By Beverly Stout
Vice President Richardson: Order! Please come to
order! Gentlemen, code Chaplin is now in effect. I repeat, code Chaplin has been activated. President Moranian has requested
the Cabinet and top military officials be briefed on the worsening situation both at home and abroad. President Moranian.
President Moranian: (somber) Thank you Vice President Richardson. (Pause) I regret to report that our internal affairs are
in extreme disarray. In addition, grave developments in the Middle East now threaten our national security. I’ve requested
status reports from all departments and I believe Secretary Williamson will give us a summary of the internal problems first.
Secretary Williamson: Thank you Mr. President. (Pause, as the Secretary shuffles his papers) Gentlemen,
I’ll get right to the point. The output of government funds has exceeded the input for the last twenty years. Interest
on the debt has exceeded the principal for the last thirty years, and it alone has skyrocketed beyond our ability to calculate
it. We have determined that the Social Security system, if maintained on its present course, will collapse in approximately
twelve months. The welfare system is borrowed out. Social security and welfare entitlements have been, for all intents and
purposes, curtailed. Government contracts are practically nonexistent. Corporations are so heavily taxed that many have buckled
under. Jobs have become scarce causing the tax base to shrink. To sum it up, the government debt has finally destabilized
the country. On its present course, we’re looking at a total collapse of the economy in approximately twelve months.
Secretary Cannady: Gentlemen, according to reports which we’ve verified, a multi-state organization of terrorists
has entered Egypt breaching Egyptian security. They’ve managed to seize control of the nuclear defense systems under
development and the biological-chemical complex at Teudjai. The systems are now being converted for offensive applications.
We think they will be able to target our cities in approximately nine months. The Egyptian government is paralyzed. What information
we receive is coming from outlying areas. Some of the surrounding countries are hailing this as a victory and I quote, “against
the Satanic forces of the West.
General Ackerman: Mr. President, satellite option laser defense, or SOLD, is in
effect now against incoming nuclear and biological warheads, but accuracy in its ability to destroy incoming targets is not
100 percent. We have ground based and air launch missiles to intercept any warheads that evade SOLD. Unfortunately, those
are not 100 percent effective either.
James (Young presidential aide and historian): The only historical data
available concerning the reign of Cleopatra VII was taken solely from Roman texts. It was a wholly one-sided account. Rome
had no interest in giving a factual rendering of her reign. She was ultimately viewed as an enemy because of her acquisitions,
and Roman leaders were jealous. I believe she outsmarted the Roman Empire but they wouldn’t admit it.
VII: General Knetkos will see that all directives are met during my short absence. General Antonius, the South as far as Aswan
must be secured by those regiments I assigned. See that it is done. General Parotet will guard Kyrenaica with regiments and
a fleet available at Kyrene. General, see that regiments are posted at Paretonium, Siwa, and especially Dakhla.
(opens the door, and in obvious relief) Thank God you’re here!
James: What’s wrong, Martha?
I’m sorry Mr. Barak. She’s been doin’ it all morning. Every now and then, I hear one hit the wall. Them
books you gave her’s made that woman mad as a wet hornet! I’m ‘fraid to go in there! No sir, I ain’t
goin’ in there!
James: Okay Martha. We’ll see what’s the matter.
Martha: She called me a Nubian,
and I said, “Whatever, yo’ highness.’
(Laughter floats down the hall)
Kathleen: Okay, if
she didn’t see you naked, what’s going on?
James: Somebody dropped off the old Hollywood versions of Cleopatra,
1934 and 1963. She must be watching one.
Kathleen: Which one?
James: Well, what do you think?
laughter rolls from the room)
Kathleen: If I recall, that was a pretty lofty entrance into Rome!
James: Yeah, and
she did it without an oxygen mask!
Captain McDonald: (over the intercom) This is Captain McDonald. There will be
a short delay of estimated liftoff time for refueling clearance in Wiesbaden. All shields will remain at maximum deployment.
Stand by for revised estimated liftoff.
There was something in Beckett
soared. He, the puppeteer of perspectives
said, "Come, climb the ladder and look out of the hollow bones."
topped out in a sea of starry Fresnels,
and Beckett, grinning,
sat at the top.
And he knew, despite his generous invitation,
there wasn't a rung on it!
He repeated, "Come climb the
ladder and look out of the hollow bones."
And the dumb
ones looked and saw nothing
and the smart ones watched and watched
the world turned. Jan. 24, 2001
Response to Marie
Ah, Madama, uh, er, Madama La Misanthrope
Modom, if you wish,
I'm afraid yourself---and the Majordomo---
You have been a horrid influence
myself, the Fantasia! Please, Modom,
As I was engaged in the most
and unpleasant chore
purchasing sustenance for myself
I was buying groceries, for god's sake!)
thought occurred to me!!!
over that b**** who's blocking the aisle!)
No, no, not that thought!
I've got to have Moliere!!!
It thundered through my mind as a never-ending echo;
Pale with the pain!!! I purchased
Aspirin, Acetaminophen, Motrin, Orudis KT! Then...
WHERE IS THE LAUDANUM! I screamed at the
out, frazzled old clerk in despair.
I'm sorry, the Fantasia, Mr. Coleridge
has bought out our entire supply.
So, upon consuming
quantities of the over-the-counter crap,
realized I must go forthwith...
Posthaste, to the land of Moliere!!!
(Okay, I went to the darn library! France ain't
in my budget right now.)
Upon seeing the little nugget hidden on the shelf,
I grabbed it, like a starving child,
like an orphan finding its parents
And I clung to it lovingly
the snoot nosed librarian insisted
tearing it from my arms!
alas, after the checkout,
after leaving my life history with the snoot,
was mine, all mine!
To cherish for two weeks!
opened it lovingly, and there,
the very, very old pages
(Even though I was the first to check it out)
MISANTHROPE!!! LE MISANTHROPE!!!
thus began my journey, Modom,
of discovering the truth, the truth, the truth...
May 10, 1997
I must offer my thanks to G. E. Johnson, a master of English, for
teaching me what poetry is and how to write it. This one's for you.
A History and Celebration of Phillipston, an FSA Settlement
Greenwood, MS 38930