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Work Samples

The Return of the 5th Sister Phase One.pdf

The Return of the 5th Sister, Phase One, first six pages - Eve arrives in a tornado and shakes pages out of the trees and time and nature speed up.

PDF icon The Return of the 5th Sister Phase One.pdf

Boxed in Love.pdf

In Boxed in Love, part of Lynne's collection of short stories, Something with a Crust, Frank escapes his house to avoid his ranting wife and shuffles up the hill with vodka to consider his mother's childhood home.

PDF icon Boxed in Love.pdf

The Docents Scene 2.pdf

The Docents, Scene two, first four pages: the Woman and the Boy dodge the Soldier between battles.

PDF icon The Docents Scene 2.pdf

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About Kimberley

Baltimore City

Kimberley Lynne's picture
My primary noun is writer, and I’ve been weaving stories for as long as I can remember. I tell a span of narrative from historical fiction to local Baltimore and Maryland folklore. Writing is a mysterious adventure and a tool with which to process this crazy reality, and I began journaling at nine in order to parse out the baffling world. One ancient text equates word to deity; that makes us writers acolytes with a responsibility to serve. I teach and that experience of teaching writing expands my... more

Something With a Crust

A collection of short stories, Something with a Crust, set in the Baltimore neighborhood of Hamilton was published in 2013 and is sold online and at the Gift Cellar in Lauraville.

The stories:
Keys: a neighbor knows too much about Dana
Boxed in Love: Frank lives too close to where his mother grew up
A New Minefield: classical cellist Rance experiences experimental music and meets Dana
Baked: a robber cooks pot pie in Felix's house
The Guru of Harford Road: Frank's wife Hannah struggles with the patriarch of lawn mower repair world
Tree People: the love story
A Little Wilderness: people yell at Easter
Next Door: Dana realizes that a gang rape is happening in the abandoned house next door and gathers the energy to help save the victim.
The Whim of the Great Magnet: time jumps in the backyard

"Many of the characters in Kimberley Lynne's collection have seen better days - key makers and mower kings, cello-killing artists and pot pie-eating burglars - simultaneously bizarre and familiar. Make their acquaintance, check out the kitchsy lawn statues, share a Natty Boh and a bag of Utz. These stories of people caught between country and city, traversing tradition and change, are Lynne's love letters to a loco neighborhood"
Gregg Wilhelm, founder and Executive Director, CityLit Project

Baltimore continues to give me stories daily. Beyond the Crust collection, I post them on the Crust blog, http://somethingwithacrust.wordpress.com

  • Container

    Indian Ink, Gouache, Paper 2' h x 3' w
  • From The Whim of the Great Magnet story

    Although I don't know the exact age of my house, suddenly I see it a hundred years ago in its framed shape and hear workers yell and hammers ring. They don't use electrical tools, and they're in period dress. Then that image slides to the right like a photo on my smart phone. One hundred and fifty years ago, the house is gone. A Confederate scout hides under the backyard brambles from Major General George Sykes' division as they march north to Gettysburg.

The Benefactor

Set in the immediate future, the world of The Benefactor is a patriarchal one. The ratio of women to men is tipped. The remaining women have lost property, education and child rights. Former painter and activist, Judith Waterson supports herself as a professional surrogate and is eight months pregnant and guarded by her midwife Maria. Author David Phoenix contracts Judith to discuss art in the last month of her difficult confinement in order to learn a woman’s voice for a book he is ghost writing.
As they discuss the gender-specificity of art, they form an unexpected friendship, and through this relationship, they discover each other’s secrets. David really wants Judith’s permission to write about her composer father. The child Judith is carrying is asexual and illegal. The midwife is part of a genderless revolutionary movement, and Judith is a prisoner in the birthing pod.

Part mystery and part love story, the play considers gender in art and tracks a surprising friendship between two very different people.

Production history: Baltimore’s Stillpointe Theatre Initiative, February 2015

"StillPointe Theatre Initiative’s The Benefactor is a production that a million people will want to see, but there’s only room for about three dozen audience members at each show.
Be a Theatre Insider and get there before it’s sold out.

This is a play audiences will chew over, dissect ,and argue about for years to come. The cast is to be commended for their first-rate acting. That is, acting with a small, realistic “a” – not Look At Me over-the-top acting with a big “A.”
You watch the actors sweat as they live their roles.
In this play, with a stunning, thought-provoking book by Kimberley Lynne and sensitively directed by Amanda J. Rife, the audience has to think inside the box because they are inside a box. Trapped."
Wendi Winters, DC Metro Arts

  • From the Stillpointe Theatre production of The Benefactor with Joan Weber & Courtney Proctor

    Maria: Stronger children will be better placed in the New Order. Judith: (Hugging her stomach.) The baby knows that. Maria: How? Judith: I don’t know. Maria: I can’t wait to meet it. Judith: It feels the same. Maria: Oh. Does it? Judith: It has a very high IQ, you know. It tells me stuff. Maria: . . . In sentences? Judith: I can’t explain. I just know. Maria: Well, then. I’m honored. Well, then. The man, Mr. Phoenix, his cards are in order, and his fingerprints pass. He’s either had implants or he’s who he says he is. Mrs. Oberon photo-phoned to confirm his arrival.

A Dickens of a Carol

Jimi Kinstle, then Artistic Director of the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, commissioned me to write a one-man Christmas Carol.
My first reaction was: do the Cratchitts have to be involved?
Once I researched the mad writing habits of genius Charles Dickens, I found the frame to hang one of the world's most treasured stories of redemption.

Production history: commissioned by Baltimore Shakespeare Festival (BSF) in January 2003 to write a one-man version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. BSF produced two productions: December 2003 and December 2004 both under AEA SPT contract. Apprentice House published the play in November 2009 and Kimberley Lynne owns the dramatic rights (Copyright PAU2869741). Rep Stage produced the play at the Belmont Mansion under AEA SPT contract in December 2009.

Synopsis: in October 1843, Charles Dickens was, at 31, unhappy with his wife, distant from his children and haunted by his dead sister-in-law and the memory of his bleak childhood. He was on the brink of estrangement with his father, and he was obsessed by a necessity to work and generate more income. When he was commissioned to write a pamphlet on workhouse conditions, he instead dreamt A Christmas Carol, and, for the first time in his astounding literary career, he wrote not in installment but the entire book in a very short period of time. Dickens’ family and friends documented that he dreamt entire chapters, acted out his stories and was possessed by his characters while writing them. He would contort his face in the mirror for hours; he would jump between the reality of his family and the fantasy of his story. Within the framework of Dickens composing his beautiful novella, the redemptive tale of A Christmas Carol is told, and the audience’s imagination brings the ghosts to life.

  • Apprentice House cover of published play

    (Charles takes Mary’s ring out of his pocket.) Remember, we had been to the theatre that evening, all three of us, and you “went upstairs to bed at about one o’clock in perfect health and [your] usual delightful sprits.” I heard the door shut and I heard the cry and the choke and I rushed up. We sent Fred for a doctor. Do you remember? You went in “such a calm and gentle sleep, that although I had held [you] in my arms for some time before. . . .
  • From the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival production of Dickens

    Jimi Kinstle kicked it: 48 pages of monologue and 20 some characters.

The Docents

The Docents Synopsis
Kimberley Lynne
[email protected]

When Japan invaded China in 1939, the Chinese packed the contents of the Beijing museum into peasant carts and disguised citizens as refugees who rolled the treasure in front of the battle and protected China’s art history from the marauding invaders.
In the beginning of The Docents, two volunteers, a woman and a boy, have become separated from their platoon of carts. Alone, pulling their prized cargo only a few miles from enemy lines and surrounded by war, the two encounter an AWOL soldier, a thief, who slowly determines that they are carrying precious artwork wrapped only in burlap.
Metaphoric for the sacrifice modern artists make by continuing to create art in a monetary and militaristic society, The Docents praises the efforts of those who return the precious gift of art to their community.

Set: Empty stage with a peasant cart
Running time: an hour ten
Production History: The Docents was produced at Mobtown Players, July 2010

Characters:
• Woman, in her 40s, factory worker, wanted to be a teacher
• Boy, teenager, son of a blacksmith
• Soldier, mid 20s, thief, AWOL

  • From the Mobtown production with Marianne Angelella & Alex Weinberg

    Boy: I could’ve taken him, that soldier. He’s more of a thief than a soldier. Woman: Even if you could’ve pinned him, you’d have to kill him to keep him quiet and you don’t want to have to do that yet. Don’t cross that line until you absolutely have to. Violence is their tool. Try to use your wit before your fists. Better for our treasure. Boy (Finishes with her.): Better for our treasure.

Dredging the Choptank

Apprentice House published my collection of ghost folklore from Dorchester County framed in a novel about a writer commissioned to pen a ghost walking tour in Cambridge.
Dredging copies are available online and at the completely fabulous Gift Cellar in Lauraville. The Dorchester Arts Center in Cambridge still conducts the ghost tour along wealthy High Street. I'm currently shopping copies around to Maryland beach bookstores. Ghost stories make fine beach reading material.
Only 25' above sea level at its highest, Dorchester County is drenched in magnificent folklore: headless slave girls, dead wives rising out of floating coffins, Choptank Indian curses, disembodied hands, shape-shifting dogs, haunted ships on the Nanticoke, phantom hitchhikers, and grave robbers.

"Maryland has thousands of ghost stories and this book is a good way to learn about its hauntings."
Beverly Litsinger, President, The Maryland Ghost and Spirit Associates

Anthony Scimonelli filmed a trailer for the Dredging book release:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSVzwgZaWm0

  • From Dredging the Choptank

    "Why didn't you go to the Light?" Chief Winter Fox asked. "It was about letting her go. It was her crossing. It wasn't about me." Couldn't he see? "Why didn't you go to the Light" He knew the real answer. He could look inside me, behind the curtains and under the bed. "I wasn't ready yet," I admitted, stuttering. "Maybe those on the Other Side of the Veil didn't think you were ready either."
  • Reading Dredging stories

    As I recount these ghost stories, I too am ridiculously assigning anthropomorphic qualities to flimsy energy, but that's part of the humanization of parable. We can only describe the unknown with behavior that is known to us. Maybe there are friendly, the Ghost and Mrs. Muir type ghosts, like the dead Calvin category that require only companionship or compassion. Dead or alive, we all want empathy. "She died, and the lights stopped turning on by themselves.
  • Reading Dredging stories at the Red Canoe

    "Could the water spirit have anything to do with the rumor of the Native American burial ground under the courthouse jail?" "It's not a rumor," Maynard said. I waited, afraid to speak and break the spell. "The burial was an unusual ceremony," he whispered, hoarse again.
  • Dredging the Choptank book trailer

    Anthony Scimonelli filmed this book trailer with Raine Bode, Dana Whipkey, Tomi Rinaldi, and Dave Kiefaber.

Portals

I'm still writing Portals, a collection of short memoir essays and plays paired with a novella exploring my spiritual experiences in Ireland while teaching playwriting in four summers in Armagh County. The essays progress in a linear fashion and are interspersed with the short plays that I developed at each Armagh Project residency. A publisher is considering publishing this collection of stories of ghosts, fairies, past lives, and sea monsters. More importantly, as I string these unexplainable moments together in a row, I begin to recognize patterns, patterns that define my every day.

The stories:
The Promise: we get lost in the woods and find St. Brigid's sacred well
Fairy Would: we get lost in the woods and stumble onto a fairy fort
Host: light with agency finds our hearts in St. Patrick's Cathedral
Hood: play written for Armagh Project 2012 about executioner Lady Betty
Two-Headed: sea monsters in the river
Norman Cooking: ghosts in Carrickfergus
Chasing Finigan: we are sent on a genealogy quest with a surprising twist
Siren's Call: play written for Armagh Project 2013 about a pining mermaid wife
Chobha, K86: I was a hunter in the Bronze Age
Thin Place: the plays manifest
Avalon: I can see across the Atlantic
Soldiers: we camped on this hill long ago
Wild Bees: play written for Armagh Project 2014 about William Butler Yeats' fight with Sean O'Casey and how the gentle folk got involved
Book of Beth: a dark dream
First Dail: I recognize a photograph
Branded: I am marked by the island
A Million, Million Times: play written for Armagh Project 2015 about the bravery of the Plunketts
St. Mochua: a quest for holy water

  • From memoir essay, Chobha, K86

    The girl guide speaks, an almost buzzing under the light spray. Rain helps me understand her. She doesn’t know the origination of the designs on the decorated curbstones that encircle the round dome. Hypnotizing motifs of spirals, lozenges, and serpentiform tell nothing. “Maybe it’s a calendar,” she speculates. “Maybe it’s a map. Maybe the Bronze Age people ate a lot of mushrooms.” The Portuguese students snicker.
  • From memoir novella, Chasing Finigan

    The bumpy yard is packed with about three hundred people, whispering between graves and sitting on headstones. The blue sky excruciatingly frames; everyone seems to carry a heightened dimension and depth, like a cloak. The women wear brightly-colored Sunday service dresses; the men sweat in shirt-sleeves. The Substitute Priest drones into a microphone on the natural stage by the row of trees that form the upper boundary of the yard. Children play between the dead; little girls in faded Easter dresses prance like fairies. Fresh flowers adorn the graves.
  • Video trailer for Armagh Project

    Filmmaker Peter Salisbury created this video from Armagh Project 2015, our month-long creative writing residency in Northern Ireland that culminates in a performance at the John Hewitt International Summer School Festival and has happily landed me on that soggy and magical isle for four summers.

Sultana's Sauce

Beyond its April 2015 Dramatist Guild reading, I continue to develop this play about the Irish famine, Sultana’s Sauce. I need to re-draft the play more from the prospective of its protagonist.
Set in Dublin in 1847, this short play opens on Soyer’s Soup Kitchen where French celebrity chef Alexis Soyer is feeding Irish Catholic famine victims and displaying this charity to rich British ex-pats for a minimal charge that was slightly cheaper than watching the monkeys eat in the adjacent Dublin Zoo. I believe that at the root of most of the world's evil lurks classism, and I want to explore that ugliness with this work.

  • First 15 Pages of Sultana's Sauce

    . . . I ship grain to Manchester, to England, to feed their factory workers, wheat that my family should be eatin' instead of our seed potatoes. They make me. They can. Two hundred years ago, my people, the Friels, we lost our land to King James, the Plantation System in Ulster, but we're allowed to rent back the land we useta own, until the fields went black. I canna feed my boys what I grew. I ache inside like a broken heart; a wind blows through the middle of me. So, I either watch my little boys shake with hunger tremors or I go on being a man. We got no pride left in our pockets, do ya understand me? Now we dream of kites, potato cakes, and all the lost ones.

    PDF icon First 15 Pages of Sultana's Sauce

The Mad Wooing

This play about the plight of artists in England during the Inter-Regnum when acting was illegal is a spy thriller as well as a reflection of current artist challenges in modern society.
When I read that Roundheads punished actors by imprisonment or banishment or mutilation, I wondered if I would've had the strength to tell stories during the Puritan regime in abandoned barns, churches, and bars.
Guillotine Theatre in D.C. read the work last spring, but in order to fully develop the movement and pacing of the piece, the play requires a fully staged production.
I still need to develop a few minor characters. Is anything ever really finished?
I'd also like to further research the theatrical form of the droll that developed during that time period and that research requires international travel.

Synopsis:
In February 1649, in a tavern in a small village in the middle of England, an illegal troop of traveling actors prepare for an presentation of a droll, an abbreviated version of an existing play and a genre that developed during the Interregnum. In 1646, Parliament had passed a decree that outlawed the staging of plays and was imprisoning or deporting offenders. Still, theatre continued in a guerilla fashion throughout the countryside.
To protect their identities, the traveling actors disguise themselves as three of the mechanicals from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Enclosed in The Mad Wooing droll that they perform (with text pulled from an actual droll) is a coded message to exiled poet laureate, Sir William D’Avenant, who claimed to be the illegitimate son of Shakespeare and the Dark Lady of his sonnets. Shakespeare’s eldest daughter, Susanna Shakespeare Hall, and granddaughter, Elizabeth Hall Nash, watch the illicit droll performance that the Roundheads interrupt. Hiding from the soldiers, the characters discover a Puritan spy and wrestle with the dilemma of killing him in self-defense, similar to Hamlet’s quandary of freeze or fight.
Paralleling the difficulty for modern artists to exist in the present economy and the impact of the religious right on government, The Mad Wooing is both a period play and a metaphor for the current conditions for many American actors and playwrights.
One set: interior of the Sign of the Bear tavern, Tiddington, England, 1649
Running time: first act is an hour and the second is forty minutes
Production history: not fully produced but the Dramatist Guild hosted a reading as part of Baltimore Footlights Series, March 2014 and Guillotine Theatre and Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association staged a reading at the Athenaeum in Alexandria, Virginia, April 2015.
Characters (six men, two women):
· Simon Gordon, 50s, tapster, based on an early Shakespearean biographer
· Peter Since, 40s, manager of acting troupe, child apprentice with Lord Chamberlain’s Men
· Francis Lute, 20s, Roundhead spy, thief turned actor
· Nick Noggin, 30s, pompous and daft actor, cousin to Anne Hathaway
· Susanna Shakespeare Hall, 66, widowed, Shakespeare’s daughter, in her death year
· Elizabeth Hall Nash, 41, widowed, Susanna’s only daughter
· Sir William D’Avenant 43, England’s poet Laureate, Cavalier spy
· Sir John Bernard, late 40s, widower, landed gentry, married to Elizabeth in 1649

  • From The Mad Wooing Reading at the Athenaeum

    SIMON: We played music here once. Now the corner and its best table wait for better days. Are you expecting as much as six? I hear that someone famous might be in your audience. PETER: Where’d you hear that? SIMON: Around. In the market. PETER: In Stratford? (Simon nods.) How do you usually spread the word of a show? SIMON: The folks at the Three Pigeons in Stratford have extra pennies and like a story and not just the Bible ones. Most Puritans roost outside this parish in their own church. Like types stick together, and God keep it that way. Before the War, the town square hosted plays!

The Return of the 5th Sister

I wrote Return as a play first in response to a piece of visual art I saw. I wrote it quickly; it poured out of my arm. A mythic fairy tale, Return has been produced four times locally and is the story of four sisters on a farm who are visited by their giant sister. Upon her arrival, their minds begin to change about their patriarch and the plant and animal life begin to grow very quickly.
One of my favorite audience reactions to my work comes from Return's first production at Hood College. As people filed out, I overhead a woman snap at her male companion, "We will talk about this in the car!" That's my goal: to encourage people to think and debate.
Many audience members have commented that the story should be a film, so I'm drafting a screenplay version.

Love for Words

I was commissioned to write a play about Shakespeare. Really. So, of course, I put him on his deathbed.

In Scene One, William Shakespeare is writing King Lear with the assistance of his muse. During the rest of the play, Shakespeare is dying in Stratford and has abandoned the writing life but cannot eliminate writing from his life. He is tended by his wife Anne and daughter Susanna, who quibble over him and his will.
Through a fairy show populated by apparitions from the future and patterned after MacBeth's march of kings, the Muse shows William his legend and convinces him that his work should be preserved for future generations. After some will-switching and money-trading, William contracts Susanna to deliver the true play copies to publishers Heminge and Candell seven years after his own death.
The play explores the artistic process and its impact on personal relationships and parental responsibility. It wrestles with what it means to be creative and how expensive that gift can be. It theorizes that not only did Shakespeare write the canon assigned to him, but he intentionally propagated confusion about the origination of his own work.

Playing time: an hour and twenty minutes with no intermission
Set: William Shakespeare's bed
Cast of Characters (Eight actors, three men, five women, ten roles):
• William Shakespeare, early fifties
• The Muse
• Anne Hathaway Shakespeare, his wife, late fifties
• Susanna Shakespeare, 34, his daughter, also plays one of the fairies
• The Graduate Student, 23 or so, also plays one of the fairies
• Steven Welch, early thirties
• Mark Twain, played by same actor as Steven Welch
• The Oxford professor, man any age over thirty
• Lawyer Riggins, played by same actor as Oxford professor
• The Kid, girl, 16, also plays one of the fairies

Copyright PAU2-185-351
Commissioned by Axis Theatre to write Other Voices play on Shakespeare
Produced June 1997, Axis Theatre and September 2000, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival

Connect with Kimberley

Kimberley's Curated Collection

View Kimberley's favorite works from other Baker Artists

ONAJE

Onaje is set in two worlds, one against the backdrop of the burning city of Cambridge during Maryland’s race riots of 1967, and one on the American open road of the 1980s. The story follows an eccentric African American hitchhiker who is picked up by a white couple—a headstrong cowboy and a spirited waitress—only to discover they are all inextricably linked by the past.