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May 05 , 2011

The Trials of Bill and Monica

A Historico-Tragi-Comedy


“The Trials of Bill and Monica” is centered on the affair that rocked the White House during Bill Clinton’s second term of office. It is dubbed a “historico-tragi-comedy” and contains elements of all three genres. It is written in Shakespearean verse and has many playful allusions to Shakespeare plays. The play roughly follows the main events in the scandal, though certainly in no slavish manner. The sequence and timing of events are at times compressed or altered, and the characters are a mixture of history and invention. The clearest departure from history lies in the fate of Monica, which is allegorical. Several characters, including Bemona, the mother of Monica, are entirely fictional. The events that form the basis of play are part of recent American history. They led to a debate in Congress on impeachment of the president and were subjected to the tasteless microscope of the Starr Report. They form a fitting subject for dramatic treatment; especially, “The Trials of Bill and Monica” will appeal to those who combine some acquaintance with Shakespeare, those with an interest in contemporary American politics, and those who love a bit of wordplay.

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