The Legacy that Shaped the Collection
Updated: Jan 18
by Monique Franz
A few of my plays and musicals have appeared on stages in California and Hong Kong, but this past December, Blue Moon Plays published my first printed collection of one-act scripts, Legacy of a Father. The series includes candid stories of those dealing with fatherlessness and begins with a bit of my own story. My biological father (God rest his soul) conceived me at seventeen years old, being far too young to be the perfect dad. In many ways, his failure to be an ideal dad shaped me as a person, but not in a purely negative way. My dad’s imperfections shaped me in the way that earthquakes, wind, and rain chisel a mountain, adding form, character, experience, authenticity, and ultimately beauty.
As mentioned in the foreword, I use the term fatherlessness to indicate the absence of a dad in the formative years or the absence of what a dad traditionally provides; security, protection, identity, affirmation, and love. As an African American woman, raised during the 1970s and 1980s, I witnessed (and experienced) the impact of absentee fathers within the urban community. However, when I served in missions work in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, I discovered that absentee fathers were a global epidemic. Intrigued, I interviewed quite a few people, investigating how fatherlessness differed in various cultural contexts and situations. The interviews brought insight I wanted to share in something other than a self-help book.
Although real people inspired the one-act plays, the scenes themselves, along with the names, are fiction. The best way to describe how each of the skits developed is to imagine someone sharing their life story, but the story unfolds in a completely unique form in the playwright’s mind. As with all good tales, the fiction derives from seeds of truth, and truth is the fruit that brings about change in people's lives.
Because I have such a strong ministry background, I imagine that some of my readers might expect the collection to offer sanitary scripts for Christians. Not at all. The scripts are no more written for Christians than fatherlessness can be considered a Christian problem. Legacy of a Father applies to anyone dealing with the pain of not having a daddy in their formative years. The circumstances around fatherlessness can be dark and profane, and the scenes and dialogue reflect that. I feel that a common problem with faith-based fiction is that dialogue comes so squeaky clean that it comes off unbelievable and not relatable to those who need it most. With the series, I share a message to empower those tempted to remain victimized by their daddy issues, and it does not exclude anyone's faith or beliefs.
Now that the work is complete, I want to thank my late father and all of his imperfections. I learned how to love unconditionally simply by loving him in his absence, with his faults, in his addictions, and when he was brutish. I didn’t fully understand this until after he died, but my father loved me as best he knew how in his brokenness, and I'm so grateful for that today.
Lastly, thanks to everyone who asked about buying the play collection. It’s not the type of book you snuggle up with by the fire. One expects to see plays on stage, but so many of you have expressed your love and support by wanting to buy a copy. Thank you. If you're one of my thespian friends, the shorts are ideal for theatre classrooms. For stage civilians, read the plays as an enriching activity with a group of friends or read it with your book club. The series should spark intriguing conversations of which I’d love to hear more about.
For immediate or international orders, order through Amazon at this link.
To pre-order a personalized, signed copy of Legacy of a Father (arrival by mid-February), use this Paypal link.