Steven Manchester: The Thrill of Watching a Story Come to Life

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This past February, I worked with Producer Sue Nedar of Footlights Repertory Co. to breathe life into my story, Three Shoeboxes; a tear-jerker that was originally written as a screenplay. But after eight weeks of hard work—to include multiple storyboards and rewrites—we were able to successfully adapt it to the stage.

I wish I could put into words how thrilling an experience it was for me. I’ve been writing books for many years, but watching Three Shoeboxes come to life on stage proved to be both humbling and beyond exciting. Sharing the experience with my daughter, Isabella—who played Beans in the show—only made it that more memorable.

Three Shoeboxes is a simple story: A loving husband and father is brutally ambushed by P.T.S.D. Left to contend with ignorance, an insensitive justice system and the struggles of an invisible disease, his family is eventually taken from him. Yet, in Three Shoeboxes, this father’s undying love may be just enough to make things right again.

We handed out tissues with every ticket purchased and, for all five performances, I sat in the rear of the audience and watched as people used them. There were tears of sadness and belly-laughs of happiness, and I absorbed each one—enveloped in the most raw and honest feedback a writer can receive. Thrilling doesn’t even begin to describe all that I felt.

Three Shoeboxes was, without question, a labor of love for all involved—and I am eternally grateful to each one of them for making this dream a reality for me.

The program read: “In the end, one shoebox might store an old pair of sneakers. Two shoeboxes could contain a lifetime of photographs. But in Three Shoeboxes, a father’s undying love may be just enough to make things right again.” For me, this simple project was a stark reminder of why I work at my craft as hard as I do.

Motif Magazine & Theatre Mirror Reviews

Manchester Author Photo

Steven Manchester is the author of three #1 bestsellers. His most recent title, critically acclaimed Gooseberry Island, is available now. Please visit his website for more.

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On June 2, 2015
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