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ICWP Searchable Database of Scripts written by Women for Stage, Screen, TV, Radio & Musicals

As of 1 Jan 2019 there are over 1000 plays listed

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Author:Diane Baia Hale
ICWP Member?:Yes
Nearest Large City:Chicago
Play Title:The Wisdom of Serpents
Runtime:91-120 minutes
Synopsis:Hildegard von Bingen is a woman for all seasons. A real-life German poet, composer, healer, mystic, and founder of a great monastery, she has personally been given leave by the pope to go out and preach like a man, and as the year 1178 dawns, she is one of the most influential personalities of her era, counting many of the crowned heads of Europe, including Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, among her friends.

Yet a woman in such a position of power is bound to have enemies, and Hildegard’s penchant for telling the truth, especially about the corruption of the clergy, has made her more than a few. When she grants sanctuary to a heretic knight, all that she has achieved is jeopardized by the opposition of both church and state and the determination of her enemies to finally destroy her. Centuries before Sir Thomas More defied a monarch on the basis of personal conscience, a woman had already done so, taking a lonely stand against the might of king and clergy combined. Inspired by a true story, and featuring the playwright’s translations of several of Hildegard von Bingen’s original twelfth-century Latin compositions, The Wisdom of Serpents was a finalist for the 2009 Jane Chambers Award as one of the top five feminist plays adjudged that year.
Max. Cast:12
Min. Cast:12
Theme:Individual versus church and state
Web Page:www.dianebaia.com
First Name:Diane
Last Name:Baia Hale
Notes:This play can be staged as minimally or lavishly as budgets allow. The pace of dialogue must be swift and urgent; matters of life and death are at stake here.