Show-Score & Tell: Alice Scovell

By Gamal ElSawah | Feb 28, 2023

Alice Scovell is a writer and theatre lover whose play, The Rewards of Being Frank, will premiere in March 2023.

Show-Score & Tell passes the mic to members of our diverse theatre-loving community - people from all walks of life, highlighting why theatre is so special to them, and why they keep coming back time and time again, in their own words.

"I started Show-Score a bit late, about nine months after the launch. Over time, I became the top "all-time leader.”  I have a serious theatre habit and, pre-Covid, would often see 5-6 shows a week. Sadly, with my cautious return to theatregoing, I’ve been bumped from my top perch. 

Show-Score changed my life. When I moved back to the city from the suburbs, I often found myself going to plays alone. I much prefer going with a theatre buddy, but if one isn't available, I’ll still go. Show-Score gave me a way to 'talk' to others after the show. In fact, the experience of seeing a show – whether alone or with a friend – does not feel complete until I've reviewed the show on Show-Score.

Reviewing gives me a way to organize my thoughts and reactions, and I love seeing how others have felt, and having the record to look back on. 

I've written a number of children's novels, two of which are published. When I returned to New York, after over twenty years in Westchester, I did some magazine writing. And I went to lots of theatre, including the Red Bull Theatre’s jam-packed reading series. Almost all of the plays were Elizabethan and Jacobean dramas, which was my specialty in college. My senior thesis was on 'Young Women who Go Insane From Love Melancholia, in Elizabethan & Jacobean Drama.' The Red Bull Theater’s annual short play contest got me into playwriting. Once I discovered how much I enjoyed writing dialogue, it was not daunting to go from short plays to full-length.

My favorite comedy has always been The Importance of Being Earnest. And I'm certainly not alone. If you look at lists of best comedies ever written, oftentimes, it's at the top. So then the issue becomes, because people love it so much, how can you have the hubris to take it on and to write a sequel?

I had gone to the New York Classical Theatre’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest – twice in one week, because they performed it with traditional casting and with gender-swapped casting. And because I heard the same exact lines within a few days of each other, the words were firmly inside my head. So I pulled my copy of Earnest off the shelf, and I went through it, and marked it like mad. Then two things occurred to me: One, these immortal, fabulous characters would be great in another play. And, two, Oscar Wilde, was a frickin’ genius – don't take that away from him – but you know, not every joke lands. Not every joke is perfect.

So I thought: I might be able to take this on. And if I fail, so be it.

So I started writing my play, The Rewards of Being Frank, furiously in the spring of 2019, and finished in the fall of 2019.

I sent the script to Stephen Burdman, who had directed the NYCT Earnest. And he read it quickly, and wrote back an amazing note, saying that I had captured Oscar Wilde, and that we should think about a production.

Now, isn’t that a fairy tale? Does that ever happen to any playwright?!

I wish I could review my show here, but, of course, I can’t violate Show-Score's rules.

I would finally give a show a perfect score."

Alice’s Recommendations

"I would definitely recommend Some Like It Hot (86), which I saw recently. It’s really charming. They've done a wonderful job of making the musical both modern and old-fashioned.  And it has some of the best dancing that you'll see – certainly that I've seen in a long time – and tremendously talented leads."

To read more of Alice's thoughts on theatre, be sure to follow her here on Show-Score!