Preface to My New Play

I wrote the preface to my first play, Doris Tate. I’m very excited for the workshop next month at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.

A Note From the Playwright:

August 9, 2019 will be the fiftieth anniversary of the Manson murder spree that claimed the lives of seven, including actress Sharon Tate and her unborn baby. One would assume that the world has already absorbed everything possible about the crime and it’s historic trial.

I love the true crime genre, but I wanted to write an “anti-Helter Skelter” piece. In the vast sea of books, movies, and plays drowning in facts about the tragedy, surely this story can be told without blood or stabbing. I yearned for a story that felt deeply personal written specifically for the stage.

Few people know the story of Sharon Tate’s mother, Doris. I fell in love with this spunky woman after viewing a handful of videos of her advocacy on YouTube. Unlike many retellings of the crime, my play Doris Tate is in no way meant to glorify the murders. My motivation for writing this play is to simply spin the story from another angle. Doris Tate’s story of grief and grit is long overdue.

For the record, this is a fictional dramatization that is framed within history. I have never met anyone from the Tate family or any of the families involved in the story. As the playwright, I would suggest anyone who chooses to produce this play make a donation to The Doris Tate Crime Victim’s Bureau (now called Crime Victims Action Alliance) or any other foundation that serves crime victims and their families.

About Dennis

Dennis Milam Bensie’s poem “Eight Ball” was published in Greater National Society of Poets, Inc in 1980 when he was a freshman in high school. It was featured thirty years later in his memoir, Shorn: Toys to Men. His short stories, poetry and essays have been featured all over the web and in print. His second book, One Gay American, was chosen as a finalist in both the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the Indie Excellence Book Awards. His latest book Flit: A Poetry Mashup of Classic Literature has been featured in Kolaj Magazine and was a part of Tribe Magazine’s “Anti-Shame Week”. The author has been a presenter at the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans and at Montana’s very first gay pride festival.
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