WENCKE BRAATHEN studied art history and went to the theater. She studied medieval history and went to the opera. Inspired to write about the multidimensional aspects of human living, she found that the stage is perfect for displaying the fascinating multi-faceted world we live in. It is populated with more beings than we usually see, and on stage they can all come to life and show how they interact with humans, angels, ghosts and everyone else.
She is a member of Chicago Writers’ Bloc and has had several of her plays read and critiqued by the members. At the “Festival of New Plays” in 2019 two scenes from her musical “Hell is Canceled!” were performed. She wrote the book and the lyrics, the music is composed by Gerald H. Bailey. The full show will be part of the next festival in May 2022.
She is also the author of the historical novel “Mary Magdalene: Rituals in Sacred Stone” inspired by her early studies in religious history. The next novel, “Saint Olav: Secrets in Sacred Stone” is in the works. She also wrote a small intriguing fantasy novel, “Sex on the Altar”.
She is currently working on a play called “Midnight in Hell” which is a continuation of “Hell is Canceled!”, another play about the Terracotta soldiers of China called “Magnolia Warriors” and a historical play about the polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen.
Full length plays that are available:
“Hell is Canceled!” a musical by Wencke Braathen and Gerald H. Bailey.
Archangel Michael arrives in Hell and tells Lucifer that his department is being liquidated. It’s too archaic and inefficient. Michael and Lucifer and a lost soul have to find their way out of Hell before it disintegrates.
12 actors, 5 women and 7 men.
“The AND between Heaven and Earth” a play by Wencke Braathen.
God and his wife have a problem. The other planets are complaining that Earth is lagging behind in evolution. In crisis mode, they call in some humans to take on a mission, which they attempt while their own inner voices have some loud opinions.
13 actors, 5 women and 8 men.
“Stop feeding the Aliens!” a play by Wencke Braathen.
Some alien kids have figured out that they can harvest bad emotions from humans and sell it as candy to other planets. As the aliens' business grows, so does the humans' awareness of being harvested, until they realize that love is the most powerful force in the Universe and claim the Earth back.
14 actors, 6 women and 8 men.
“Enjoy your Afterlife!” a play by Wencke Braathen.
Six young students die in a car crash and meet after death wondering what actually happened. They all come from different cultures and meet representatives from their own mythology. Going through several revelations, they become wiser along the way, and finally decide to reincarnate together.
13 actors, 3 women and 10 men.
Short plays by Wencke Braathen that are available:
“Moonlight in Turquoise”
This play won first prize in the CWB minifestival in August 2020. The play presents an old car that holds the ghosts from an older time and gives them an opportunity to manifest themselves in Chicago.
4 actors, 2 women and 2 men. 15 minutes.
“Midnight at the Forest Preserve”
We meet a newly formed coven of witches doing a ritual in a forest preserve while their husbands spy on them and try to understand the significance of what they’re doing.
6 women and 3 men, plus 5-7 that can be either. 20 min
“The Angel and the Gargoyle in Edgewater”
These two figures are situated on top of a church until the gargoyle decides to join in a Halloween celebration as one of the kids causing all sorts of havoc.
1 man, 1 woman, 1 girl, various parents and children. 15 min
“The Indian and the Pilgrim”
The two figures decorating the kitchen table have their own conversation while the parents try to explain Thanksgiving to their children.
6 actors, 2 women and 4 men. 12 min
“Wings and Cigars”
Two guardian angels, one with a cigar, discuss the humans they are in charge of. They are told that they need to bring their humans to level 8 before midnight or a crisis will occur. Eeek!
4 actors, 3 men and 1 woman.
Two guardian angels are watching their humans who are owners of a cat and a dog. The animals chime in as their stories unfold.
4 actors, 2 women and 2 men, voices for the cat and dog. 12 min
A Halloween party goes very wrong as all the guests show up dressed in feathers. Until everything goes very right. A light hearted play where there are few lines per actor and the humor is in the costuming
11 actors, 6 men and 5 women, plus some children. 20 min
“The Queen’s last Words”
A serious historical play featuring Queen Margaret of 1570 who established the Kalmar Union between the three Scandinavian countries. She reveals that she was more ruthless to achieve her goals than her maid ever knew.
2 actors, 2 women 20 min
“Dame Sybil and the Nazis”
A historical play following Dame Sybil of the channel island Sark through WWII when her island is occupied by Nazi officers. She demands respect and the aristocratic officers recognize an equal and complies.
5 actors, 1 powerful woman and 4 men 20 min