In 1675, a teenaged boy who has trained his entire life for a career as an actor in Restoration London finds himself accidentally transported to Massachusetts Colony, where he knows the Puritans consider the theater to be a terrible evil. It is a time of great unrest and fear, as the Native American tribes are realizing that the English settlers are an unsettling, permanent and growing presence in their midst. For their part, some of the superstitious colonists insist they keep seeing a scalp on the moon, a portent that something
terrible is about to happen. With the outbreak of King Philip’s War this portent might turn out to be all too accurate.
Dorothea Jensen is proud to be one of a very few people who has boarded a pirate ship and attacked a Viking vessel manned by real Vikings wearing horns and furs. She was born in Boston, but grew up in Chillicothe, Illinois, site of the Viking adventure. She then earned a BA in English from Carleton College and an MA in Secondary Education from the University of New Mexico. She has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South America, taught middle and high school English, tutored refugees in ESL, written grant proposals for various arts organizations, written a play performed in Noh style, and raised three children.
Her first historical novel for young readers, THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM, has been used in classrooms for many years as an enrichment resource for kids studying the American Revolution. Her next novel, A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE, is set in 1825 in the small town in New Hampshire where she has lived since 1991.
Dorothea also writes modern Christmas stories in verse. Modeled on the 19th century classic poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas", these award-winning Santa's Izzy Elves story poems feature decidedly 21st century elves savvy in modern technology.
I thought a hair-raising scream would be a far better opening for this story than the lowering of a stage curtain as per the original version. The occasion? The father of the narrator, Gabe, has just accidentally stabbed a fellow actor in the hand during a performance. This has most unexpected and frightening consequences for Gabe and his father.
A Scalp on the Moon
A hair-raising scream rang out. Even from backstage, I could hear it loud and clear, and if my hair was not actually “raised”, my scalp definitely prickled at the sound. I thought it was the best stage scream I had heard since we had opened The Indian Emperor here at the Theater Royal, Drury Lane. This was surprising, as Pendleton, who played Orbellan, was not as seasoned an actor as others in the cast.