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Now on Amazon!

An Accidental Diary

A sonnet a week for a year

An Accidental Diary has just been published. I am both surprised and extremely proud of my unusual book.

In writing a sonnet a week for a year, I discovered — almost 20 years later — that I'd created a wild subconscious diary in a year of transition.

It was whatever was on my mind Sunday night while working to meet my deadline.

It was what I had kept hidden from myself back then and what years later would happen: fond recollections and musings on loss, lust, love of family, my fear of dying alone, a sad divorce and, back then, even efforts to quit smoking.

I hope you’ll give it a read.

“The Naked House Painting Society”

“Easily the festival’s best. Riveting drama with genuine humor and intense relationships. Mystical in nature, the play turns on incisive philosophical dialogue.” — Winifred Walsh, The Baltimore Sun

 

“Slavery,” a play in one act

Ownership is the issue as two associates draft a patent at a huge law firm in Robert Bowie, Jr’s one‑act play “Slavery.”

“Crash & Burn PA”

“It’s pretty damned refreshing. Tightly woven, with comic prowess and a nicely fast pace. If you want a carefree night of fun and laughs, this is your ticket.” — Pandora Locks

“Witchcraft,” a play in one act

“‘Witchcraft’ offers the suspenseful flavor of Alfred Hitchcock show. The drama unfolds with many unanticipated twists and turns…” — Janet Stidman Evleth

Poet Laureate - Harvard Alumni Association

Robert is also an accomplished poet and HAA Poet Laureate. You can read some of his poems here.

 

Plays by Robert Bowie, Jr…

Sold-Out Shows, Rave Reviews!

Our FringeNYC premiere could not have gone better…

ONAJE sold out all five shows, the performances were riveting, and both audiences and critics were exceedingly positive. Check out these great reviews from onstageblog.com and Theatre is Easy (theasy.com) .

Thanks again to our incredible cast, crew, and creative team — and to everyone whose generous support helped bring ONAJE to life!

Recent Posts

Dancing School

Dancing School

For my friends and me, life was abruptly changed on the after school athletic fields in the spring of our eighth-grade year, when all of our parents signed us up for dancing school.

My friends and I were all told it was a non-negotiable part of our education.

We were divided on the subject, until one of us confessed that in church he had recently prayed to God that he be allowed to live long enough to experience sex.

We found this to be reasonably compelling and it was sufficient to open the door for the rest of us to give in and accept the inevitable.

We had been given no previous training for this.

My preparation for dancing school was to wash my hair and then soap and rinse myself several times until I was squeaky clean, then do pull ups on the shower curtain rail in front of the mirror until I began to perspire and I couldn’t do anymore, in order to improve my physique.

Dancing school started at 4:30 pm. It was held in the middle school cafeteria at our all-boys day school. After lunch, all the tables were moved to one side, the chairs were placed side by side along opposite walls, and a piano was rolled into place.

Our instructors, Mr. and Mrs. Knot, were a husband and wife team who appeared to be in their 30s. The husband playedthe piano, smoked constantly, and showed no enthusiasm. We all liked him from the start.

His wife however was stern, and dressed in black high heels and a low cut black dress that featured her remarkable figure. From the start we had a problem. We couldn’t look at her, but we couldn’t take our eyes off of her.

Mrs. Knot would single out the tallest boy to dance with her. She would teach him the steps while the rest of us watched. We were then lined up with the girls from tallest to shortest and we could repeat their example.

Mrs. Knot soon showed the boys how they could politely change partners on the dance floor by tapping a boy on the shoulder.

One of the shortest boys in the class, who had big glasses, tapped Mrs. Knot’s dance partner on the shoulder in what appeared to be a shameless attempt to gain favor with his teacher. She appeared to approve, until they began to dance and she realized that her high heels and his height had placed his nose in her cleavage and his glasses were focused squarely on her breasts.

The girls were at least a head taller than most of the boys and, after a week or two, Mrs Knot announced a “ladies’ choice.”

The ladies’ choice turned out to be an extremely athletic event. The girls were choosing boyfriends but we didn’t know that.

They would slowly stand and walk toward their target, but if there was competition, they would pick up the pace and start running. There were times when two competitors, in an effort to get their boy and also to stop, would pile up and slide under the chairs where we were sitting.

The situation grew more mature. Later that spring, I had a girlfriend for almost a month, but I didn’t know that until she dumped me.

This was not unusual. Attachments were formed and broken in many cases before a boy even knew he had been going steady.

I was in my second relationship and didn’t know it until I was informed that it was over. I was told by a girl who I didn’t know that I had just broken up with a girl and that I was now available.

As the classes drifted into spring, the more adventurous girls would talk their parents into parties in the basement of their home.

They were all pretty much the same. They featured a record player and rotating chaperones to make sure nobody danced close during “Moon River.” The rule was stiff-arm dancing with visible open space between the dancers.

As the spring finished up, the chaperones and other parents migrated upstairs and gathered in the living room for cocktails. Occasionally, they would do sneak attacks or peek down into the basement to make sure the lights had not been dimmed or turned off and people were not dancing close to “Moon River.” They always claimed they were just making sure “the snacks had not run out.”

By summer, we had made friends with girls and even fallen in love and knew it.

Something beautiful had happened that spring. Nobody really knew what it was other than a transition, but it was beautifully woven together as a right of passage for everyone, including the parents.

The following spring, as upper-school ninth-graders, we would spill out of school at 4:30 pm and look in the windows of the cafeteria as Mrs. Knott waltzed her way through another dumbfounded eighth-grade class.

We had friends that were girls now, and we even knew enough to know we had girlfriends. I had even learned to do pull ups before the shower.

Forever Young

It is funny how a stranger’s aging face will never reveal the face of its youth. However… A little less than a month ago, I went to a beautiful warm sun-drenched October wedding on the edge of a calm harbor in New Bedford, Massachusetts. On the lawn, an hour or so...

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Fear Separates Heroes from Cowards

Fear separates heroes from cowards. I live in beautiful northern Baltimore County west of Harford County, north of Baltimore city and south of the Pennsylvania line. It is rich with beautiful horse farms, deer and fox hunting, verdant farmland and wonderful people....

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About Robert Bowie, Jr.

Playwright and Poet Robert Bowie, Jr. of Baltimore, Maryland has had ten plays produced, including  “Onaje,” which was selected for professional production at FringeNYC in October 2018. Its five sold-out FringeNYC performances received rave reviews. Other plays include “There Ain’t No Wyoming” and “Naked House Painting Society,” which were produced through The Baltimore Playwrights Festival. Bowie’s political farce “Crash & Burn P.A.” was the only submission selected by the 2016 Festival Committee for a full production at Theatrical Mining Company, Baltimore.
Currently, Bowie is working on a operetta in partnership with Mind The Art Entertainment. Entitled “Vox Populi,” it is a comical, interactive tale about the deadly sin of pride.
Bowie’s plays are focused on social justice and span a broad spectrum between drama and comedy. His subject matter ranges from plays about racial prejudice and civil rights to political farce.
Bowie is a graduate of Harvard University and is the Poet Laureate of The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA).

“Without the arts, we are a rudderless boat.”
— Robert Bowie, Jr.