My Poem Won a Competition

One of my poems took first prize a national competition. The contest was created by the Friends of Falun Gong to support their ongoing struggle against persecution at the hands the Chinese government. You can check it out at the Friends of Falun Gong site or read it below.

Falun Gong practitioners take part in a parade commemorating the 20th anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong in China, in Washington on July 18, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

by Rob Crisell

One hundred years of tyranny,
One hundred years of pain and lies.
If communists of China win,
The Chinese culture dies.

No virus spreads like wickedness.
No plague infects like bogus creeds.
No outbreak lasts a century,
Nor’s worse than evil deeds.

A virus pierces China’s heart;
It kills the Wheel, it kills the Tao.
A toxin made in Marx’s mind,
And weaponized by Mao.

Three decades past, there was a chance—
A peaceful group came into view.
With truth, compassion, self-control,
It made the old ways new.

It offered hope through ancient thought.
It practiced wisdom, love, and Qi,
Exposing communism’s lies
And negativity.

Departed ancestors gazed down
To see a hundred million strong.
Siddhartha smiled, Confucius bowed,
A new bloom—Falun Gong.

The virus, though, lives to destroy
All threats to its corrupting power.
It starved, abused, attacked the roots,
And tried to kill the flower.

O, people of the world, take heed!
A century is far too long.
We must confront this virus now.
It’s time to right this wrong.

One hundred years of tyranny,
One hundred years of pain and lies.
If communists of China win,
The Chinese culture dies.

Sophocles’ “Electra” : A New Verse Adaptation by Rob Crisell

On May 23, 2020, Wendi Johnson–the artistic director of Full Circle Players–and some of her wonderful actors performed the first online dramatic reading of my new adaptation of Sophocles’ “Electra. ” I think the reading went well. I’m excited for Full Circle Players to stage the play at the Box Theater in Riverside in October 2020, assuming live theater is allowed by then.

Hilarious live reading of “Merry Wives of Windsor” with A Working Actors Podcast

I had the opportunity in May to participate in a live, dramatic reading of William Shakespeare’s “Merry Wives of Windsor” with a dozen accomplished professional stage and screen actors. It was produced by Nathan Agin as part of his “Working Actors Journey” podcast. The show was very funny, despite (because of?) my internet connection cutting out at the top of the play. Things wen’t more smoothly for me after that. I hope you enjoy the recording of the performance below.