Literary Mentions and Reviews
"...Finally, we introduce a new talent on the scene, Michele Ellis, a writer we believe has a bright future ahead of her." The Editors of Plum Hamptons magazine
"...Plum strives for a literary bent. The debut issue has a short story by "Bright Lights, Big City" author Jay McInerney, a short play by Marc Sherman, and another by newcomer Michele Ellis and (the) late Terry Southern." New York Post, May 31, 2011.
The full-length version of “The Lion’s Den” is excerpted in scholarly article “The Invisible Wounds of War: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Liturgy in Conversation” by Christopher Dorn, editor of Reformed Review and Dr. John Zemler, Professor Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI in Call To Worship (Vol. 4 3.2, 2009-2010). This article discusses pastoral strategies for clergy and their congregations who seek to help veterans readjust to life at home, particularly veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
From the article: “…More radically [in some veterans suffering PTSD], belief in a powerful and just and loving God is indefensible and therefore, absolutely rejected. Daniel Ryder, the principal character in Michele Meren’s…play [The Lion’s Den] embodies this last response...
So why do you bother, Gail Ryder, why do you? Why do you pray to your God every day to save me? Ha! Ha! But oh, Jesus saves, Jesus saves!...Will you tell your friends that once in a while, they should stop praying and listen to my Sermon on the Mount, which isn’t going to be about the lion laying down with the lamb or Jesus saving anybody. No, my sermon’s about how we’re no better than the animals that we discovered ourselves to be over there when our buddy falls off into the sand and we can’t stop but step right over him. ‘Cause if we do anything less, then we’re the next ones in their scopes.”
(Dorn, Zemler, Call To Worship)
“Geraldine”, included in Stage This! Volume III: Monologues and Ten-Minute Plays is reviewed along with other anthology pieces by Chris Phillips of Bookpleasure.Com. (October 28, 2009)
From the review:
“Through each of these [scripts], enough is revealed to draw very clear pictures in the reader’s mind, when read outloud or performed, the picture springs to life, attenuated and accenting the passion and action of the actors. This review will comment on certain works here that struck a chord or moved an emotion…”
“Geraldine” discourses on the dilemma of African-American and Jewish-American communities mingling in Milwaukee. The lone character reveals a depth of commitment that only a mother can express satisfactorily, but particularly here, only an African-American mother knows and believes.”
Jim Delmont in his column, Critic@Large in the Omaha CityWeekly (June 7-13, 2006) cited “The Lion’s Den’ (10-minute version) in referencing 10-minute plays he viewed at the Great Plains Theatre Conference 2006, Omaha NE:
From the review/article: Outstanding works were…“The Lion’s Den”, a post-war trauma play by Michele Merens, beautifully realized by Stephanie Kidd, Jason Willits and Brandon Rohe…”
(Delmont, Omaha CityWeekly)