I had the pleasure of attending the preview performance for this year’s Benchwarmers at Santa Fe Playhouse. My new short, “The Julian Box,” is on this year’s program, and I was excited (and a touch nervous) to see what they’d made from my script.
Whereas I’d had a bit more input in last year’s production of “For Lack of a Tail,” I stayed completely out of the process this time out (not out of disinterest, but because of scheduling). It’s always a little nerve-wracking handing your “baby” over to other artists. Results are often mixed. I was incredibly pleased with what the cast and director did with my words this time out. While it wasn’t a perfect reflection of what was in my head as I wrote it (and really, I wasn’t expecting it to be), it was true to my intent. It was a beautiful blend of fidelity to the source and fidelity to the intents and truth in each performer. I don’t think I could have asked for better.
My new short play, “The Julian Box,” was juried into this year’s Benchwarmers series at the Santa Fe Playhouse. I’m thrilled to be part of this festival again, and looking forward to what the artists will do with this story. Benchwarmers opens on September 27th.
3 a.m. – A cast of characters and entire blocks of dialogue drop into my head, just as I’m drifting off to sleep. I’ve been hovering around the edges of this idea for a week (and the general story idea for years). Now, muse? Really!? Why?!?
I know. I shouldn’t argue with inspiration. Thank you, muse. I must display proper gratitude, lest the visits dry up completely.
I pick up the notebook on my bedside table and head to the living room so I won’t disturb my wife’s sleep. Character list begun, blocks of dialogue scrawled out in the handwriting of the living dead (because that is what I am at this moment), the barest of skeletons of a plot sketched out. Then, back to restless, shallow sleep.
8 a.m. – Drag myself to work, stumbling over the sleep deficit. All thoughts are of the new work. Everything else is done on auto-pilot. I haven’t looked at the notes since I put the pages down. Here’s hoping I don’t come home to a page full of, “Hey, what if Che Guevara and the Vlasic Pickle Stork tried to rob a Taco Bell?”
This may or may not be something that has happened before.
It might be time to go back to bed.
A fun Memorial Day weekend with the good folks of Teatro Serpiente. The theme was “classic board games” and I drew Sorry! – along with an iron teapot and a two person cast. Hadn’t played the game since elementary school, but once I looked up the rules and a picture of the board, a basic dramatic structure revealed itself. From there, it was a matter of figuring out what each character’s “home base” was, and how they were playing the game. I turned in my final draft by midnight (a little later than I hoped) and got a good(ish) night’s sleep before the next day’s adventure.
Drew acting duty in a cute script based around Clue, playing a vagrant in a diner who thought he was Colonel Mustard – lots of laughs. Filled in in a second piece for an actor who didn’t show – a three-line walk-on at the end of a scene based around Connect Four.
My pice, Tea and Strategery, closed out the night. The two actors who drew my scene did a fantastic job playing off the material and adding to it – they gave me some inspiration for a further draft.
If you’re in the Taos area next Memorial Day weekend, come on out to the Taos Mesa Brewery for Gorilla Theater VII.
I’ll be heading back up to Taos Mesa Brewing this Memorial Day weekend to take part in Teatro Serpiente’s annual Gorilla Theatre Festival — 32 hours from page to stage!
This event is always a big rush to the blood and a hell of a lot of fun. Come on up on Saturday, May 26th at 7 PM to check out the final product.
Or, sign up to write, act, or just volunteer – if you’re feeling adventurous.