Tuesday, April 15, 2014

An untaxing evening

It seems that everyone got their taxes done early, because we had an excellent turn-out last night, the night before tax day. Seventeen people showed up and it was an especially rambunctious bunch. We read five plays, ate lots of cookies, and witnessed some of the most moving performances we've seen all year.

We opened with the climactic scene from Grant Swenson's take on The Wizard of Oz, titled And Your Little Dog, Too. The pacing was excellent, keeping the action moving swiftly from the heroes' entrance into the castle to the final demise of the Green One.

Next came the finale of Tim Phillips' teenage relationship drama, Never Said. The interplay among Seth's three spiritual guides--Eros, Loki and Saint Augustine--was lively and fun, though some people felt there should have been more of a blow-up between Seth and the girl that he loves.

After that we read a couple of scenes from my restaurant farce Million Dollar Meatballs, which I'd first brought to the group two years ago. Several people wondered why the owner kept her addition of the ketchup secret and gave me some excellent suggestions for providing a stronger rationale.

Next up was a rewrite of the last two scenes from Sue Bachman's family drama Torn. The dialogue was very realistic and bristled with conflict. Roy Kieffer gave an electrifying performance as the troubled alcoholic, and much of the discussion centered around how to provide a stronger motivation for his seeking treatment at the end.

We finished up with Jess Weaver's 10-minute drama, If Stars Should Change, about an elderly couple reminiscing on their front porch. Jess had entered it in the Six Women Playwriting Festival but did not win, and the feedback she received suggested that the play may be too static and predictable. The group last night disagreed wholeheartedly, saying that they didn't see the twist coming and some of the attendees said they were brought near tears by it.

Our next meeting is Monday, May 12. See you then!

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