Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lucky thirteen

Thanks to the unusually balmy weather, we had an excellent turnout last night despite the fact that six of our regulars were out with shows (a very nice problem to have!). Thirteen people attended the meeting, and that included three new actors: Robert, Elizabeth and Jonathan (Jonathan is also a writer and promises to bring one of his plays next time). And we ended unusually early--around 8:30pm--as we had only four plays.

We opened with August Mergelman's melodramatic adaptation of Dracula. This month he brought a couple of scenes centered around Van Helsing's investigation into the mysterious Count, culminating in a groundskeeper being killed by a wolf. There was some discussion about the best way to stage this attack, but overall there weren't a lot of comments as August continues to crank out some really strong, well-polished stuff.

After that we read two new scenes from Tim Phillips' religious drama Christian Death. The first scene featured three of Tim's hand puppets, comically brought to life by John Elwick, while the second scene centered around a manipulative elder planting suspicions in the head of the minister. The puppets were a nice, theatrical touch, and the audience offered several ideas for punching this part up even more.

Next up was a new scene from my museum farce I Want My Mummy. Here the hapless security guard develops a plan to defeat the robbers, but is unable to convince anyone to remove the rope those robbers tied him up with. The audience offered several suggestions for strengthening the dialogue. And while this scene got fewer laughs than the earlier ones, it relied more on physical humor, which is always hard to gauge in a reading environment.

We wrapped up with a rewrite of two scenes from Sue Bachman's mother-daughter drama Faith. This time we watched a touching scene unfold as the faithful Faith made soup for the lonely mother, only to be interrupted when the ungrateful daughter came home. Everyone found the mother very likable and sympathetic, but it seems that Sue wanted her to come across a little more bitter and may rewrite it further.

We'll see you all at our next meeting on January 12. Until then, have a safe and blessed holiday season.

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