Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Storm warning

Fortunately, we missed a winter storm that was originally forecast to come through last night, threatening to disrupt or even cancel our monthly meeting. But the storm decided to hold off until morning instead, giving all of us lots of fluffy white stuff to shovel when we woke up.

What with all the holiday shows going on in town, we were missing quite a few of our regulars last night, but we ended up with a respectable turnout anyways, with 13 people attending. The play count was down again, however, with only three plays read.

Before the readings, we spent some time discussing what we could do to take the Drama Lab further. There's been a lot of interest in providing collaboration opportunities for writers and actors, as well as producing our own evening of short plays. There's no consensus yet on which direction we're going to take, but we're open to ideas. Let us know what you'd like to see!

Our first script was Quest for the Golden Fangs, another in Grant Swenson's series of four short plays representing different literary styles. This one represented irony and focused on four teenagers who are given a quest to steal a rival school's mascot head (a walrus). The ironic turn comes at the end when Julio, the leader of the quartet, decides he doesn't want to steal the head after all because his father had done the same thins when he was in school. Some people thought that the language was too mature and sophisticated for teenagers, but everyone loved the characters.

After that, we read a 10-minute romantic musical comedy by Howard Kirstel titled Reno. Here, we see a recently widowed Jewish man dip a tentative toe back into the dating pool, only to find himself winning the hearts of, not one, but two women. The script includes lyrics to a song that the multi-talented Howard still needs to wrote the melody for. The audience liked the story but thought that the relationships moved too fast. They wanted to see the characters fall in love.

We wrapped up the evening with the beginning of my large-cast comedy Trouble in Paradise Junction, a satire about a reality TV crew that invades a near-perfect, Frank Capra-inspired town. I was worried that the beginning might be too hokey, but people thought it worked because the townsfolk truly believed that their town was perfect.

Our next meeting will be postponed by one week since several members are going to be in rehearsal for my play The Last Radio Show. We'll see you on Monday, January 18!

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