Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Love and death

There was a fall-like nip in the air as ten of us gathered for last night's meeting. That actually wasn't a bad turnout considering that many of our regulars were traveling or in tech for Our Shorts Are Showing. We were fortunate in snagging one new writer, the talented Hannah Rockey, who has been involved with many theatre companies in town, and one new actor, Brian Mann of THEATREdART. We had four plays on the slate and managed to get through them all in just under two hours.

We opened with Chuck Cabell's short play DATE-2-MATE. This is a very funny comedy about a married woman who thinks she found a posting from her husband on a photo-less dating site. She asks her friend for advice and the friend motivates her to win back her husband by showing him more attention. Everyone thought the piece flowed very well, and the three quick reversals at the end were a big hit. Some suggested that the play be shortened a bit, while others thought that it might be better if the friend acted out of a hidden agenda at the beginning.

After that we read the first two-thirds of Hannah's short drama 1/16 of an Inch, which she's writing for her Master's Degree. It's a very theatrical piece, with monologues, mimes and projections all being used to explore the many different facets of suicide (the title refers to the height off the floor that one victim needed to raise herself to stop from being hanged). This one too seemed a little long, and there was some debate whether the use of the mime was effective or confusing. But everyone agreed that the piece was extremely powerful.

Next up was the beginning of my full-length youth comedy, The Enchanted Bookshop. Here we're introduced to Margie, a mousy book store owner whose books come alive at night. People thought it was funny and well-paced and that the exposition did a good job of explaining the magic without being too wordy. There was some discussion whether Margie should use more visceral descriptors as she waxed poetic about her love of books.

We finished up with a rewrite of the end of Tim Phillip's romantic drama The Many Men of Tara. In it, Tara confronts Chip about his seeming lack of interest, and Chip finally confesses that he does like Tara but that he thought she wouldn't be interested in him because he's a mechanic and an alcoholic. People liked the many funny lines. It was noted that the ending was not dynamic but featured a nice fadeout instead, which was fine. Some people did say that it might be better if Chip were less direct since people tend to speak obliquely about themselves.

No update on the intergenerational theatre workshop. Last I heard, we're still on for October, although I'm waiting to find out the room and the specific dates.

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