Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Play-writing progress

While the audience at Sing-for-Your-Supper was quite small (and at one point almost the entire audience was cast in one play!), I think Double Sabbatical went quite well.  People particularly liked the revenge haikus.  (I would say for my part, I feel I am getting the hang of establishing a mood and a basic plot in under 10 minutes.  In general, this helps me from writing pieces that are too flabby.) There were two other pieces that I enjoyed -- one about a household where everything was locked up or password protected, and then another one where it turned out that Jesus turned Lazarus into the first zombie.  This play was particularly notable for one character twittering on and on while the zombies threatened to get in.  It wasn't quite Abbott and Costello, but sort of along those lines.

I have to admit, I may start passing on Sing-for-Your-Supper until either 1) they get a permanent home or at least improve their notification system or 2) I decide for certain whether I am going to stage some shorts in the fall.  I am starting to lean that way, and if so, I will need to recruit actors who will work for a small honorarium and a cut of the profits if any.  (While the evening is probably already overstuffed, I wonder if I should include "Double Sabbatical."  It's probably a stronger piece than "Blue Grass Mash" or whatever I am calling it these days.)

Toronto Cold Reads was fun, though I don't think the scripts stood out as much as on other evenings.  There was one piece about a shyster and the somewhat mentally slow man he is trying to scam.  It had funny bits, but overall felt a bit too predictable.  My piece, with the X-Files vibe, went over pretty well.  Again, trying to get so much to happen in 10 pages is a huge challenge.  The musical guest was very good, though I was feeling kind of broke, so I didn't buy any of his CDs.

Toronto Cold Reads is becoming my favored cold reads event, though they only have a few more shows before taking the summer off.  I probably can't make the event on the 21st, since I'll be coming back from Montreal that afternoon.  What I really need to do is to join up with the writers' group, particularly if they are going to be meeting periodically through the summer.

I spent what little time I had on making revisions to Corporate Codes of Conduct.  I'm getting close on the first act.  I must have chopped 15 minutes.  It probably would still be better losing another 5-10, though I probably do need to see it read "live" to see what can be cut.  I think the key is what do I want to come back in the second act (the WWII references?, more about Li's unresolved issues with her father?, etc.) before I can really decide what to cut.  (Also, I added a bit where there is verbal ping-pong between two dyads on stage, and I don't know if that works or not.)  The second act needs to be completely redone, and I have some ideas on where to go, but it will take a while.  I was working towards a deadline (of yesterday!) but I finally decided that while this did feature a strong female lead character (particularly with the edits I was going to implement in the second act), it is still largely just a work romance story (and one where the male lead saves her bacon), so it just didn't feel very "feminist," so I ultimately did not submit it.  Nonetheless, this has kick-started me into taking another look.  I think over the next few weeks, I will try to fix the second act and then try to convince the TC Writers' Group to workshop it.

After this, I probably just want to finish Straying South, and then start editing Dharma Donuts.  And then finally I need to decide whether to work on Final Exam or The Study Group.  Some hard choices to make down the line, but at least a glimmer of a payoff here and there (like the last two evenings where the audience liked my work).  So there is a point to it all, I suppose.  Ciao for now.

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