Tuesday, December 8, 2015


I guess this is as good a pun as any.  I had fairly high hopes for my piece, which starts off as a homage to (or rip off of) Eric Bogosian's subUrbia.  There are a bunch of high school kids sitting outside a 7-Eleven (while unspecified I have in mind the one on Belmont in Chicago), getting hassled by the store manager and sassing him back in return.  These are the typically slightly smarter than is realistic punks, but that is pretty much how most characters are presented on stage, i.e. more verbally gifted than is strictly realistic.

Anyway, I had worked out quite a few issues and dropped the bit about the store manager upbraiding Rajiv for hanging out with the punks, though a bit of Rajiv's internal struggle is still faintly represented.  Some of that is addressed as an off-stage conflict.  I also simply ran out of time for Johnny's older sister to show up, give him hell, but then to tell off the manager when he comes to try to enlist her in his efforts to dislodge the group from his property.  While that had some promise, it was just too long, particularly as this is all a bit of a set-up for a throwaway joke (about aliens naturally).

So I submitted on time, but didn't hear anything through Sun.  I even emailed Monday to ask what had happened, but got no response.  I decided to drop by the Storefront anyway, and I got basically no meaningful answer as to why I didn't get notification.  It turns out one of the organizers isn't reading the scripts at all.  It was particularly frustrating as they didn't have enough parts for the actors, and the main organizer went and looked over something on the computer and printed out a script.  I thought it might be mine (that they somehow overlooked, since it really doesn't seem that they read it in the first place).  Well, I was pretty crushed when they picked something else, and they went with 5 scripts only when they could have printed mine as well and had 4 more roles for the evening.  Should I feel incredibly snubbed?  Maybe, maybe not, but my feelings are hurt based on this experience.  I didn't see any of the three actors I wanted to talk about a potential future project, so I think I am done with Storefront/Red One for a while.  Here is the script if you want to peruse it.

I am starting to wonder if I am just too genteel a writer for the stage.  Aside from one piece still gestating (and more than a little inspired by Lear), I tend to write about inter-ethnic conflicts that can be bridged without too much ranting and raving.  Conflict is a bit muted, which doesn't go over that well with this younger group of actors.  On the other hand, there is a solid strand of comedy writing that occupies this space (a too-safe space?).  I guess I'll be thinking more about this as I try to revise some of these plays.  I don't really want to add conflict solely to spice things up, but only if it can emerge organically from the setting and the characters. 

What is definitely true is that in general, I am in a very bad frame of mind (not just about my creative writing "career"), and I have to be careful not to make any rash decisions at the moment.  I'll probably go into this in more detail a bit further down the road.

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