Saturday, December 31, 2016

Trouble in Disney World

The title is sort of a play on Trouble in Paradise, an early Lubitsch film.*  Of course, it only makes sense if you consider Disney World a bit of paradise on Earth.  I'm sort of in the middle.  I am not a certified Disney hater (as so many cultural critics are), but I also have no interest in going to any of their theme parks.  I remember being at a sociology conference, and someone was writing about a subculture of adults who were so enamoured of Disneyland and/or Disney World that they would go on a fairly regular basis, whether they had kids or not.  I didn't have time to read all of the newsletters, but this site is really fascinating for people who want a window into this subculture.

One of my co-workers recently returned from a trip to Disney World, and it turns out her boyfriend's parents are very much under the spell of Disney.  I have to say I thought this a bit peculiar, though perhaps not a deal-breaker.  Nonetheless, it inspired me to write a short piece about a young woman who meets her boyfriend's family for the very first time at Disney World.  I tried to exaggerate and perhaps be a bit more cruel in portraying the family than was absolutely necessary.  Given that this is for Sing-for-Your-Supper, I had to try to cram everything into two acts (and 11 pages).  I could conceivably come up with a third act where she kind of reconciles with the boyfriend and his family, though she will probably always be a bit uptight when it comes to feeling pressured to share the magic of Disney.

The two act version is posted here.  I wasn't even sure if Sing-for-your-supper was going ahead, but they just updated the message.  The deadline was Friday, and I had to really hustle to get it done in time.  (And I actually did a bit of research, such as what restaurant would they be going to that has the characters stop in to chat with the diners but that is still close to Main Street USA.)  If my piece is selected, then it will go up on Monday (Jan 2).  I'll circle back if it has been accepted.  I do think I probably have a better shot than normal this time around, since I think many people weren't sure if there was going to be a show in January at all.

I'm starting to wonder if this would fit thematically into the evening of short pieces I am starting to draw up.  In addition to The Re-Up, The Pitch and perhaps the monologue from Blue Grass Mash, I need to write up a short monologue called Forks to open up the second half of the show.  It's basically all in my head.  It's about a young man who finds out too late how cruel it was to give a co-worker the nickname "Forks."  (Why would he do such a thing?  You'll have to turn up to find out.)  Taking a step back, this is starting to fill out to a reasonable length, especially if I add this Disney piece (though in such a case, I probably would not close it with a happier ending).  Anyway, it was good to just pound out a piece in a couple of days.  I think I should write out the Forks monologue next (probably just 3 pages tops) and then get back to The Study Group, since I have been doing so much research to support it.  Hopefully, I'll have more news soon...

* Actually Trouble in Little Disney sounds better, but doesn't mean anything.  Maybe "Who's Afraid of Mickey Mouse"?  That's actually a pretty good title for the actual piece, but it does increase the odds of getting a "Cease and Desist" letter from the Disney attorneys (if I ever manage to put the play on for reals).  I think I'll stick with "Meeting Mr. Mouse,"

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