We Like Our Apocalypses Bloody
That was the quote from my Managing Director when introducing my 48-hour play at the dress for CAUGHT IN THE ACT...AGAIN! at Theatre Daedalus last weekend. It might be true, but it still tickled me a bit because it wasn't what I had expected. But then, neither was the weekend.
First, as promised, we'll talk about zombies. When I mentioned this in my last posting, it was more in an effort to broach the topic of the wonderful AMC show, The Walking Dead. And we'll get to that... eventually... but I want to touch briefly on a weekend of new theatre that happened at Daedalus where I just happened to write (in a sinfully short amount of time) a 10-minute play about survival in a zombie apocalypse. This play, called SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL, was one of six productions that were done as staged readings for last weekend's Daedalus benefit show.
Thanks to these beautiful shots by Skye Public Relations (courtesy of Theatre Daedalus), you can catch a glimpse of this new short play of mine. I've been tossing around the idea of writing a zombie apocalypse play since last May when I was in Alaska. Maybe it was the remoteness of Valdez, or the weeks of playing Left4Dead that preceded that particular trip, but whatever the muse, the spark ignited that weekend and has been smoldering in my brain ever since. I did not, at all, plan to write this for the festival. "Like anything worth writing," as Kay Eiffel (played by the delightful Emma Thompson) says in Stranger Than Fiction, "it came inexplicably and without method." And now, it's inside me.
It's pulling at parts of my synapses, pushing against the insides of my fingertips trying to force its way into a deeper and lengthier version of itself. And, honestly, that's fine with me. I loved it. Do love it. The characters were rich and delicious in my head and while they only got out to play for ten minuscule moments, they left a mark. For me at least. It helps that I had some terrific actors who embraced the tough emotions I sent their way. Can't be easy to go from zero to gut-wrenching-kick-you-in-the-crotch-heartbroken in six minutes flat. But they did. They went there. And I knew that this play was just the beginning. Something bigger, something... bloodier. More intimate though. About people, humanity, and all that stuff that comes with facing down death in the aftermath of life.
That's what I love about these quick play festivals and writing prompts (from 48-hour fests like this to my weekly Madness plays at school): they give me fodder. They give me flashes of inspiration that either teach me something about my writing or pave the path to a larger creative world. Sometimes, I have a play just sitting around in my brain, waiting. And sometimes, one of those plays pulls out a baseball bat and smashes through.
That, is pretty frakking exciting. That's about all I'm gonna say on this play. Working on this new thing where I don't talk out my plays. I write them out. Neat trick, right? I thought so.
Speaking of writing out a play.... I think THE FACE OF CONTRITION needs my attention. We're 13 days from my next workshop reading. Lots to do in 13 days. Lots.
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Thoughts. From my brain. Anything to do with how we tell stories and the stories we tell each other. Literally and figuratively.
Writer. Husband. Father. Effulgent dreamer. A Fightin' Irishman (@NDdotEDU '01). A playwriting Bobcat (MFA in Playwriting, @OhioU '13). I write plays. I'm a geek. I wanted to be an astronaut. I go places in my head.