Monday, January 28, 2013

Words about a Work In Progress: Play: Road To Nowhere

Today, the play is most definitely the thing. It is time for rewrites on a play titled Road To Nowhere, which I am crazy excited about because it will be performed this year. I can't say too much about the when and how as of yet because it is not set in stone, but trust me, I'll be shouting about it all over the interwebs as details become available.

For those of you who know me, you're aware that I am always juggling multiple creative projects. Often the results of those projects remain hidden as they await their turn for rewrites, go through their inevitable submissions processes and yes, occasionally die on the vine. Most of my work has been in fiction, but opportunities to write plays makes me squee like crazy. I squee even harder when I know that the work will be realized, made tangible and available to an audience. It's even more exciting for me as a writer to see what happens when my imaginary world meets the imagination of others and I get to see the event. For this I have to thank Paul Winarski who said, "Hey, why don't you write something for us?"

This is what got the ball rolling. He and I brainstormed a bit about it and then I set to work. Of course the story contains vestiges of the primordial seeds from which it sprung. Like most stories it took on a life of its own in the process. (One of my favorite things about doing this work is the unexpected stuff that pulses out of the subconscious onto the page.) It flowered into what I am hoping will prove to be one of the best things I've done. Of course, I have that hope about every project.

After the first draft stage I sent it off to Paul and immediately became nervous that it would not pass muster, that the changes that I need to make would be dramatic, that there would be too many F-bombs, etc... Being busy folk, Paul and I kept trying to schedule a time to talk about what might need to be done in the second draft and kept having other concerns pop up. He is involved in directing and acting and producing several other shows locally, not to mention his day job. Flu season, social and family obligations, my odd service person work schedule all conspired against us, which had the additional effect of heightening my nervousness.

I didn't need to be so nervous. We finally connected and discussed the second draft and I swear it was like he was reading my mind. So, goodbye nervousness and welcome back excitement. Re-writes have begun. Tentative plans for a staged reading are underway and the project is in the hands of the perfect person.

Enough about process. What about the play?

The play itself is set in Jake's bar, after hours. This is the last brick and mortar business of what used to be Jake's empire. Things are falling apart. The bartender, Sage, is having serious relationship issues with her girlfriend, Daphne, which threatens her friendship with Aidan. A recent hire at the bar, Callie, seems to be taking advantage of Jake which upsets Sage who increasingly feels as though she has to handle everything on her own. Jake has a few secrets that could change everything. Some of those secrets are revealed when Callie's estranged husband, Harry, shows up uninvited and others when Jake's niece Ginny arrives with news about the family.

The play is meant to examine how people navigate complicated and dark emotional places.

I don't want to reveal too much too soon about the work itself. Those are just the broad strokes. I'll spill more about it later when we are closer to production.

In the meantime, there is this...

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