Insight into Writing my New Show (2 of 3)

Here’s part two which highlights the writing behind a few of the dramatic sketches which go live for the first time ever next week at the opening of “For All Generations.”

sketch fact sheets last princess“The Last Princess” is one of those comedy sketches which suddenly turn dramatic. I like those. I purposefully started it light, with a spoiled princess who lives within a utopia, Xanadu, constructed by her repressive father, King Antoine. The princess gets upset when she thinks her pink fluffy boa is not as soft as it was the day before. She insists that her attendant throws it away, which she does. But the next day in Xanadu, when one of her subjects asks her where the boa is, the princess demands it back. Ultimately she decides to go down the chute to find her boa only to discover that there is a cruel and oppressed world out there that she never knew about. This play actually touches on a common theme in many of my writings – overbearing and authoritarian governments who shackle the people. The hilarious beginning is turned on its head when the princess has to decide what to do with her new found knowledge. There is sure to be a confrontation with her father. It’s a fun script that holds a lot of underlying meaning.

sketch fact sheet minute problem

This is one of those mostly meaningless fun scripts which are full of bad puns and lots of cheap laughs. In many ways, it almost strays into kids’ theatre with crazy gestures, yelling, running around, and lots of confusion. The premise is simple. A grandpa sets a trap for his granddaughter simply to drive her crazy. I thought of this when I was checking out at a superstore one day, staring at a clock shop. Bad pun after bad pun related to time kept flowing through my brain, so I decided to make a crazy little play about it. Our actors are hilarious in this one.

the will

“The Will” is just wild and crazy – like my actors. For the first time ever, I specifically crafted a role for each of my actors – they even play themselves in this skit, using their own names. The script is centered around the death of a billionaire patriarch who gathers everyone for the reading of the will. Here are the characters: the executor, crazy son Joseph who thinks he’s a butterfly, gold-digger 9th wife, vain movie star, corporate CEO, airhead blogger, bipolar sister, the butler, half-Indian senator and adopted son, a disgruntled employee, and the forgotten son who is always overlooked. This is the longest piece of the night because everyone has a substantial role. But I’ve got the running down down to 15 minutes which is do-able. It’s a fun script, and all the actors are great.

I’m lucky to have such a great group of young actors to work with.

Part three soon!

 

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RLT Players: The Second Three Sketches

This is part two of three, briefly highlighting the dramatic sketches I wrote and which will be performed at PenangPAC on Nov 22 & 23.

From previous post:

Sketch 1 “Black & White”,¬†Sketch 2 “The Loudest Child in Church”,¬†Sketch 3 “No in Spite of Itself”

Here’s the middle three:

Sketch 4 “Skydiver”

The idea behind this sketch was to use skydiving as a metaphor for being afraid to jump into a relationship that one knows is right. Lexi and Jaime are excellently funny in this one. I really like it.

Skydiver

Sketch 5 “I Once Was Blind”

Jackie came to me with a rough sketch – a comedy – about two people who had gotten lost out in the woods – had fallen off the wrong path. I suggested that we turn this play on its head and I wrote a draft script making the two guys political prisoners who play games in their head to escape their reality. Wow! This one is intense and Jessie and Jackie are just awesome in going back and forth between play-acting and real-life. Heartfelt and poignant.

I once was blind

Sketch 6: “The Giant Squid that Ate Georgetown”

Sometimes I have no idea where my ideas come from. This was the first sketch I wrote for this show. I wanted to write a crazy comedy, and that it is. Really fun. Light-hearted, and all the actors are just fantastic.

Giant Squid

I Love Watching Students Do Drama

Had a great time tonight watching two one-act plays performed by all high school freshmen and sophomores girls with one junior boy thrown in the mix.

It was a lot of fun. It’s interesting to see the different levels of performance. The newbies who are nervous and wondering how to act on stage after their lines finish. The more experienced ones who steal the show and command attention. The slurred lines and frayed looks. The small production hiccups. It’s raw theater at its best in terms of being raw. There’s something honest about it. And when the moment peaks, the audience finally gets into the act and the rewards are easily visible on their faces.

Curtain calls are, of course, the best. The beaming faces, the sense of accomplishment, the relief, the euphoria, the hi-fives. I’m truly proud of all they accomplished, and I wasn’t even the director, for once. It did feel good just to sit back and enjoy with no other responsibilities.

Have you caught a high school drama recently? Check one out near you. Well worth it.

I’m Writing a Full-Length Musical!

I’m feeling ambitious – or stupid. Only time will settle the duel.

I’ve decided to go all out this year and create, from scratch, a full-length, full-blown, Broadway style musical for my dramatic production in May 2014.

No, I’m not doing this alone. I’m working with a fun and talented group of motivated high school students. I have three musicians who will be scoring, and arranging the music. I have 5 others who are working on the dramatic aspect of the script.

I’m at the helm writing dialogue and songs, keeping the project on task, and, hopefully, afloat.

We are approaching this like a classical musical. Opening dance number setting the scene. Introspective songs dispersed in the dialogue to reveal the characters hopes and desires.

We have a very simple premise. Set on a boardwalk of a ocean resort town, a strong willed woman entrepreneur opens a swimsuit shop next to a travel agency filled with eligible guys. There’s actually a wonderful twist to the plot which I don’t want to reveal at this time.

Our assumption is that the audience is sitting in the ocean. The front of the stage is the boardwalk, and the two shops will be side by side at the back of the stage. An ice cream lady, selling her wares, will be the narrator of the story. She is being wooed by a fisherman who has been trying to catch her for a long time. Their story will give insight into the main story about the strong willed swimsuit designer and the the manager of the tourist company who will fall in love with her.

But there is a fun twist.

I already have an assistant director and a choreographer. I still need a musical director because I want live music at the performance.

Our timeline:

December 2013 – finished draft of script and sample recordings of music

December 2013 – early auditions for lead roles

January 2013 – Open auditions

Feb-May – Rehearsal Schedule

May – 3 performances @ Penang Performing Arts Centre.

This is going to be a blast!