The Last Game: Talked with Heather H. about the latest draft. At her request, I added some dialog at the very beginning between 23 and 24, giving a swatch of their relationship up to this catastrophic day. Writing it felt very much against the grain, though I can see now that it’s useful. The conversation with Heather reminded me that the things that I feel are obvious and can go without saying are not automatically obvious to others, and are sometimes interesting for others to hear.
Murderess: Trimmed down the Jane Toppan monologue for Laura Wiebers to perform at Theatre Unbound’s Season Announcement Party on the 28th. Haven’t visited that material for many years; found lots of little bits to prune away. Normally, when cutting, I try not to cut stuff from within a section because I don’t want the actor to have to re-memorize picky little changes. But it’s been long enough since Laura performed this piece that I hope the interstitial revisions won’t throw her for a loop.
For Worse: Met with Miriam and Sadie to discuss ideas for the set. Sadie has good leads on office chairs we can get for free, which she can turn into a row of airline seats, because she’s awesome. Miriam suggests having a whiteboard for Michelle to write on, making two monologues I’ve written this summer in which a woman writes on a white- or chalkboard. Photos from the aquarium look like they won’t work for the season brochure and print materials.
The Last Game: Set an appointment with Heather H. to talk about the latest draft.
The Last Game: Revising till 2:30 AM Sunday.
The Last Game: Revising. Moved Dori’s Mom’s big speech earlier, as Heather advised, and later in the day suddenly see how she will take her revenge against substitute coach Mrs. Wallace. Sometimes it seems there is no end to the tinkering that can be done.
The Last Game: Looked at the calendar and realized the next draft is due Sunday.
The Last Game: Talked with Heather H. about her observations of/suggestions for the script. Among other thoughts, she raises the idea of a second act set some decades into the future. This doesn’t click for me; though it’s difficult to pick apart how much it fails to click on its own merits, and how much it fails to click because long, long ago, I got very tired of one faction of my writing group persistently trying to tack a second act onto Liability. In any case, Heather spots many places where payoffs can be added or enhanced, and the path ahead seems clear.
Mother Antonia: Finished a new draft just in time for reading #2, with an audience including not only the Alumnae Relations & Marketing/Communications staff but also a Sister of St. Joseph and Prof. Mary Ann Brenden, who has made a study of Mother Antonia and the Our Lady of Victory chapel she caused to be built. Stacey takes actor Megan Campbell Lagas, director Anya Kremenetsky and me to go look at the ballroom where the play will be performed. Anya has the idea of including a chalkboard with, written on it, the name of the putative class in which M. Antonia is administering her pop quiz, along with M. Antonia’s name, to set the scene.
The Last Game: Put a few last touches on the new draft and sent it to Heather H.
It’s All Good: Bought a used casebook copy of Lord of the Flies. Have learned that Golding was a schoolmaster (!!! – like Stacey’s character, Michelle) and that one of his sources was The Bacchae (!!!!). In The Bacchae, the people deranged by their own capacity to destroy are women, rather than Golding’s young boys; surely we can do something by framing up a story about a woman confronting those destructive forces while/through teaching Golding’s book.
Infrastructure: Uploaded a script to the New Play Exchange in order to submit it for an opportunity.
The Last Game: Put in a chunk of time revising. (The Darwin Prep Finches are the home team, hence the post title.)
It’s All Good: Still working on recruiting the creative team. Still need a title for the pair of monologues.
The Last Game: Finished reading Collision Course. Among many painful ironies is that in the 2000’s, the FAA had to scramble to replace the controllers who were retiring in a body, having all been hired in a body to replace the strikers in 1981.
It’s All Good: Drafting a budget and recruiting a design team.
The Last Game: In Collision Course, I’ve reached Reagan’s ultimatum to the striking controllers – return to work in 48 hours, or you are fired. When he writes about critical decision points for the controllers, McCartin will give brief quotes from their wives which evoke a great deal about what their dinner table conversations must have been. I suddenly see that the character in the play who should be associated with the strike is not the one I originally assumed.