Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Pressure of Finding ANOTHER Perfect Play

In September of 2010, I worked with a dedicated production team and three passionate actors to bring Norm Foster's "the LOVE LIST" to the Arts Project.  There were challenges when it came to finances, deadlines and one of our actors even had a back injury.  This play, however, is a piece of art filled with comedy and drama as two best friends have their frienship challenged and tested when "the perfect woman" comes into the picture.  This production went on to receive the Bext Comedy of 2010 award at the Brickenden Awards in January of this year. Now, I have to find yet another gem to direct and produce for next year.

Since June of this year, I have borrowed from the central library and read over 50 scripts.  These scripts were a collection of comedies, farces, abstract fanstasy, drama and theatre of the absurd pieces. Out of these 50 scripts, I have found four that I would personally consider producing. Since producing the Love List, it has been a challenge for me to find a script that I fall in love with the FIRST time I read it.  This doesn't often happen and only after a few read-throughs can one truly grasp the intentions of the playwright and the magic that it could bring to a stage and audience in performance.  I fell in love with Norm Foster's "the LOVE LIST" the first time I read it and that magical experience has yet to strike my passion bone this second time around.  But these plays have come VERY close ;)

The four plays which I have come to consider (at this point) are the following:

Sunshine Boys, by Neil Simon: Two men were once stars as they played across from each other in a comedy show in their younger years. Now, both in their 70's, the public has requested that these two characters get back together to do one last show. The only problem is, they can no longer stand each other. This play peaked my interest because the unique relationship between these 2 characters anad the realities of their dealing with getting older.  It is a full-length comedy for 5males and 2females and the royalty owed to the playwright is $125 per performance.

6Rms Riv Vu, by Bob Randall: An apartment with 6 rooms is for sale, that is until it becomes sold - but 2 perfect strangers don't get the memo.  These strangers come into the apartment for their review only to find that the doorknob is missing and now they are both stuck in this emtpy beautiful aprtment together.  What happens when 2 perfect strangers get locked in an emtpy space for hourse on end with nothing else to do but "talk".  I appreciate this play for all that these two characters are holding back and holding in.  I like the idea of having a simple set for a play can have a simple set without it being a bad one.  I love the balance between comedy and drama in this piece and, to me, these characters are so real and multi-dimensional.  Full-length comedy for 4males & 4females. Royalties are $75 per performance.

Miss. Twiddle & the Devil followed by Miss. Twiddle Meets an Angel, by Maurice Hill: *though this production has subject matter dealing with the devil, god, angels & Hell, this is supposed to be a purely etertaining piece rather than a religious sermon* The Devil, is bored. He decides to challenge himself to "convert" an entire household of innocent beings over to the darkside (so to speak).  When the Devil arrives at the chosen abode, he discovers a new tenant he was NOT aware of - Miss. Twiddle. This woman is so evil that the devil himself does not wish to spend an eternity with her "down below" SO he changes his plans and tries to save her soul~! In the second half of the play, durastic measures need to be taken and a Guardian Angel is called in as reinforcement.  This play is fun, light-hearted and family-friendly.  It is done all in good fun and the characters are nothing less than entertaining. This is 2-one act plays which I would produce together as a full-length comedy for 4males & 5females. Royalties are $65 per performace.

Jake's Women, by Neil Simon: Jake LOVES women. He loves women who love him and he is nothing without them. He is a writer who likes to be in control SO, all of the women in his life - he rewrites to better suit him and his needs.  He is on the verge of going crazy as he cannot distinguish the differences between the REAL women and the women in his imagination.  After his wife asks for a seperation things go from bad to worse. In jake's Women, we discover just how much a man is willing to give up for the most important woman in his life.  I enjoy the back and forth between the characters and I admire any actor who steps up to the challenge of playing Jake as he never leaves the stage and every other line belongs to him.  Jake is on a rollercoaster of feelings and emotions and we, as the audience, get to go along for the ride. 1male & 7females. Royalties are $125 per performance.

As you can see, I'm faced with a dilemma - I want to produce them all! But all in due time.  If anyone has any feedback or opinions and/or preferences as to which I should start with - all comments are welcomed and I would appreciate any input.