Back in the day, I was watching the Tony Awards (shocker!) and that particular year Susan Stroman won two Tony's: one for Best Director and one for Best Choreographer. I was really jealous that one tiny person could have that much talent. And she was a woman to boot! Woot!
In her acceptance speech(es), both of them, she thanked a lot of people, but she didn't thank anyone in her family, a spouse, or parents for example. I have my Tony Award acceptance speech already written out and it includes (in this order):
- God (from whence all blessing flow)
- Parents (who never thought it was strange that in my childhood I took the bed sheets off my bed to make costumes out of them for my front porch version of Snow White and the Three Dwarves, and still PAID to see the show every time.)
- Andy (my muse)
- My high school drama teacher, otherwise known as "my dealer." (because that would be hypocritical if I didn't mention that he put up with my shenanigans while I was certifiably insane. And let me say, I'm not sure I was insane, but I do KNOW that after decades of doing the same thing he did, all the brilliant ones are definitely insane...so...)
- Everybody who worked on the play
- My agent
Maybe she and her mother don't like each other...
...maybe she and her mother don't speak...
...maybe she hasn't spoken to her mother for years..
....and she grew up on a potato farm in Idaho...so she's embarrassed about her past and all the rotten things she said to her mom as a teenager....the things that drove them apart...
...on the spud farm...
...And now she has become a BIG TIME director, with a Tony Award or two and her mom is still in Idaho, directing little plays at the local high school....
...because she loves kids...she just didn't know how to love her daughter because they were so much alike...
...and now she has Alzheimer's disease and needs her daughter to go home and take care of her while she's dying...even though...she won't even remember her who her daughter is anymore...
...and that's both the tragedy and the blessing...she won't remember WHY they hated each other, but she won't remember who she is either....
...because she waited too long to go home and make it right....
G.O. H.O.M.E. .S.U.S.A.N!!! G.O. H.O.M.E!!! Tell your mother you love her while it counts!!
And that, my dear friends is how a play idea comes to be. At least for me. You can see that my imagination is still on overload and has been since age 9 when I started taking the sheets off my bed.
THUS - after I got my graduate degree and had written a pretty successful play called "Breathless," I thought I was unstoppable. And then, thanks to Susan, I had this idea floating around my head that wouldn't go away. So I ran with it. I was single after all, so was Susan, and I was a director, so was she and I knew something about the collision of those two comets and how...after a while...you don't have any people in your life at all because you live at the theatre. I felt AT ONE with Susan. I could make up her life story. Sure.
So I did. But it's nothing to do with her. Just a freaky little linear cause and effect idea that I came up with on my sofa, by myself...back in the days before blogging.
Well - we produced the play I wrote in 2011(10?) with a cast from Tuacahn High School - here's the proof:
Oh my beloved cast! At their curtain call, closing night, they all wore purple ribbons for Alzheimer's awareness! Can you believe that!!!! I cried until I had a good headache - worth it! Those kids also raised about $2000 for Alzheimer's and that's pretty hard to do when you are also in rehearsal all the time. Those kids know WHY we do theatre for real. The experience always changes us for the better, and in it's purest form, it helps others too.
Last year SUU approached me to produce WHEN...and they did...but I couldn't see it because I was also doing a show at the same time (another shocker!) I hear they did a fine job but only did an hour of it. That's too bad.
Anyway...it's time now to unleash it's power on other unsuspecting high school groups, or just groups in general....drum roll please...
I have posted it to my TeachersPayTeacher site! This is a site where teachers post their work so other teachers can go in and buy stuff they need and don't want to create themselves! (Thanks Natalie Kay for telling me about it!)
For a while I only had one thing posted - a lovely, rare Shakespeare monologue I cut for a competition. I fully intend of posting the rest of my Shakespeare cuttings, including a 90-minute Midsummer and a 75- minute Taming - so look out for those. I get asked to cut pieces, find pieces, all the time for people and hopefully all that time spent, all those hours and hours of work might pay off.
But truthfully, I need to find a way to raise about $25,000 for a...thing...and I know my measly cuttings won't do it, but if I post my life's work - lesson plans, plays, original scenes and monologues, etc...it's better than having them sit in binders rotting on a shelf now that I'm out of the classroom.
Need to deal with that last phrase for a second.
SO HERE I GO. Trying to create a little savings for an (adoption? maybe?) Don't get your knickers in a twist...we're just putting the idea out there.
But if we don't at least try...well, you know the rest.
So in case someone is looking for a play full of amazing girl roles, very little sets and modern costuming...(All the things you know I know you need) its at this link:
THIS IS THE LINK: The Teachers Pay Teachers page for WHEN
Take a gander but know this for sure: I am officially okay about letting other people take the work. It's an important piece, written by an amateur...but gosh I love it so.
I'm not telling you this so you'll buy the file! You dont' have to buy the file!! But if you truly want to spend a couple of hours reading it, email me and I'll send you the file for free. I'm charging $15 for a download on Teacher Pay Teacher and that's kind of a lot, but I figured if people wanted to make copies of it after that, they can.
WHEW. I did it. I didn't think I would. Somethings take me a while.
From Act 1 Scene 2..for all my theatre teacher friends out there...
When did we decide to wear wings, Miss Cassie?
My mom made them - she thought they might be cool. I like them. She said she’d make everyone a pair. She will.
Being a dream fairy in this version of the Bard’s comedy does not include the wearing of wings made out of pantyhose. It’s about physicality. We talked about this on the first rehearsal. This is not the first rehearsal, this is a dress rehearsal. Without wings.
I am not wearing a pair of wings covered in glitter - it might get in my contacts and I hear glitter can cut your eyeball.
(We hear in the background Young Audrey yell, "Everybody on stage for warm-ups!" and Cassie eiits immediately)
You can see the elastic.
It is a play - it’s not . . .we have masks, what’s the difference?
Masks are from our great Greek heritage - this play is set in Athens, GREECE. It is part of the total concept. Look, it’s just not going to happen.
(She takes a deep breath and starts moving wildly around room)
Girls, it’s about physicality. It’s about moving like a woodland fairy - thinking like a woodland fairy. BEING a woodland fairy from your center - from your psyche. . .
Did we cover this in rehearsal?
Has anyone seen my inhaler? If I lose my inhaler I’ll never make it to the fifth act.
What about just for the dance scene? We could wear them in the dance . . . my mother . . .
Has anyone seen my keys?