“End-of-Play”

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My favorite words to write are the dedication. I leave this to last.

My second-to-last favorite words are, “End-of-Play.”

This is when I get to become a human again.

“End-of-Play”

Prior to these words, I am a strange creature. Unshaven. Sleep-deprived. Wandering from coffee shop to coffee shop, spending far too much money on cookies and sandwiches to bribe myself into staying there.

My spring middle school show has been written. It’s an adaptation of a set. A fabulous student designed this forest-filled set that we’re building with a bundle of junior high students. I spent weeks making story with them. They wanted a play where a princess falls in love with a princess. I looked at the set, and I thought about Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Shakespeare comedies… and I set to work.

This will be more environmental. The first scene – a prologue, really – set in a wedding chapel, that will be the Skybridge lunchroom. A reluctant prince and princess are supposed to get married, and then they each flee the wedding to the forest, which is what our theatre will become, and our audience will enter.

Funny thing. When you take a Shakespearian set of tropes – the idea of people running off to the woods – you start to see how the pieces worked. If the Mechanicals from Midsummer at all reflect the process old Willy went through when he built his plays, then my working with a bunch of teenagers is remarkably similar. A couple years ago, when we were in the early stages of the Romeo & Juliet adaptation, I remember thinking about how random the plots to WS’s comedies are. Whereas the tragedies often have stories built like a barn, the comedies meander. As I wrote this one, I realized why and how – you put people in forest and they don’t have a plot or project, then things just happen…

Anyway. This one is still untitled.

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