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I entered the Nakai 24 Hour Playwriting Challenge (it used to be Festival but that seems to have changed) again this year. I wanted to work on a play I had started in January, planning to enter the category for play already in development.
That part is called the Nakai Next 24 Hour Challenge. I thought, with a prize for best new play, shouldn’t there be one called Best Used Play? This suggestion has been frowned upon by the hosting organization, by the way.
After the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, I wanted to look at the question of school shootings and why someone would actually do it? What would make a person take one or more firearms to school and use them?
After a little preliminary research, I found that this a far more frequent occurrence than most of us believe, and in most cases, does not reflect the ones we see displayed on the national news organizations as a whole. In fact, my underlying question has changed now to, “Why doesn’t this happen more often.”
The short version is I won (second time in three years, he gloated). Now, it’s time to shift gears and look at putting the play in the upcoming Homegrown Theatre Festival in May. Right now, I looking at doing a reading of the full play. This, however, means I will be looking for 10 readers (it has a rather large cast). A call for readers will go out later…
Well, it all seems to have come down to this. At 8:15, the play gets to see the light of day, so to speak. Actually, an audience gets to see part of the play.
After all this time, I would assume that I would be well inured to all of this getting ready, rehearsing, etc. Nope. I’m a wreck. I didn’t sleep well last night, running through dialogue. Then, when I finally got to sleep a little bit, we got a phone call and had to take a friend to the hospital. This was my morning. I was going to pace myself a wee bit and work up to this evening. Oh, well.
I have a few things to pack up and a bit of hockey to watch. Then I’ll grab a shower and go and pick up Heather and head off to the theatre. Am I ready for this? I guess we’ll know in a few hours…
Dress rehearsal day seemed to be a bit more hectic than most. It started first with heading down to CBC for an interview. Two of us, Amanda MacDonald and I, were interviewed about our plays in the Homegrown Theatre Festival. The interview can be found here.
We had tech and dress on the same evening. This was slightly dampened by Heather being sick as a dog (it was dress rehearsal… someone had to be sick). She suffered through it though and I have to give her the “Tougher than a Boiled Owl” award for outstanding performance while nauseous.
Well, no rehearsal this week so I go back to being a plumber. Or an RV tech. Or, at least trying to approximate one or the other.
I borrowed a good basin wrench and found a file. So, other than a bit of memorisation over the weekend, I get the opportunity to run the new water lines and hopefully, deal with that little leak problem. Of course, this will take place after the game is over…
I always enjoy the first read through of a play. I’ll discount the fact that I kind of know the contents. However, when you get to see an actor’s interpretation of the dialogue, it is always neat. A script is really nothing more than words on a page and how it gets presented is always a congruence of the vision of the director, the actors and the designers.
There’s a great quote, although I can’t remember who said it or exactly how it goes. Basically, you pour your heart and soul into writing a play, and then, hand it to a directors, actors and designers who ruin it. Since I’m the director and the designer and half the actors, and since Heather is doing a stunning job in the other half, I don’t think we’ll ruin it…
There are a few things left to get on this weekend. I’m going to need a large coffee urn, although I do have a backup plan if I don’t get it. I need to draft the press release for the play. I need to line up someone to videotape the play during tech week. I also have to do a bit of design work yet, too. I don’t know what days the play will run or the times it will run. I find that out next week. At the same time, I find out which of the two rooms we go in, and I’ll need that to finalize quite a few things.
I also want to fit in some work on the motorhome. After all, camping season is coming right after the festival and I need to be ready. With the winter we’ve had, the lakes should be open early and the sooner fishing comes, the better…
As the Nakai Theatre Homegrown Festival rapidly approaches, it is time to concentrate on getting the play on its feet and in front of an audience. The script for the excerpt that we’re doing is finalized, I’ve written all the director’s notes I can think of and next week, it’s time for the first rehearsal.
To date, much of the production work has been dealt with. I’m still waiting back on my requests to the technical director, although our requirements are pretty minimal. I’ve found rehearsal space, all of my props but one (I still working on this), actor and light board operator found, etc. The set design is more or less done. There is some more work to be done on the marketing plan, although this is also dependent on seeing the performance schedule. This is due in the next two weeks.
I suppose my next step is working on my lines and blocking. Given that the portion of the play we’re doing is only about 20 minutes, this is going to be a relatively easy job. Finding time for this, everything else, and, incidentally, working in the daytime is another question entirely…