Sunday, September 09, 2007

Creeping Into Fall

Sunny weekend in Seattle, but some breezes started coming in. You live in a place long enough and you can start to recognize the signs. Fall is just around the corner. The kids are back in school. Kayleigh is taller than her 5th grade teacher. Tyler has made a friend. I have high hopes for them this year.

Saturday was dominated by a rare and wonderful meeting of the D Constructed partners at my place for a combo festival postmortem/DVD release company party. Watched Forged and Zombie Love. Had lunch. After Sally & Justin left, Dan & I hammered out a basic site design for a whole new OA website. Should be done pretty soon. And the DVDs will be available from FilmBaby soon too! And Andrew Kenrick continues to make strides on the RPG.

Met my friend Mike for coffee this morning, then headed over to Staples to run some copies of the Ruby Slippers script. Got back in time to have a visit from Dennis Kleinsmith (aka Lucifer) from the OA cast. He picked up his copy of the DVD and a poster, and we chatted about projects. Dennis is all kinds of cool.

One of our leads for the play reading (the aforementioned Damn These Ruby Slippers) got stuck in Portland and was unable to get here. So thanks to Raff, we got a sweet and accommodating friend of his to read in her stead. In all honesty, the last time I'd heard it read aloud was in October 2004, when Sam organized and cast the reading. It's a lot more verbose and intellectual than the OA script, not that one can truly compare subject matter. Ruby Slippers was originally written in 1999, and I can see where I've really evolved as a playwright. Honestly, although I enjoyed the reading, hearing it aloud again kind of left me sour on it. I think it might be too dated... like the window for that particular play has passed. I dunno. Maybe it's because the play comes from a different place and time, a totally different guy - jeez, it's been almost a decade, y'know? A lot has happened since I first sat down with my friend Jordan and bounced ideas off each other. In fact, Jordan has pretty much exited our circle completely. And it seems kind of... un-epic... in comparison to my life the last few years. But there's ninja in it, and dream sequences, chair throwing and bondage gear. So it may not be a complete loss.

When it comes to original stage plays, there is currently little opportunity within Twelfth Night. They need to get specific grant funding for original works for it to make any sense financially. I'm supposed to direct something for them this season, and Deathtrap has been tossed around. Muriel is directing The Foreigner this fall, so I'm off the directorial hook until the spring (at least). In terms of original works in my own arsenal (when the time comes), I have a couple projects aside from Ruby Slippers.

I began writing Tragic Heroes shortly after Sam's cancer diagnosis, under the guise of putting a comedy out there to kind of do my part to lighten the mood. In reality, I just thought there was (and is) a shocking lack of costumed superheroes on the modern stage. Unfortunately by the time I'd gotten to finishing act I, Pixar's The Incredibles came out, so I had to go back to the drawing board on a lot of elements, and ended up shelving it indefinitely. Too bad - there's some decent shtick, and my favorite way to portray Aquaman (without it being the real Aquaman of course): as a drunk.

Vampyre Genesis is about the "haunted summer" of 1816, when Lord Byron, Percy & Mary Shelley, Claire Claremont and Dr. John Polidori congregated at a Swiss villa, took lots of opiates and held their famous contest to see which of them could write the scariest story. It was the summer that produced Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. But the lesser-known work to emerge was Polidori's The Vampyre, arguably the first of the modern, romantic vampire tales, which Bram Stoker would raid liberally for his Dracula a generation later. I used a lot of contemporary literature and Polidori's own journals, which seem to indicate a lot more competition with Bryon than Byron would have ever acknowledged. There is also some question as to whether or not Byron's child by Claire was actually his and not possibly Polidori's. In pouring over all of the writings and histories, it became clear to me that the major inspiration for Polidori's character of Lord Ruthven (pronounced "RIV-ven") was Lord Byron himself, so the concept of the stage play formed around act I being the historical set-up, the actual "haunted summer" (or rather a liberally dramatized and condensed version), and act II would be an adaptation of The Vampyre, with Byron, Shelly, Mary, Claire and Polidori portraying the roles that were inspired by them. Sort of a play-within-a-play, kinda... maybe.

In any case, the technical requirements are somewhat beyond Twelfth Night's abilities in terms of an off-season show, and I'd need actors who were REALLY good at accents and could pull off Regency-era dialogue and make reciting Coleridge sound interesting.

Anyway... there's always improv.


go_go yubari said...

I want to play CLAIRE!!! Please, please, please :-)

Sounds like you got a lot of cool stuff ahead of you...enjoy it!

Ryan Potter said...

Holy crap... Ruby Slippers!

Also, is there a movie Friday? I may be able to show.


tbone said...

Ryan, there is ALWAYS a movie on Friday. Come on over and bring beer.

Anonymous said...

I wanna play Aquaman! Is that wrong?

Maybe it's a Pisces thing.

To make Coleridge sound interesting. A tall order...for a tall dude.

I love you, you silly man. Even if you are a fucked-up carny. ;)

tbone said...

Coleridge is more interesting if recited by Regency-era fops while giggling and drinking laudanum. Hey... maybe we could pass out laudanum to the audience! But then would the audience pass out?

The mind wobbles.

Anonymous said...

Giggling loaded fops?! Why is this sounding more and more like a Cheech and Chong kinda situation?

Pardon...feeling a wave of consumption coming on...