Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Playing Around

In preparation for my trip to the William Inge Theatre Festival in a couple of weeks, I went back and looked at my play Can't Live Without You. I wrote it very quickly -- about three weeks total writing time -- starting over Christmas break in 2001 and finishing it in March 2002 as a diversion from the writer's block I was having on Bobby Cramer. Other than a quick read-through by some students sitting around in a theatre class, I've never heard it out loud, and I'm hoping to change that at Inge; what better place to gather theatre people together and read through it?

Last night I went in and did some fine-tuning. I added a section that I've been thinking about for a long time, and worked on the end, which is always the toughest part of a play. All of the changes added about two pages to the manuscript, but I think it's an improvement. I'll find out soon, I hope; John Lloyd Young has promised to read it, and I'm going to hold him to it.

What's the play about? Thought you'd never ask. Donny Hollenbeck, a writer, lives in the Florida Keys with his girlfriend. He makes a comfortable income writing slick romance novels under the pen name of "Amanda Longington." Then one morning he is visited -- like Jacob Marley does to Scrooge -- by Bobby Cramer, the main character of the novel he abandoned when he got the job writing the romances. Donny has to choose between Bobby and Amanda.

Sometimes writing about what you're writing about helps break the block. In this case it did, and as an added bonus, I got what I think is a pretty good play out of it.



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