Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hanging in there - playing around

At long last, "Old Soldiers" has left the building in a manner of speaking. After choosing an ending to this play that has been in the creative process for more than a year, I finally bid it a fond adieu, wished it well and submitted it to the BBC International Playwriting Competition.

As people reading this blog are aware, the play had its beginning as a short story that evolved into play based on the strength of its main character, Joe McKenna. There was something about Joe that begged to be explored further as described in a blurb taken from the synopsis:

"As an ex army man and soldier, 85-year old Joe McKenna is a man of habit. He is a widower whose only companionship is his 12-year old dog, Daisy. The aging process has taken its toll physically and emotionally, turning him into an embittered man full of resentment towards society and what he perceives to be life's injustices. He is a lonely soul with too much time to think about the past and knowing that the future will leave him dependent on the kindness of others."

As a play, Joe was joined by three ex-army buddies along with some other interesting characters that helped propel the story along. Having never written for radio, the big challenge was to incorporate sound effects. In any case, Joe's fate - and mine - are in the hands of the judges since the competition closed on January 31st.

Meanwhile, another play, "Retribution" is taking an interesting turn. Submitted it to the Sundog Theatre, "... a performing arts organization in Staten Island that provides entertainment for adults and children in the form of contemporary and original theatre." It was selected to be part of a play reading series - all being well - to take place in summer. The drama focuses on Sue Ellen Parker, a hairdresser, who exacts revenge for a horrific past crime committed against her in the past. Must have re-written this play at least a dozen times until it felt "right."

At present, I'm at the finishing stage of completing "Neighbors" a comedy, two-act play that had its beginning as a 10 minute play. The story line focuses on two neighbors and their long-standing feud over what one believes to be the erroneous placement of shrubs, which divide both their properties. Very enjoyable to write and with definite production potential. Will put it to sleep for a while and then re-read it and start the re-writing process. Amazing what time can do for one's perspective. I've completed plays that I thought couldn't be improved only to realize that the content was garbage, which in turn caused a complete re-write of the play(s).

As usual, will keep readers of this blog and/or others who drop by from time-to-time updated.

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