"Hysterical, campy fun!"
- Tony Brown, cleveland.com

"Full of suspense, romance, drama and lots of laughs!"

- Dan Shaurette, Out of the Coffin podcast

This extraordinary one-act drama deftly explores the evolution of the centuries-old vampire myth.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Breaking 'Dusk'

"My home ... what had been my home, a little island, perhaps, but wrapped around it the many climates of the earth, volcanic, balmy, constant showers, desert, rainforest, everything but cold. Not cold, never cold. No walls, no windows, and every space a contour, undulating, constant motion in the stillness of one tiny hunk of lava. " - Lucy
The invitation had been extended at the outside - I would be open to any and all editing. This fell out pretty fast, and faster and faster as the arcs stacked up. And I did write them in order, so it is glaring to me that the last piece was put together a bit hastily.

And yet, tonight Andrew announced it was his favorite arc. Unlike the previous three scenes, this is the only one where no one says exactly what they mean, or at least not often. It's all about what is in-between the lines. I was glad to hear that.

But the editing ... I never mind suggestions to make things shorter. What I don't like is rewriting - that's like ... work. I changed a few things in the first two arcs since rehearsals started, no one else asked me to alter anything, though. Working The Interview yesterday, however, I needed to change a few lines, some humorous comments that just weren't flying. And tonight Andrew finally asked to cut an entire paragraph, when we are meeting Lucy for the first time, as she compares her home in Hawaii to where she has just moved - the city of North Pole, Alaska.

"Yes, Emily, there is a North Pole, Alaska." She thought her character was being snarky, but no, that part is true.

And here were are, two weeks before our first performance, with the shape of the show more or less blocked out ... except for the fights. And the blood, the props, the costumes ... and Nosferatu.
He looks up, behind his back to the window, she reaches out and draws his face back to her neck, and he resumes feeding. A yellow spot appears, and grows in intensity. Sunlight. He stands, turning towards the window in horror. He moves for the door, as he crosses the pane of glass, he is struck by the full-force of the light. He turns, clutches his chest with one hand, raises the other to the heavens, and disappears.
We'll get there, Andrew. Make it work.


Daniel said...

Yeah Andrew! Make it work! This whole process is so exciting to read about - good luck with the fricking fight choreography. The editing issue is interesting. I once assistant directed a play when our drama gang in college was all excited about Mike Leigh. The play was improvised, but not on-the-spot. Rather, the director proposed a series of incidents, characters, and arcs, and each scene was played out in a series of improvisations over the course of months and months. Gradually, specific things emerged as worthwhile or effective, and other things were varied and eventually cut. By the time the show went up, the script was virtually set in stone. It was an interesting exercise and people seemed to enjoy watching it, but after much consideration, I think we all concluded that in the future, one person writing a script was the way to go.

This anecdote has no immediate relevance. I just thought you might think it was interesting.

pengo said...

Did this play have a title ..?

Daniel said...

You know, I can remember the plot, but not whatever title we cooked up! It's not like it was published anywhere. Somebody might still have the script, but I fear that that somebody would be either the director, with whom I am rather decidedly (on his part) no longer friends, or the lead actor, with whom I am also rather decidedly (thanks to entropy and divergence) also no longer friends. You know, at one point, those two guys were really close to me, and now we don't talk. Ain't that a thing.

pengo said...

I am familiar with that thing.

Daniel said...

Sorry to hear it. Vita longa.