Well, the day has finally arrived – but not without a final bit of drama. My internet was totally busted last night; so I had no option but to finish my last two plays in Word. Fortunately I was able to get internet access for a few minutes this morning – to upload the text to my Google Drive. Then, when I got to the office, I was able to fix the formatting and get them uploaded.
For the record, the final plays were:
#27. “Kick her in the Mouth”
Inspired by my days volunteering in a nursing home – a rowdy bunch of nursing home residents attempt to stage a rebellion during a reading of “Jayne Eyre.” They may be mad women, but no attic for them!
#28. “Drive Time”
My last story cube play! A man thinks he’s stuck in traffic but comes to realize that he’s in hell – which happens to be a perpetual traffic jam in a car with a radio that won’t turn off and constantly blares the rantings of a political blowhard.
#29.”A Woman of Extraordinary Constitution”
This one goes out to Brooke Whitley – with whom I first discussed the idea of writing a book about Brandi St. Croix – and Matt Gurry – who has been a wonderful support throughout this process and asked that I make him a character in one of my 31 Plays. So this is the story of Matt, an intrepid young writer, traveling to D.C. to interview Brandi, a spoiled little rich girl who has decided her path to fame lies in writing a book detailing her adventures having sex in all the presidential libraries in the United States.
#30. “The Addicts”
It’s a classic “waiting for the man to come” play. Tweak and Buzz are plot how to deal with their friend Flip, who has left to score them some stuff – and how harshly they’re going to deal with him – depending on what he comes back with.
#31. “Now That’s Dedication!”
It’s the dedication of a new dorm by a very nervous Dean Snopes. Unfortunately for him, a punky young protester who shows up to decry the fact that the dorm was built because of a donation made to the school by a wealthy family trying to protect their son from charges that he raped a girl on campus.
And that’s all she (well, I) wrote! There will be more posts in the coming days and weeks – elaborating on the process of some of the plays I didn’t get to go into in detail and reflecting more thoroughly on how this process has changed me as a writer – and how I’m going to move forward from here.
But I did want to make sure to say thank you to Rachel Bublitz and Tracy Held Potter for putting this together. Theater has been a lifelong passion for me, but the years following college dealt many blows to my theatrical dreams. I watched friend and friend give up their ambitions to work in theater. I wrote plays that were never produced (or that I never could figure out where to send). I mounted productions that were well-received but never took me to the oft-hoped-for “next level.” And I mounted productions that were less-well-received that cost me money personally and required me to ask for lots of hard work from collaborators who believed in my dreams and whose hopes were dashed just as hard as my own.
After taking some time off from writing for the stage, I decided to work on a novel this year. It’s been quite a slog, but it’s been very restorative. Still – as I produced page after page of prose, I couldn’t help but hear the stage calling me back.
This was one of the most inconvenient months I possibly could have taken on a project like this. I had a crazy schedule at work. I had to travel across the country for a wedding. I didn’t have the time. But I made the time, and I made 31 plays, and I made myself – and I think many of the people who care about me and my work – proud.
And I sincerely hope that this is not the end of 31 Plays, but instead – 31 New Beginnings.
I wish you all beautiful surprises, peaceful rests and challenges that test your mettle and help you to succeed.