'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Monday, January 21, 2002 ]

I mentioned last week that Doug Reed read and critiqued "Welcome To The Terror Dome."

Here's what he emailed me:

This is an incoherent set of first thoughts based on a first read of "Welcome To The Terror Dome". I'd polish them more, but the good people of Wisconsin expect some work out of me today, and I hate to disappoint them. They've been through so much, what with Joe McCarthy and all.

Okay, I'll be upfront. I didn't like it. Which is not to say that it's not a well-crafted play, which it is. And I pictured Casey as Almo and Steve as Ives - for that extra-creepy touch. I had a visceral negative reaction to the setup, which only got stronger the farther I read. It's a horrifying play - in the moral and ethical sense of the word horror. The moral revulsion is stronger than the "thriller" aspect. Which is an acheivement considering that we've all seen "Misery", "Extremities", etc... So while we've all seen horrible acts committed to hostages, the sheer vacuum of reason or purpose is a real horror. Your play begs the question "What kind of society makes these kind of kids", and then slaps you upside the head with the answer "THE SOCIETY YOU LIVE IN RIGHT NOW, ASSHOLE".

I hate the characters. Polly, I don't know much about her except some biographical info and the fact that she's in this horrible situation. The kids don't even have the sense that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had. [It's here that Doug discusses aspects of the ending]

So, while I think it would be compelling viewing, it's not something I "want" to see. Keep in mind that I'm more of a Noel Coward kind of guy than a David Mamet kind of guy.

I emailed him back:

I want to talk more about this, but I'm in the same boat, job-wise.

Two quick things, though:

1) Thanks (and I don't mean that dismissively) for your honesty-it's an extreme script, and I'm getting tired of "yeah, I really liked it" comments.

2) I actually agree with what you're saying-but I also think that those are positive observations for anyone who would "want" to see this (all 3 of them).

He replied:
Keep in mind that what I "want" to see has been severely warped by parenthood. Given one or two nights a month to go out, I usually want to see something along the lines of My Fair Friggin' Lady, where I can just hum a couple of catchy goddamn tunes and go home. I'm not sure what this has done to my once-impeccable taste.

More later.

So we talked a bit about it...and he had some really good suggestions and input--considering it's not really his thing. So far, what I've been liking about all the comments is that no one has complaied yet that it moved too slow, or that it's boring.

More when I hear from more people.

This is Mario twins. They look the same. I would say to them "you want ice cream cone?" They both say click here.

Shiggeti Shiggeti Shwa.

posted by Rob on 4:31 PM | link



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