'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Tuesday, May 09, 2006 ]

Fun stuff I Learned Last Weekend At The Opening Weekend Of Mercury Rising.

1. Almost all of the scripts were written very quickly, and last minute.

At least, it seemed that way to hear the writers tell it. Doug Reed told me he wrote his very quickly, and I wrote mine on the day of the deadline.

That said, Karen McCall's was her first play, and came from a very personal place--which is where all good writing comes from, I think.

2. For reasons unknown, mine's the only one without sex, nudity, death, or depression in it.

That's right. It's a love story. More than one person said to me, "The weird thing is, it's actually very sweet." Considering a gun gets pointed at a baby at one point, and a teenage girl is pretty clearly marked for a date rape, that's saying something.

3. I have something in common with one of the directors, Kelly Kreisel.

And that's that both of our passive faces give people the impression that we don't like them. Before the open, we all revealed how nobody thought we liked anyone. Hey, I though she didn't like me at all, but nope.

We just have passive face that seem angry or exasperated.

So, yes. It's altogether possible that we like you. We really like you.

Oh, also, she's a big comic book geek.


4. Doug Reed now likes writing dark violent material.
It's true. He told me that once he started doing it, he totally sees the appeal.

The funny thing is, after my show got a group reaction of "AWWWWW" from the audience, I have to admit, I want me some more of that.

Will this mean I'll be writing more love stories in the future?

Time may tell.

5. Okay, so maybe things weren't as awkward as I thought they'd be between Gwen Quirk and me.
I walked over and extended my hand, starting to say, "I am officially extending the olive branch," but I only got as far as "I am offic--" before we got interupted.

Anyway, I told her that I actually did like her play, and added, "And I would tell you if I didn't."
She smiled and said, "Yeah. I know."

6. So what did you think of how Tony Trout directed your show?
I loved what they did, and there were many things about the performances that I just thought they nailed.

In particular, I loved Bill Bolz as Connor, the burnt-out professional sniper. He has that great laid-back delivery, and that's the only way you can play Connor for it to work. There's a line he has where he says to Megan "The Gun" DuCott (who returns again for this show), "Cool. I have an 'in.' Wanna go to the prom?"

Now, that's an easy line to screw up, in context--it not only has to be deadpan, but have just enough sincerity for you to wonder.

Then there's Emily Mills, the third person to play Megan "The Gun" DuCott (Amy Sawyers is on deck to play Megan--the early years--in the internet version I'm working on, by the way).

Damn. I mean, DAMN.

Sequentially, as far as the character goes, this is the last Megan "The Gun" DuCott play (at least, until I write another one), and "Death And The City" will actually be the first adventures. It's cool to think that Emily's version is where the character will end up at.

I've already asked Emily if she'll show up on "Death And The City" as Megan's sister, just for the geeky reference.

7. How are the other shows?
Quite good, actually. Seriously, go see it.

I know I've said this before, but it's amazing to me that I wrote neither the most depressing, weirdest, or most violent one.

Wacky, huh?


I am ready to ferment now.

posted by Rob on 10:45 PM | link



Cool! John G. spoke highly of the show this past weekend, and your segment in particular. I'll definitely check it out.

I am so with you on the passive face thing. I can't tell you how many times even strangers at the store or whatever have looked at me and said crap like "Smile!" or "It's not so bad is it?" What the hell? Nobody just told me a joke or anything. What kind of simpleton goes around smiling all the time for no apparent reason?

By Anonymous Fountain Al, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:29:00 AM  

Hey Rob, sounds like an interesting show. You have the tamest show of the bunch? No way! Sorry I can't come check it out! Life in Texas is ok though. Hope your next project goes well.

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