Letters to Holly

Wednesday, July 30

Apply Forehead to Wall. Repeat.

Last night's script meeting was a whole bunch of not much. With just two weeks to go before we have to announce at least the first show of the season, we were asked to select the top six shows among the handful of genres for us to produce. Six people, 36 picks in total.

Here was my personal list of finalists and the picks I announced last night and the number of votes they received last night.

The Glass Menagerie
-- famous downer (4 votes total)

The Rainmaker
-- midwest romance (4 votes total)

The Mousetrap
-- the most popular mystery play ever (3 votes total)
Premature Corpse -- modern noir (6 votes total)

, Book and Candle -- witchcraft romance (2 votes total)
Six Rms, Riv Vu
-- Barefoot in the Park with cheating spouses (2 votes total)

At the end of our announced votes, we had named 15 shows. By next Tuesday, we have to whittle that down to six. We really and truly needed to become bloodthirsty this week. Ruthless and cruel. It was rough making my picks from the potential shows, and we all expressed surprise at what shows didn't make our cut.

In fact, some of us were so surprised by omissions that they insisted their favorites get a full reading by the remaining committee members. So, now, with one week before we make our final choices, we have, by my count, nine plays to be read by five members.

In addition, there are new considerations for the theatre renovation, and we still don't know exactly where our season will be performed. That will affect which shows we choose; about half our shows would be disqualified because they can't fit on the existing stage. Other shows we had already dismissed would be back in contention because they are easily staged. We simply aren't informed enough to confidently make the final list. We're stymied.

I've made a list of six shows that can be staged minimally AND can draw an audience. But I'm hitting opposition from a committee member who can't wrap her head around script adjustment. She said she dismissed one play because it includes a typewriter, and no one uses typewriters anymore. I was dumbstruck. We can do period shows. We can also update shows to a modern setting. We have options. That lack of creativity baffles me. I'm now worried about how many shows we've lost to this type of handcuffing.

I had high hopes for this week's meeting, and I'm deflated. I have one slim script to read as the 2009 Christmas show possibility. I think I'll be able to read it during lunch today. I won't be available to meet after next week. I believe we have to make our picks on Tuesday, the 5th. I hope we pick well. We're already braced for the backlash from the theatre regulars. But those folks can sign up for the committee next year.

Picture of the Day
My list is the best list since this guy came along.

No comments: