Letters to Holly

Friday, July 18

But What I Really Want to Do ...

The script meeting last night included some real progress. We have a list of more than 50 potential plays, and we whittled that down to about 20. This followed debate about the plays we just read. We have to choose 6 shows. The theatre will produce nine total including a musical, Christmas show, and a debut play, all of which we don't choose. No we're trying to decide the formula for the season. We have one hard drama, A Trip to Bountiful, and because we have a director lined up for this show already, it's in. That leaves five slots for comedies, mysteries, farces, and a category we made last night, a light drama.

After reading The Rainmaker and Crimes of the Heart, I argued that we need to offer a drama that counters the traditional theatre perception of dark, depressing shows. Audiences won't flock to a three-hour bout of dismay. But both of the dramas I read this week are more than comedies with depth. They are dramas, and that genre is more than sad endings. I made such an argument for Rainmaker that I was asked if I wanted to direct it. Actually, I don't I'd rather act in it. But I won't turn down the chance. And I said yes. It's nothing binding. In fact, I said later that I should assist in directing before I helm a show with this company. They don't know me well enough to give me the reins. The actors have no reason to listen to me or trust my notions. I have to pay dues and thread roots. But, still, the path to directing was laid last night. I would like to tackle Inherit the Wind and I suggested in June how it could be done with a reduced cast and set). If the script committee considers it again next year, maybe I'll get that chance.

I was given one new script last night; everyone else is reading plays I've already graded. We should finalize the season in two weeks. We'll have to take into account the commercial appeal of the plays, our ability to cast and produce them, and the type of season they would create as a whole. It's been fun, but I'll be glad to end this.

Moving Picture of the Day
In front of most showings of Dark Knight will run this trailer for Watchmen, the adaptation of the most significant comic in the past 30 years. It's the Moby-Dick of comics. In comics history, there are Superman' descendants. Spider-Man's descendants, and Watchmen's. They establish their specific eras. Watchmen wasn't the first dark comic by a long shot, but it heralded a new depth to comics. Arguably, nothing has lived up to it since its mid-'80s debut.

The trailer looks good and suggests the film will cling close to the comic. I like what I see so far.

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