Benny and his friend Griffin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Video Game

Saturday was a great day. I spent it at Meadowbrook Theater at Oakland University near Detroit. My short play "The Video Game" was performed twice.

Ron stayed with me all afternoon and we watched about a dozen plays. The writing was excellent and the actors' performances just outstanding. There was a great play called "Writer's Block," about a guy who is terminally ill, just has one more night to live. Death is hovering around his apartment, drinking beer and doing pushups. Meanwhile, this guy wants to write one good poem before he dies. It was really funny. Really.

There was also a sweet play about a couple who meet at a pizza place. He goes there every day to buy lunch from her and they both try to be cool, but come off all kooky and weird.

I'm very pleased with how my play turned out. I was worried because I didn't agree with some of my director's choices. He comes from the directing school where they strike out all the stage directions and just work from dialogue. Which sounds just dumb to me.

But I kept my mouth shut, cuz hell, I'm not the director. I gave this guy the play, and now he gets to run off and interpret it. And I'm glad I did, because the director's changes actually worked out. He had a bomb exploding at the end, instead of Ed shooting Frank. I still like my way better, but his way did add some tension to the dialogue. I mean, the bomb's just there, ticking away in the medical bag.

***By the way, if you haven't read the play and are wondering what the hell I'm talking about, email me and I'll send you a copy. The play is a conversation between two characters in a video game loosely based on Metal Gear. They sit around while the gamer is fixing a snack and chat about their careers.

Anyway, the first performance was a little stilted and the sound booth messed up the bomb explosion. But the second performance just rocked. The audience seemed to enjoy it, laughing and everything.

I made the display poster for the play, which features chocolate-chip military camouflage and a big paper cookie. The camo pattern was easy to find at the local arts and crafts store. I don't know what these moms are putting in their scrapbooks these days.

So that's done, which is kind of a relief. I've been a little nervous. Time to work on my submission to next year's festival.

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