I'm excited to announce that I have been commissioned to write a new play for the Lee University Theatre. Chris (Dr. Christine Williams) and I have been tossing around this possibility for a couple of years. Finally, this summer the idea started to seem like something we could pull off.
Details have been arranged, contracts have been signed, and we are officially doing this!
The play is slated for production in February 2018! Which is thrilling, yes, but when I looked at the calendar and realized they need a viable draft by August and a final draft by January, that thrilled feeling has been replaced with sheer panic. It usually takes me several years to get a play ready for production. That's not exaggeration -- 3 years. In my defense, I do teach a full 4/4 load (12 hours a semester). My final deadline is less than 17 months away. And so far, I only have a very tentative title, a paragraph synopsis, and the first 3 pages.
But as I tell my students, "Ain't nothing like a deadline to motivate ya." And "Ain't nothing like a live audience who will buy tickets and sit in seats to motivate revision!" And night sweats.
The thought that comes after the panic is how over-the-top proud I am to get to work on this play with Chris. We've only worked together as actor/playwright in a few workshops and staged readings. She's wonderful to work with as an actor. And I can't wait to collaborate with her as my director. It's a play about strong women, so it seems right to work on this with Chris. If you know her, you know what I mean. Unfortunately, I don't have any pics of me and Chris, but here's one of her acting in my play, The Memory of Ice. Evidence of Chris as strong woman. I hope this isn't the reaction I get when I give her the first draft!
It's really cool of her to take a chance on me and a play that doesn't exist yet. That takes guts and maybe a little insanity! But I'm gonna do my best to write her a beautiful play.
I believe this is the first new play ever commissioned at Lee. So, here's hoping we make something good!