This past weekend, I participated in Redsandcastle Theatre’s 1000 Monkeys playwriting event. I participated in this event last year as well, and this is the event at which my play The Parliamentarians was born. I was very excited to participate in the event. After all, I had a lot of success with The Parliamentarians, and I was really curious to see what I could do this year.
With an event like this, when we sign in, we randomly choose 3 words, which we will use as inspiration for the play. We do this by having someone flip through a dictionary, and then we put our finger on a page. The word we land on becomes one of our words. Â The words I drew were:Â Overshoot. Lodge. Germane.
So, that’s an interesting group of words, isn’t it? I had no idea what I was going to do with it.
Then we got our theme.
“The Tip of the Iceberg”
So, now I had even less of a clue what I would write about. So I looked up definitions of the words, scouring them for inspiration of any kind. I knew thatÂ Lodge was going to be my key, because it was the most tangible of the words to me. For a while, I considered some conspiracy, secret society stuff, based on the word lodge (specifically the idea of a Mason-esque lodge). After a while of playing with this idea, I found that I couldn’t find a place to take this that worked for me.
Then the idea came to me: Four Victorians lost in the woods, running from a zombie apocalypse, looking for a Lodge where they believe they will be safe. But then, what if that was not the reality of their situation? What if they were LARPers playing a live action role playing game?Â With that, some relationships fell into place, and I had somewhere to go.
But this was not an easy play to write. The Parliamentarians was easy. It flowed out once I got the idea and just found itself on the screen. It was one of those magical, wonderful writing experiences. This play did not write itself so easily. While The Parliamentarians flowed this playÂ needed to be pulled and coaxed into existence. This play was difficult. And when I finally reached the end, I wasn’t even sure if it would play; was there anything in there that would work?
Fortunately, the event has a reading component, where the day after everyone has slept, we get together and read the plays. And when mine was read, I learned that it worked. It did play, and there was definitely something worth pursuing.
So, I have a draft of a play that needs some revision, but is something that’s worth pursuing.
And that was my weekend.