GOT at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.
This past weekend I participated in Guaranteed Overnight Theater or GOT. I haven’t had so much fun in years. We survived in spite of my mistakes. Silly me saying the event would start at 5 P.M. on a Friday – what was I thinking … that theater and writer types live on the same schedule I do? Twelve people showed up and two promptly left. I think I must look scary. One gentleman came in very late with a rather morose short story he wanted converted into a script. When it was clear that wasn’t going to happen he left. We lost another overnight – an email stating that she would rather work on her own plays and did not wish to collaborate further. Well la de da, that left 8 of us.
By 10 PM we had the outline of 7 mini scripts and a framework that would tie them all together. By 10 AM we had reassembled and disassembled to work on our various scripts. By 1 PM we were ready to rehearse. We managed to do about 3 walkthroughs before the show.
Four Bagel Bards participated, Gloria Mendock (I designed her first book), Anne Brudevold (we’re serializing her novel “Hunter Moon” in WHLReview.com), Jacques the Haitian Firefly (no comment) and me.
We played to a packed house of twelve. The work was titled “The Open Mike” (or “Modern Vaudeville”) and began with your typical open mike poetry by Wilhelmina Shakespeare followed by Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemmingway. This was for warm-up. Then we did "The Pig and the Wolf," how theatrical types would have changed "the three little pigs" and "Little Red Riding Hood." The next playlette was titled, “Dating through the Decades,” in three acts. Following up on a theme that worked we did, “Internet Speed Dating in Person.” This was very funny with Jacques delivering the punch line flawlessly. Jacques also started in “The Dance Class,” where he believably seduced his way through a dance class leaving a student dazed and confused which lead to “The Shrink.” In “The Shrink” a traumatized dance student explains why he’s fallen in love with a sex addict. Another punch line delivered perfectly. “Brra dump dump,” says the imaginary drum. The last act had Anne Brudevold tormenting Jacques as a sadistic massage therapist in “The Last Gas.” Throughout the open mike Gloria Mindock and I played “the audience” sitting with a table between us on stage dripping sarcastic battery acid lines between playletts.
Enjoying himself in the audience was David Bertolino, former proprietor of “spooky World” and now an aspiring playwright and theatrical producer. His next work will be opening in Boston next May – Oh, how can we possibly wait? – is called “Deep Throat, the play.” Seriously, see www.deepthroattheplay.com.
We had a blast and hope to repeat our stunt in January when we can next have access to the little theater at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education (or sooner should another theater materialize).
Top - Jacques & Sophya in "Dating through the decades"
Middle: Sophya, Jim, Jacques and Mary Ann (standing) in "Speed Dating"
Bottom left: Lynn in "The Pig and the Wolf"
Bottom right: Jim finishes the script of "The Shrink"