The first of which is "The Shadow," which I have been blogging about a bit and will continue to do so. Isaac has asked that I get a first draft finished at the end of the run of "In Public." I love deadlines so, of course, it will be done.
The other play is currently titled "The Man Who Caught Death in a Bag." It's shaped a bit like "The Americans" in this early stage. ("The Americans" featured three characters, named by the letters D, T, and F, who spoke to the audience in dovetailing monologues.) The new play has three actors on stage, but they all portray the same character, who is currently named "Matthew Harbaugh." It struck me that a few observers viewed "The Americans" as being three different versions of the same person. I'm making that quite literal in this new play.
Here's an excerpt from the evolving first draft:
So here’s the deal. Since we’re all going to talk. My name is Matthew Harbaugh. Which, might strike you as instantly odd, because it seems like half of my name was changed to protect the innocent. Fair enough. I make the rules.
Another rule is that there are these other two Matthew Harbaugh’s, right there. In my bedroom. Or what looks like my bedroom. And they can’t see me.
Just for the purposes of our play. Which is called “The Man Who Caught Death In A Bag.”
Did you ever get the feeling that forces beyond your control are conspiring to make you quit your job and drink too much? Just because someone, somewhere is entertained by it? God or whoever? God, probably.
This is called “The Boy Who Caught Death in a Bag.” Not very creative, if you think about it.
That’s how I felt when this book fell into my lap. My mother had passed away and my brother and I were going through old boxes and there it was. I put it in my bag before my brother could see it. I don’t know why, but that’s exactly what I did.
For the record, my real name isn’t Matthew Harbaugh, and as of this writing, my father isn’t dead. And the one who writes things about death is me, not him. But here we are, watching a play about exactly that. And here I am, talking about Fathers and Death. So it goes. But yes, my name is Matthew Harbaugh. And so are theirs.
That will do for all normal purposes.
The third project is in outlining stages... a fake "history play" in verse. After seeing Richard II at the Classic, it occurred to me that I would love to use the history play format and style, but invent something entirely false... a myth of a King, told in verse, as if it were a "history." Why not? Why shouldn't I?
Onwards and upwards.