I had an extraordinary experience last weekend. I brought in a new two character, ten-minute play for a first read at an Orange County Playwrights Alliance meeting. However the experience wasn’t extraordinary only because of the two amazingly talented actors who read. What was out of the ordinary was that my little play was without exception well-received. I never thought that possible with a play of mine. No joke. I was encouraged to submit it to the Actors Theatre of Louisville, which I have done.
If you don’t know, I am a librarian by day, and I am paid (essentially) to find stuff. I’m pretty good at it, because (I believe) I am curious and I love my job. So it’s my nature to try to figure out ‘why’ A Waffle Doesn’t Help Insomnia was successful with this group of playwrights first time out. Waffle started out as a funny Facebook thread I wrote with a friend who lives in Kentucky. We just happened to be awake at the same time eating, yes, wait for it – waffles. Friends who read the thread encouraged me to include the dialogue in a play. I decided to write one instead. My Kentucky friend read the play last Friday and loved it; he told me to take full credit. I have dedicated it to him.
I am also attempting to figure out why this play struck my audience’s core when so many others of mine haven’t, because, frankly, I’d like to hit a ball out of the park again. The comments I received were essentially it’s a relationship play. Yet I disarmed them with wacky, likeable characters, and when they were least expecting it created a life-and-death reality both in the text and visually; our ‘waffle twins’ were a hit.
Perhaps I learned a lesson in dramatic irony?