For the last two decades, when I’ve not been busy crouched over a keyboard writing my plays, I’ve been working in the box office at Theatre Palisades, a community theatre in the Pacific Palisades.
I don’t know how that happened. I’ve heard that John Lennon said that life is what happens to you when you are making other plans.
(He didn’t say that first, of course. Allen Saunders, the cartoonist of the comic strips Steve Roper and Mary Worth did in a 1957 issue of the Reader’s Digest. Thank you, Wikipedia.)
For over a decade, I’ve been submitting my plays to the Play Recommendation Committee at Theatre Palisades. I’ve done workshops and specials and two night membership shows. I’ve nagged and whined and maybe mentioned once or twice that I’ve been PRODUCED ELSEWHERE, but every year I’ve been turned down. I would slink away and slip the wounded play into the drawer.
The policy of the theatre did not change. It does not do new plays.
For one my workshops, quite a few years ago, I wrote a one act comedy called All About Harold, which contained a woman’s monologue about her husband, Harold, and his feeling that the Buick was a perfect car. The woman’s sister did not share her affection for the man or the car, and had a secret about him that was revealed at the end of the play.
I worked with two wonderful actresses at the theatre, discovered new things about the characters and rewrote as we went along.
Then, I fell in love with the characters and rewrote until I had a two act play with an ending that was set in the Pacific Palisades!
I submitted All About Harold to the Play Committee and it was rejected. Undaunted, two members of the theatre (George Lissandrello, Gail Matthius) and the amazing Spolin Players staged it at the local American Legion as a fund raiser for the Fisher House (http://fisherhouse.org/) in West Los Angeles. We got some laughs and raised a thousand dollars!
I rewrote yet again, and the play became Four Women In Search Of A Character. I submitted it to Play Recommendation Committee and it was rejected yet again.
Following that, I had two readings, one at The Blank and one at the Red Brick Road. I re-rewrote and the play became Whatever Happened To Roy?. The monologue about Harold is gone. Harold is gone. The perfect Buick is gone. But the last act is still set in the Pacific Palisades.
I resubmitted it to the Play Recommendation Committee.
TO MY SURPRISE, the 2013 Season is starting off with Whatever Happened To Roy?! I’m not quite sure how it happened and am still not quite sure that it’s going to happen but I am over the moon.
So, I wanted to say, “Thank you,” to the theater, to my husband and daughter, fellow writers and friends, all of whom have helped me to shape the play over the years.