Now that I have that off my chest, I wanted to talk about the new play I've almost completed the first draft of. This will not be an article about what the play is about, but instead focus on more of the process and journey this play has taken me over the years.
Poison and it's previous incarnation was first written in the summer/fall of 2001. It was my first stab at a full length play and luckily enough for me, my good friend and neighbor Lisa Hyslop was looking to produce/direct a play in February of 2002. Lucky for me, I had just finished a draft of Poison and thus, a creative partnership was born. Except I chose not to fully participate in that process, which still follows me around to this day and at the same time, drives me to all strive for more. I dutifully completed some re-writes, based on suggestions of Lisa and the cast. I did not attend but one rehearsal (I think. Maybe it was zero.) and I do believe the writing suffered because of that.
The production ran in February of '02 as planned turned out magnificent. The hard work of Lisa, the set designer, and the very talented cast of Aaron M. Kiefer, Zakk Luff, Katie McNeese, Nick Sceirine, and the late Ken Rothwell (and everyone else involved) helped to produce a successful run of the show. All this with very little help from me.
For this reason, Poison has always been a play that I've looked to improve on from a writing standpoint. Over the years, two more different versions and many drafts have taken form. In some versions, the play had actually taken a step backward from when it was produced. It was about a year ago, after I had shelved the play for a few years, that my good friend Aaron suggested I take another stab at it. We sat at Quinns that night and bounced ideas off of each other for a good two hours, if not more. On the night, Poison 5.0 was born.
And here we are, ten months later and the first draft is finally near completion. As with everything I write, the play has taken me on quite a journey and I hope that the early pages from last March still coincide with the ending of the play. I probably should re-read it, but I want to save that until the last page is written in this now marked up notebook. After ten years of re-writes and wasted ink, I hope to have a reading of the first draft within the next few weeks. My only hope is that my new words and hard work can hold a candle to the amazing work that the aforementioned people in this blog provided all those years ago. I know that without them Poison would not have stayed with me for so long. And for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
P.S. And for the fun of it, this little piece from Macbeth has helped guide me in the new version of Poison
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard from no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound of fury,