Journal, 8/29: Under a Better Sky

“I know a place where every June
You can lie in the grass and look up at the moon
And the stars say forever
And the clouds says soon
And the crickets strike up your favorite tune”

41 pages done today for the high school play, Under a Better Sky! If I’m not too tired, I should have 10 more pages tonight, which makes the 9/1 deadline look very doable.

While 41 pages is without doubt a good day at the (other) office, with a 15 character ensemble play, there is a certain amount of domino arrangement, and once that’s right, it’s usually off to the races. I had a heck of time plotting out the play last night, but this morning, I was able to make it work by adding an additional group – with a big cast play, having strong internal dynamics for the smaller groups is essential.

I’m having fun with it – the plot feels clear and engaging, and the characters are finding unique voices. It’s interesting, I’ve now written  four plays that feature walled cities surrounded by dangerous wilds in alternate worlds: Child Beauty (1999), Perfect Children (2006), What is Outside (2010) and now Under a Better Sky. I’m not really sure why I’m drawn to this world structure (with Flux, we’re even producing a similar world of Erin Browne’s in Menders) as I can’t remember a childhood book that drew on this conceit. But there it is.

I also am clearly digging the songs in plays lately – and as you see from the above, Under a Better Sky will be  no exception.

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