ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF DANGER

Had our first read through of ROSE RED on Saturday, and it was pretty friggin' fantastic to be sitting in a room once again, hearing a new script being read out loud by the people who are going to be performing it. Lots of things to do- scenes to tighten, plots twists to introduce and/or rework, songs to reprise, and of course, things that I don't even realize yet are out there, waiting to help transform this rough gem into a brilliant ruby (I would have said diamond, but it's cliche, and ruby is more appropriate for this show- come see it in December at Actor's Academy for the Performing Arts in Boulder to find out how).  I don't know if I can properly convey how exhilarating it is to hear a play you've written get a full read through. Exhilarating and terrifying and magic. The exhilarating part is when a line or scene comes across as you envisioned it when you wrote it. The terrifying part is when something you think is brilliant falls flat. The magic part is when an actor or actors find something in a scene you didn't realize was there- some depth or insight that might have been intentional but subconscious, or might just be happenstance, but for whatever reason is there and makes the play even better than you think.

I got all three on Saturday.



Anyhow- I said I would use this blog to describe how this show came about, so on we go.

We had settled on Rose Red and Snow White as our source material, and it was time to come up with a plot that could fill out a full length musical with a casts of at least 20, and up to 40 or more- if we should get lucky enough to have a theatre company want to produce it that likes large casts for their musicals. That would mean either Broadway, or children's theatre. In the original story, there are five characters: Rose Red, Snow White, their mother, a cranky dwarf, and a bear. So first order of business, come up with fifteen more characters at the very least.

Okay, the work begins.  First off, I change the dwarf to "The Imp". It sounds better to me, and is a reference to "Game of Thrones". I'm a bit of a geek, and like to put references to things in my plays. Allusions, if you will. I figure if people get them, great. If not, no harm. And it keeps me amused and into the work.  Next, I try to think of another villain- someone really powerful and strong and who can be played by a girl, because in young people's theatre, there are a lot more girls than boys. So I try to think up a witch/enchantress. I google famous witches, find some names, mix them together, and come up with the name "Endorra Belle". Sounds good to me. Now, why is she so nasty? I prefer stories where the bad guys have a reason for being the way they are. So, what if she used to be good, but went to the dark side after being wronged. Yeah, now it starts to gel in my head. Maybe the Imp used to be nice to, but did something foolish and/or cruel that turned Endorra Belle evil- and she punishes him by turning him into the Imp. Now that speaks to me, and the story starts to sort of fly out of my head at a pretty fast pace. I don't want to give it all away- sufficed to say the world of the play has a powerful villain in Endorra, and her agent the Imp.


Great, now I have six characters, only about twenty to go- plus a plot, theme, etc.

Next- sidekicks.

And don't forget, if you'd like to read one of my other plays, Like BURNING THE OLD MAN, or HELA AND TROY, or FENWAY: LAST OF THE BOHEMIANS, go to one of these wonderful websites:

http://www.playscripts.com/author.php3?authorid=1062

http://www.indietheaternow.com/Playwright/Playwright/KellyMcAllister






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