Thursday, February 17, 2011

Toil and Trouble

Picture this... fog envelopes the stage and the three weird sisters emerge from the fog to change the course of one man's life. That man is Pericles, Prince of Tyre. The play is entitled "Toil and Trouble" and it is a melding of "Macbeth" and "Pericles." After last year's supernatural-less play, I wanted to bring back the supernatural elements that I've had in play's past, and I really wanted to involve the witches. Out of the witches, the idea was born.

But now, as I sit down at my computer and stare at the few pages I've written, I'm finding the concept of this play to be far more complicated that I thought it would be. The original "Pericles" is rife with a host of topics inappropriate for my age group, including incest, rape, and prostitution. And so I face the challenge of working my way around those things and still having a story left to tell. Also, there is a time gap of 14 years between Pericles losing his wife and daughter and his reunion with them. In "Exit, Pursued by a Bear" - the play I wrote two years ago - I jumped back and forth over a 16 year period a couple times, in order to tell the story and create equal stage time for each character. I could do so again, but this play is already so much like that one, and I don't want to repeat conventions so much that my audience (and actors) ask, "Didn't we see this a couple years ago?" So I must find a different way through these toils and troubles.