In just two weeks I will be headed to Atlanta, GA to see a staged reading of my first full length play. For those of you who don't know here's the timeline of how we got to this place.
OCT 1996 - A kid in my creative writing class writes a poem about a mayor and a grave digger having a conversation. This arouses my curiosity. What would these two people be discussing?
FEB 1997 - I perform in Taylor University's production of Antigone (Jean Annouhl) and am interested in the dilemma of the play. The title character wants to do the right thing, but doing so would do very little good, and in fact, perhaps a little harm. The anti-utilitarianism: Is it the right thing if the result will cause more bad than good? How do the abstract values of justice and morality hold up against life, and liberty?
MAY 1998 - I shake hands with my saintly theatre director (Dr. Oliver Hubbard, or Ollie) on the eve of my graduation. He tells me, "if you ever write anything full-length, send it to me, I'll produce it. "
JULY 2001 - I attend a CITA (Christians in Theatre Arts Conference) and pitch a script idea in a workshop. It is the story of a town with an underground prison. In attendence are members of a fledgling theatre company called ArtWithin that's making a move toward script development.
JULY 2003 - I write the first half of Justice, PA and send it to a few friends for feedback. One of those friends is Ollie (my theatre director) who tells me the medication he is taking makes it hard for him to do much reading.
JULY 2004 - I finish the second half of Justice, PA and have a first draft of my first ever full-length play. Two weeks later, Ollie dies of Pancreatic cancer.
AUGUST 2004 - I send a copy of my script to ArtWithin and wait.
JANUARY 2005- ArtWithin has read my script and they want to perform it in April of 2005, but it needs some development. So, they give me a ton of notes for the first rewrite.
FEB. 2005 - I turn in the first rewrite and they arrange to fly me to Atlanta to workshop the piece. While there, we work for ten hours and realize that it can be really great but it's going to require more work than a few weeks will allow. So, we cancel the April performance, but ArtWithin makes me one of their main development projects.
JUNE 2005 - The third draft is completed and submitted, now with the title Welcome to Justice. It is sent back with copious notes.
AUGUST 12, 2005 - Draft 4 is submitted as a rehearsal script.
SEPT. 1, 2005 - Professional actors begin working with a director on Welcome to Justice.
OCT. 12, 2005 - ArtWithin will fly me up to Atlanta for a symposium of writers and producers.
OCT 14, 2005 - 7:15 PM - I will be vomitting.
OCT 14, 2005 7:30 PM - Welcome to Justice will receive a staged reading before a few dozen producers and directors (stage and screen) at a theatre just outside Atlanta.
Exciting and terrifying. Prayers are coveted. Both for the development of the piece, and (what the heck) for it's purchase by a producer or mass communications magnate. (We could use the cash!) :)