One year ago today, October 15, 2014, I sat down to write the first five pages of a new play. And tonight, that play previews at Northern Light Theatre in Edmonton! Holy shit!
It didn't seem really real until I saw these awesome photos.
The lovely and luminous Arielle Rombough as Maranatha - photos by Ian Jackson of EPIC PHOTOGRAPHY
As longtime readers may recall, I became obsessed with the Stay-At-Home Daughter movement in December of 2010 and after years of reading blogs and forums and watching 19 Kids & Counting, I knew I wanted to write a play about it. BUT HOW??
My first attempt was a multi-character, full-length play about a pair of purity ball sisters, which seems like pretty fertile territory for both comedy and pathos. But as I wrote it, the story became increasingly predictable and preachy and just all kinds of ass. I was discouraged but I still signed up for the Wet Ink Collective's fall playwriting intensive in the hope that I would somehow be able to polish that turd of a play. And then, a few weeks before the intensive started, the Universe gifted me the story of Maranatha.
The Good Bride is based on the true story of 15 year old Maranatha, whose father decided that he wanted her wedding to her 28 year old fiancé to be inspired by weddings in Biblical times when the bride kneweth not when the bridegroom was showing up. So one night, he packed Maranatha off to stay with family friends and told her that every day from 3pm to midnight, she was to pack her suitcase, put on her wedding dress and wait for her man. Alone. In a room. In her wedding dress. Waiting to finally lose her virginity.
Um, yes, hello. THAT'S A PLAY, MOTHERFUCKERS!
With that beautiful frame on which to weave my Jesus-y tapestry, and with the ass-kicking support of my fellow lady playwrights of Wet Ink, everything (slowly, laboriously) fell into place, juuuuust in time to coincide with Northern Light AD and all-around discerning genius Trevor Schmidt's search for a play to round out NLT's 40th Anniversary season. Synchronicity = complete.
I do kinda feel like I'm cheating, getting to see it brought to life so soon - my last professionally produced play took 3 years from the first workshop to the actual production. But I feel like God really had a plan for this oeuvre, particularly when the various Josh Duggar stories broke this summer and my obscure little story was suddenly topical. HA ha!! Winning by accident!
Anyway, the point is that I can't wait to see it in just one more sleep!!! And if you're in Edmonton, anytime from Oct 15 to 24th, I hope you'll check it out too. Please, Jesus! Please let there be an audience!
I think this will probably be the last braggy post for awhile...for right on the heels of the premiere of The Good Bride, Katr and I are taking on what will likely be a very hilarious yet humbling project. STAY TUNED.