|My New Play, Available Now From Eldridge! Click HERE to order!|
Greetings everyone. My name is Bobby Keniston, and I'd like to welcome you to Theater is a Sport.
I often like to read about writer, how they write, what inspires them, and even the nuts and bolts, day-to-day of their process. In that tradition, I figured I would talk a little bit about the writing of my latest published play, now available from Eldridge, called Avoiding the Pitfalls of High School Dating.
As a high school drama teacher, I know how difficult it can be to put on a play with a limited budget and a cast full of kids who are busy participating in several activities. I wanted to try writing a play that was very simple to stage with a very limited set and props, and that consisted of a series of easily rehearsed scenes, something that could be put together in pieces, not necessarily requiring the entire cast at every rehearsal.
One day, I found an article online that offered 10 tips about successful high school dating. It was a good article with good advice. My mind, which likes to take such things and push them to the most farcical and absurd extremities, immediately started to imagine a seminar or infomercial with two very fake hosts talking about their rules for "Avoiding the Pitfalls of High School Dating". I could immediately picture these seminar hosts, a man and a woman, doing their best to sell this product. I started brainstorming ideas for examples of their techniques in action, basically imagining how teenagers could take their advice too literally and destroy what could have otherwise been perfectly acceptable dates.
This is where the fun really began for me as a writer. Coming up with ideas for comically disastrous dates doesn't feel like work for me--- it feels like fun. Even more fun, is coming up with the characters who will make these dates disastrous.
That's how Lenny and Matilda were born. Lenny, a potential dater, is now what you call "typical dating material", with his odd quirks and obsession with Castles and Kingdoms, his favorite role-playing game. Matilda, too, certainly has her eccentricities--- not least of which is a fondness for funerals.
Throw in the two hosts, Lucky Daye and Starry Knight, and some poor befuddled blind daters, and I felt I was cooking with a teenage comedy that would actually make teenagers laugh, and a script that ANY high school with ANY budget could easily stage and have the audience rolling in the aisles!
I'm not going to give too much away about the "dates" themselves, but, trust me, they are not dates that you will likely forget any time soon.
Once I had figured out these characters, the writing came pretty easily, with only one big hiccup that was easily solved after some meditating (I like to meditate while I'm running, by the way.)
So, if you're a drama director looking for a simple one act that's a guaranteed crowd pleaser, I invite you to take a look at Avoiding the Pitfalls of High School Dating! And if you do decide to try it out for a production, feel free to drop me a line to let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks again, and remember--- theater is not just a craft or an art form. It is also a sport.