Monday, December 27, 2010

THE SLASH - finally the way I want it

I just got word that my play THE SLASH will be part of John Chatterton's Midwinter Madness Festival in February 2011.

It had a staged reading by Mergatroyd Productions in June 2004; and a full production as part of The Looking Glass 2006 Writer/Director Forum but this will be the first time that I will be directing a full production, which means that for once I will get what I want.

I was not at all happy when the director for Looking Glass inserted dialog from "Brokeback Mountain" into a performance. It might have been the actor's own idea, but the director certainly did not contact me to apologize about it.

And she also cast the world's worst actor in the role of Mr. Quark/Derek and would not get a better actor no matter how much I complained. I really should have gone to the Dramatists Guild about it. And this was after the Edward Einhorn lawsuit - you think I'd have learned my lesson not to let anybody else direct my work. Well I haven't ever since the Looking Glass snafu.

Fun fact - the Looking Glass director was Oskar Eustis's babysitter. Eustis commissioned Tony Kushner to write ANGELS IN AMERICA and directed the world premiere. Kushner gets Oskar Eustis, I get his babysitter. sigh

I did a reading of THE SLASH at the last NYCPlaywrights meeting of 2010 and was pleased by most of it, but I definitely need to tweak a few things - but of course finding out what is wrong with a script is the entire point of doing a reading, so mission accomplished.

One problem with THE SLASH is the tendency of audiences to look down on women in the first place - and then I present these women as not especially good or original writers. And on top of that, theatre audiences are not usually big fans of sci-fi, and the sci-fi that THE SLASH references is goofy early Star Trek episodes.

But I hope to get the script to the point where the audience also sympathizes with the characters, even if they look down on them.

THE SLASH was inspired by an actual Slash writer, who was a member of NYCPlaywrights before she decided to go to Nashville to try to make it as a country music singer/songwriter. Looks like she's still at it.

I've never been a big Star Trek fan, but my two longest-term relationships were with guys who both were big fans so I ended up learning alot. And of course now with the Internet I can watch the entire series online, interact with fans, etc. etc.

What is "Slash"? Glad you asked - most people still haven't heard of it. TV Tropes, as always, has a good entry about it:
Most Slash Fic authors have historically been women. This could stem from the fact that the traditional Slash subjects are overwhelmingly male-dominated: if you want to write Fan Fic in the style of a romance novel, and you don't want to use a ditzy Green Skinned Space Babe, you're pretty much going to have to pair two men, or invent a Mary Sue. Then again, some slashers say that they just find two men together to be hot, just like men like watching Lesbian porn.

If the author has much exposure to Japanese Boys Love at all, expect characters to be noticeably shoehorned into dominant seme and submissive uke roles.

The origin of the term predates the World Wide Web, going back to 1960s fanfic writers, specifically those interested in Star Trek, who wrote "Kirk/Spock" fiction, pronounced "Kirk Slash Spock". In some communities, the ordering of the names is used to indicate a power relationship.

So that's THE SLASH. The play is pretty funny I do believe. The actors at the recent reading sure seemed like they enjoyed themselves. And it will be nice to see what it's like performed without some assholes fucking up the script.