Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tower Tatts

The "Play of the Month" for NYCPlaywrights recommenced in September. The theme for September was 9/11 and you would have thought that the ten-minute plays sent in for this would be fraught, emotional pieces dealing with all the drama and anguish and shock of that day. But no, of course not. At least half the plays were your standard reminiscence pieces, with people sitting around talking, sometimes ten years later, about what happened on 9/11/2001 and how it effected them.

Out of the 30 submissions, only four were even close to worthwhile: a magical realism piece about flying out of office buildings; a realistic but unfortunately not well-paced piece about gay lovers talking by cell phone while one is trapped in one of the burning towers; a "quartet" of actors conducted as if in a musical piece; and the one we finally picked, TOWER TATTS, which worked best in spite of its odd tone.

The image above is Bruce Barton and Mike Durell, who performed the reading we recorded at the latest NYCPlaywrights meeting. Bruce played a raunchy dude, a some-time construction worker who is currently doing clean-up at the WTC site (the play takes place a year after 9-11) who likes to get bizarre, obscene tattoos painted on his body. Mike is the tattoo artist. The focus is on Bruce's bizarre character - Bruce channeled Tom Waits for the performance - so the play has a raunchy, almost cartoonish tone, but with a serious undertone, especially given what we know about how working clean-up at Ground Zero impacted the workers.

So the tone is very different from all the other plays we received, and that turned out to be a good thing. And at least we didn't get a single play in which one of the characters was killed during 9-11 and their loved one can't accept it so thinks they're still alive and we don't find out they've been talking to a dead person until the end.

I will post an embed for the video after I've finished the final edit.