Gemma’s report on the Fresh Pages 2018 reading series
The best thing that happened after this reading is I found a title.
I had been using FRIENDPOCALYPSE, which is a portmanteau of “Friendship” and “Apocalypse”, which is what this play is about. Sort of. It’s an attention-grabbing title, but more in a Sharknado way than in an Endgame way.
A family friend came to the show and suggested I name it after a tarot card. Well, duh, that’s a great idea. The show is now called Nine of Swords. Thanks, Phil!
Mostly what I wanted from this reading (besides a better play title) was to hear the thing out loud. What does it sound like when a telekenetic charismatic toxic gay man and his analytical overly practical yet somehow obsessed with tarot cards bestie break up at a party in front of all of their friends? And then, what does it feel like when the ominous black cloud, the cloud that has brought death and destruction and hopelessness and fear as it drags across our country, what does it feel like when this cloud settles over your city? Your house? Your friends and family?
This script is still in a rough place, but I know what needs to happen next, which is as much as a person can ask of a reading. I am so grateful for an audience who was willing to take a chance on something new and strange, and glad for performers and a director who were completely willing to jump into the murky waters with me.
I’m sending this script out into the world in hopes of obtaining some resources (funding, actors, dramaturgical support) to keep developing it. I’m feeling more clarity and hope about this black cloud than I have in a long time. Thanks for being a part of its inception.