A New Script and A New Show
One of the exciting things about working on a new show is that circumstances create change, change brings about new directions and ideas. Change is good.
In DARK HEART, Jess and I felt we had a very good idea. I ghost story about holding on too tight, guilt, revenge and ultimately love. We had been going back and forth over whether we should have live music or canned. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
After many months of this discussion, we had to make a decision. In order to make this decision, I had to adjust things in the script. From the beginning, I had wanted to have a small part in DARK HEART. It would be a chance to work with the cast and also make an appearance onstage at the Fringe, something I have never done. In order for us to be able to do live music, I would have to play in the pit. That would then allow us not to have to spend monies on additional musicians.
We considered alternatives, like I had an understudy already. I could slot him into my role. However, both Jess and I decided to really go out there and explore the ramifications of removing my role from DARK HEART. I found that by removing my role, we were able to dramatically increase the role of Mdme Souska, which was nice. It also created an opportunity to remove our weakness song and scene: Miss Robinson and in its place move a very strong song sung by Alise called Repay Me. This in turn allowed us to add a reprise of Repay Me and strengthen Alise’s character. We gave the Emma character a duet with Mdme Souska that was originally sung by my character, thus strengthening Emma’s role.
The continuation of this thread then allowed us to move the entire play to take place as part of Emma’s psychosis. The musical then became about guilt and we choose to punish ourselves. It retained all the early elements but in a sense became a much stronger story. When we presented it to the cast, they all felt the same way. That the story had really been amped up and now carried a significant punch to it.
This is what excites me about working on a new piece. Honing and creating a new story and a new way to tell it.