Saturday, April 22, 2017
Raising a stink
One of the worst thing about moving to Phoenix is missing out on all the great Colorado productions of my plays. One of the best things about moving to Phoenix is getting to see great Arizona productions of my plays.
I did a little bit of both yesterday as The Stinky Feet Gang had a dual world premiere: one at an elementary school in Fowler, CO and, just a few hours later, one at a Christian middle school in Glendale, AZ.
I got to see the one in Glendale. From where I live in Mesa, it took about 50 minutes to get to the school, and that's without much traffic. (Did I mention how big Phoenix is? For that entire drive, I was on the metro freeway system, going 65 miles an hour, and I still had about half an hour to go before I would see open desert.)
Director Jennifer Pellish warmly greeted me on my arrival (as did the school principal). She apologized for changing the gender of some of the roles. The Stinky Feet Gang is heavily male but, in a twist that runs contrary to everything I know about theatre, she had more boys than girls try out and had to change a couple of shopkeeper roles from female to male.
I told her not to worry. I understand the casting constraints schools (or community theaters, for that matter) are under so changing the gender of roles is fine with me. And you don't have to ask my permission.
I do get a little uneasy if a director adds characters or changes the dialogue in a substantial way. In those cases, it's best if you email me (see the link to the right).
Jennifer went on to say that it was one of the easiest plays she had ever produced, which was a great relief to me. I didn't get a chance to develop this play with a school and while I tried to keep it simple, you never know what challenges will pop up when somebody actually puts the play on its feet.
Anyway, the students did a fantastic job. They got a ton of laughs from the audience, and the parents told me they really enjoyed it.
It's always great to see a new play get up on its feet. Even if those feet reek to high heaven.