Tuesday, December 20, 2022

It Happened on Route 66 is now available!

Just under the gun (for the year, that is), Pioneer Drama Service has released my 21st play with them, a full-length romantic comedy titled It Happened on Route 66. That makes five new plays for me this year, blowing past my previous record of three.

Of course, it helped that one of the five plays was held over since last year (having been accepted for publication in September 2021) and another one was a small-cast adaptation of different play that was also published this year, allowing it to be released with just minimal tweaks. But still, a play is a play. I'll take the win.

Here's the funny thing about It Happened on Route 66. I honestly believe it's the first play ever set along the Main Street of America, the Mother Road.

That's crazy, right? Route 66 is an American institution, a symbol of freedom and the open road, made famous on TV and in song.

But I checked the catalogs of Samuel French, Playscripts, Dramatists Play Service, Dramatics Publishing, and Eldridge Plays and not a single one of them had a play that mentioned Route 66 in its blurb (other publishers not listed here don't allow a search on keyword, just the title and author's name, so it's hard to check).

Let me back up. So it turns out that Dramatists Play Service publishes the official stage play adaptation of John Steinbeck's great novel The Grapes of Wrath. And while a significant part of it takes place on Route 66, that's not what the story is primarily about.

So let's call my play the first original play set on Route 66. Or the first comedy. Or the first play that really tries to capture the sweet nostalgia wrapped up in that famous ribbon of asphalt.

Pioneer's web site provides a free script sample for you to peruse. So just for fun, let me leave you then with a different scene from my play. This one comes from early in the second act. Glamorous movie star Lovey Lamour's car has broken down outside a diner in Winona, Arizona is desperate to get it fixed, only she has trouble finding competent help in the tiny town:

LOVEY: Oh, Babs! Please tell me you're done with my car!

BABS: Not quite. But I did find the source of your squeak.

LOVEY: What squeak? My car wasn't squeaking before.

BABS: It wasn't?

LOVEY: No, it wasn't!

BABS: Well, that would have been good to know before I took it all apart.

LOVEY: You took my car apart?

BABS: I had to. How else was I going to find the mouse?

LOVEY: Wait a minute. Are you telling me the squeak came from a mouse?

BABS: Yep. The little rascal thought he could get away from me, but I found him hiding in the tailpipe.

LOVEY: Have you considered an exterminator?

BABS: Oh, no. I tried one of those once. That's how I lost my Fluffy.

LOVEY: I'm sorry. Was Fluffy your cat?

BABS: No, she was more like a cockroach.

Want to read more? You can order the full script or book your production on the play's web page. But don't wait take too long. The play is so brand new it hasn't even been produced yet. Act now and your school or theater could be the first!

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