My birthday gift to myself is a present that I never imagined I would be achieving. I'm registering my adaptation of Pygmalion entitled Thou Fair Eliza for a copyright. The registration is fairly cheap, but what it represents is very exciting to me. With approval, it signifies that I can say I am a playwright. An author with a copyright. That's incredible and something I would have never imagined.
And even more, I'm excited to move on to the next project tentatively titled The End of Civil Discourse. A three act play on the Buckley-Vidal debates from the 1968 Presidential campaign. I envision this project in many ways similar to Thou Fair Eliza, one of adaptation in many ways. Act Two would largely be the complete penultimate and tenth debate between the two at the Democratic National Convention. Act Three would be at least a portion of the final debate and a bit of context following, showing where the two men went from there and how that debate shaped political commentary that followed. Act One then becomes setup and a bit of cherry picking of the first nine debates to escalate tension. The act of writing becomes one of selection and contextualizing more than creating whole cloth, but this particular play would require much more new material at the edges. An interesting experiment. Plus, attempting to add contextual lines for such erudite men will be a challenge.
The next idea beyond that is wholly original and much more time consuming. But it is an idea that needs to get out.
There's still a little bit left with Thou Fair Eliza. Now that the full five act version is completed, I now am working with Jamie to help condense it down into a one act version that could be performed in just under forty minutes for competition. I have a feeling this will prove a more daunting challenge that the initial writing process. It's going to be tough sifting through the original and added material to determine what's essential to carry the plot for a much abbreviated version. Kill your darlings, indeed.
I started this process to solve a problem - to help adapt a script for a specific purpose. But it seems now this may be an ongoing concern.
I'll keep you posted on how things are going. I've got somewhere between three to eleven months for it to be finalized.