I live in Sydney, Nova Scotia on Cape Breton Island. We have very few theatres here. This is a true story. I wrote a play called, "Captain Bob & His Hooters From Hell" way back in the early 90's. It had to do with a senile old man and a little girl who, together had hundreds and hundreds of pages and episodes of the continuing story of a super hero named Captain Bob. It's one of those plays where the imaginary story on stage becomes the REAL story on stage. Captain Bob was kinda like Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandos (for all you Marvel Comic fans), only older and crazier. The comic book story, on stage, turns into a real life super hero story which, by the fall of the curtain, turns into the gross, yet justified, killing of and cutting up of a body by Captain Bob and the little girl. Yes, sick but funny! The play recieved a standing ovation by the audience. They were talking about it wildly while leaving the theatre. But then the adjudiction!
The adjucator started off by making a number of favorable comments about the play. She loved it! But in the middle of her adjudication a man, quite excited and moved spoke up saying that he was born and raised in Cameroon and that my presention of an American super hero as a real HERO was offensive, not only to him, but to the people of his country. He ripped a ten minute strip off of me explaining how America was providing arms to other countries who were killing the innocent women and children of his country, and here I was placing these American super heros in a favourable light. Of course, all I could think of at the time was "how in the hell could I ever have guessed that someone from Cameroon would be in Sydney, Nova Scotia, on Cape Breton Island at the UCCB Playhouse to see this play??? It was like winning the lottery! One in forty five million!
Ok, now back to the adjucator, who suddenly changed her frickin' tune about Captain Bob & His Hooters From Hell. She and everybody else in the room *suddenly* turned their backs on me. As far as they were concerned, my decision to write and present this play was a decision made in Bizzaro Land (for you Superman fans). What a screwed up night THAT was!
While I was driving home from the play I turned to my wife and said: "If it was so f*cking offensive, Then why did the entire f*cking audience stand to applaud the G*damned play?"
Anybody else got a story to tell?
Last edited on Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 04:17 am by Duncan
I was invited to present a reading of one of my plays at a prestigious theater group that I had been trying to crack for years. It was eventually selected because the director, who was a member of the company, had submitted it on her own. I was thrilled. We had had an earlier read-through at her home where the head of the theater group was present. The discussion at that reading was very helpful and generally positive.
The format of the evening in question was that the head of the theater would ask me ahead of time if I wanted a discussion or not, and if I did, how I wanted it handled. It was up to me. I told him that I had some questions to put to the audience, and that I wanted the director to facilitate so I could listen and take notes. I thought everything was set.
We had the reading. The head of theater then totally disregarded my request, got up in front of the audience and said, "Lets start the discussion. I'll go first. I have a real problem with this play."
I don't remember much of the following discussion, since I was so enraged. the director and the actors were left sitting there onstage, never called upon, and the discussion was basically some people in the audience telling the head guy what they thought he wanted to hear. The discussion was useless to me since I couldn't trust any audience comments after the "authority figure" stated his displeasure in that manner.
By the way, my play was a political play. The discussion was basically whether I should show scenes of torture in the play (I did not. I believe showing the results are more powerful).
Okay my story is funny/ sad. Long ago I wrote a little satire about how we've screwed things up. Called the great blue egg the centre piece was just that a great blue egg in the centre of the stage... call it a war memorial if you like. The cast divided into those who were prepared to die to protect the egg and those who wanted to destroy it and start fresh. Obviously ( I was young) the start fresh mob won and destroyed the egg which, instead of exploding or what ever collapsed with a fart.... (I was young.)
Okay a group picked up the play, paid royalties even, invited me to see it and guess what the die to save the egg mob won. When I enquired nicely (I was young) why they'd completely changed the end of the play the director told me that he knew I was basicly a good person and couldn't have meant it to end as I'd written it.
I guess that's what you'd call a liberal interpretation of a script.
That is the best story I have heard in a long time. Oh the fickle nature of humans eh? We all strive to be liked and accepted. You just experienced the same kind of downturn the stock market here in the states feels everyday....fear is king. What was the fate of the Captain and his hooters?
Stateside Novice wrote: That is the best story I have heard in a long time. Oh the fickle nature of humans eh? We all strive to be liked and accepted. You just experienced the same kind of downturn the stock market here in the states feels everyday....fear is king. What was the fate of the Captain and his hooters?
Their fate? In the script they conquor evil and move onto their next unknown adventure. In real life, the script remains to be one of my own personal favourites among my full length plays. I would love to stage it again but would hate to second guess myself as far as making changes to the ending where they pack the body parts of Captain Bob's daughter into a suitcase. Some people just don't understand that destroying evil is serious business. [insert smirk here]