It's RTurco with another burning question. I wrote a play a while back that has an open ending of sorts and now I feel compelled to write a sequel. One that maybe doesn't answer the specific questions left open by the first play, but that continues on a similar note some time in the future.
My question is, is it done? How many sequels have spawned from plays? And are they any good? What do you all think about this? Just curious.
It's done a little bit, but thankfully not as much as in films. And I find the plays themselves tend to work better as stand-alone pieces - you don't have to have seen the earlier play in order for the later one to make sense.
Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests is a good example of this - apparently the plays are so well-intertwined that you can run all three simultaneously (just). I've also heard of it failing miserably too - I think it was Eugene O'Neil tried to write ten or twelve plays about a single family at the same time, and it completely fell apart on him.
Personally I've avoided sequels so far, though I admit I've been tempted by them. And I don't think I would be, unless I had a wildly successful production of the first play already under my belt. Even then, there's always something to be said for leaving your audience wanting something more.
Yeah, I heard of O'Neill's failure in this respect. I think only two were ever published or produced. "A Touch of the Poet" and "More Stately Mansions".
I saw part of The Norman Conquests in the round. Only one actually, and worked well as a stand-alone piece.
Thanks for your input. I'm still a bit on the fence though. Without a doubt, I will not make understanding the sequel contingent on seeing the first play. But you're probably right. I should wait for some positive reception on the first before starting to think of the second.
Bernard Slade, writer of the play and screenplay "Same Time Next Year" wrote a sequel play "Same Time Another Year" that followed the same two characters until they married late in their lives. I have read it several times and it is good but doesn't have the compelling story of the first play.