Last year shortly before Christmas break, I presented my play, Scratchin’ on the Eight Ball at the ancient Joyo Theater in the small suburb of Havelock. My five member cast hit a home run during both nights of the production, despite the fact they had no sound system and their only lighting was provided by 3 sets of carpenter’s lights, those strange contraptions with a metal cone attached.
The play was based on my book and detailed the fact-based murder of a young female informant who was found on a farm outside of Lincoln, NE. back in 1976. My cast consisted of two delinquent boys who end up with the evidence which would solve the girl’s murder, a detective who is determined to obtain this evidence, and an older brother who is determined to see that his little brother comes out of the whole ordeal alive. The last character was a female probation officer who is trying to keep her young charge from ending up in more trouble because of the evidence he’s found.
During the show, you could have heard a pin drop! The audience made up of young and old alike, were on the edge of their seats, and despite the lack of a sound system in the old Joyo Theater, were hanging on every word of the actors on stage.
I believe the content of the play, with its actual fact-based storyline, kept the audience mystified and spell-bound during the 2-act performance. 8-Ball the play was a smashing success with over 420 folks in attendance during the 2 night run, in a theater with a seating capacity of 230.
So now, I am putting in a plan to do another run of the play on Friday Dec. 17th, plus add a new play, Bloody Mary, to the next night’s performance. This second play, also based on my book, The Woods of Bloody Mary, is about the fact-based event that rocked Lincoln back in 1966, when retired school teacher Mary Partington shot and killed a young man climbing into her kitchen window. The story is told through the eyes of two delinquent boys who were eye-witnesses to the actual shooting.
I think the secret in reaching such a wide range audience, 10-75 year olds, is the details to the facts that I include in both scripts, and time will tell on the day after both performances, whether I will have succeeded in my efforts to entertain/educate the crowd once again. I will write a feature story on Dec. 19th to sum up the two night event.
Hope to see you there.