The Story Being Developed
Who are you when you’re from everywhere and nowhere?
I'm developing Unpacked, a one-woman multi-character show about growing up as a global nomad of mixed heritage in Central America, North Africa, the Middle East, and New England. The search for identity, as well as the sometime refusal to search and learn, will weave thematically through the piece. The show will be funny and, hopefully, moving.
The Kickstarter Campaign
I’ve completed a very rough draft of the full-length play. I have one 12-minute section that I've workshopped and performed, but the rest of the play NEEDS WORK! I’m taking a wonderful playwriting class at East West Players to work on the sections with dialogue, and the class is helping me a great deal with that. I'm starting this Kickstarter campaign because I would love to take Terrie Silverman's "Master Class in Solo Shows" in 2012 because it's exactly what the script needs in its entirety. Half of the play will likely be first-person narrative. Terrie uses many techniques and exercises, including improvisation, to help her students create dynamic solo shows in which the first-person narrative is both conversational AND theatrical--which is vital! Terrie's master class lasts 6 months--it's very intensive and structured. I would love to have a complete, funny, dramatic, compelling one-woman play by the summer of 2012, and Terrie's class would make that a reality. After that I could actually produce the show--I could find designers and a venue and set dates for an actual run! And invite you to see it!
Examples of Places and Events That Could End Up in the Final Version
· Guatemala: I am my Chinese grandfather's favorite. Christmas is magical. I have no idea that there is a civil war on...but it's why we leave.
· Costa Rica: Mice and snakes in the linen closet during the rainy season. I nearly drown. My American mother speaks only English to my brother and me so we will be bilingual. People ask if I'm adopted.
· New Canaan, CT: I discover that I am "other." There is beauty in the seasons accompanied by absolute loneliness. When we visit Guatemala, I understand Spanish but can barely speak it anymore. My identity has no anchor.
· Panama: The happiest years. Sun and sea. I break 3 bones playing ridiculous, death-defying games with my best friend. No one cares about my ethnic heritage. The Canal Zone and Panama City really are two different countries.
· Westport, CT: Americans do not consider me American. The black kids and white kids at school don't mingle. I am so freakishly different in so many ways that there is no beginning or end to it.
· Morocco: The call of the muezzin in the distance. I go to a Spanish school--I'm foreign AT THE foreign school! I'm constantly harrassed on the streets of Casablanca. The school's Moroccan guard saves me from a shrieking dust storm. My close friends who go to the American and French-Moroccan schools and I do a lip-synced version of CATS at the expat community theatre. Yes.
· Egypt: The mosques are different from Moroccan mosques. Back to square one. Good grades and sandstorms. Strangers who are kind and helpful, other strangers in cars who deliberately try to knock me over while I’m biking to school. I finally make an Egyptian friend who isn't half-foreign (American/European/Asian/etc.), and must acknowledge my previous prejudice and cowardice as an expatriate. Arabic becomes beautiful to my ear.
This is my first foray into creating an original, solo, autobiographical piece, with the intention of bringing many disparate cultures together onstage and hopefully in the audience—to at least create dialogue about identity, home, culture (shock), and how to bridge the gaps. Terrie Silverman's class will help me finish what I've started! And then: the show itself can be produced!
How Kickstarter works: People pledge any amount and choose a reward. At the end of my 35-day Kickstarter campaign, if the combined total of all pledges for my project meets my $2,100 goal, then the credit cards of those who pledge are charged and I receive the funds to take Terrie's class. If I don't meet my goal, then the money is not withdrawn from your account and no rewards are provided. If the $2,100 goal is exceeded then the extra funds will be used to produce the show. Aside from a 5% Kickstarter fee and a 3-5% Amazon credit card processing fee, all funds raised will be used directly to take the class (and produce the show if more is raised).
- (35 days)