This week I went to two performances of my one-act play, “Yo’ Momma,” which was one of six winners of Ampersand Arts “Bar Hopping” contest. The production was awesome, the actors were fantastic, and the director captured the essence of my story perfectly. I did a little drama in high school (over and above the usual adolescent angst), and this was a great reminder of how a good actor can find nuance in your words you never knew was there.
Here’s an example. The main thrust of the play is a conversation in a bar between an upwardly mobile white woman and a jive black dude. The way I wrote it was simple: Woman enters bar, sits at bar, man begins to speak. Here’s the way the actors portrayed it: Woman enters bar, sits at bar, man moves his stool closer, woman shifts purse to the arm opposite the man, woman turns so that mostly her back is to the man. Nuances, but they brought out the racial tension in the conversation far better than a thousand words could. I was blown away.
There were even subtle difference between their performance on Tuesday night and on Wednesday night, but I was excited about and proud of both. If you’re interested in seeing it, I was allowed to video it; click here to go to my Facebook Author Page. Look for the April 16 post.
This week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt was challenging, but I decided to go for the nuances and not be literal. First Contact stories are some of my favorite science fiction tropes, and, unlike Star Trek’s interpretation (a peaceful encounter with Vulcans), most first contacts end badly. “One Small Step” is my interpretation. As usual, if you don’t see the link on the title above, scroll to the top of the page, click on the Friday Fictioneers tab, and select the story from the drop-down list.