a play by Damian Wampler, directed by Angela Astle

Best friends, separated by choice, reunited by fate.

Starts Friday, June 12 for 6 shows at the Robert Moss Theater, 440 Lafayette.

Showtimes: Friday, June 12, 5:30pm,
Sunday, June 14, 9:00pm
Wednesday, June 17, 4:00pm
Thursday, June 18, 4:00pm
Friday, June 19, 7:30pm
Sunday, June 28, 1:00pm

Tickets are $18 at http://www.planetconnectionsfestivity.com/

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Letting Go

A few weeks ago I was asked to entertain the idea of removing one of my characters from my play Twin Towers. OK, not just entertain- it was a prerequisite for consideration by a producer. And not just any character but one who is central to the story and also my favorite character- the Devil. The potential producer and director of the play said that the character didn't fit, was too vulgarr (it IS the Devil) and should be removed altogether. I wrestled with this idea for many nights, not wanting to let go. In Amy's class on Tuesday, we discussed the work of our fellow classmates and suggested that they too cut certain features out of their work. And not just small, inconsequential features, but major ones. For example, we suggested that Judith stop shooting flowers, for which she is well known and established, and suggested to David that he remove his macro shots, which are his bread and butter. Asking Judith to stop shooting flowers is like 'now I have to think of a great metaphor' but you get the picture. We are pushing ourselves in this class. And in writing I have to do the same. So the Devil has to go. And I have to let go of those things that are easy, comfortable, effortless, and push the envelope.


Jo said...

So the Devil was your favorite character because it was effortless and comfortable?

I'm not so sure about that.

Why was it your favorite character?

And why are you letting that go?

Damian Wampler said...

Hi Jo,

Good questions and a good point. Was the Devil my favorite character because it was easy and comfortable? No, not exactly. The Devil was fun to write, and while not easy, certainly painless. But no, the Devil was my favorite character because he outrageous, exaggerated, sadistic, charismatic, funny. It was fun to see him in my mind and to hear him when we did the reading in the Olive Tree in the fall. Audiences would love the character.

But ultimately, the Devil was self indulgent. I was taking my pain and frustration and putting it on stage. Theater isn't about throwing your naked soul on stage, but more about crafting characters who are part you but part someone else, they take on a life of their own, they become alive and stand on their own two feet.

The Devil serves a purpose in Twin Towers. He is the dark side of Trevor, and showed how Trevor really felt about the world. But what I've done is I removed the character of the Devil but kept the devilish essence of him in the play by merging the Devil with Trevor. Why I separated the two in the first place is a mystery, but is was clear all along - Trevor has the devil inside him, and the Devil is Trevor. Two characters is unnecessary. Fun, but unnecessary. So my latest version of the script which I finished at 5 am on Friday is less about metaphor and more about the reality of human existence. It is more real, more powerful, perhaps less entertaining in a popcorn and soda kind of way, but is that really why you go to the theater? No, you go to be pushed, pulled, moved, challenged, twisted and inspired, which is what I hope to do with this play.

So in short, the Devil is still a central part of Twin Towers. He emerges at difficult junctions, moves, speaks and devours the lives of the people he loves. His name is Trevor Forde.