Discovering The Lost World

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Living on my own, I’ve gotten into the habit of drafting my own “Honeydew” lists -aimed squarely at me. For starters, that little list of “Honey Please Do This” and “Honey Please Do That” helps keep me organized. Secondly, it just makes me feel good knowing someone out there considers me their “honey” – even if it is only me. Third – I don’t feel so bad when I ignore them. Seriously – WHERE DO I GET OFF asking for all this stuff?!?!?

There are a couple of these lists scattered around the apartment. One is in the kitchen – hanging on the fridge – reminding me of the groceries I need to forget to purchase the next time I head to market WITHOUT my carefully crafted list.

The other is nestled on my desk – adjacent to the laptop. It’s strategically positioned on my right side (my dominant side) where every few moments – as I glance away from the screen in a bid to stave off another bout of that unfortunate dry eye my weary peepers contracted after years of white collar work – I catch sight of this eclectic To Do list. I scrawled it one quiet Winter’s Day, this past February, when the apartment had quieted after the kids returned back home to their Mom. With no football on my Sunday schedule, I decided to take an afternoon to escape the frigid tundra we had all found ourselves encased in and look ahead to brighter pastures – or at the very least – all the things I needed to do before the year was up.

So, this is not a Bucket List. I’ve said it often but it bears repeating – the only item on my Bucket List is “#1. Never make a Bucket List.” At this rate, I’ll never complete that thing. That joke never gets old – even if my Bucket List does.

No – this was just a scattershot assortment of things I need constant reminding that I have to do before another year expires. Thus it contains some important dates to remember (there are many entries that begin with someone’s birthday SEVERAL MONTHS AWAY and the stern reminder to get them a card) AND then some bigger ticket goals that seemed reasonable enough to tackle at the time.*

*Famous last words, right?!?!?

I mean c’mon – we all have ‘#9. Pull together Blog Posts for Book’ burning a hole in our pocket, right?!?!?

OK, so that one may have to wait a little while.

Especially now that ‘#12 – Find a home for The Lost World’ – can be checked in the affirmative.

It’s official.

On the heels of last Fall’s very successful run for my first play, The Monkeybar Mafia, which played to 5 Sold Out shows (and one Sunday matinee that came damn close to selling out were it not for those pesky Patriots) – I’m here to announce the World Premiere of my second play.

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This November, ‘The Lost World‘ will make its debut on an absolutely gorgeous stage in Webster, MA. This space is amazing; an auditorium housed in the beautiful and stately Webster Town Hall. The venue – which is steeped in history – reminds me of an old Congressional Hall. It’s a large rectangular room with sky-high ceilings, a seated balcony that runs the perimeter – ending at a traditional stage – draped with a lush, blue curtain. On top of all that, the acoustics in the room are fantastic.

I was able to take a tour of the auditorium the other day when meeting with the Town Administrator to discuss the project. I instantly fell in love with the space. For starters, it’s got a real historic feel to the architecture – the type of space we don’t see built too often these days. And it’s kept up wonderfully. Secondly, we can fit A LOT of people in this room, which hopefully translates to MANY MANY ticket sales.

See – ‘The Lost World’ will be the maiden voyage into the Community Theater waters for The Webster Recreation Committee – a fantastic group of local people who volunteer to bring arts and entertainment to this wide, diverse community. If this show hits large, it could be a big boost for the committee and the community.

AND ME TOO!!!

I was introduced to the group by my neighbor Stacey, a friend I’ve actually know for several years. In January, she mentioned that they were looking to add Community Theater to their agenda for the coming year and asked if I could attend a board meeting to tell them what I know about getting a theater up-and-running.

As I know NOTHING about getting a theater up-and-running I politely deferred BUT then I started thinking about it. I figured, I know the types of questions they could start asking other established theater groups so at the very least, I could deliver some food for thought and potentially give them a few connections to some theater friends I’ve made in the last few years.

In that meeting, one of those perfect Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup moments coalesced. Here was a group just starting out – looking for a way to make a big splash – to lay a foundation upon which they could build upon year-after-year. Rather than attempt the impossible and schedule a 5-show season; how about just planning one show and making it an event. And as it happened, I had JUST the play in mind.

The Lost World’ was fresh off the presses. They wouldn’t have to pay a dime to secure rights to some big name show. I’d gift it for free; my payment being the privilege to bring another show of mine to life.

That said, new shows are a tricky business in the Community Theater world BUT The Monkeybar Mafia had JUST enjoyed a robust run last Fall. We reaped some decent press from that event. Why not strike while the iron was hot and pair their debut show with my second time up at bat? Let’s give them a home run and me the chance to avoid the sophomore slump. Win-Win if we pull it off. And that’s where positive attitude and hard work come together for another Reese’s moment.

I may not know anything about starting and running a theater BUT I have a solid grasp of how to get this show off the ground. And where I lack the skills, I know people who know things. So, we’ll recruit from friends, family and the community to assemble a bunch of helping hands to build sets, handle the tech duties, gather props – essentially everything it takes to put on a show. Over the last few months I’ve been quietly sending feelers out and already have a great deal of interest which feels great.

Here’s what I’ll say about this play. As proud as I am of The Monkeybar Mafia, it was my first time out of the gate. There are some rough spots – a little “learning on the job” going on as I wrote that.

I found ‘The Lost World’ just before we began production on Monkeybar last Summer. The idea was planted the prior Autumn, when I attended my 20 Year High School reunion – BUT it took a full Winter for me to run a few laps in my head and work out the kinks. When I sat down to write it late last Spring, it emerged fully formed.

Since then, I’ve revisited and revised it. Nothing too crazy BUT some dialogue has changed and topical references have been updated. I imagine that will continue through the production – just like Monkeybar before it.

The Lost World is about a 20-Year High School Reunion attended by only 6 people – and not just any 6 people. SIX PEOPLE WHO HATED HIGH SCHOOL THE MOST. Or so they think. In this day and age of social-networked everything, these 6 are surprisingly off the grid. When former student, local small-town cop and genuine nice guy Reilly is approached by the former class president – looking for help in tracking down these six wayward classmates for a big memorial dedication to a falling classmate – the six are dragged back into the light. Each has their reasons for politely declining but Reilly has police resources and a genial way about him; allowing him to find them and make the hard sell. When they arrive for the reunion and realize they are the only six people there – what initially appears to be just another dumb High School prank reveals deeper shades. They decide to host their own reunion – six disparate souls brought together for one night where they reminisce, laugh, fight, cry and bond over their shared recollection of a “lost world”.

We’re going to host auditions in early August and then rehearsals will start later that month. The show will run in early November. Exact dates are currently TBD but will be announced shortly – at which point we’ll be drawing up a press release. I’m going to use this site and Facebook to really promote this.

Here’s the big point. I really want this to be a big deal for Webster. I’ve only lived in this community since last Fall and since then, I’ve watched from the sidelines as the good people staffing these community-centric programs have put their all into revitalizing the town – giving it an injection of much-needed cultural and artistic identity. They’ve done some amazing things and I have a feeling they are just getting warmed up.

I’m just the dumb writer. I can’t move mountains – but – I can do my best to give them a show that hopefully entertains, maybe even gets a few to cry – and best of all, inspires one or two community members in the audience to give this theater thing a try.

BUT the show is NOT just for Webster. It’s meant for all audiences and in order for this to be a big success, we aim to sell as many tickets as possible. With its location right off Route 395, we can tap into Worcester and Connecticut and points far and wide for cast members and ticket-buyers. So, once I have the dates, please pencil it in. I’ll keep you all posted. I think you will be mightily entertained and hopefully touched. While the show specifically references the 80’s Decade to Current Day – it’s not dependant on that specific brand of nostalgia. This is not wall-to-wall with Rubix Cube and Dexy’s Midnight Runner references. This hits a lot closer to where we all live – no matter how old we are.

No, anyone who went through High School knows those 4 short years leave their mark. And 20 years later, some of us look back upon that time and realize just how impactful it was. For some, it sent us on our way to bigger and better things. For others, they remain tethered in its sickly grasp.

We all have a ‘Lost World’… I’m just happy to report that mine has FINALLY been found.

Comments now closed (8)

  • Just so happens that ALL of my November weekends are FREE!! How great!! Can’t wait for the big debut – CONGRATS!!!!

    • Bring your friends… I mean OUR friends!!! I’m practically part of the neighborhood now.

      • So now I know this Comment makes no sense. Damn you Julies of this world. I can’t keep any of you straight. 🙂

  • Congratulations Ed! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help! Now that Dennis is working nights, I have lots of free time.

    • Awesome, Mary. I think I may just take you up on that offer. Gina Metras is on board as co-director and producer. We’re both basically handling those duties equally. I’m of the mind, many hands lessen the load.

      We would LOVE to have you aboard. I’ll keep you posted as we get closer. Right now, I’m angling for the first week of August for auditions with rehearsals beginning in late August. Hard to believe but that is going to come real soon.

      The space looks awesome. So happy to have it up on a stage. Can. Not. Wait.

      -Ed

      • Great! I would love to help! Heck, anytime I am in a theatre, I am in heaven!!! Looking forward to seeing the space!

  • Such great news!!! I’m so happy for you and for my old home town Webster!