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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Gun in the Other Room

I remember getting a lot of email forwards from my Uncle Boots back in the early aughts.  Email was still fresh and new back in the day and it was a good way that information could get passed around.  Nowadays, I never get email forwards because they're usually garbage.  But back then, I didn't know any better.

There was one that remember very clearly, in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq.  It was a father explaining to his son that the world was like a big neighborhood and that Saddam Hussein was like a suspected murderer living several blocks over.  What would you do if you knew that he had moved in, the father asked?  The boy responded that he would do nothing because he hadn't done anything.

The father then began to tell this elaborate tale where the serial killer began to claim victims and that the police (re: the UN) were powerless to stop them.  By the time that the serial killer had reached the boy's home and there was no one there left to defend him.

I thought that it was an interesting metaphor, then and now, though obviously not perfect and is based on the supposition that the police were not going to do anything about it.

So, the idea for this play is quite old (for me at least) and I've changed it from the father telling the son about the neighborhood slowly dying one by one from a serial killer that no one would do anything about to a man who's convincing his girlfriend and friend that his roommate is dangerous and that they have to go in and handle him right away.  I originally wanted it to be a full-length play (and still might make it one day) but then I came across the American Science Theatre 9/11 Ten Minute Playwriting Contest. 

It's a pretty open contest and was able to write out the first draft relatively quickly.  Sheila, Thomas and Matt are coming over tomorrow to read it for me.  I really appreciate their help.  I'll post and let you know how that reading went and how the contest goes in general!

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