by Lindsay Joy · February 18, 2014
The Farm Report!
Time to make some choices. I’m a good three scenes deep into the play (or the play as it stands right now- anyway), and it’s about time for some specifics. I know these specifics will change and shift over the course of the project, but my hope is that it will shake some new material loose. Sometimes definition and boundaries can actually free me up as a writer.
I wanted the play to feel like it could be set in any suburban town in the United States. Most of my “Out of the City” plays take place in New England for a very simple reason: that’s where I grew up. Feels like a lazy choice to set this piece in a distinctly Northeast town. Like it’s cheating. I played with the idea of setting it at the middle point between Worcester, Massachusetts and Danville, Kentucky- the half-way mark between my collaborating schools. Feels right to set it in the Mid-Atlantic. Greencastle, Pennsylvania is my half-way mark according to the good people of Google. Hmmmmmmmm. Greencastle has a ring to it, don’t you think?
So far- the action has taken place in a single location. A suburban home- a home inspired by a person from my past. I went to high school with this one kid...he was the guy who got trapped, left behind when most of us left for college. His parents retired down to Florida and he kept their house. I always remember going to there and wondering why he never changed anything about it. The bones were exactly the same. Same weird floral sectional sofa. Same old eighties style kitchen with the side by side fridge complete with ice maker. It was like a time capsule from our high school experience. The only major update? Crappy band posters plastered over his mom’s Thomas Kinkade paintings. He didn’t even bother taking those pastel fuckers down- he just thumbtacked over them! This is the house. This is where adults come to mull over their high school selves. A place where regression feels natural.
Seasons help me, too. I had one play really stymie the hell out of me...until I decided it took place in the summer. This piece feels like a fall play to me...when leaves start to decay and pile up. Brisk, but not too cold to be outside. Making it fall is letting me play with folks in transition. Some of the characters are still in school and starting new semesters- it’s giving me clear cut time lines. I can hear the shuffle of shoes crunching in piles of leaves...the relief of a warm house when you’ve only put on a threadbare sweatshirt. I can hear the song of the summer playing “just one more time” as someone else grumbles about how overplayed it is.
Having fun...cannot wait for my sit down with Clark.