Daily Archives: July 29, 2011

The Night before the Flight


Here we are, just about to launch the serialization of my play Bombardment. It’s kind of like the night before the mission. Which means I need to speak with the troops.

So. To my potential readers, I hope you have fun. It’s a weird kind of fun, but still….

As for potential theatre-makers who read it, I know that by publishing the play through a blog, I’m more or less giving it away. But, for what it’s worth, here are my ground rules, which admittedly operate on the honor system (not particularly appropriate for our times, but one can hope).

I own the copyright on this thing, flat out. If some of you actually want to do something with it–put it on as a reading or production–you can do so royalty-free. I do ask that you inform me first of the production, and, if comes to pass, I’d appreciate your sending me reviews, playbills, publicity materials, and the like (electronic documents will be fine). If you put it on, make a few dollars, and want to share some with the playwright, great–that would be kind and gracious. Not because I’m greedy or expect to ever make money off this play, but because artists of all levels deserve to be compensated for their work.

What I ask you not to do is this: don’t produce the play under a different title or with a different author’s name; don’t produce it without citing me as the author; and don’t change the words or scenes.

Use of the play does not extend to film or broadcast. Plays are meant to be performed. Live. In front of a live audience. If you shoot a short segment for Youtube or the like, say for publicizing the play, please contact me first, and please don’t run it without my permission. And if anyone’s crazy enough to try to film this monster, we need to talk.

Finally, Bombardment is play for mature audiences, given its language, ideas, and imagery (particularly its violence, sexual content, and nudity). If you’re underage, really, you shouldn’t be producing it. If you must, please first consult with a responsible adult. And, not to sound pretentious or make the play sound overly important, if you’re an artist living under a repressive regime, please use caution before committing to the play. I don’t think it could get anybody busted, but I’d feel like hell if it did. It’s just a play. (Sort of.)

In other words, I hereby waive any responsibility for any trouble this play gets you into. Seriously.

If you have questions or want to send me comments, I can be reached at splatterson@mindspring.com

I guess that’s it. Tune in tomorrow, when the Bombardment commences. The engines are warmed up.

[To be continued]


Closing in on the Target


As I announced a couple days ago, Splattworks, over the next few weeks, will be serializing my drama Bombardment in bite-sized installments. It’s not an entirely new idea: Dickens serialized many of his novels before publishing them as the books we know today. Technology now allows me to do the same—amazingly—all around the world. Because I know you’re out there, in L.A. and Savannah and Hong Kong and Jordan and Brisbane and Berlin and….

Why this play now? The last decade has been so turbulent, terrible, and sometimes downright bizarre, that it’s come to feel like one, long, unbroken disaster, where one never knows when or where the next airstrike’s coming in. Every day makes history; some days are just bigger and more unsettling than others. Lately, they all have been.

It also feels like we’re coming up on one of those decisive moments, where we can pull up at the last minute or disappear into darkness, where the disparity between rich and poor has grown so great that society’s seams are splintering. Not just in the United States, where I live, but everywhere. The planet itself seems to be shaking and baking itself to pieces. The future, to me, has never felt so unknowable. The times, it seems, have caught up with Bombardment. So I hope readers find something in the piece that they can keep for themselves, even if it’s just an image or a line here and there.

To me, the play still seems a wild child. With time and experience, I can see a younger writer trying to find his way. Like a musician coming to competence, he has to try a little bit of everything and work through his influences. So there’s some Beckett here, along with some Ionesco and Albee, a touch of Brecht, and whole hell of a lot of Shepard, particularly in those epic monologues. I was still learning to let characters talk to each other.

If nothing else, I hope Bombardment’s a diverting read. I’m just happy to take a breath and let it off the reins. Maybe something interesting will happen. Or maybe it’ll just run over the top of the hill, and never be seen again. Putting it out there feels a little…edgy. Exciting. Kind of like an opening night. And that’s what theatre…and all art…should be about.

One more bit of business, and then the play should begin on Saturday. Thanks.

[To be continued]