I finally completed the first draft of my play FLOWERS FOR MOM, which is a re-working of a play I wrote years ago called THE BENEFICENT POWER OF REVENGE.
I had a reading of FLOWERS today and it turned out pretty well. When I was re-reading the first draft I couldn't stop laughing - like dangerous, can't-catch-your-breath laughing. But I thought maybe I was just a little punchy after staying up till all hours trying to finish the draft in time for the scheduled reading.
So I was very pleased when the actors laughed in many spots during the reading. Always a good sign.
I was originally inspired to write BENEFICENT when I was running NYCPlaywrights as a weekly writers group which had readings of members work. One of the group members, we'll call her Marcia, kept bring in all these plays about mothers with dementia. The playwright's mother had dementia and I certainly understood how it might be therapeutic for Marcia to write these plays. But since I was running the group I was at virtually every single damn meeting and so I had to hear every reading of all her mother-with-dementia plays and after awhile I was starting to get fed up. So I was inspired to write my own version - except in my version the mother had been a very nasty women, and she was brought back to her old, psychopathic personality by a new anti-dementia drug.
The play was also inspired by the science fiction story "Flowers for Algernon." I read it in seventh grade and it made a huge impression on me.
So FLOWERS FOR MOM is pretty dark, but it is hopeful at the end. Especially because the psychopathic mother dies.