Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Unmarvellous Life of Dr. Seuss

This could be a working title. The other title I was using was, People Want to Marvel. 

In a swoop of good luck, I was given a spot in the upcoming Pitch Party, Wed. Feb. 19/14 at the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) on Wellington St. in Ottawa. Playwrights are charged with selling their play idea in a four to six minute slot, any way they want. 
Since my play about Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel is written predominantly in the voice and from the viewpoint of Helen Palmer, his first wife, who committed  suicide  in 1967 at the age of 68 over Ted's abandonment. She is dead at the time of the play, I thought I might portray her in a flashback as she was towards the end of her life, failing, fading, until finally, she is reduced to a wheelchair and ignominy. Not that the two inevitably go together, but in this case, they will. 
Geisel was Helen's only family. They had no children. He did not like children and even after picking up with someone else's wife, he banished her two children out of sight. But Ted and Helen had friends, lots of friends and she mentions them in her note. 
"Dear Ted, What has happened to us? I don't know. I feel myself in a spiral, going down down down, into a black hole from which there is no escape, no brightness. And loud in my ears from every side I hear, 'failure, failure, failure...' I love you so much ... I am too old and enmeshed in everything you do and are, that I cannot conceive of life without you ... My going will leave quite a rumor but you can say I was overworked and overwrought. Your reputation with your friends and fans will not be harmed ... Sometimes think of the fun we had all thru the years ..."

My idea will be to make whomever in the audience looking for a serious play to produce and/or direct, to sit up and take notice.

After each playwright does their bit in the upstairs gallery, there is opportunity to meet and greet, and to answer questions.

Someone has already asked about libel but if something is true, it cannot be libellous.