Much awesome news out of Florida this week. A school won their regional competition with Emotional Baggage and they’ve been selected to go to the Florida State Thespian Festival in April. I’ll be in Florida for the State Festival so I hope it means that I can co-ordinate my schedule so I can see the show.
Emotional Baggage, for those who don’t know (Hey! Why don’t you know! Clink on that link above! Read a sample!) is a play without words – only action. The play takes place in a train station and all the characters have a form of “emotional baggage” – insecure about looks, being in a dead end job, living with an overbearing mother. They also have some form of “physical” baggage in the form of an extremely heavy suitcase, trunk and so on.
It was quite an interesting challenge to write because, A) no words, and B) how do you write out something in play form that has no words? It was a balancing process to figure out what was “stage direction’ (and thus in that form) and what was “action” which formed the dialogue of the piece.
I remember the moment when I workshopped the piece to make sure that it actually DID work and being so pleased that it did. I”m getting better at knowing when something is going to work or not, but I’ve been pretty surprised in the past, so it’s still thrilling when I think of an idea and it executes the same way as it appears in my head! My head is a pretty scary place at times….
I’ve seen a number of productions of Emotional Baggage over the years and it still tickles me. It’s the play that gets the most reaction too. From an audience perspective, it’s amazing when they “get” what’s going on without the dialogue to help them out. And from the directors/actors perspective, those that I meet always seem to have such a great time with the script. There’s one group in Virginia that did the play two years ago and they still come up to me and talk about it. They call it “Emo Bag” which I love!