Mimi Cross – Book Giveaway – Writer’s Journey

If you’re on your way to the SCBWI Conference in LA, you might want to pencil in this opportunity into your schedule. Mira Reisberg founder of The Children’s Book Academy is having a me…

Source: Mimi Cross – Book Giveaway – Writer’s Journey

Hooked

Hookedbill Today I’m featuring a different sort of Siren, New York City playwright Danielle Burby. The opening night of her new play Hooked is sold out, but if you’re lucky you may still be able to get tickets to one of the other nine performances at Bare Bones Theater Company.

Danielle is a writer-in-residence at Dramatic Question Theatre Company. She’s also a literary agent at HSG, and—full disclosure—she’s my agent. *resists urge to add lengthy string of smiley emoticons* When I asked Danielle about the inspiration behind Hooked, she generously provided the following about the play, and her creative process.

Hooked is about a three roommates in their early twenties—one a hopeless romantic, one with a hidden past, and one with a fear of attachment, as they navigate the world of modern-day dating, love, and friendship. For twenty somethings, casual sex is an expectation; it’s the price of admission. The hookup culture is a mentality that informs how people approach everything from one-night stands to romance. I wanted to examine how different characters with conflicting desires and priorities react to this strict set of cultural rules. Hooked explores how this plays out in one weekend that changes everything. I actually started writing this play for fun when I was a junior in college and, my senior year, it morphed into a much bigger project that my school went on to produce. That version of the play is so different from the one that Bare Bones is producing that it feels like a completely different show to me at this point. The characters are the same, as is the overarching plot (for the most part), but the actual scenes and dialogue, are almost completely new. I think a real turning point was when I decided to add a bit of a ticking clock and condense it all to one weekend. Before that, even though the same things happened, it sprawled over months. I like it a lot better this way. This play went through years of revisions, which was sometimes fun and sometimes painful. The actors are definitely breathing new life into the show for me. Sitting in on the rehearsals is so entertaining, although I always feel a little silly when I laugh at my own dialogue. I can’t help it, they make it really funny.”

Hear that writers? YEARS of revision. And let’s not forget, a ticking clock. Pace is so important, and Hooked zips right along. After reading the script, I asked Danielle if I could post a bit of dialogue—the way I usually post lyrics here on Sirenstories. This is the part Danielle chose. Love it.

TESS:
Okay, how about while we wait I tell you about the guy I went home with last Saturday?
EMMA:
You told me about him already. With the whiskey?
TESS:
No not him. That was Friday. I’m talking about the guy from Saturday. The one with the plaid shirt?
EMMA:
No you didn’t!
TESS:
Ok. Well. We go back to his place-which is a pigsty by the way-and we’re messing around and he’s a really good kisser and I’m like, this is going to be amazing and then he goes, “I don’t have a condom so we’re going to have to do this raw dog.”
EMMA
He didn’t!
TESS:
He did.
EMMA:
Oh my god I can’t believe he actually said that! You didn’t though, right?
TESS:
I’m not stupid Em. I was like, “Well you’d better find one because there’s no way we’re doing it without.” So, and this is no joke, he literally put on his boxers, took a pillow to cover, you know, his area, and ran out into the hallway knocking on doors and asking people if they could spare a condom.
EMMA:
Oh my god! How does this crazy stuff always happen to you?
TESS:
I have no idea.
EMMA:
Did he end up finding one?
TESS:
Well, this guy down the hall lost his keys and cell phone at the club and couldn’t get into his apartment, but he had a ton of condoms-which he definitely didn’t need, by the way-and so he said we could have as many as we wanted as long as we let him sleep on the couch.
EMMA:
And did you?
TESS:
Yeah, why not? It was a pretty good deal all around.
EMMA:
But, you had sex while a random stranger was asleep on the couch?
TESS:
Hon, if I’m willing to have sex with a guy I’ve just met why would I have a problem with a drunken stranger in the next room while I do it? At least we got the condoms!
EMMA:
You’ve got a point. (Beat) So was it good?
TESS:
(Overplaying it a bit.)
So. So. Good.
EMMA:
Lucky.

Check out Kyle Grant, Stephanie Kaltsas, Marina Montes, Miriam Korn, and Ravi Tawney, the cast of Hooked.

Jeff Bennett is the director of Hooked, and as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, opening night is sold out. Apparently this is one of the best pre-sales experiences ever at Bare Bones—congratulations Danielle! And congratulations to the cast and director as well. Break a leg, Sirens!

You can connect with Danielle Burby on twitter and fb. Follow the blog Danielle runs for HSG here.