STN Blog #10: Saying Something, Part Two

Christopher Bibby 2

Jokes! I forgot to mention jokes. This is a comedy, after all.

Okay, back to that blog about balancing all those disparate pieces into something tasty. I’ve written jokes or scenes that crack me up, but just don’t fit in a play. They wind up feeling staged or out of place.

The difficult trick is weaving humor seamlessly into an intriguing story with fleshy characters. As much as I like all-out absurdist comedies, that is not this play (though one scene from the “silly draft” is still in). Sean Patrick Hargadon, who directed me in Twelfth Night (2011, Janus Theatre) taught me that humor is at its best when rooted in reality.

Tone is another one that’s hard to strike right. I found tone to be one thing I had to settle on in the first draft because it shaped so much of the action, the dialogue and how it unfolded. But it can shift during a production (and it may need to).

So, what’s our tone? Well, the script has a little Noises Off mixed with Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. But will it be that way on opening night? Stay tuned…