And we're off! On Saturday we heard a group of actors read through our adaptation of The Dog in the Manger. These folks have generously agreed to join us over three weekends, some switching between multiple roles, as we workshop and tweak the fledgling script. It ran 90 minutes, a manageable length, and told a story in the process. The foundation is there.
Now it's time to build up. The discovery that a key character has only "half an arc," and that a second character disappeared midway through, segued into a discussion of the plays ending. Lope de Vega's play ends abruptly and our draft follows suit. While a certain level of ambiguity can be useful, some decisions will need to be made. Will our leads romance end on a note of hope or cynicism? Will their exes be left to rage like Shakespeare's Malvolio, or will their rage be soothed? And what of the Spanish inquisition? How much danger is everyone in now that our Ricardo is an inquisitor? The consensus around the table was that, while no one wanted a strictly "happy ending," we would like to see what happens when we tie up some loose ends.
Now we'll begin table work, focusing on Teodoro's relationships with his loves and his servant. By the time we reach our second read-through we'll have a different set of scenes and a different combination of actors to read them. The possibilities are exhilarating.
Paul G. Miller
Auditions will be held July 23 and 24, 2008. For more information on auditions and performances of The Dog in the Manger please visit http://www.redtapetheatre.org/.