Pigeons By The Charles/Things Are Coming Along Nicely.


I used to think pigeons were an annoyance. In London, they were all over the place and you couldn’t get away from them. They would coo away or fly near any sort of food you had and of course, we all know, they go to the bathroom everywhere. We had a ton of them at the parking lot at my former employer. At that point, they didn’t bother me. You see I was embarking on writing a romantic comedy, where pigeons play a huge part. The more I chopped and changed this show, I realized that Pigeons are actually pretty cool birds. Yes, I know you are probably questioning whether I have lost my mind. In the process of writing this play, I have done a lot of research on pigeons and what I have learned I have put into the dialogue.

Pigeons by the Charles, moved one step closer today to the next phase, preparing the play for a staged reading.

Step one, find an Editor to read it and give feedback. Advice to any budding writers, make sure it is someone you have never met before because they can be more objective. The fact that she also has written some plays, directed and is involved with theatre from time to time also helps. Oh, and I did discover that we do have a connection, a former high school buddy.

Her feedback was awesome. Her first concern was I had too many locations for the play and it was hard to follow. If it has too many locations, she felt it would be hard for an audience to be invested in the characters. She was right, by condensing act one, to one location, I have made the play more readable and allowed the characters to shine on their own. The characters are truly what sell this script and if the characters are well developed the audience will be interested. It’s that old USA slogan I keep talking about, USA where character matters.

Tonight’s homework was simple, find those locales that could be moved to The Charles River. It didn’t take me long as I figured out ways to make the old scenes work better in the new locale. I managed to take two scenes completely out. One scene I merged entirely with another to make it one whole scene. The upshot was that I dropped about twenty pages off act one. Now the act is down to forty-two. Now I am ready to tackle act two. This becomes trickier. At this point, the audience will be invested. I can afford to play with one or two locations. Along with the change of scene location. I cut three characters out of the show. I may possible end up dropping one more at the end of the play and have the last scene take place in The Charles. The character would be a bartender in an airport. This would eventually leave me with six characters. Here is how these characters were dropped and why. I also managed to cut 3 characters completely out of the play. One character and English Dance Major named Felicity had one line and was heard offstage. She went when moved the opening scene from a frat house to The Charles River. I cut a bar scene, which meant I dropped the Married girl that Julie’s boyfriend Blaine cheats on Julie with. I took what happened and used it in a different scene and I changed the concept. This allowed me to play with Julie. She is wallowing in her own self pity while drinking a whole bottle of Baileys. I managed to make this scene funny. The third character that went was Julie’s best friend from high school. Julie talks Kurt into dating her, then she realizes Natalie is all wrong for Kurt, because she has him wrapped around her finger. I dropped the scene and talked about the date in a scene Julie had with Kurt. I changed the concept of this scene again. I took Kurt out of it and used Chet instead. It was here we find out about what happened on the date.

Step two will be to read the crap out of this show line by line to determine what lines are kept and what lines don’t move the story along. Those lines will be cut. Tonight’s homework allowed me to do some of that process tonight.

Step three, will move on to having my editor read the play again and see if the changes I made helped solve some confusion. She will also edited what I wrote and find things I might have missed.

Step four: Finding some actors to perform a staged reading and allowing an audience to hear the show being read. I also will allow some feedback from the audience.

Step five: Moving from that staged reading to workshopping the show and seeing what it looks like on stage. Believe me, workshopping this play is going to seem a whole lot easier now that I have changed scene locations to more or less one locale.

All in all, today’s zoom meeting with Stacy, had provided me with some excitement and hopefully a winning play to put on stage. Something that if we all cross our fingers might be seen soon.

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