After spending most of the morning and afternoon filling out the requirements to submit New American Order to the Living Room Series by The Blank Theatre in L.A., I’ve come away with a deeper appreciation for the work I’ve done over the two three years working on this play. I guess I’ve taken Lin-Manuel’s Hamilton story to heart: it took him six years to write it. I still want to get back to WELGA eventually. Maybe. The main sticking point with that play is producibility–it has as cast of 15. That’s like… ugh.
But let’s get back to NAO as I’ve affectionally refer to it. I’m so glad to revisit it post-MFA submission because I’ve always felt that it needed something else. I imagined the second half (part deux) of it taking place in Los Angeles after Walter has spent time with Frank. I think it was in writing the synopsis for my Thesis, that I thought of the idea of Beverly wanting to have a television show. It was something that I knew in the back of my mind as the single thing the protagonist needed. It also opened up another avenue for the audience to be a part of the play. With that addition, as well as adding Frank’s need to seek redemption and a connection with his son, I’m finally at a place where I want to share this work with people and SEE how it works with an audience!
I’m a subscriber to Play Submissions Helper (http://playsubmissionshelper.com/) and I saw the submission call for The Blank Theatre’s Living Room Series of Staged Readings, and kismet, I HAD to submit! Fortunately, their application process had a lot of parts. I say fortunately because the requirements forced me to write a logline and synopsis. I’ve already had those, but I’m glad I started from scratch because it confirmed my huntches in completing it in terms of adding the tv show and Frank’s angles!
So posterity, here is my logline and synopsis of the play:
While a successful single mom immigrant auditions for a TV show from her living room, a fun-loving grocery clerk and a blues musician force her to fight for her son, her shot at television glory, and in the process, redefines what it means to be a “better” American.
As a single mom and immigrant, Beverly Marie-Spencer will stop at nothing to reach the “American Dream” for herself and her son, Walter. She has ditched her accent, changed her name, and attained a comfortable amount of wealth by teaching new United States Citizens how to become “better” Americans through a series of successful home lectures. Think TedTalks meets a Tupperware Party for U.S. Immigrants.
Today, in the middle of America, she auditions to be the host of a new TV show in front of a live audience. In a sudden turn of events, through unexpected visits by a fun-loving grocery clerk from Kyrgyzstan and a blues musician from her past, Beverly is forced to fight for her son, her shot at television glory, and in the process, redefines what it means to be an American.
New American Order is a comedic-tragedy that explores the question: What would a person give up in order to obtain the American Dream?