No Shortage of Blessings- Just Short of Crazy-The Stage Play

I wrote Just Short of Crazy: The Stage Play years ago. After mounting Marrying Up, The Stageplay, I learned so much about taking a story from book to stage. In Closer to Crazy (Web Series), I took the same characters and continued their story. Watching them on stage left me with some unanswered questions for some of the characters and I was fortunate enough to be able to see it play out on film.
BY the end of the process, I was full of love for the theater, and absolutely cognizant of the amazing opportunity and abilities that I had gained during the process of taking the characters I'd dreamed up and REALLY breathing life into them. It was as if I had created a pop up book that had somehow become three dimensional. Something about having to shop for clothing for a character you created makes you really think about them and their lives and motivations in a way I had never before. Most writers never get to go through this process. So often, if your work gets optioned, you sell the rights to your story and then the producers and screenwriters take over and maybe you get to be a consultant in the process.

When I moved to Seattle, I was fortunate enough to meet another playwright and producer, classically trained, that had a similar love for the stage. She fell in love with Just Short of Crazy and encouraged me to keep developing the story. There is so much that changes from book to page. In a book, all you have to do is write it and it shall be done. In a play, you are constrained and challenged by the stage. Each scene change can potentially mean a set change, and that can get cost prohibitive. Stage challenges you to really take a close look at what information in your story is important and what moves the story forward. It also makes you learn to rely on you actors to convey some things that you might otherwise write. Stage challenges the writer to think about which angle they are going to approach the story from and back story often falls away.

In the first play, I was really worried about set. One thing she said to me was that I shouldn't worry about all that. If your play is well written, many of the details I think I need to paint will be conveyed by the talents of my actors. This forced me to think about my own experiences as a theater-goer. Of course, I love Broadway style productions with huge beautiful sets and moveable stages, but I can't say I enjoyed most of those productions more than the ones I saw in feeder theaters done on a more intimate scale and in black box theaters. When I thought about it, one of the best plays I'd seen was done in the round, and the only set pieces were a chalk circle drawn on the ground and a djembe drum.

At the end of all of that, we decided to do a reading of Just Short of Crazy this upcoming weekend with the purpose being to workshop the piece with the intent of doing a full production in February,

The first time I did this, the whole idea grew legs. I looked up and there were forty people working for me, the audience was full and the curtain was about to go up. I remember feeling so overwhelmed and amazingly blessed. I stood back stage and realized that God may give you the talent, but you can do nothing alone. Just as no work is without faith, you cannot clap with only one hand. Things happened because of God's grace and the other people in my life who either believed in me or were too afraid of me to tell me I was crazy. This is happening again.

So for this weekend, here's the cast. I'm grateful to them for lending their talents without knowing if they will end up in the final production. We'll have a limited number of audience members so we can work on the script.

Just Short of Crazy: The Stage Play

Written, produced & directed by Nina Foxx
Produced by by: Alma Person


Alexis Pearson Dedra Woods

Angel Alex Ung
Athena Montague Cynthia Andrews
Ayzah Brown Camille Campbell

Erica Danela Butler
Mama Cheryl Chapman
Monty Miller Dan Williams
Paris Montague
Prince Jones
Remedy Brown Stacey Washington

Sarah Sarah Schweid

Narrator Rob Person/Barry Jennings


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