I usually have trouble making decisions. I like to weigh all the pros and cons and explore all the possibilities before choosing. I can spend many hours, or
sometimes even days, mulling over even a fairly mundane choice. When Sterling offered to write a new play for me for the 2013 Ottawa Fringe Festival he tried to narrow down my options to help me out.
“Which of my short stories do you think would make a good Fringe play?” he asked me.
He even went so far as to suggest that The Experience Machine might be a good starting point ripe with theatrical possibilities. However, this time, I already knew the short story I wanted him to adapt: Never Fall in Love With a Writer
So, of all Sterling’s short stories, why did I choose this one?
Well, I wanted a show that had an accessible theme. Never Fall in Love With A Writer’s premise is easy to relate to. A woman describes her feelings of jealousy that were inspired by a writer (Samuel) obsessed with his work. Her rivals are not other women but the instruments of his craft and his obsession with writing.
The love she holds for Samuel is rooted in a love for his written words. Here’s the kicker. Despite the story’s title, the narrator is in fact a writer herself. She tells us this story through her own writing.
I love that kind of depth. I felt it would make great fodder for a play. Jealousy of someone obsessed with their art combined with the protagonist’s own fervent desire to express herself through art.
I was right. It did make a great play! Now I look forward to the challenge of directing and producing it. This is a new direction for me. I have never directed a solo performance before. Fortunately, Sterling has written a great little play to work with.
You can read the play here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1V68JGxEccj8BOETxoxHS-JPGR97D4XVmHvpXxigwJ-w/edit?pli=1
For those interested, here is Jennifer Capogreco (the star of our show) doing a cold read of Sterling’s original short story: