Tuesday, January 29, 2008
'The Wager' adapted from 'Evacuation Plan'
What an odd, interesting experience Friday night to go see an adaptation of a story contained in my novel EVACUATION PLAN, which is set in a hospice. It wasn't the same story I wrote, but it was--if that makes any sense. The story is about a gambler and his very scientific wife who end up staying with the gambler's ex-con father at a halfway house he runs for crazy ex-cons. The father and son end up playing a game of Monopoly with the winner getting either cash or to sleep with the son's wife.
Janet Heimlich read my book to review it recently in The Texas Ovserver and asked to adapt this one story. (Yes, she is the daughter of THAT Dr. Heimlich.) She also starred as the wife, which may have been why the wife seemed more to be the viewpoint character in the play while the husband was in my story (in both cases the wife wins out in the end). The actor who played the father was wonderful, and the play overall was great. I must say it was a surreal experience, particularly when the actors were saying lines that I had written! It reminded of when I did a bit of speechwriting years ago and watched someone read my speech and evoke tears.
The play was performed at Frontera Fest in Austin, which is a competition for a wide variety of one-act performances. Hyde Park Theatre was packed. My wife and I left before the fifth and final play to go collect our baby from my sister, but of the four I saw, "The Wager" was surely the best. But, then again, I may be biased. There is a chance it will play again during the best of the fest. Keep your fingers crossed.