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ALL THE WAY BACK (previously “Replays”) January 4, 2014

Posted by William Spear in Uncategorized.
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Started the year with a birthday and a finished script. REPLAYS, which received a staged reading under the name “Replays” in May 2013, received my full intention during the intervening seven months. The result, from its new name, ALL THE WAY BACK, to its revised storylines has been a pleasant journey.

From the moment the staged reading at Somerset Valley Players ended, it was clear there were choices to be made. One was the competition between the four main characters and whose play it really was. Another was whether the plays was a comedy, as intended, or a drama, as evolved. A third was whether the large cast, more than 25 performers, was viable.

After allowing all the feedback to sink in, further development went forward under a two-objectived mantra: Commit to the comedy and cap the cast size.

On capping the cast size, ten was chosen arbitrarily as a limit. To that end, the best insight was as follows: Consider collapsing the functionality of the characters as a means to reduce the cast size. Not knowing how that process would happen, it was started.

The other objective, commit to the comedy, was a more clearly realized path. Drama was removed or rewritten with the intent of smiles rather seriousness. And the existing humor was pushed closer to being over the top but consistent with the characters and their own arcs.

As functionalities combined, characters began disappearing. Even characters which received warm receptions at the reading were discarded without loss to the overall piece.

Finally, in late December, the script was left to marinade for a few days. When resumed, everything held together save for a few spot edits.

In early January, the first submission went out the door for ALL THE WAY BACK. Now definitely a comedy, ALL THE WAY BACK tells 98% of the same story with a cast of nine. It was lovely way to start 2014.