Onsite Theatre Commission: Day 7 (+Playground: Splitting the Difference)

I couldn’t resist. I was supposed to take the night off from writing, from working, from theater. Give my brain a night to turn off. Didn’t happen. Playground’s Origin Story topic was too damn compelling to pass up. I mean, come on, I have a blog titled after a comic book character’s namesake. I thought about revisiting the Superman-like-character-lands-in-a-more-dysfunctional-Kansas story (ala Superman: Red Son) but found myself gravitating more towards a play from that same time period (I think?) about a man who believes that he has gained superpowers from the copier he slaves over at work . . . yes, this was a literary intern’s fantasy. That play was as much about the wife’s dissatisfaction in her marriage and also a newsman’s desperation to find a story, which would have a much different weight now during the death of print media. But I also wanted to explore the characters in the Hostel Play. Problem is, I don’t know who the fifth actor is. So, I split the difference: I am taking the character who gained superpowers from the copy machine (CopyBoy) and putting him in a five-character play. That way, I am at least practicing juggling five voices in a room.

For anyone writing a play about superheroes, Powers is required reading. The world of this series is explored through the investigations of a special police unit which solves superhero homicides. It is all about the humanity of superhumans in a world that doesn’t want them around but can’t afford to lose them, but it also constructs a healthy dose of mythology. Extremely dark and gritty and sexy and dangerous. What would society do if suddenly we had vigilantes who could fly with superstrength and superspeed, or villains who could eviscerate a whole police squad without breaking a sweat? Freak out, that’s what.

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