Tuesday, November 06, 2007
When Is A Chest Something More Than A Chest?
I have been directing a play "The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood" for my church. I wanted to do a fun comedy that was great for kids and adults alike---you know, with some slapstick humor, but still some play on words or wit to amuse the adults...
Well, I had to read about 20 plays to find a play that would qualify and be clean enough to be associated with the church, and I felt that everything in it was pretty squeaky clean. I had tryouts in June, to get a jump on the memorizing for the actors, thinking that if I didn't start rehearsing until Sept., they would have the summer to work on the play.
So, after casting the play,----we have some talented people and I was really excited to get started with the blocking, and characterization, etc.,----we started the rehearsals in Sept., and I had assumed that everyone had read the script and was ok with the play.
We could only have one rehearsal a week, as people weren't available very often, and I was still out of town a lot for gigs on the weekends, but things were going really well... Now you have to understand that there is a lot of slapstick type of humor in this play as well as what I call stupid humor. Humor that anyone can get, dumb sight gags, etc. This type of humor is definitely not my favorite---in fact I really abhor this type of humor, but because there were several parts that were a subtle play on words, I could tolerate the other, silly stuff.
So, now we come to the chest question. There is a part in the play where the sassy narrator is narrating about how Robin and Marian first met. Of course, it was when Robin stopped the Sheriff and Marian in Sherwood Forest to rob them of their jewels and money. These said jewels, in this play, were residing inside a heavy chest. So, the narrator says, "So Robin snatched the bag of gold from the sheriff and then grabbed Marian's chest." At this point, everyone gasps and looks at the narrator. (Of course, I had brilliantly blocked it, so that it was very funny, with everyones heads whipping about at the same time as the gasp) THEN, the next line is from the narrator who says, "The one that she's holding!!" They all sigh and say "Oh", and smile and the scene goes on as normal. Well, I thought that there was nothing wrong with this----its a play on words and it gets resolved and....well, it is what it is....pretty darn funny! One of the only funny lines! (Most of the rest of the play, I had to rely on my abilities to make the characters mannerism's, etc. funny and use timing to make parts funny)
Well, you probably guessed it. A week before Tech rehearsals,----I get a phone call from none other than "Robin" himself. He explains that they have all been talking and are a bit shocked that I haven't removed the line from the play, etc., etc. "SO.....now you are telling me this?", I think to myself.
Then, I talk to the narrator and she tells me that she had mentioned it to several people-----yes, church members----and they all thought that it was funny and not too risque for church audiences.... But that the guy who played the Prince had been sending her threatening e-mails-----that she better not say it!
Oh my. Here I thought that after reading so many plays only to not be able to find a play that didn't have something objectionable, that I had finally gotten one that, in my book, was good clean fun.
Bottom line...the line was dropped. My wild ways were reported all the way to the Stake President. (Which is the person that is over our region of church congregations) And I guess I can no longer be trusted to pick a play for the church. I am the worst kind of sinner possible, one who would leave creeping pornography in a family play.
You know the kind...the treasure chest kind.