Frances Maples, who also had a winning script in 2012, returns with Orpheum, a music-infused tale of love, death, and what happens next. Isa loves Stacey, Stacey isn’t so sure… and things don’t get any easier when the Apocalypse hits and the girls find themselves separated by an incomprehensible bureaucracy. Now Isa must escape from heaven’s waiting-room if she wants to rescue her damsel in distress. But Stacey is sick of being a damsel and won’t wait around to be saved. Seventeen-year-old director Ivy Olesen of Berkeley, a senior at Berkeley High School, brings this musical love story to life… and afterlife.
In “Story by Leonard Watts,” Sophia Cannata-Bowman sketches a stunning portrait of the bitter beauty of small-town life. Who wouldn’t want to ditch the danger and drudgery of life in a coal-mining town for the bright lights of Hollywood? Leonard Watts not only made it out, he made it big! Now his screenplay is nominated for an Academy Award – but Hollywood endings are reserved for movies, and running from the past won’t prevent it from catching up. Sixteen-year-old Elia Chuaqui of El Cerrito, a junior at El Cerrito High School, directs this hilarious and heartbreaking play that skips across the swirl of memory.
And here are excerpts from each play.
ASSISTANT: Leonard Watts?
LEONARD: Present – uh – yes?
ASSISTANT: Mr. Campbell will see you now.
Leonard wipes away his sweat and walks into Barry's office. Barry blathers into his phone.
BARRY: Then repair the damn costume, Helen – it's fabric, it'll mend! (Pauses for voice on other line) Oh, it's chainmail. (Pause for voice) Then have Salzmann forge it fresh. (Pause for voice) No, the jelly-filled ... wait, the wife's coming in, make it glazed old-fashioned. She collapsed the crafts table last time we got the jelly-filled.
BARRY: Listen Helen, I gotta go. I got a guy here. (Pause for voice) No, just the writer. Yeah … yeah, talk to you later. (Hangs up.) Leo, my man! The genius!
They shake and Leonard sits down.
LEONARD: I'm a big fan, Mr. Campbell. Real big fan.
BARRY: Right, right. Take a seat, Leo.
LEONARD: I'm already –
BARRY: So I liked the script, liked it a lot. Very touching, very real.
LEONARD: Oh great, really great! You know, I struggled a lot to portray Rick's insecurity, you know? And I'm glad you –
BARRY: Right, so I have a few notes, nothing too big.
LEONARD: Okay . . .
BARRY: First thing. Gotta shorten it. Butts get tired. Kids get fussy. Can't have 'em walking out before the climax gets going can we? Forty pages.
LEONARD: Um – shorten it, sir? I've already cut out fifty –
BARRY: And air it out. More white space. And let’s talk about picking up the pace. It's kinda slow.
LEONARD: Well, sir, it's a small town –
BARRY: Here's my idea. We keep the love parts, but instead of the girl's parents being teachers, we'll have them be undercover spies. They'll die in a car bombing in Morocco. I really think that'll add the "umph" we need.
LEONARD: Sir, Morocco? They live in a small Pennsylvania town.
BARRY: Lived, kid, lived. They move to Calcutta when their identity is compromised.
LEONARD: Um, sir –
BARRY: Leo. Buddy. Audiences want explosions. They want hot women. Which brings me to my next point. Jennie's job.
LEONARD: I'd like to keep her a waitress –
BARRY: Good, good, me too! So she'll work at Hooters – just does it to make a living. A troubled soul, wants to get out, become an actress!
BARRY: And the ending, Leo –
BARRY: The ending needs to go.