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Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.

I want to say that’s a quote from Mick Jagger, but I’m pretty sure I’m wrong. May be too tired to remember. Maybe I’ve been drinking.

At any rate, theatre, I’ve learned is, also something that happens while you’re making other plans. That one was me, not Mick.

Recently, in this space, I reported that my two act play FOR WANT OF A SHOE was going to be treated to a live, staged reading by a group of actors during New Ground Theatre’s play festival in the Quad Cities April 19-28.


But then as so often happens with creative endeavors, boring old reality crept in. There are some eight plays jockeying for position in the festival. At about ninety minutes, mine was by far the longest. It also has a pretty big cast of fifteen characters. The logistics of that simply made it unworkable with the schedule time and people available.

But everyone really liked the play. So what to do?

Well, I dusted off an earlier, way shorter, version of the play I had written before FOR WANT OF A SHOE. I took another look at it, decided it was pretty good, polished it up and offered FERGUSON PAYNE’S SOLE PROBLEM as an alternative. It’s a funny, twenty-minute, one-act that still has a nice mix of humor and stuff to make you think about fate and free will and what it means to be a character in your own story.

Everyone liked the adaptation. It’s way shorter and only has seven characters so it’s easy to cast. PLUS…

Instead of just a reading, I’ve been upgraded to a full production with sets and costumes and props.

It’s not exactly the same play, and I do still hope to hear actors say my words from FOR WANT OF A SHOE someday, but when you write for public consumption for a while – books or scripts or whatever – you eventually learn to be flexible and go with the flow in order to serve the greater purpose of creativity.

So I’m going with it.

I hope you do too. Looks like my play will go up April 19, 21 and 27, along with THE BACKFIRED MESSAGE, THE RETURN, and LEAP DAY. April 20,26 and 28 will feature THE RED OVEN, POTSDAM, 1706 FARNUM, and SAYING GOODBYE. Check out New Ground’s website for more details.


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