I can’t imagine a world where this could actually be performed (unless you had much older actors who looked this age), but it felt therapeutic for me to get out this strange and somewhat traumatizing story of my first girlfriend. Call it, 87% true.
This 5-minute play came about after I rediscovered The Sims, a Maxis game I played a lot back in the early 2000s. After a couple weeks, I found myself explaining to someone the events of a recent game and realized how ridiculous it would be to have all of this happen in real life. So I threw this guy together.
While not necessary, I would love to have the little ++ and — symbols projecting above the actors heads as they talk. And I think the weird long pauses that happen in the game between conversation bouts (often interrupted by a random compliment or joke) could be a lot of fun. That being said, I don’t want to overdo it, or make the play too inaccessible for people who have no idea what The Sims is. Anyway, if you have 5 minutes, take a read and let me know what you think!
Wacky side note: My wife Liz and I had some crazy telepathic synchronicity during this production and afterwards found ourselves with basically the same proposal. Today, audiences are smart and they’re pretty darn familiar with the story of Hamlet. Why not spice it up a bit and remove some of the ‘givens’? What if Claudius didn’t kill Hamlet’s father? What if Hamlet is truly insane and is the only person who sees his father’s ghost? What if Hamlet killed Ophelia? What if when Claudius is praying, he’s praying for Hamlet’s mental health– maybe he truly cares for the boy? What if Hamlet is responsible for his own father’s death? What’s interesting to us is not making any of this overt, but like the ending to such films as Inception and Looper, why not provide enough evidence to allow audience members to make a case either way? Don’t have Claudius confessing to the murder. Don’t have the guards see Hamlet’s father. Allow for the reaction Claudius has to the play within a play to be a debatable one. Maybe add a couple small scenes and remove a few that are too on-the-nose?
We think this would be fun. What say you?
‘Whhaaaaa…? But that’s not a theatre performance!’ I hear you grumble. But here’s my definition of theatre: a live experience involving suspension of disbelief. Here’s my definition of good theatre: theatre that moves me. This was good theatre. That being said, because it does not define itself as theatre, I will choose to forgo my usual ‘Hoo-ra’/'Blech…’ format of bullet-point review. Instead, think of this more as a recap. A thorough-recap. My goal here is for you to understand–to empathize with–how wonderful this experience was. Here we go.