Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ricardo and the Whale

Back in the autumn of 2008, I mentioned starting work on a radio play involving "a brash reporter, a hurricane, Al Capone, and a gigantic whale."

These Deming years have been hectic, and that script spent a lot of time in the drawer. In a virtual drawer, that is. In this age of word processing, manuscripts don't linger in drawers so much as linger on hard drives. At any rate, months would go by, I'd play around with it some; then I'd get busy, unable to look at it for several more months; and repeat.

Once again, Lance Roger Axt (a fellow alumnus of Trinity Rep's conservatory and founder of Audio Comics) stepped in to nudge me.

This was the man who first challenged me to write a radio play back in 2006. The result was Do You Hear What I Hear?, which was produced in 2008 by the Shoestring Radio Theatre in San Francisco. Lance later visited New Mexico and produced two short plays of mine, Simulated Drowning and The Heart Has No Location, which were broadcast on KUNM in 2009. I found the medium very freeing as a writer.

Lance is a good nudge: not too much to provoke resistance, but enough to get me working on it whenever I could (and in my home, it is very difficult to write). He presented me with a deadline. Well, you know what Douglas Adams said about deadlines:

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

But I was only a few days late when, finally, a complete first draft of Ricardo and the Whale swam the world wide ocean to Lance's email box.

Its dramatic theme widened over the past few years. There is still a brash reporter, an improbably large whale, and a terrible hurricane. And Al Capone. It is an extraordinarily silly play about environmental issues. And American culture. And dreams.

I'm awaiting word on a possible production of this play, that you might be able to enjoy.

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