View Full Version : writing a play...you can help too!

06-14-2005, 03:09 PM
Hey Everyone,
I've been struggling with a concept or idea for a play I've been trying to write for a while now. Yesterday I came up with a possible them or plot for it. It goes a little something like this (very vague right now):
--Two people fall in love. They both have CF (didn't tell the other) but are both the type that feel uncomfortable about revealing/in denial about their CF until it is the "right time." When they finally decide to tell their lover about it, their lover comes to them at the same time. The problem may be that one has a bug the other doesn't and are they strong enough to stay together and risk passing infections or are they strong enough to let each other go to not risk it...?--maybe one is a newly diagnosed the may have cepacia and just wants to live normally because they may be really sick...

What do you all think?? It just came to me so it's kinda messy..I would love ideas and feedback. I really would like to hear from some of you who keep CF locked up and don't feel that you need to tell someone you like about CF right away. Please email me if you'd like!
My friend who is a playwright is going to help me through the process and I'll keep you guys posted on it's progress. Right now the working title is "The Right Time"
Thanks a lot,
Emily 23 pwcf
[email protected]

06-14-2005, 04:06 PM
The strange thing about that... is I know two people that happened to. But they knew about the CF before hand, one has a bug one doesn't... In the end.. they're both living together now.

06-15-2005, 12:45 AM
Wow that is strange...I just got a post from a member from the CF boards in England (I think) and there are a few couples on their boards that are together both with CF. This is really getting my mind racing. It looks like love will provail in my play...thanks for the feedback so far!
23 pwcf
[email protected]

06-15-2005, 02:20 AM
I think it's a great idea! I don't have much to contribute because my CF has always been wide open (comes from being a poster-child and the mindset thereof, I think). I would just love to see CF portrayed accurately. Not made light of and yet not made overly forboding - end-stage stuff, you know? Just what real life with CF is like. There was an issue of CF Roundtable a few years ago (2002 or 2001, I think) in which the focus topic was on couples where both people had CF. That might be a good resource to draw from. I think back issues are like $2.50 a copy.

06-15-2005, 02:52 AM
The direction you take it depends on what aspirations you have for the actual play I suppose. Is it a musical or a traditional play? What do you hope to do with it?

06-15-2005, 04:09 AM
I am sure the two lovers would become suspicious of each other having CF at some point. The cough is pretty unmistakable and there are only so many excuses. I think it would be difficult to keep the characters ignorant of each other for vey long, but if they were both in denial about the other having CF, that would probably be easier to write.

06-15-2005, 06:26 PM
ok ~ as of now it's a play but I would love it to be a musical. I live in Detroit and am pretty involved in the theatre community here as well as New York. My goal is to eventually work it out of Detroit and have it read and produced in NY. I've got quite a few connections out there in the theatre world so with a lot of hard work hopefully we can get the story of CF on the big stage.

Good point about not being able keep making excuses about the cough...this really gets me thinking. What if 1 of them just got diagnosed within the last year of present. She has a very mild case and is in great denial about it and doesn't know much about it..the other character could be recently diagnosed with a nasty bug and wants to forget about cf and live a "normal" life...I think the revelations or confessions about CF could be made early in the script. That way we could get more stuff about CF in it (daily routines, meds, just everything we have to deal with). There could then be time for them to figure out if they should be together....?
thanks a lot guys, we're making progress.
23 pwcf
[email protected]

06-15-2005, 09:17 PM
I'm the anonymous from 12:52 AM...

I think a play about CF is a nice idea for the CF community, but that's as far as it goes. CF is still one of those diseases many people don't even know exist, and the rest don't really know what it is about. I would be careful in the real world of what direction you would be willing to go with this. A play about some obscure disease won't likely be received well by New York audiences. There is hope, though.

Take a hint from RENT. If you are unfamiliar with it, take the time to become familiar with it. The play isn't about AIDS, but many of the characters in it just happen to have AIDS. There's not too much talk about the treatments they go through or the AIDS community in general. Jonathon Larson, who gets book, lyrics, and music credits for the play, knew that an audience didn't want to see a story about disease, but a story about life and about love. It's because of this that he didn't get into the technicalities of AIDS, which would include visits to the doctors and medicine taking and whatnot.

Mimi and Roger, two of the main characters, are bot diagnosed wit AIDS before the play begins, and they actually try to avoid falling in love with each other because of the baggage they would each bring into the relationship. It isn't until the end of act 1 that they find out they the other one has AIDS as well, which seems similar to what you are describing.

Your two leads would need to take one act to finally get it all out and another act to deal with it all.

Don't make the story just about them though. Make sure the other characters in the play live their own non CF-related lives. You'll need to just use the CF very sparingly and not so specifically.

This is just my opinion, and it only applies if you have broadway aspirations. Hope it can help.

06-16-2005, 05:29 PM
I have seen Rent a few times and indeed it is not just about AIDS. It's not my favorite show, but I do love the score and appreciate Jonathon Larson very much!! Would you say too that if you were to ask most people who have seen Rent, what it's about a lot would mention AIDS? Now we both know that's not what it is about but it does help bring AIDS awareness into the real world.
I have seen a lot of the new shows in New York over the past years and know what goes on in the Broadway community fairly well. I don't know if you ever saw Side Show written by my friend Bill Russell (it opened in 1997 then closed after 91 performances). It was about the lives of Siames Twins Daisy and Violet Hilton. How they dealt with being in the "different", going from "Freak" to what they thought was stardum but then their hopes were shot down, never being loved for who they are not what they are...The show was amazing but it was realistic and was rather sad. It wasn't recieved well by critics and the world wasn't ready for something that didn't make them laugh the whole time while at the theatre. It is my favorite show though because it showed me that eventhough I have CF I can still be the person I am today and to live my life to the fullest. That's the point I want to make to everyone..Be who you are. Don't let people label you by what you are.
I'm not planning to write a play just a about CF, I'm planning to tell an adventure of two people that fall in love and have to work a little harder to keep it going because CF is a lot of work. With my play I'm putting CF into the storyline because it's something I know very well and it isn't very well known. Boomer Esiason does a good job hitting the athletic side of the world but I would like to hit another demographic.
I've never written a play before and love all of these points being made. I'll probably have to rewrite it 100+ times to get it how I'll like it. Then it'll have to be re-written again.
Keep on passing me your thoughts.

06-16-2005, 10:06 PM
I agree with MockingBird ("I am sure the two lovers would become suspicious of each other having CF at some point. The cough is pretty unmistakable and there are only so many excuses.")

People who don't even know what CF is find it pretty obvious I have a health problem from my cough, shortness of breath, weight, etc.

I like the idea, though. Maybe if you decide to change the story a little bit, one person could be in poor health, while the other could be in really good health (diagnosed young but never had to be hospitalized, etc) and they fall in love-- The sick person not knowing that the healthy person also has CF (and the healthy one in a stage of denial about their own disease process because they see exactly what the disease can do). It could be a story of what they learn from eachother about life and coping with disease.