#5 - Finding that Compelling Story to Write About! - Part Two! Jan. 11, 2017

So last time we talked about using your life to find a compelling story to write about.

But what do you do if you don’t have a compelling story from your life that you can pull from?


We have a play performing this week at Manhattan Rep, as part of our Winter Spectacular Series, which is awesome!

It is called The Prodigy by Rick Apicella. It is a one man show about a boxing trainer who comes upon a young boxer called The Prodigy who doesn’t really talk. It delves deep into the boxing subculture and Rick plays multiple roles with a passion and a specificity I have not seen in years. The show is truly wonderful because of Rick’s acting work, AND also because of his story.

I asked Rick after I first saw his show how he came up with this fascinating tale.  He said that he has always been passionate about boxing and he followed it for years. He watched and read everything he could find about it, and absolutely just loved the Boxing “World.”  When he decided to write a play, because he knew this world so well and loved it with such a fervor, he knew it had to be a boxing play. And the results speak for themselves. The Prodigy is a fantastic, compelling play with awesome acting.

So what are you passionate about? Do you love crime drama? Or romantic comedies? Do you love the 1950’s?  Or Roller Derby? Or Mickie D’s?

What do you LOVE and what could be a compelling story about this thing that you love?

I love old horror movies from the 1940’s and 1950’s. I just love them!  Something about those movies really resonates with me (and I just love how the women of the 1940’s and 1950’s speak especially in those old movies. "Darling, what do you think we should do today?")

When we first opened our theatre in 2005, I let my passion for old horror movies create one of my most interesting plays. I was always fascinated by the old horror movies so I decided to write a piece about them. And I wrote it really fast for I knew that universe well.  My play was called TALES OF TERROR. It consisted of short plays “messing with” classic horror stories. 

We had the story of the man who had his hand cut off and then had a serial killer’s hand attached, (and you know what happens there.)  We had the story of the Ventriloquist who’s dummy was alive and became a murdering mannequin, and we had the classic story of the evil serial killer SANTA CLAWS and the tough detective that sought to bring this murderer to justice. Each play in this production was immersed in the 1940/50’s universe, and each play “goofed” on these classic stories, but we never allowed the actors to be campy or even be self-aware that these stories were satirical. They played it straight and serious. And the production turned out awesome! Since then, we have produced it 5 times and it is always great fun.

But the reason it was so successful was because I was so passionate about it and I LOVED the genre.  So the writing soared out of me, and then in production when I directed it, we went hog wild with sound effects, dark moody lighting, music from the time and more.


So WHAT are you passionate about? 

Start there to find and create that compelling story to write about!

Ken WolfComment