TOSOS Presents "The Further Adventures of..." at FringeNY
An Interview with Kathleen Warnock
Indie Theater Now asked Kathleen Warnock a few questions about her play The Further Adventures Of....
What’s this play about? Please give us a brief synopsis (a sentence or two) and also talk about what you believe to be the most important theme(s) in the play.
“The Further Adventures of…” follows Maggie Day, a little girl who grows up to be a writer (and a lesbian), as she goes on a years-long journey to find out the story behind the story of “Atlantis, 1 Million Years BC,” her favorite classic sci-fi TV show. Maggie reads between the lines and sees the subtext of the leading characters, and gradually uncovers the stories behind the story of the show, learning about its secrets, lost loves, and things that couldn’t be spoken about then…and sometimes even now.
Why did you want to write about this subject/theme?
This play originated as a 10-minute play in a 24-hour festival at the late Wings Theater. I had to write to a given setting, and as I was puzzling how to use “Atlantis, 1 Million Years BC,” I got the first line of the play: “When I was a little girl, there was this wonderful show on TV…” From there, the play took form and I spent a night writing it. I thought it could be expanded into something longer, and about 3 years ago, I found a way, and have been developing it ever since with TOSOS. I’ve also always been fascinated with lost or secret histories, and Hollywood has plenty of them. The characters of Drake, Frank and Mr. Finberg all live in a time when people could be blackballed (or worse) for being gay.
How did you decide what names to give the characters in this play?
Margaret (“Maggie”) is my confirmation name. The characters in Atlantis had to have sci-fi names: Commander Zoron and Prince Kal. The other characters needed names suitable for 1950s actors: Drake Darling (who was named by Tallulah Bankhead) and Frank Gallagher, and later on the names had to fit as 21st-century A-gays: Buff and Todd. The name of Maggie’s girlhood friend is Sandy, after Sandy West, the late drummer of The Runaways. Mr. Finberg is my hat-tip to Mark Finley (who plays Mr. Finberg).
Describe your writing process. Do you write longhand, on a computer, a tablet? Do you write every day? Do you outline the play beforehand?
I write on a computer. I did write one play ("That's Her Way," which is on this site!) in longhand on my daily commute . My last few longer plays started out as 10-minute plays. As we are working on them, I see ways they can be built out. "The Adventures of..." became "The Further Adventures of...", "Staying Put" became "That's her Way," and "Off-Season" became "Some Are People." I tend not to outline, because I see the general arc of the play, then let the characters take me there (or where they want to go.) I’ve been wrong about the ending before, and got the right one by paying attention to the characters.
Is there a character in this play that you particularly identify with? Which one, and why?
The one that has my confirmation name is the “me” character! As a kid, I did write stories about my favorite TV shows, and acted out scenes with school friends (we once got in trouble when someone’s neck actually got bitten during our rendition of “Dark Shadows.”) And, as an adult, Maggie channels a lot of my frustrations as a modern indie creative-with-a-day-job.
posted July 24, 2016