A lot of people, when I tell them I wrote a play for kids, they smile mournfully, look at the ground, and shake their heads.
And, you know, I understand. I do. My last play was called KILL ME. I totally get it.
But this is a children’s story, and a great one at that. It’s something of a Scooby Doo mystery by way of Lovecraft’s New England, about a quaint little town called Boogle Bay that just so happens to have a ghost show up to vandalize, thieve, and otherwise create a public nuisance. Otto and Uncle Tooth are courageous, adventuring alligators who vow, along with their friends, to catch the Ghost and restore peace and order to Boogle Bay. It’s a little spooky, a little dark, but loads of fun from start to finish!
This project is exciting to me on many levels. One, The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost is one of my very favorite books from when I was first reading; I loved the story and the illustrations so much and read the book over and over when I was a kid, so to get to not only communicate with Geoffrey Hayes about Pirate Ghost but also get the chance to put it onstage feels very special. Not to mention Casey’s in it (as Otto no less!).
Second, it’s my first project working with Lifeline as an adaptor (I’ve worked there twice as an actor, on Watership Down and The Count of Monte Cristo), and getting to work with Paul Holmquist is an added treat.
Third, the play features original songs by Troy Martin and Matt Test, who write most of the music for ElvisBride. And damn, those guys are good.
And perhaps the most exciting thing is that after (and while) writing about zombies, schizophrenia, disfigurement, body horror, grave robbing, fish people, and psychosis, I’ve finally written something that my brothers can bring their kids to. And won’t that be cool?
THE MYSTERY OF THE PIRATE GHOST opens on January 12, 2013 and runs through February 17. Check out Lifeline’s website for more details, and to get your tickets!
(Illustration by Geoffrey Hayes. Photos by Suzanne Plunkett, courtesy of Lifeline)