We had a great turnout for the reading of Rebecca’s Hope Chest a couple of weeks ago. I was kind of overwhelmed by the number of people who came, which is a great feeling.
I was left feeling a little down about (or at least confused by) the feedback and reaction to the play overall. I could tell people found it funny and fast-paced, especially in the first half.
In the second half, though, I could feel it dragging, and I could tell it was missing some kind of magic ingredient to really keep the audience engaged.
I asked people to reach out to me via email and other messaging to let me know how they liked it – versus having a talkback that night.
Here’s my summary of the feedback I’ve received since then:
- The second half drags a bit, and might need some kind of bigger Reveal to make it more compelling
- It was good and funny overall but I wanted a little bit more in the final scene
- The main character (Rebecca) isn’t particularly likeable and I’d hoped for some redeeming qualities in the end
- It was great, perfect the way it is; the best play I’ve seen or read all year; you should get this thing up on its feet as soon as you can*
- What about the introduction of another character who’s as desperate for Rebecca as she is for her ex-boyfriends?
- What about the introduction of a foil, or a friend, who is always by her side and provides a kind of sympathetic confidante?
- I love it the way it is; it’s a screwball comedy and made me laugh more than I have in years*
- I liked so much of the play, and the scenes with her exes were hilarious, but it wrapped up a little too neatly for my tastes; why can’t it be messier than that? And do we really need the mother character at the end? She felt superfluous
*yeah, these are real comments; and they’re extraordinarily positive, but the others outnumber these and I want this thing to be a home run.
Anyway, I’m putting it aside for now, as much as I wish it had come out perfectly. Will think about it in the new year – or maybe on a long walk over break. More to come, I hope… (chest).
LATE-BREAKING UPDATE: I forgot about one of the best pieces of feedback. My friend Camille suggested I just turn it into a musical; solves everything.
Thanks, Cam; noted!