Growing up without one parent is hard enough, but having to live without either can really take it’s toll. All Jordan has is her mother’s “sort of” boyfriend to “take care of her”, while her friend Cal doesn’t have anyone at all. On their journey we see that it’s amazing the places you can go when you can’t just go home.
1. Where did you get the idea for this play?
This play began a few years ago when I started to notice articles about massive bird deaths – in Beebe, AK and elsewhere. I had no idea what on earth I was going to do with these articles at first, but I had this idea that this stuff was going to make it into my next play. I didn’t know why, and I didn’t know how, but… It was gonna be a play. Somehow. For the next 6 months, I found myself obsessively collecting and cataloguing these articles. I had started a play that I had tentatively titled “Twenty Little Vignettes” about teenagers in Phoenix, AZ. I realized one day, “Oh! I’m not obsessed with bird deaths. My character is obsessed with bird deaths.” And, thus, the first draft of And Then They Fell started.
Sydney, Australia. My short play LAST RITES was part of the Short + Sweet Festival there. The director of the play liked it so much, that he applied to take it to the Sydney Fringe Festival.
One obvious benefit is the time to write and revise. Of course, if a writer is disciplined, that writing and revising can happen anywhere, but a conference necessarily removes all other responsibilities or distractions so that, honestly, there isn’t anything to get in the way or divert your energies.
What makes a conference particularly useful (especially at Seven Devils) is that playwrights are paired with really good directors and dramaturgs whose job is to ask all the important (but hard) questions about the play. I know that when I was at Seven Devils, I was really lucky to have people asking me a lot of inconvenient questions that became absolutely essential questions. That’s really, what’s the difference between working alone and working at a conference.
I want all of my students to become more independent, thoughtful and purposeful writers. Whether I’m teaching rhetorical analysis or playwriting, I want my students to make productive discoveries about who they are as writers. I think most of us, at some point in our development, thought that there were some esoteric rules to writing, and if we could just find those rules and implement them, then we too could write successfully. While there are principles of good writing, good writing really comes from good thinking, good reading and good practice.
My high school writers may never write another play after they leave my class, but I’d hope that they’d be a little more open to what they read and how they read it – and that, maybe, that they’ll find a way to incorporate art into their lives.
Oh, the apple orchard, without question. I love apples. A lot. I even wrote a play set in an orchard (true!). Besides, the bees could use the help.
♦ Playwrights Theatre will present these readings free of charge, with an optional donation of $10
♦ A $25 dollar donation will get you a FORUM pass that covers all of the readings.
♦ A $250 donation will get you a rehearsal pass that allows access to all reading rehearsals.
♦ Reservations can be made online at or call (973) 514-1787 X10
Click here to reserve your seat to see AND THEN THEY FELL.
You can also find additional information on our website about the entire FORUM reading series.