SINGLEMARRIEDGIRL, adaptation by Heather Bagnall Scheeler debuts at the Capital Fringe Festival
It was about two years ago that serendipity or perhaps fate introduced Heather Bagnall Scheeler to SingleMarriedGirl.Blogspot.com and the seemingly unflappable Laurel Spears. “I began following her blog, the events of which so closely mirrored my own experience that I found I was drawing inspiration for my own life crises from her writing. There is something truly endearing about this person, struggling to establish her own identity while maintaining a sense of humor about life, love and loss, which seems almost superhuman. I felt like I wanted to share if not her life, at least her outlook, so I emailed her and pitched the idea of adapting the blog into a stage play. “
SINGLEMARRIEDGIRL follows the trials of a woman who realizes well into a marriage that perhaps she isn’t the person everyone thought she was, nor does she want to be. “You come to that crossroads where you realize you have no idea how to be an independent woman and a wife, that your life is unsatisfactory because you are not even a main character but merely a day player in your own story. That you are staying married for your family or friends or…cats. And you have been terrified to say it out loud lest it be true. There is this moment when you suddenly say to yourself, ‘Oh my g*d, I’m thirty and I haven’t picked a movie in five years.’ Or, ‘We haven’t had sex in six months…at least not with eachother.’ And what do you do? You have two choices, stay or…try something else. This is about that something else.”
Heather confesses that adapting a blog into a play was not the easiest endeavour. “To be honest, I had no idea how I was going to tackle this. It’s one thing to adapt a novel, especially if one is already an established playwright, which I am not, as there is generally a clear if not always linear through line but in some ways, a blog is simply a loose collection of random thoughts tied together not by time but by the spirit of the writer. It became my task to become the writer herself so there is a good deal of me written into the material. I decided that I wouldn’t try to write a play so much as a live action blog and to put aspects of my own story into the action. I think the most exciting thing about this project was the source material. I had nearly three years of collected thoughts and stories, as well as my personal interviews and my own experiences from which to draw inspiration. And I was able to add my own spin to the story.“ Including a turn on aerial silks, something Heather says she began after being inspired to embrace her own life following the death of her mother and her own marital separation.
Our story begins when having discovered that her marriage of more than a decade falls apart Laurel, realizing she has no idea how to be an independent, confident woman sets out to discover the self she has lost by dating the best friend she’s even known, herself.
In the words of Laurel Spears, “This all began as a sort of sociology experiment. A post on facebook. ‘I took myself out last night. Very liberating. Think I might do it again.” And the rest is blogworthy!
Venue: GALA Hispanic Theatre at Tivoli Square – 3333 14th St NW, in Washington, DC.
SINGLEMARRIEDGIRL is produced by Tasty Monster Productions as part of the 2012 Capital Fringe Festival. Follow The Adventures of a SingleMarriedGirl here.