If a book’s plot consumes a human’s mind to the point reality is morphed while reading, do the characters then become real?
In “Rewrite,” a short play written by Tech journalism graduate Patrick Boyd, the two main characters face propositions that ultimately change their lives.
“I really like the idea of breaking walls within a play,” Boyd said. “We made normal things that wouldn’t actually take place, like have characters able to talk to their author during the performance, as if a rewrite was taking place.”
Boyd said the play was influenced by the likes of movies “Stranger than Fiction” and “Six Characters in Search of an Author” and 1921 play “Ruby Sparks.”
“The play is influenced by the idea that plagues our generation of our idea of reality,” Boyd said.
“Everything is bent, whether it be reality television, Twitter or the way that we build our lives through Facebook.”
The play was intended to make the audience question the role they play in their own lives and this Earth, Boyd said. “I wanted them [the audience] to subconsciously ask themselves as they watched my characters perform, what are they a character in,” Boyd said. “The whole idea of being rewritten can be directly applied to the audience’s lives by the changes that they sporadically go through in life.”
Eric Whitehead, a senior English major, played Christopher in the play. He said it was an honor to be able to perform in a play written by Boyd.
“I loved it the first time he showed it in class,” Whitehead said. “I knew the quality of writer he is, so when I was chosen to be a part of his play I knew that it would be a lot of fun to do.”
Whitehead said his character, Christopher, begins to lose his own sense of reality throughout the play.
“Christopher loses the fact that his own reality is separate from the other characters in the play,” Whitehead said. “Christopher experiences a blending of worlds that he struggles to find actuality of real and fake.”
Tech students Payton Wilburn and Casey Allen also starred in the play as a couple, Willow and Jules. They were Christopher’s characters in the novel he was currently writing in the play, and they had to adapt to the multiple changes Christopher thought up as the play was acted out.
Alison Wyant, a junior forestry major, was a spectator at the play who saw potential in the production, but had a few critiques.
“I know there was a challenge to put this together in a setting like this [GTM courtyard], but there were times when it was done really well,” Wyant said. “There were also times when I couldn’t see or hear the production.”
Rowan Johnson, a graduate student and director of the play, acknowledged the fact the courtyard presented a problem in the production.
“It provided a challenge for us because we didn’t want anyone to be left out and our actors had to be present through all angles,” Johnson said.
Bill Willoughby, associate dean for the College of Liberal Arts, was overall impressed with the production.
“Patrick has set something up that is great and has the train in motion,” Willoughby said. “Now he just must find a way to bring it to the station.”
Email comments to phh...@latech.edu.