THE POSITIVE RESULTS OF NEGATIVE ATTENTION

No matter how much life-styles change, the human emotions of family dynamics seem to fundamentally remain the same.

My contemporary comedy Reconciled Differences deals with the age-old challenge parents have when trying to deal with children seeking rewards via negative attention. Now I somewhat understand this emotional and rocky road after having participated in this struggle first-hand with one of my step-daughters. But for this play, I refreshed my memories by creating original characters confronting topical situations and relationships unrelated to my own journey.

The play deals with single mother Ginnie who has raised her rebellious daughter Judy from infancy to adulthood while living with Martin, an aloof and out-of-touch eye doctor who has yet to bond.

The play opens as aging Martin has decided he may need a care-taker wife more than a live-in girl friend. For some unknown reason Ginnie resists his tempting offer of a Las Vegas Elvis-style marriage. Meanwhile twenty-year-old Judy has become financially self-sufficient by running what appears to be an XXX-rated internet site from her bedroom. Martin suspects it and Ginnie denies it, but it’s definitely getting their attention, albeit negative attention.

Suddenly, Ginnie’s “long-declared dead” husband Randy returns from prison and shakes things up. Ginnie is threatened, Martin is stressed and Judy is confused.

Finally, a deal is struck between Martin and Randy which results in Judy receiving the one thing she most wanted and never thought possible, the feeling of truly being loved and respected.

Reconciled Differences is an enjoyable up-beat show with something to say. Check it out at Indie Theater Now.

Oh, on a side note, during one production the director called me aside and asked that I talk with the young actor playing Judy. The actor told me she had no problem with the “porno stuff” (it isn’t really), but the script also calls for her character to exclaim “Jez!” The actor explained she was a devote Christian (as am I), and that she therefore couldn’t say the word because it’s slang for Jesus. Well we talked about it awhile and were finally able to work out an acceptable word, but you just never know.