The Fourth of July is almost here, and since I’m still in thrashing around revising my chapter, and since I’ve described myself as a playwright as well as a soap opera critic, I thought I’d post my one-act, Settling In. To access it, click here.
I had never thought about any connection between my soap opera viewing and the plays I write until Settling In was produced for a local access cable station in late Fall, 2006 (it was first broadcast on 6 March 2007). At the first production meeting, the technical director, a 30ish guy, told me that the play’s dialogue reminded him of a scene from a soap opera. He was quick to add that he meant no offense. “None taken,” I replied. Later, I showed the DVD of the production to another director, same age, same gender, who had the same reaction.
While my little ten-minute plays bear little resemblance to today’s plot-driven soaps, they do seem to evoke Amherst professor William H. Prichard’s 1986 description of soap operas as “a seemingly endless process by which people talk themselves into and out of happiness and misery.” Kind of like the lives we lead and the stories we tell.
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