example submission 1
"LAURA & MAURA SAVE THE WORLD"
by company member lauren sevigny for Public Assembly #18: "fan fiction"
After losing his girlfriend and his job, a biogeneticist and obsessive TWD superfan goes off the rails, locking himself in his apartment to develop a serum, which could potentially infect a person with zombie-like symptoms. He’s about to start animal trials when his sister and his worried ex-girlfriend show up to check on him.
Open on this dude (let’s call him Ed) furiously typing on a computer while testing some kind of chemical he pulled out of a mini fridge. He’s talking to a lab rat he’s about to infect like it’s his best friend. Ed tells rat friend about the reason he thinks his ex broke up with him. “She thought I was too intense.” He’s totally too intense… He also didn’t want kids which is the lead in for this manifesto he goes into about restoring order, the beauty of a high stakes world, and how fun it will be to shoot zombies all day.. insert quotes from Negan (TWD villain).
The ex (Pamela) knocks on his door, interrupting his diatribe. She’s checking up on him because his family asked her to. He literally dropped off the face of the earth 2 weeks ago and they’re freaked out. She stumbles onto this deeply manic moment from her weird-ass ex-boyfriend. Pam asks what the hell he’s been doing the past few weeks. He deflects and starts rehashing their breakup, but eventually connects her rejection of him with society’s rejection of him and his plan to start the zombie apocalypse, cause “fuck it” modern love is impossible and he might meet Emma Stone in the zombieverse he’s about to create. At this moment, sis shows up.
Ed’s sister (Maura) walks in on the reveal of Ed’s true insanity, and she’s not having it. Pamela succinctly breaks down Ed’s delusion. Maura calls on her older-sister persona to try to calm Ed down. He feels ganged up on, decides he loves his rat friend the most and is going to run the first trial on a human subject. He lunges for Pamela with the syringe of zombie juice. A struggle ensues. Maura helps Pamela defend herself and in the process accidentally stabs the needle into Ed’s arm. They all freeze. Ed starts to freak out and zombify. Lights out.
Comedic, post-modern critique. Self-referential.
Millennial dating drives people to the brink of insanity.
Our relationship with binge-worthy TV is stronger than our relationship to real people.
The effects of a beautifully-crafted fictional universe on our mental state and subsequent disinterest in reality.
emotional/irrational man vs. level-headed/logical women
company members alexandra metz and aaron leddick in
"laura and maura save the world"
photo by guest artist shawheen keyani
example submission 2
by co-creative director satya bhabha for
Public Assembly #23: "artificial sweetener"
NOTE: pieces evolve considerably throughout the development process. we've highlighted some of the headlining changes that were implemented in "sweet tea." see footnotes below!
Oh hey sweetie!!
Oh hey honey!!
Would you look at those!
Layla-Mae† you have outdone yourself entirely! I do declare - I guess I should say I do e-clair!
*They all laugh 10 perfect “HA”s and then stop.*
They’re simply gorgeous!
It’s a bake-sale, honey! The EASTER church bake sale of course! And the three leaders of the church social group (full drag aesthetic regardless of performer gender) are just so darn excited! They have their regular sweet sugary treats, and are ready to sell out as usual and use the money for gay-dogs (like guard dogs but they specifically attack the gays - maybe that’s too much?! Lol).
Except WHO IS THIS BITCH?! She’s *new*.†† She’s *skinny*. And HER treats are GLUTEN FREE. And mama: they are selling. Oh yes - we see (invisible) patrons suddenly switch over from buying from our leads’ treats to the new lady’s table.
And then we meet her - She’s the wife of the new school superintendent. Yes - the school that gave those kids the crayons in all those terrible Demonic rainbow colors. Disgusting.
It’s all sweet smiles and daggers for this one. But She parries perfectly. She even seems interested in being their friend! Well wouldn’t you know: Debbie-Louise makes just the best sweet tea and given how hot unseasonably hot it is - our Lord Jesus bringing the heat of heaven
back down with him this Easter! - would she might just like a nice cool glass of Deb-Lou's phenomenal tea??
No. No she would not.
The insult. The rejection. The sheer ungodliness of it!
And why, pray tell, would She refuse this obvious offer of sisterhood?
Oh, She’s allergic to sugar.
Can you even?
As she continues to sell, the others make fun of her behind her back. “Allergic, my ass. She just doesn’t want, well... my ass. She’s one of those uptight no fun always on a diet never a good time women.” “She’ll never be one of us.”
We’re back honey!! But it’s freezing now (hastily thrown on jackets and stupid winter hats) and we’re at the CHRISTMAS bakesale. It’s very cold.
Our regular 3 are there - a little battered and busted round the edges. The anti-Gay campaign totally backfired and didn’t work. Their kids ALL came out as trans, disowned them, and are living with their husbands (all of whom came out as Gay - except Layla-Mae’s Donell who is Bi and that is not the same thing don’t you forget).
They’ve clearly been pinning all their hopes and dreams on the winter bake sale and are desperate for it to go well. Their treats are looking incredible. And then: She arrives. She’s also been through it a bit - clearly her husband’s well-fought societal war did not come without its injuries - but still looks snatched as she lays out her paleo treats.
Time passes and all the women all chat and seem to even warm to each other a bit. It’s still very heightened and 50’s sitcom but they forge some connections. Clearly our outsider girl wants to make friends with them, even if just superficially. It’s hard being the new girl and the past six months have been tough. But Lord all mighty, it’s colder than a witches tit! Lordforgivemeformyfilthymouthamen.
Suddenly Debbie-Lou pulls out a thermos: not her famous hot chocolate?! I don’t know about the whole taketh away part but the lord do giveth yes yes he does! Wouldn’t they all enjoy? They all would! Of course! Wouldn’t skip it for the world. Except She’s so sorry but She just can’t: She’s allergic to sugar remember? Oh - but honey of course we remembered! We already thought of that, sweetie: it’s made with artificial sweetener, zero calorie, fair trade, even a little
rainbow on the packet, gay-approved and all!
Oh ok, just a sip, she says. They all peer at her as she sips.... And nothing happens. Ha! See?! Allergic their ass!! They start to lay into her, ripping her to shreds, calling her out.
Until she SUDDENLYCONVULSESANDDIES. ††††
Oh dear. Oh very dear... Well...
Luckily the table cloth is a floor-length (It’s gorgeous by the way, Rhondelle-Louanne), so we can probably just slide her right on under here.
And well, why not just slip those funny treats of hers over to our table - my Lord is not a wasteful Lord - and would you believe it, the lines are forming again! The throngs are returning! Their allergen-free treats cast them in a new light and they’re once more the center of their world! It’s a Christmas miracle. All is right in the world again. Amen our lord, Amen.
† All three characters' names were changed to Darlene, Darlene-Louise, and Darlene-Louise-Darlene
†† Rather than have a newcomer character be the disrupter, the writer elected to have all three protagonists be old friends so the betrayal of gluten-free-ness could be more deeply felt
††† To keep this as a true one act, the writer combined both parts from their pitch into one continuous piece
†††† In the produced version, our eldest matriarch force-feeds (re: murders!) this character
guest artists brendan scannell and john fleck with company member alexandra metz in "sweet tea"
photo by company member nic murphy