The making of a novel, part 5—serendipity, and Christmas

Around the time of making the switch from GNR to Bon Jovi, I was also noodling around with the theatre aspect of the story. I’m still exploring the relationship between Rae and Mac, but I know they’re going to meet through high school theatre. What show would the school put on? What roles would my main characters play? Would they be cast opposite each other as the leads? Might that lead to awkward physical/romantic moments? 

All valid questions, but because of a session at a writing workshop I attended this summer and some research I’d done for Dell’s story, there was another, more pressing issue: How can I include rehearsal scenes without using dialogue from the script? I’ve learned more about copyright laws, and I’d like to avoid having to deal with getting permission (something I’m told publishers will be reluctant to deal with too). 

Here’s where life comes in handy. Years ago, I was the assistant director of a community theatre production of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. First of all, I love Christmas. Second, there are a handful of holiday movies I watch every year, among which is It’s a Wonderful Life. Third, the stage play is one of my all-time favorite pieces of theatre to present or view. And fourth, it’s as much about the props, sound effects, and other stagecraft as it is about the words the actors say. 

I think Rae will be in the show, but Mac will be the student director. They’ll grow closer as they work on bringing the show to life—trips to Goodwill to scour the store for props, late nights in the theatre experimenting with how to make the sound of George jumping into the river (it’s harder than you’d think).

Convinced this was the right approach, I hopped online and ordered a copy of the script. And when I told Shawn, he said what had occurred to me as well: book or no book, I should have a copy of that script in our library because I Iove the show so much. All of the meaningful literary pleasures from our lives have an honored place in our library. I’ve got two shelves of theatre books, including librettos and scripts from my favorite musicals and plays. But should my newest acquisition go with my theatre books or my novel research/inspiration books…?