Because of a miscommunication with the principal, high school drama teacher Mr. Morris finds himself with only ONE DAY to cast, stage and perform the school play. In desperation, he turns to two of his best students, Paul and Laura, to take charge and co-direct the show, unaware that the two are in the middle of a nasty break-up and are no longer speaking. Things go from bad to much, much worse when Paul and Laura, practicing with their friends independently, don't realize they are rehearsing for DIFFERENT SHOWS, "Little Orphan Annie" and "Annie Get Your Gun." And the problem isn't discovered until the curtain opens. It's a theatre nightmare brought hilariously to life. About 70 minutes.
PLAYWRIGHT SCOTT HAAN TALKS ABOUT
“ANNIE PLAY WILL DO”
1. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
Most theatre people I know have had a similar nightmare: The audience is seated and the curtain is rising, but you have NO IDEA what your lines are, what part you are playing, or even which play is being performed. I thought it would be fun to comically dramatize that innate fear, and to challenge myself to write the logistics of a situation where ALL of the above could actually happen (even if it is far-fetched). It's certainly not funny while you're in the dream, but hopefully it will be funny to watch it happening to other people.
2. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
There are several, but one of my favorite parts is when Larry, in a misguided attempt to be helpful, explains the mix-up as the result of time travel, thereby making everything so much more confusing. I've definitely been onstage when someone's weird ad-libs to "help" cover dialog problems just made things ten times worse.
3. WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
The first names are all tributes to family members. The last names were drawn randomly from fans of my Facebook page (Playwright Scott Haan). However, the personalities of the characters are completely made up.
4. WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
I tried to write a play that would touch on fears that are universal to all of us who love theatre. Even if you're not familiar with "Annie" or "Annie Get Your Gun," my goal was to write awkward situations that would be funny regardless. (But if you ARE acquainted with those plays, you will be rewarded for your knowledge with inside jokes.)
5. DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
I would like to express my appreciation to school drama teachers who consistently nurture a love for the performing arts in their students. I know school budget cuts are making it increasingly difficult to maintain theatre programs, and it's so crucial for the creativity and self-esteem of young people. What you do is important, so keep up the great work! (I also want to thank the good people at Eldridge for publishing this play and giving it a wonderful home!)