Laura has carefully plotted a day off school in order to find out the meaning of life. Playing hooky, along with her ditzy best friend, she has concocted a foolproof plan to get to the bottom of things. Chaos ensues when her attempts to leave the house are foiled by a lazy cable guy, a rapper who's come to install high-speed internet, a disapproving Mary Kay consultant, a devious Girl Scout selling cookies, and an insecure FedEx driver. It seems all is lost until Laura's older brother arrives with a man claiming to be Leonardo Da Vinci. He, too, knows the secret ... but can he trust the wacky group of strangers to keep it quiet?
PLAYWRIGHT BRADLEY HAYWARD
TALKS ABOUT "THE DA VINCI COLD"
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THE PLAY?
A: "The Da Vinci Code" is an entertaining book, but after reading it, I didn't see why there was such controversy over a piece of fiction. It's not like it included the meaning of life, I thought. All of a sudden, BINGO, knew I had a play! The next day, I overheard a group of teenagers talk about the book, and what they had to say made more sense than any of the "experts" on TV. That's when I knew I needed to write the play from a 17-year-old's perspective. As I kept thinking about it, I got more and more excited by the idea . and I believe that energy shows up in the writing. In particular, the characters were a hoot to create. Actually, they sort of took on a life of their own as the play progressed. I love putting completely contrasting characters (alliteration not intended!) together and watching the sparks fly. Until I finish the play, even I have no idea what's going to happen. It seems as if there's a never-ending production going on in my brain. It sometimes gets in the way when I'm driving (watch out!), but it makes writing so much fun for me. All I have to do is put these daydreams down on paper. And what a wonderful time I had with "The Da Vinci Cold."
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: There's nothing like being in a play and having the audience quote the dialogue for days after. I believe this is that type of play. Olivia, the devious Girl Scout, has some of my favorite lines. The odd thing is, none of them are jokes. However, the way she sells cookies as if she were smuggling drugs still cracks me up. This all leads up to her mantra: "Where do you think they got the saying, `one tough cookie'?" Another favorite is when Darlene recalls her younger days as a cheerleader: "I tried to keep the cheerleading torch afire. But it's hard when you work at a grocery store. Customers give you funny looks when you cheer for Hamburger Helper." But I think all of the characters have a moment to shine, which will hopefully make them fun to play. And the great part of an ensemble piece like this is that everybody in the audience will have their own favorite character.
Q: WHERE DID YOUR CHARACTERS COME FROM? AND ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: Truly, I have an overactive imagination that's populated with a bunch of wacky people and ideas. I certainly hope I don't know characters like this. If I did, I'm sure I'd be pretty crazy by now. Hmm . come to think of it, maybe that explains a lot.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: All I ever want to do with my writing is make people laugh. In my opinion, everybody deserves at least 30 minutes of belly laughter a day. Why, this world would be a far more peaceful place if each day we'd all take some time off and just tickle each other. Since I can't seem to find anyone else to take me up on this offer, I write funny plays.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
A: I love to hear from people who have seen or been in my plays, so please send me an e-mail if you have any questions or comments. I always read them and I always write back. It tickles me down to my socks to read all the kooky stories associated with producing my plays. And like I said before, that's definitely a good thing!