Cliff Rundle accompanies his on-again, off-again girlfriend Jackie to an old Hollywood Hills mansion where she has been hired to kick a few lingering spirits out of the house. While Cliff claims he's gone along for moral support, he's really scouting the place as a potential site for a pilot episode of his TV show, "Mansion Makeover." Jackie has brought along her video man, audio girl, and a psychic to help her banish any ghosts. Unfortunately, the only one who ends up seeing any ghosts is Cliff. He finds film star Natalie Fairchild and four others, a director, writer, costume designer, and her own fiancé, an actor named Greg Palmer. They insist it's 1931 but soon discover that's when they were murdered in the house. Before they can leave, they must find out who did it, why, and where their bodies lie. To compound the problems, Cliff and Natalie fall hard for one another--much to the chagrin of Jackie and Greg who try all kinds of tricks to get Cliff and Natalie to come to their senses. In the end, of course, the crime is solved and the spirits depart quite amiably, even Natalie and Greg who once promised to love forever, a promise they now will keep.
PLAYWRIGHT CRAIG SODARO
TALKS ABOUT "HIGH SPIRITS"
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: I was inspired by the current interest in ghost hunters who investigate "troubled" abodes and evict annoying spirits along with a visit to a once glamorous 1930s California mansion owned by a film director.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: I enjoy the banter between Cliff and Natalie while other present-time characters are present and can't see Natalie. The audience is let in on a Very Big Secret that Jackie, in particular, doesn't really understand.
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM?
A: The movie characters (Natalie, Melvin, Greg, and so on) are based on the stylized characters in 1930s romances such as the glamorous star, the anxious director, and so on. The present-day characters are, for the most part, drawn from people I know. For example, Cliff is a composite of a lot of guys who dream about their big break and sometimes use people to achieve their goals. Of course, he gets a lot more than he bargains for. Jackie is an entrepreneur who seems to put her own goals ahead of everything else. I think we all know people like them!
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I wanted to create a play that is full of rich, enjoyable characters who provide us with a lot of laughs. I also envisioned an unusual set with creative potential along with a spooky atmosphere.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
A: As Cliff finds out, we never know what power we have within us until we come face-to-face with having to use it.