"Darling look, it's already dark outside. What time is it?"
A little after ten.
"I'm going home. We can finish the rest of this Monday."
Just a few random details left. Nothing that needs attending to right now. After this week, I think we deserve a day off.
"I'll meet you here around eleven, Monday. We can finish up, have lunch, and then you can sit in on the auditions. I've got five scheduled."
Drema, I've been meaning to ask you about that. Why are you so adamant to cast the Noel Coward part before we decide on a director?
"Control, darling. I'm a control freak, didn't you know?"
Well, I had a few suspicions.
"If we pick up a director first, then he, or she, will demand all sorts of input on how the role should be cast. Normally that's not a problem. But with The Rehearsal it could be. If we sign the actor first, then the director has to accept the job with the cast as a package deal. It will save us a lot of time and heartburn in the long run."
Why do you think it could be a problem with this play?
"Because, for The Rehearsal to work, Coward cannot be cast or played as the cartoon most people these days think he was."
All that "cocktails and glamor" nonsense?
"Right. Although I never worked with Coward, and didn't meet him until long after the time of the play, I knew and worked with a lot of people who did. He was one of those people you always end up telling stories about. More important, I was a working actress during the era this play takes place. I know how the theatre worked back then, how rehearsals were held, how people behaved, what was expected of you, and what simply wasn't done or said."
Was it really so different?
"Night and day, darling. Night and day. Did you know Coward was the one who stopped the then common practice of actors taking curtain calls after each act?"
I vaguely remember something about that.
"Anyway, there are details and sides of the character that no young director could possibly know anything about. I'm going to make sure we hire an actor who can play the whole character, not just the superficial legend."
And these five actors you've scheduled to audition?
"Physically they're the right type. Scrawny, twenty-something with pasty faces and bad complexions, precise pronunciation, and overcompensating for their insecurities with an arrogance beyond belief. But very talented."
Not quite the classic description of a leading man. That was Coward?
"At the time, yes."
Have I seen any of them work?
"Probably not. I wanted to offer the part to Billy Crudup, but he's already signed to a project this fall."
"Bus Stop and Arcadia."
Yes. An excellent actor. A couple more performances like those and he's going to be big box office too. That's what you're going for?
"Something along those lines. Well, I'm out of here, as the kids say. You go home too. I'll see you Monday."
Have a nice Sunday.
You can stop lurking out there in the hallway any time you're ready. The door's unlocked. Drema's gone. I'm alone. What do you want?
"You knew I was hiding in the hallway?"
You've been hiding out there for a couple of hours. I figured you would make your presence known when you were ready. But now it's late and I'm going home. What do you want?
Come back Monday. I'm tired.
You look horrible. How long has it been since you've had a good night's sleep, or shaved, or bathed? Go home, get cleaned up, get some sleep, and we'll talk Monday.
"We talk now."
I know what you want. I've found all the lyrics for Neverland you've been writing and sneaking in here to leave on my desk in the middle of the night.
"What do you think of them?"
Are they? Let's take a look at what you left last night.
"The opening number."
I thought so.
AS THE SUN COMES UP
AS THE SUN COMES UP
BETTER NOT TO THINK
BETTER NOT TO ASK
SOME PEOPLE DRINK TO ESCAPE
It needs work. Where did you learn to write lyrics?
"A book. I suppose that's the one thing I should thank you for, forcing me to learn how to teach myself things from reading books."
I'm not letting you back on the Neverland project.
"It's my project too. I wrote the book. I can write the lyrics."
And you walked out on the whole thing when your family started putting on the pressure. That doesn't sound like commitment to me. You can't come back. You're too unreliable.
"I wrote it!"
And signed it all over to me. Sorry.
"You tricked me."
Yes, I did. So?
"You were right - about everything. Is that what you want to hear? Is that what I have to say? I want to come back."
Nothing you say could make a difference now. Actions speak louder than words and you walked away. Why don't you just turn around and go before this gets ugly?
"You've opened every drawer in your desk. Are you looking for something?"
The contract you signed.
"You don't keep contracts in your desk. Looks to me like you've lost something."
"Liar. You're looking for this, aren't you?"
Be careful with that gun, it's loaded.
"I know. The three of us - you, me, and this gun - are now going to find that contract you tricked me into signing and we are going to shred it, aren't we? Aren't we?"
"I'm not afraid to use this, if I have to."
Put the gun down. Turn around and walk out that door and never come back. If you do, that will be the end of this.
"I'm not leaving! And you're not taking Neverland away from me!"
Put the gun down. I said put the gun - stop! Stop! NO!
Successful Lyric Writing: A Step-By-Step Course and Workbook