The Pan Complex: A Tale of Peter and Eve

“To Live would be an awfully big adventure.”

“An adventure well worth taking.”

I watched Jonah and Jossie clamber out the window, accompanied by Mikea’s piano playing. And I knew it was over. Just as soon as it’d started, it was over. That’s the thing about One Acts, we only have two show nights. One second it’s opening night. The next it’s time to close up shop.

But I suppose I should just listen to Dr. Seuss: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

And I am so unbelievably happy that it happened. Even as I sit here thinking about the past two nights, I can’t help but smile. Jonah, Jossie, and Claire did an amazing job of becoming everything Erica and I envisioned and more. It was almost eerie, sitting there watching the Trinity perform our play. It made me think about the first time Erica and I talked about Peter Pan. It made me think about our first draft. These characters that were coming to Life before our very eyes…they were our characters. We created Eve and Peter and Delilah. And there they were.

So, The Pan Complex: A Tale of Peter and Eve had it’s first showing. The future of the script and of the play is still a little foggy. But I’ll always remember it’s debut cast. I’ll remember getting chills every time Jonah recited his monologues. I’ll remember bursting with pride the second Jossie became illuminated in that single spot of light. I’ll remember laughing at Claire every time she delivered another silly punch-line. Each of them became more genuine interpretations of their characters than I ever thought possible. I’m so happy Erica and I chose the actors we did.

I could go on all day.

Overall, I think the Festival was an amazing success. I enjoyed all of the plays. I thought the art gallery was really impressive. I even got a few chances to be enchanted by some of the singing performances.

Alas, it’s over. And after this week, Track will be over, too. In one fell swoop of a week, I’ll lose my extra-curriculars. And there’ll be nothing to do but wait. Wait for school to end.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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The Festival Upon Us

May 7, 2013

The Festival Upon Us

This weekend is the 2013 Gull Lake High School Festival of the Senses. It’s basically Gull Lake’s way of celebrating all the arts in our school…in one weekend.

Artists display. Musicians play. Choirs sing. Dancers dance. And thespians perform.

Of course, the entire Festival is awesome. The art is really impressive (and all made by Gull Lake students). The Jazz Band is always good. The choir is a harmonic troupe of singers that usually perform the works of a popular musical. The dancers work daily in their EFA dance class and it shows when they do their stuff. And…well, maybe I have a little bit of bias, but I personally enjoy watching the One Acts most.

This blog is a little nudge for anyone in the Gull Lake Community that finds their weekend plans are lacking a little…flair. Why not come out to the Festival? It’s free to get in. It’s entertainment. And it supports small-town arts.

In case there’s anyone that needs a bigger nudge, I asked the other One Act Directors to provide me with a brief synopsis of their play, just as a little teaser for any Curious-Cathy’s out there.

Check Please – Aija Rozentals (Friday, May 10th 8:15 PM; Saturday, May 11th 7:20 PM)

“After a particularly nasty break up, a boy and a girl are encouraged by their best friends to rebound and head right back out into the dating field. This one act comedy follows these two lost souls in their bizarre and unnerving search for love. What awaits them as they journey into the unique world of dating in the 21st Century?”

Types & Timing – Shelby Hoxworth (Friday, May 10th 8:35 PM; Saturday, May 11th 8:00 PM)

“Fabulous business woman Priscilla in her controlled, perfect Life is thrown a curve ball when the Sharizer Phoebe shows up out of the blue. Sent to check things out by his boss/girlfriend, MacArthy will do anything to get the promotion he wants too badly.”

Debating the Days – Shelby Cartwright (Friday, May 10th 8:55 PM; Saturday, May 11th 8:20 PM)

“A comedy about the seven days of the week. They receive a letter from America, stating that one of them has to be eliminated in order to help the economy. Each day sets off having to state their reasons as to why they can’t be cut. Each character has their own special quirk about them that adds to the overall humor of the show, and the ending may come as a surprise. It falls on the edge a bit with some of the language and themes, but is a really good show to come along and enjoy.”

No Such Thing As A Vampire – Kristen Russel & Mikea Lapierre (Friday, May 10th 9:15 PM; Saturday, May 11th 9:00 PM)

“On a warm night in the 1800s, Alexis Gheria awakens with a bloodcurdling scream. there’s blood and two puncture wounds on her neck. Could it be what the entire village has been fearing? Her husband, with the help of his loyal maid Carol and helpful colleague Michael Vares, searches for answers to uncover a shocking truth.”

The Pan Complex: A Tale of Peter and Eve – Brian Wiegand & Erica Heathcote (Friday, May 10th 9:35 PM; Saturday, May 11th 9:40 PM)

“A one act drama/comedy all about growing up. In Small Town, USA Eve finds herself faced with her sister Delilah’s departure for college. The night before Delilah leaves, Eve is visited by a nighttime prowler, also known as her best friend: Peter. As Peter desperately tries to get Eve to sneak out with him, the two delve into the thing that haunts us all: Growing up.”

I urge anyone in the Gull Lake Community to consider setting up their weekend around this spectacular event.

The Festival of the Senses has always been worth the evening.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

The Trinity

April 19, 2013

The Trinity

The One Act Play Festival is rapidly approaching. Rehearsals are in full swing and the Black Box Theatre is, once again, filled with PAC Rats every night.

The One Acts will be performed during the Festival of the Senses at Gull Lake High School on May 10th and 11th.

Personally, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m co-directing a play that I co-wrote with Ms. Erica Heathcote: The Pan Complex. Together, Erica and I were lucky enough to snatch up a Trinity of actors that we couldn’t be happier with.

We have the lovely Claire as our heroine’s older sister, Delilah. Claire is spunky, hilarious, and easy to work with. (Not to mention she already had most of her lines memorized by the time we got back from Spring Break.) It’s thanks to Claire that most of my terrible jokes are getting filtered out of this play and replaced by ones that the audience might actually laugh at.

Our hero, Peter, is being played by the bold Jonah. Jonah’s uninhibited, good humored, and a perfect fit for Peter. There was a scary moment towards the start of the production where we feared we might lose Jonah due to a mix-up with double casting. Luckily, Erica and I managed to leave that recasting meeting with our Trinity intact.

Lastly, we have our heroine: Eve, who’s being played by the marvelous Jossie. Jossie’s unbelievably talented but also rather modest, she’s mild with a hint of feist, and I count my blessings every night that we got her to be our Eve. Jossie and I were in a play together last year called Door to Door, which was an absolute blast.

Overall, they’re a Trinity. A brilliant, amazing Trinity of actors that Erica and I couldn’t be happier with. It’s a shame that we only have a few more rehearsals before it’ll all be over. But I’ll definitely enjoy the next few weeks as we get closer and closer to showing our community: The Pan Complex.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

My Closet Door

February 25, 2013

My Closet Door

Due to the effect of Michigan weather, we Richlandites won’t see Spring take over our environment for a while, but Spring is certainly approaching…rapidly.

Spring is a busy time for an Idiot like me. Spring means Track…Spring means One Acts…And Spring means Glitter. Glitter auditions have already come and past, the Call Board was posted just last week. This year will be my fourth as a Master of Ceremony. There’s a opening Track meeting tomorrow. And just today, Mr. Nott updated the Call Board with information on One Acts.

So, I’m very aware that my final season of High School will soon be upon me.

Just the other day, I was looking at My Closet Door and it hit me just how close we are to the end. See, my closet door has these four panels. On each panel, I’ve placed a poster and a playbill from that year’s PAC events. The problem with this decoration is that once it’s finally finished…I won’t be around long enough to appreciate it. With One Acts on the way, My Closet Door will soon be complete.

Well, shoot.

Anyway, the non-morbid part of Spring is that it’s always fun. Busy…But fun. And I can’t wait to try my hand at Directing my very own show.

I haven’t talked about it for a while, but The Pan Complex will soon be presented for the community to see. While Erica and I may have been slacking slightly in our author-ly duties, we’ll have the play done before it’s due…this Thursday.

I think the most exciting thing about The Pan Complex is that it’s being invented 100% by Erica and I. We wrote the play, we’ll cast the players, we’ll decide the movements, we’ll design the set, and I’ve even asked a good friend of mine, Brady, to make the music. For four years, I’ve been under the direction of Mr. Nott or Mrs. Stahr or some Senior…But this year, I get to grab my megaphone and see what I can do with the right side of my brain.

It’s the compilation of everything I’ve learned in four years of PAC and High School packed into one 15 minute show.

Spring means a lot of things that I can look at morosely…my last Track season, my last trimester of High School, my last Glitter, my last PAC Show…Or I can realize that I’ve been blessed to have these opportunities given to me. And I’m lucky to still have a little bit of time to make a splash at Gull Lake High School.

So, here’s to the completion of My Closet Door. Here’s to Spring. Here’s to Track. Here’s to Glitter. Here’s to One Acts. And here’s to Peter Pan.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Someone Hit Fast-Forward

January 13, 2013

Someone Hit Fast-ForwardI remember when I was a Freshman.

And I can specifically remember my youthful self looking at Seniors and thinking: “Oh, I’ll never achieve that. I’ll never be that old. It’s so far away. Brian Wiegand? A Senior in High School? Preposterous!” And I can also remember wondering what it would feel like once I’d achieved that…

Well…

I feel absolutely no different. If I wasn’t consciously aware of the fact that I was a 17-year-old Senior at Gull Lake High School, it would be really, really easy for someone to convince me I was a Freshman. I suppose that’s sort of a “Duh” thing to say, but I can remember really thinking that I would feel different once I’d achieved this. I remember thinking that I’d be a completely different person.

Of course, I suppose I do have this constant nag of nostalgia…But I don’t feel like I’ve changed. Then again, I’ve been with me 100% of the time that this “change” has taken place, so maybe that’s why I don’t notice the difference. Or maybe there isn’t a difference…How am I supposed to know? It’s sort of like family reunions. Your relatives all say: “Oh, look how tall you are!” because they haven’t seen you in a year. To them, the change is huge. To you, the change doesn’t seem that immense because growth is slow and you’ve been you the whole time. You’ve experienced the change as it painstakingly took place and don’t realize how much change has taken place in a year.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that as I’ve grown older, time seems to be moving faster. (Perhaps that negates my previous point, oh well.) Sometimes, when I stop for a second to take a breath, I look around and I think: “Wait. It’s the Winter of my Senior year? That can’t be right. Cross Country is over? Over for good? Hold up…We’re in the middle of my final PAC show?! There’s 19 days until the first show? Nope. No. Wrong. Not true…It can’t be true.”

And then, when I look forward to this Summer, I’m hit with a huge bag of bricks called “Reality.” The Open Houses that I’ll be attending this year…will be for people in my grade. That definitely can’t be right. No way! It was just yesterday that I was at Freshman Orientation, right?

There are all these things that are starting to become very apparent to me. This Summer, I’ll be signing up for classes and buying books and saying good-bye to some kids I’ve grown up with my entire Life, I’ll be shopping for my dorm and preparing for College and getting ready to step out into the world…All on my own.

It is in this year, 2013, that I will leave Gull Lake High School…for the last time.

Time is going so fast. It’s like Someone Hit Fast-Forward.

But it’s all part of Life, isn’t it? Growing up is just part of Life and it’ll happen whether I want it to or not. Best thing I can do is be happy with it. Be happy that I’ve been fortunate enough to make it this far and that I’ve gotten into College and that I’ll actually be able to go to College.

As J.M. Barrie said: “All children, except one, grow up.” Last time I checked, I’m not Peter Pan…

So, it looks like I better get used to the idea.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

The Gull Lake Performing Arts Company (my High School’s Drama Club) puts on three different shows each year. The first show is in the Fall, it’s called “The Haunted Theatre”. Basically, we make a Haunted House. I’ve never participated in this because I’m always busy with Cross Country and I don’t really feel a burning passion to be a part of it. The second show is in the Winter, it’s called “State Tour”. This is our “big thing” every year. We all sign up or audition to take part in different aspects of creating, publicizing, and performing one 45 minute show. Which is pretty cool. The whole production is student run (with some adult advisors, of course). We have student Stage Managers, student Technical Directors, student Light Board Operators, and even student Assistant Directors. It’s a really awesome experience. Then, we take the show on tour to different High Schools where we compete against other Drama Clubs. The winners of the competitions are determined by a panel of judges. My Freshman year, we performed Smoking Lesson by Julia Jordan. My Sophomore year, we performed Small Actors by Stephen Gregg. My Junior year, we performed Dune Shadow by our very own Head Director and Advisor, Robin Nott. My Freshman year, I was a props crew member. My Sophomore year, I played a boy named Jason. My Junior year, I played the central character’s brother, Will. (Someday, I’ll write a post about acting. Today isn’t the day, though.) The third show is in the Spring, it’s called “The Festival of the Senses”. Now, I suppose a disclaimer should be that PAC doesn’t actually organize all of the Festival. The Festival is a display of all the art in our school. The Jazz Band plays, the Choir sings, the Art Department sets up a gallery, the Dance classes…dance, and the Performing Arts Company performs Senior Directed One Act plays. That is the Gull Lake Performing Arts Company in it’s entirety.

This year, I am a Senior at Gull Lake High School. Which means I get to direct my very own One Act this Spring. That’s really exciting. And that’s the point of this post. I want to talk about my One Act. Because it’ll probably be mentioned frequently as you read about the Life of an Idiot. The Performing Arts Company (PAC) is really important to me and this huge project that I’ve undertaken will be my goodbye to the program that introduced me to acting.

My One Act is called: The Pan Complex. I’m going to be co-writing and co-directing this play with a good friend of mine, Erica. She’s only in 8th Grade but she has an impressive writing ability. I’m immensely happy to be working with her and you can’t even imagine how ecstatic I was when she agreed to take on this project with me. We’re only on the first draft right now, though, working on editing the rough edges. I don’t expect the play to reach the potential I want it to achieve until late Winter, early Spring. Although, with a talented kid like Erica by my side, who knows how fast the process could go. But, as Erica reminds me, we can’t rush something like this. And she’s right. I guess I’m just a little excited.

The Pan Complex will be something that Erica and I get the honor of building together. We started with next to nothing, only a few fleeting ideas. By this Spring, it’ll be a show with a set and actors and music and a stage and a crowd and props and lighting and…I can’t wait. I’m excited to share our project with the community, we’ve already worked so hard on it and my Senior year hasn’t even started yet.

I’m going to take a vow: I won’t divulge too much information on The Pan Complex. I want the play to be fresh to anyone from the Gull Lake Community who might read this. So, I’ll be vague in my posts about the show. However, I’m not afraid to give a brief synopsis…

The Pan Complex is the story of a young girl, Eve, who is struggling with her sister’s departure to college. The primary reason for this struggle is not the sorrow of her sister going away, but fear of the fact that college and growing up are in Eve’s near future too. As she sits in her room worrying, she’s visited by her best friend, Peter, who climbs through the window. In his attempts to get her to sneak out, Peter learns of Eve’s concerns and attempts to console her. Through their conversation, Peter desperately tries to prove to Eve that growing up really isn’t that bad. Because those with a free spirit get to stay young at heart as their bodies age.

Maybe that was more than I should’ve said. Oh well. I’ll talk more about The Pan Complex in time. For now, the One Act is just a baby. But Erica and I have a lot of exciting plans about how we’re going to get it to grow up. Together, we two authors will shape something completely our own.

I can’t wait.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)