Student Blog: My Experience with HOLIPLAY

It’s lovely weather for a night of holiday plays hehe

Student Blog: My Experience with HOLIPLAY

I have the immense privilege of being a part of a show called Holiplay at my school, Dobbins Conservatory, created by Peighton Robinson. Holiplay is a night of student written and/or directed one-acts with a central theme of December holidays. It is super cool and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it. I wrote one of the plays featured and I am also acting in a piece as well. As I’ve expressed many times, I love new work and I love the holidays so I wanted to talk about my experience with Holiplay and the process of it all.

To begin, I was asked to be a writer for Holiplay in June by our wonderful Artistic Director, Peighton Robinson who also directed my piece that I wrote earlier in the semester for Roulette that I talked about briefly. Of course I was flattered and said yes. This gave me plenty of time to think about what I wanted to do and what I wanted to write about…but I didn’t have any present ideas and then the summer got busy and of course the beginning of the semester came and I still had no idea what I wanted to do. I was stuck. I love the holidays, so I didn’t understand why this was so difficult for me. I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted it to be good. And that is when I discovered the problem. I didn’t need to reinvent the wheel. I just needed to write something that I loved and that I thought was interesting. It doesn’t have to be perfect and I’m telling you right now, it isn’t perfect. But I love it. And I’m passionate about it. And that is what matters. 

After getting past that little bump in the road, I realized that I didn’t need to write something brand new and that I could take something that I was already playing around with and holiday it up. So, I took this piece about two best friends in a car coming home from a party that I had very briefly touched the surface of. And I changed it to a New Year’s Party. Surrounding a New Year's kiss. I also wanted to write something different than I normally do. Something a little spicey-er hehe. So I picked up this piece and I started working. And I finished the piece and I made it about best friends and revenge. The perfect thing for the holidays right? I ended up creating something that I never would have ever written and something completely out of my comfort zone that I now love. And all I needed to do was take the pressure off of myself. I’m never going to write something perfect. But I can write something that brings me joy. And I hope it brings other people joy too.

After I finished writing that, I sent it off to my director to cast and start rehearsals for. And I was done. I brushed off my hands and was ready to pop into a few rehearsals here and there and then sit back and relax and enjoy the show. Then I got a text. From one of my friends Natalie asking me if I wanted to be in the play she was directing for Holiplay written by one of my friends Olivia Wheeler. So I love Olivia Wheeler, I love Natalie, and I read the script and I loved it so I could not say no. So, I got the wonderful privilege of portraying Lula in (Almost, Not Quite) Home for the Holidays and it was a blast. The script was a Holiday Love story that surrounded the theme of figuring out how to love people despite distance. This was a true full circle moment for me, because over the Summer, Olivia was in a play that I wrote over the summer called “It’s For the Plot” and now I got to be in a piece that she wrote and that made my heart very happy.

We started rehearsals pretty much right away, we only had about 4ish weeks to put it all together so we had about 7 rehearsals before our tech rehearsal. The rehearsal process was so fun. I really enjoyed getting to play around and get to know the characters and the text was so beautifully written and had so many layers to dive into, it was so fun.

Before we knew it, it was time for our tech and dress rehearsal! So, for our tech rehearsal we ran through all the transitions between the shows and figured out who was taking what offstage and who was bringing what onstage and such. After that, we did a full run through in costume and make-up and it went so so well and so smoothly. Everything was so well organized and well done. I also got to watch all the other shows during the run and they were lovely. I got to watch my piece for the first time and it was everything I ever wanted it to be. It was fun getting to experience it for the first time with everyone else. Incredibly nerve wracking, but oh so fun. Linked here is a little vlog I made of our rehearsal! Next thing, was the show! 

I do not think we could have asked for a better show. So many people came out and supported the plays and there were cookies and candy for people to enjoy, the audience was great and the shows went really smoothly. This was just what I needed. It felt so good to perform again and to show my work as a playwright. I cannot thank our artistic director, Peighton enough for making this possible, the director, Courtney Bales, and actors, Jalecia Evans and Brittany Robinson for my piece for bringing everything I envisioned to life, and to My director Natalie and scene partner, Tom for making this experience so special.

I’ve said it once, and I will continue to say it again, I love love love new work. I love the holidays. And I love getting to do what I do. Happy Holidays, and as always, go do great things!