Familiar Haunts-A Blog Message from the Playwright

Familiar Haunts
By Rosemary Poole-Carter
Where does a ghost story begin? For my new ghost story play, the answer is in familiar haunts—a coffee shop in Seattle, my bedroom in Houston, and a house with a past in New Orleans.  One cloudy afternoon a couple of years ago, over coffee, artistic director Rik Deskin and I began toying with the idea of my writing a ghost story for Eclectic Theater Company. That was the beginning of The Familiar, premiering May 26, 2011, at the Odd Duck Studio in Seattle as an Equity Members Project Code presentation.
Returning to Houston, I began jotting ideas, sketching out characters and scenes, and whispering bits of dialogue to myself late at night in my bedroom—but only after I had whisked my feet off the floor and safely into bed, clear of the reach of whatever might be under the bed. So, I started the play with what scares me—the fear we all share of the unknown monster hiding under the bed or in the closet or lurking in the chambers of memory.
The Familiar grew and took on a life of its own. Yet, the final scene eluded me until a particular night in New Orleans.  My friend Sarah and I were attending the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival and staying in Marigny Manor, a house built around 1845 and now operated as a B&B by our friends Gil & John. Late on the last night of our stay, it dawned on me how to end the play. In our room, I acted out my concept of the play’s final ghostly scene for Sarah. Then, just as she said that’s it—that’s the ending, the lights flickered and went out all over Faubourg Marigny. What timing! Of course, as we were in New Orleans, we and the neighbors all made good use of the dark, gathering on Gil and John’s verandah to visit over drinks by moonlight for an hour or so until the house lights came up again.
The Familiar Previews on Thursday, May 26 and Opens Friday, May 27. Rosemary Poole-Carter will be in town from Houston and in attendance on both nights. 8pm Thu-Sat. 2pm Sun. 8pm on Wednesday, June 15. $10-$25 Suggested Donation.
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About eclectictheater

Eclectic Theater is a professional theatre company in Seattle, WA., dedicated to producing and presenting original, contemporary and classic works for the stage and screen. Plays, Improv, Stand-Up and Sketch Comedy and more! Eclectic Theater is powered by Shunpike. Shunpike is the 501(c)(3) non-profit agency that fuel innovation in the arts by building productive partnerships, cultivating leadership and providing direct services to arts groups of all kinds. Learn more at www.shunpike.org.
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