Tag Archives: Buffy

Seeing my play performed

I recently mentioned that I was planning to fly down to New Orleans to see a performance of the Buffy play I wrote, Summers’ Fall. Well, the big night was this past Saturday, and now I’m back.

It was amazing.

To be honest, I was nervous. When I wrote the play, I never imagined it being performed, so a lot of the lines worked better on the page than the stage (or so I feared). And the TV episode it’s based on is the season 5 finale, “The Gift,” which draws heavily on the complicated plot of everything that’s come before. What’s more, it’s kind of explain-y near the beginning. Between all that, plus the difficulty of understanding Shakespeare-style language anyway, plus the likelihood that a lot of the audience would be brand-new to Buffy, I was really afraid people’s eyes would glaze over in confusion and boredom.

But nothing of the sort.

Good actors (and directors) have a way of rendering tricky dialogue understandable with tone, gestures, timing, facial expressions, and so on. I remember, years ago, reading one of Shakespeare’s comedies (I forget which) and thinking it was dull, but then laughing my ass off when I saw it performed. With good theater, you don’t need to understand every word or every little plot point to appreciate the story.

All the actors were great. I don’t remember anyone’s names (sorry! a lot of new people to meet all at once) but they captured the TV characters’ mannerisms beautifully. Anya and Xander’s banter, dumb jokes, and low-key romance felt exactly right. Spike was goofy and heroic, intimidating and tragic, just as he should be. Buffy, Dawn, Willow, and Glory were all very good. Tara, who was insane for most of the story, projected real (and pitiable) insanity, which is no small feat. And Giles was perfectly Giles, just absolutely spot-on.

Some parts were different than I had imagined, usually for the better. For instance, at one point Giles says:

Such hard, bright, violent trade should be abhorr’d,
But on this night, a scholar wields a sword.

I envisioned this as a serious, dramatic line, and in fact the “hard, bright, violent” bit is a subtle reference to a very sad moment in early season 6. But in the performance, they used the lines for comedy, showing Giles out of breath and struggling to keep up with Spike. And it worked perfectly.

The group (called NonProphet Theatre) did two other “Shakespeare Teevee” shows: an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia before Buffy, and an episode of Friends after. Both of those were great too.

And I got to meet Rob Mitchell, the director of all three plays (and the writer of the other two) — he’s the guy who emailed me originally asking if they could use my script — and I met a number of the actors, too, which was really cool.

Beyond all that, there’s something incredibly gratifying about sitting in an audience, watching a performance, listening to the lines, and thinking I wrote that. Normally writing is a solitary thing, both for the writer and the reader. Seeing the words come alive that way, with so many people involved, was something else. Of course, Joss Whedon wrote the original episode, so I can’t claim credit for the story, but still. Quite an experience.

Maybe I should get into this whole playwright thing. Y’know, after I finish Crane Girl.

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They’re actually gonna perform my Buffy play!

Remember back in 2016 when I rewrote/adapted the fifth-season Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “The Gift” in the style of a Shakespearean tragedy called Summers’ Fall?

No?

Well, I wrote it and posted it online, and then I didn’t think much more about it. It was just a fun, weird personal project.

Fast-forward to August 30 this year, when I got an email from a guy in New Orleans who runs a group called the NonProphet Theatre Company (South Division). They wanted to perform my play at the InFringe Festival, as part of a larger program they’re calling “Shakespeare Teevee” — it also includes iambic-pentameter adaptations of an episode of Friends and an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Would I consider giving them permission?

This was a bit like asking a trick-or-treating kid if he’ll consider accepting some Halloween candy. After several hours seconds of deliberation, I said yes. I have emphatically never had one of my plays performed before. Also: “my plays” is a set consisting of one element, the aforementioned Buffy tragedy. So, yeah, I’m excited.

How excited? I’ve booked a flight to New Orleans to see it in person. So I’ll let you know how it goes!

Do you think I can add this to my resume?

I made another Buffy video

It’s a music video, as the last two were. This time I used “Amazing Grace.” Might seem like a strange choice for a show like Buffy, but it seemed to fit.

I made the last two videos (based on the songs “Thrift Shop” and “Remember the Name”) with Windows Movie Maker, the free and decidedly low-end video editor that comes with Windows. It’s a surprisingly robust program, especially given the price tag, but it’s buggy. In particular, it crashes a lot when the videos start to get longer.

Last year, Betsy’s birthday gift to me was a (hopefully) better video editor: CyberLink PowerDirector 14, which cost $75. It wasn’t until this latest project, this week, that I finally got around to trying it.

It does have a lot of features, and a clean interface. It would be much better than Movie Maker — if it worked. But, like Movie Maker, it has a plethora of glitches. I literally spent almost as much time troubleshooting as I did actually making the video. So the search for good software continues.

Anyway, here’s the video I made:

You can find my other Buffy works, video and otherwise, right here: https://buckleycreations.com/buffy/

Buffy magazine covers

So I may or may not have spent the last month creating over a dozen magazine covers featuring Buffy characters. Anya’s on Forbes. Spike made Rolling Stone.

Check it out. Warning: some (slightly) adult content.

And yes, I know I have a problem. If doing this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Buffy vs. Vader

This took me about a dozen hours to make. Not perfect, but I think I’m gradually getting better with Paint.net (a program that is sorta like Photoshop, but free).

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The New York Times Recommends Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Just sayin’.

Your Move, Leviticus

I haven’t written about it lately, but Betsy and I are still doing our Great Bible Read, working our way through the Book (or rather, books) one chapter at a time. Right now we’re reading Leviticus, which is a fascinating, enlightening, and surreal experience.

A few days ago we came to Leviticus 18:22.

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

Thoughtful pause, and then Betsy said:

“So I guess that doesn’t rule out girl-on-girl, huh?”

Touché.

side effects may include