By Shanee Edwards
I was so happy to see Tiffany on Saturday. She’s endless inspiration, not to mention fun. The theme of her next playwright’s festival is “From the Mouths of Babes” and I was really struggling for an idea suited to this theme. Babes, babes. Babies. Funny things kids say? Ah, I know! I’ll write a play called “In the Mouths of Babes” that takes place on the set of a porno shoot. But when it became about the “adult actors” wanting to have rules about using condoms and then organizing for a union to get health care, I gave it up. Seemed a bit, well, not so much fun.
So instead of “babes” I focused on “mouths”. I researched ancient dentistry and discovered something called “Waterloo Teeth“. Apparently, the battle at Waterloo decimated the French soldiers so much that teeth diggers retrieved enough teeth from the fallen young men to inspire an entire denture industry. Real teeth were prized for dentures and of course, hard to come by until then. It’s an interesting part of history, but not really a short play. So I was stumped. Again.
Then I read Patty Smith’s memoir, Just Kids and found it fascinating. She talks about her relationship with Sam Shepard and the play they wrote together, Cowboy Mouth. It was performed one time by the two of them, then he left town. I had read the play years ago, but wanted to read it again. I found a copy at Barnes and Noble at the Grove and plucked it from the shelf, sat at a table and read it. It’s pretty out there, but it was the 1970′s after all. So using the play as inspiration, I decided to do my own homage to Cowboy Mouth, updating it for modern times. Vampire Mouth is the result. There will be a guitar. There will be drums. Even a gong. And one long, slow juicy BITE.
This is when life gets fun…