Cowgirl Dreams and Pythagorean Plays

By Guest Blogger, Shanee Edwards

I wrote my first play when I was 5 years old.  It was Halloween, and well, dressing up in costumes wasn’t enough for me.   I had to put on a show.  I remember having this powder blue typewriter and hunting and pecking the dialogue out, which went something like:


Okay, so I was no child prodigy.  Didn’t matter.  I wanted to be an actRESS.  Not an actOR.  The suffix “or” was for unruly boys.  An actress was lovely and loved.  And that would be me.

The next play I remember writing was in high school.  Geometry class.  Seriously.  I didn’t (and still don’t) get geometry with its useless proofs.  Math is great, but teach me something useful like how to use moving averages in stock market charts.  Anyhow, the play was called “Heavenly Angle” and involved Pythagoras getting thrown to the lions then having to solve a proof to get out of hell.

Again, not a prodigy.  But I did get an “A” in the class without ever solving a proof.

Eventually I fulfilled my dream of being an actRESS (funny how I never realized that my dream included daily rejection, living in constant competition with my girlfriends, always wondering if I was fat, and – oh – did I mention being totally broke?)  So what solves all these problems?  Writing!  Screenwriting, to be precise.

Okay, back up.  Writing had gotten me out of bind in the past.  Well, once.  But somehow I thought it would solve all my problems NOW.  (i.e.: No one cares what size you are, girlfriends can be trusted and supported, and – oh – did I mention the big paycheck?)

The only thing that I didn’t realize was HOW.  HARD.  WRITING.  IS.  It’s harder than acting and damn, acting is hard.  So, since I’m still waiting for the “big paycheck”, I enthusiastically said “Hell’s yes!” to Miss Tiffany when she asked me to write a 10 minute play.

Now I’m thrilled to see it performed.  In fact, I’ve never had a play I wrote as an adult produced.  But I’m also terrified.  All the other writers are real, actual PLAYWRIGHTS who’ve been produced all over the country.   And they are uber-talented.  So I suddenly have the feeling like I’m back in Geometry class, trying to solve a proof.  In over my head and only writing will get me out of it.


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