By John Weagly
To tell the tale of how I assembled CLOCKWORK ADORATION, we have to go back to autumn of 2009. There was a Steampunk convention taking place in Cleveland, Georgia, and they were looking for 10-minute Steampunk plays. I knew next to nothing about Steampunk (a sub-genre of science fiction), but my goal as a playwright is to have a play produced in each of the 50 states (I’m up to 23). I’d never had a play produced in Georgia, so I figured out what some of the elements of Steampunk were and wrote a play about dirigibles, romance and mechanical men.
They didn’t accept it.
Time travel to 2011. Hobo Junction Productions in Chicago was looking for 10-minute plays with a science fiction theme. I dug out my Steampunk script and sent it in thinking it was a long shot (they seemed to be looking for outer space stuff, my play took place in Victorian England).
It was a long shot. They didn’t accept it either.
Time travel to two weeks later. I received an e-mail that said Hobo Junction actually did want to do my play. Yay!
“Toadstools and the Mechanical Man” went up in their HOBO ROBO COMEDY FESTIVAL 3: HOBOS IN SPACE. It was one of the best productions of one of my plays I’d ever seen! It was so well done that I got Raven Theatre to hire the director (Breahan Eve Pautsch) to direct my evening of plays (TALES OF THE TWINKLING TWILIGHT) that goes up at Raven in November (10/31 – 11/25 – Go see it.).
It also inspired me to build on “Toadstools…”. I had to find more Steampunky things to write about. I wrote a scene about women and dynamite. I wrote a scene that took place on an airship. I gave the Mechanical Man more to do. I mentioned sea monsters, the hollow earth’s core, submersibles and lots and lots of love. (Truth be told, I still knew next to nothing about Steampunk, but these were the things I felt like writing about). I tied it all together with music and phrases and (hopefully) a specific world. Five scenes and one long monologue later I had something that felt right. I called it CLOCKWORK ADORATION.
I put it all in a drawer and forgot about it.
Time travel to summer 2012. The talented folks at InFusion put out a notice looking for plays for their NEW PLAY DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP 5. I took CLOCKWORK ADORATION out, blew off the dust and sent it in.
And, well, here we are.