The Words on the Page

That's Not How I Remember It

September 12, 2017

 

That's Not How I Remember It

by Don Zolidis

Published by Playscripts, Inc - November 2013

Comedy, 32 pages

 

"I'm sorry to say this but your many failures as an adult have caused you to recreate a mythical fantasy version of your past." - Mom

 

That's Not How I Remember It fits right in with Zolidis's niche of plays for young people. In addition to having an expandable cast for 13-22 actors, it tells stories from the year 1986. While the high schoolers performing weren't even alive in the 80s, the tropes highlighted throughout the piece will be familiar to their parents and other audience members, making the piece instantly recognizable and reminiscent. 

 

The play centers on a mother and father that have very different memories of how they met. They each tell their version of events to their (unseen) son, and the stories come alive on stage. In addition to present-day Mom and Dad, versions of their 17-year-old selves, known as Lola and Barry, materialize. 

 

Right within the opening moments of the script, Zolidis speaks directly to his likely audience of parents when he has the Dad character state, "We're parents. We don't do anything on weekends." I can hear the laughter and see the instant connection happening as the parents see versions of themselves reflected through these characters. It is a smart choice.

 

The joy of the piece lies in its homage to the 80s. Teased out hair, gender stereotypes, suggestions of popular songs, and storylines citing the plots of Sixteen Candles and Karate Kid all come into play. In addition to enjoying the show itself, the audience's memories and nostalgia of the 1980s will contribute to their experience of the production.

 

Since this work is aimed at young performers, which often translates to high school and community productions, having the full text or at least a large sample available online is a great marketing move. Directors will be able to quickly see whether the piece meets their requirements in terms of casting, sets, and content, and this likely results in many more performance fees and productions for Zolidis than would come from relying on a quick synopsis alone.

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Writing for film, television, and the stage is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult - and most rewarding - art forms. The language needs to be visual and evocative as each script must achieve two important tasks...
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