DEAR FRIENDS, 1/9/2012

It was Robert Burns in his poem To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough who said,

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

Translated it reads:

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Which is a long way around to tell you that this past week I too was a victim of my best laid plans going askew, although I was not left with ” grief and pain.” I figured this week would be a week of getting back to serious work on the rewrite of BROKEN WING, but instead, I spent most of the week working on THINGY WORLD!, a play I wrote originally in 1989. But I am not complaining.

In 1989, the then Vermont Secretary of Natural Resources, Jonathan Lash, commissioned me to write a play about trash. After thinking about it for awhile, it seemed to me that trash was the symptom and not the disease and I decided I’d rather write a play about the disease itself, which I thought then and–these 23 years later–still think is American materialism and greed. I wrote a play called, THINGY WORLD! HOW WE GOT TO WHERE WE ARE.

Through archly satirical send-ups of Television Network News, advertising and a Game Show, THINGY WORLD! HOW WE GOT TO WHERE WE ARE exposes America’s self-centered, all consuming materialistic way of life and how it has created a culture of waste and destruction which in turn has helped create climate change and global warming. The play also exposes the ways in which racism and the inequitable distribution of wealth are integral parts of “the environmental crisis.”

After a couple of decades working in Washington, D.C., this past summer Jonathan Lash was appointed president of Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. In April 2012 he will be inaugurated and there will be a series of events to celebrate his inauguration, one of which will be a keynote speech by president Lash’s friend Al Gore, another will be a staged reading of THINGY WORLD!

All this is by way of explaining why I have yet to get back to work on the rewrite of BROKEN WING. I’ll write more about THINGY WORLD! later. For now, it’s back to work on BROKEN WING.

Until next week, I remain,
Sincerely Yours, David Budbill