Writing Goals For 2023

First, I’d like to look back on 2022 and give thanks for seeing three of my plays performed Off-Off-Broadway in New York City, two as stage productions and one as a staged reading.

Poster for four one act plays performed by Manhattan Repertory Theatre on April 2-3 at the Chain Theatre, including my one act comedy Funhouse.
This evening of staged readings featured my 10 minute comedy You Want It When?, a humorous look at substandard Santa Cruz customer service.
Poster for my two act stage play Electric Serenade, this was the first time a full length stage play of mine was performed live anywhere.

I made four trips to New York City over the course of 2022 to take part in these productions and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Big Apple. I did run up my credit card debt with all the air travel and production costs (I had to self produce the two productions), but it was worth it. Hope to do it again with some other plays that I’ve already written or am currently writing.

My most immediate goal for 2023 is to make a short movie in Santa Cruz. It’s title is Sunset Memories, and I have a script, actors, a skeleton crew, a place to check out equipment (Community Television of Santa Cruz), and locations. All I need to do now is figure out a way to work around everyone’s schedules.

One of the three locations for Sunset Memories, a cafe in Santa Cruz’s Seabright neighborhood.

Another project of mine is turning Electric Serenade into a screenplay. The play has only two onstage characters but plenty of offstage characters to help shape the plot. In the screenplay version, which I’ve tentatively titled Happily Ever After (from a line of dialogue in the play), all the offstage characters become onscreen characters, plus I’ve added a number of other characters to round out the script. Turning ES into a screenplay has made me realize how big of a story I’ve written and how constraining it was having only two onstage characters. I’m already up to page 108 for the screenplay and now I’m approaching the very end. I will have to change the ending to incorporate the extra characters and to make it more cinematic, and hopefully the muse will grant me the vision to make it happen.

Another project is one that is ongoing, my novel Redwood Summer. It is a story of 1990 San Jose, focuses on a young man who’s trying to figure out how his life that had so much promise at the beginning of the year declined into loss at the end of the year, and is concurrent with real life events of a year that began in post Cold War optimism and ended in the first Persian Gulf War with America abandoning its peace dividend becoming entangled in another foreign conflict. I’ve gone through the draft of the novel many times rewriting and polishing the prose, and each time is quicker than the previous as the changes become fewer. Lately I’ve been focusing on chapter 1. The novel begins at the end of 1990 then the main character looks at the previous few months in an extended flashback to figure out how things went wrong. By the final chapter he’s back to where he was in the first chapter, his new life situation is revealed, and he’s faced with a choice on how to live the rest of his life. I’ll be posting more about Redwood Summer later but here’s the opening chapter. https://robertkirkendall.com/2016/02/27/redwood-summer-part-i-chapter-1/

I’ve also began a new comedic short story based on my most recent New York adventure, I’ve written a script for another short movie, I’ve submitted a one act drama to an Off-Off-Broadway theater company (another self production project, but I’ll do what it takes), and I’ve been trying to write another full length stage play (I have a setting and possible story lines, just don’t know how to end it).

That’s all for now, stay tuned for more updates. Happy 2023, everyone!

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