On April 13th, 2019, the first play that I wrote and directed, “GUYS” premiered in Boston, MA through RareWorks Theatre Company at Emerson College. I have been workshopping the script for about a year (alongside professors, friends, and in the studio with other female creators during the five week rehearsal process). I feel so fortunate to have had it be produced by the college, and to have had this beyond valuable experience. I could say so much about this 50 minute play, about how much it means to me, about how I wanted to create a positive and completely supportive environment, about how I learned so much as a first-time-female director (and about how much stamina it requires, etc)—I could tell you about all of the feelings this process of “taking the first BIG leap into my actual artistic life” felt, but it is extremely difficult to articulate myself, and I’ve figured out that I’d rather let the script and the show speak for itself, so with all of that said—
Here is the Script for “GUYS”: “GUYS” WRITTEN BY WYLIE ANDERSON
Here is my Director’s Note for “GUYS”:
I spent a lot of time this summer in Airports. Everyone going somewhere, coming from somewhere; Business Trips, Sweaty Vacations, Backpacking, Going Off to College, Escaping for a weekend, leaving forever…So many worlds wrapped up in an airport..in this place In Between.. I could project so many stories onto all of these strangers, form a perfect narrative for all of these people in a way that I could understand; and I did. Because I’ve been doing it for years. Having a YouTube Channel when I was eleven years old was the greatest feeling in the world. After coming home from a long-and-stressful, belittling, grouling, beyond-shy day of middle school, with parent drama and a changing body, I could close my door and make a video. I could be completely in charge of something that I really liked to do, an extremely rare opportunity for a kid. Performing for myself the Greatest-Coolest-Most-Edited life I could foster— imagining that the whole world was watching my perfect, funny, clever video—I felt like I was in charge of my own life, that I could be a part of the world right now— not “when I grew up”, but Right Now. I felt completely in control of my own narrative; and I find that, at least to me, my adolescence could honestly be compared to a “great cinematic experience”. Everything today feels overwhelmingly large and cinematic. Our lives feel cinematic, what with going back and forth all day between Real and Screen. This “big”, “overwhelming” and “cinematic” feeling incorporated into what could be considered a “small” and seemingly “simple” story, is the feeling that I wanted to capture in GUYS. I wanted to explore the *biggest* cause of this feeling, the internet, in a way that felt authentic to me; how we all actually interact with it without necessarily demonizing it or making it evil, but simply reflecting our actions, opinions, how big it feels, frustrations, and our love for it; for it is uninteresting to me when I see young people portrayed in the media as lacking self-awareness, or even worse, as stupid, because now more than ever, this is the opposite of the truth. Narrative Anxiety has become increasingly common -- to me, it is the extreme increase of one’s self-awareness, especially in young millennials and now, of course, Gen-Zers. The three women in this story are reaching to be in control of their own narratives, and in doing so, are also constantly performing for themselves: Gracie, in her Social Media Escape and the way she "talks to her fans online," Zoe, in her anticipation to leave the nest, forming strong opinions and trying to "write her way out”, and Caroline, in her decision to buy the plane tickets and how she has kept herself afloat in her manipulative home for so long.
Women taking charge of their own narratives, along with realistic, modern mother/daughter relationships, and seeing parents as people, are all themes that I find really interesting and inspiring. Uplifting the messy and complicated stories of women is something that I deeply believe in, and I wanted to tell a story that holds a lot of truth within it-- “A better everything is all we ever want for our daughters”.I am so grateful that myself, along with all of the women who worked on this show, get to tell even a little blip of truth about how women interact and live in these ~crazy~ times.This play is about a lot of things— it's definitely about mothers and daughters and relationships and sacrifices and narratives and new beginnings and leaving and airports and the internet, but all I know is that I wanted to write a modern mother/daughter story, because I like when I see one that feels honest and relatable. In the end, I just know that I had to make this--I don’t even really, fully know what it’s all about. It’s really about whatever you take from it! So, let me know what you thought! I’d love to talk more about it. Thanks for coming!
Special Thanks To: Mae Rose Pendergast, Grace Azzarito, Riley Wenckus, Zoey Schorsch, Allie DiBiase, Talia Lambert, Isabella Marano, Joesph Miranda, Georgia Simmons, Jess Costas, Laura Phillips, RareWorks Theatre Company, Emerson College.
And of COURSE a Special Thanks to: Kristine Coleho (Caroline), Gabriella Avelino (Zoe), Alyssa O’Neal-Abend (Gracie)—my GUYS gals!
© Wylie Anderson 2019.