In honor of Public Domain Day, I’m ceding my play Classic Cage to the public domain! Classic Cage was produced by Theatre Cedar Rapids as part of the 2019 Underground New Play Festival, and later published in issue 3 of some scripts. And now it’s free for all to read, modify, and perform! Nota bene, this play could very easily, minimally, be adapted to be performed over zoom, since it already takes place entirely through video calls—that’s right, I wrote a zoom play before it was cool!
Here’s the synopsis:
Tara Cage is struggling to sell her next book. Publishers on Mars want another of her cheerful, optimistic Earth travelogues, the ones that made her so popular, but things have been getting bad on Earth. Climate change and economic upheaval have made Tara a lot more cynical, and sick of selling Mars a whitewashed version of her home planet. Her sister and literary agent, Michaela Cage, tries to grease the wheels with a potential publisher by getting a realtime FTL video connection between them on Mars and Tara on Earth. Unfortunately Tara’s internet connection has been screwy, making the video chat’s predictive AI patch over moments of lag with an AI version of Tara, compiled from calls made by Tara the last time she used it—which was twenty years ago. Between the upbeat, cheerful robo-Tara, and the true, jaded, bitter Tara, the publisher is getting mixed messages—though the AI seems to be making a better impression than Tara herself.
Classic Cage is a play about public personas, optimism and pessimism, and the reconciling of youthful dreams with present realities.
Running time is approximately 40 minutes. The cast is 3F, 2M.
I’ve also written a post for Public Domain Day, about the Public Domain Review, which you can read here.