They have until midnight tonight to hit their goal, and are only like $600 short as of this posting. There are enough folks here that even some small donations can help push this over the top so they can make their play. Please help if you can!
Matt wrote:“Stuck in Neutral” is the story of Shawn, a teenage boy with cerebral palsy who cannot communicate with anyone except the audience. Shawn’s parents have recently separated. His brother Paul is barely speaking to their father. Cindy, his sister, is attempting to keep the peace. His father Syd becomes obsessed with a man who killed his severely disabled son. While Shawn experiences his first real crush, he also wonders whether or not Syd is going to kill him.
My first encounter with “Stuck in Neutral” by Terry Trueman was during my summer vacation from middle school. The story resonated with me because it is told through the eyes of Shawn, a teenage boy who, like me, has cerebral palsy. Shawn has no way of communicating with his family. Only the reader knows his thoughts and feelings. Being a writer, I always felt like the story would translate into a more visual medium.
My first play, “Sideshow,” won Honorable Mention in the VSA Arts Young Playwrights Contest and excerpts were performed at the Kennedy Center. Clearly, I’ve kept writing. The topic of different abilities is important to me because I don’t think it’s discussed enough in mainstream media. Most people will become disabled at some point in their lives, it’s good to talk about it now.
Being differently abled, I require assistants for my daily activities. That’s how I met Matt Chorpenning, my writing partner. Matt was awarded the Kennedy Center/American Collegiate Theater Festival National Playwriting Fellowship for his play "Talking to Strangers." After working with Matt for a while, I felt like he was the perfect person to collaborate with on adapting “Stuck in Neutral” into a play.
Even though we felt like getting the rights was a long shot, we went ahead and emailed Terry Trueman about our project. He gave us his blessing to write the play, but didn’t sign over the rights. After doing a staged reading of the first draft, Matt and I rewrote, sent it off to Terry and his publishers, and gained the rights to produce it.
As writers, it isn’t always certain that our work will be performed, so just the thought of having this play produced means the world to us. We only have a limited amount of time to produce before the rights revert back to Terry Trueman. It’s very important that we raise enough money to rent a theater, build sets, costume actors, and make this a production that captivates audiences.