COMMENTS ON NEW BRICK THE PLAY DRAFT BY UNIVERSITY STUDENT JUSTIN SEAY, MS2009’S “BRENDAN.”
I just finished BRICK The Play 3.0. Great work. Really, seriously awesome. You've streamlined it in the best possible ways.
The flashback style between the field confrontation and the narrative works great. It breaks up the lengthy exposition of that scene in a way that makes the audience relish those moments for the clues they provide, rather than filling them with a desire to pause and rewind it Tivo style so they can keep up with all the reveals. It keeps them reminded of the end game, and curious as to how it will play out.
The decision to reveal Laura as the bad guy from the outset caught me off guard, and at first I wasn't sure about it. But you made it work with the scene at the end of the first act. You got us to a point where we could trust Laura again. You exchanged the tension of MS2009's BRICK The Play—not knowing who it was (a tension that was hard to maintain with the myriad twists in the investigation)—with the better tension of wanting her to be good, wanting to trust her, but not being sure if you can. This is Brendan's conflict, and making the audience feel this same tension is friggin awesome. In the previous version this tension only really reached a head in the last confrontation scene, but now, its much more prevalent through the whole play. Now, the shock at finding out how wrong Brendan was about her is stronger because you've started her out as being untrustworthy and by the time of the last scene we've come full circle from the beginning and are once again wanting to believe her, to trust her, to see her and Brendan happy together. This makes her final moments- the baby, the "mother-f***er" line, all of it, that much more powerful.
The streamlining and combining of the kitchen scene works much better and flows in a much more natural and logical way that makes Brendan and the Pin's dealings seem vastly more engaging, instead of a series of pauses between kernels of moments. It also makes Brendan seem much stronger, like he actually is smart enough to be a player on the Pin's level. He still is in over his head, but the idea that the Pin would ever take him seriously is much easier to believe now.
I think my favorite change though, is the new Brain/Kara confrontation. This new rewrite puts Brain in a far more active roll, and capitalizes on the girl Brain (still your best idea ever I think). This Brain is no longer a sidekick, but a player in the story, and sees herself as that. Kara's evilness is way better exposed when she's sexy towards Brendan all the time, and and evil devil-bitch to another girl. Her tactics changing make her more powerful, and Brain more lovable. The last moment's are way more awesome because of this.
The bleacher setup. Great idea. keeps the "high school" aura. It's unobtrusive, but provides a great solution for characters stepping in and out of Brendan's reality.
So yeah. This whole thing is gold. better than ever. I miss BRICK The Play and envy greatly whoever your next Brendan will be. keep me updated on how Brick-Chicago progresses. I want to know when it is, cause if possible I'd want to road trip it up there for the opening. That's how enthused I am by reading this.