– by guest writer Ian Leahy –
“His name… He said he wants me to call him Orson. He won’t look like an alien. He said he’d try and find a person’s body willing to let him overtake it for a little while…”
Waiting for Orson is inspired by actual events in which I found myself deep down the proverbial rabbit hole, following a curious multi-year journey to uncharted frontiers of my own mind on a quest to figure out what is, actually, true about the core nature of science and spirituality.
It eventually sent me to New York’s bustling Penn Station where I was to wait a week for a promised visit from a supernatural being that would supposedly deliver a great artistic opportunity. It was very measurable for a scientifically-minded skeptic such as me: either it would happen or it wouldn’t.
As the days ticked by and doubt crept in, I found myself wandering aimlessly through a heavy downpour in Times Square when Waiting for Orson came surging through my mind almost fully-formed – every conversation, scene change, lighting cue. It had never crossed my mind to write a play before that moment, but there it was. I spent the next two days locked in my hostel devising the first draft.
by Ian Leahy
at Fort Fringe – The Shop
607 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Details and tickets
Waiting for Orson’s initial performances in Michigan this June earned rave audience feedback for its unique portrayal of mental illness and spirituality, bringing many to tears with its intensity. Viewers described it as “amazing”, “fabulous”, and “mesmerizing”. “I forgot I was watching a play,” said one. The cast, which was described as “incredible”, has largely worked together for years on university and community theater productions in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
We are using this production to launch the new Instinct Theatre Company . Its mission is to produce new and re-imagined works that harness the instinctual creative force that connects us all, including shows like Waiting for Orson that emerge in a momentary flash of inspiration.
This production is presented as a part of the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival, a program of the Washington, DC non-profit Capital Fringe.
— Ian Leahy lives in Washington, DC, where he works in urban conservation.
Fringe Peeks is part of our ‘in their own words’ series.