Tell me about the play you are working on for Emerging Artists Theatre. What do you love most about this play?
In Doris Day: My Secret Love, I like the combination of how the songs help move the plot forward with the lyrics resonating in the particular scene or situation.
Can you tell us a little about your artistic process or background? How is that process is being realized in your work on this play?
Doris began over seven years ago as a one-woman play with music. The New Work Series was where I shared my initial draft and then three other drafts. It’s funny because initially, it started at a Doris Day convention, then shifted to a hospital room, then to its current setting, a Doris Day Retrospective to benefit her Animal Foundation. The feedback after each draft really helped me shape the play. It was invaluable. I decided that the play was too static with just her telling stories. So I added the pianist as Les Brown, her old pal and confidant. Their banter back and forth really helped. Plus Tiffan loved having another actor to work off of. So I came up with the concept of her being shown photos of her past without her knowledge which then triggers flashbacks, where Les now becomes all the men in her life. It made the play so much more active, to actually see her in the moments instead of telling about them.
What compelled you to write the piece? How are you personally invested in this work?
I happened to get a copy of Doris Day’s biography and was fascinated by the dark life she shielded from the public. I really didn’t want the play to be a history lesson, but much more active by being able to see Doris and her husbands in private moments. Plus a fictional look at the events in her life that truly affected her but were hidden from public view. I have spent over five years playing with different concepts and ideas, and locations. Then I had a revelation about the ending of the play which just made sense to me and hopefully, it will to an audience also.
Is there anything important or meaningful about this piece to you?
In Doris Day: My Secret Love, you see America’s sweetheart start her own journey at her Retrospective. What Doris thinks is a simple evening of sharing some tales and songs soon turns into a tear in the fabric of her smiling public image. Flashbacks caused by photos from the past lead her to the realization of how the decisions she made were the cause of what kept her private life so unbearable. She finally understands how to take back her life on her own terms.
Paul Adams (Playwright) Paul founded Emerging Artists Theatre in 1993 and has been Artistic Director for the life of the company the past 30 years. He is also a playwright, director, and actor. His one-man show The Cleaning Guy was a hit in NY Fringe 2016. He also serves on the NYIT Awards committee since its inception. Paul would like to thank his incredible cast, Tiffan and David, and Ben for his amazing arrangements. Special thanks to Melissa, my director who has been with me on this project since day one. Thanks to Nicole for her creative costume design, to Tommy for the amazing wig, G. Ben for the lighting extraordinaire, Shea for the set, Grady for the ultimate sound, Bryan for making it look great, Adam for all his musical direction, and Elizabeth and Adam who make the show run so smoothly.