- Former Fantasticks
At silent 6AM, by the dawn’s early laptop light, I find them again: our stars. Onscreen, online—two fellow Thespians; two former Fantasticks. Blasts from my past. A boy and girl, then. And see, I’d loved, in my tortured teen way, both of them. I feel my fingers shake. Even now, in listless locked-down May of 2020, the morning air is suddenly charged with that old expectant backstage hush. As if flipping a switch for the first Light Cue in a show, I finger-tap the link that leads me back.
To the Corona High Drama Room. Hey, it was the ‘80s. Photos from PEOPLE plastered the Drama Room walls, overlapping: Meryl Streep and Molly Ringwald and Tom Cruise and Jodie Foster and Madonna. Plus a giant-sized Patrick Swayze (RIP) and Jennifer Grey; the Dirty Dancing stars that our own two stars pretended to be at our infamous Fantasticks cast party.
More on that later—the real-life drama. I usually wasn’t part of it, or not in any way that showed. Because I was backstage, wearing all black.
Elizabeth Searle Elizabeth Searle is the author of five books of fiction and the co-author of a Feature Film screenplay, I’ll Show You Mine, which is in post-production and is forthcoming in 2022 from Duplass Brothers Productions. Elizabeth’s most recent novel, We Got Him, was a finalist for the Midwest Book Award and was released in AudioBook. Elizabeth is the librettist of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, which has drawn major media coverage, and which has been widely produced. Elizabeth’s previous books include A Four-Sided Bed, a novel nominated for an ALA Book Award, and My Body to You, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize. Her books Celebrities in Disgrace and A Four-Sided Bed are the basis of short films which have screened widely at festivals. Elizabeth’s film scripts have won multiple awards and her theater works have been featured on CBS, CNN, NPR, the AP and more. This story is from a new collection she has just completed. Visit: www.elizabethsearle.net