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I'm the Local Gal in Richmond, Indiana, exploring my hometown and heart. I write about all thing local, sometimes global. It's a small world after all.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Richmond, Indiana's 5th Annual Melodrama: A World Premiere!

Don Mellen, Dramatist: Playwright, Actor & Director, 
An amazing World Premiere is coming soon
to Richmond, Indiana this September! Get the details and read the exclusive interview with co-director and script author, Don Mellen, only on the Local-Lady.

Thank you, Don Mellen!

Here we go:

Don, what can viewers expect when they attend the World Premiere?

"The play is called...
Mayhem at Mad Dog Mulrooney's Sassafras Saloon
Know When to Hold 'em; When to Explode 'em.

It's in the vein of the old-fashioned melodramas where there is a villain in black, a hero in white, the pure and innocent heroine, and assorted other characters. The audience is expected to participate by booing and hissing at evil things, cheering for the heroic, sighing at the romantic, "aww"ing at the pitiful and any other noises appropriate to the moment.  Some people have been so distraught by the villainous proceedings that they throw popcorn at the villain (available before the show and at intermission).  It's family entertainment too. There is no foul language and the kids really enjoy being able to cheer and boo and react."

One of the first shows you put on centered around the founding of Wayne County. Besides a bit of local history, what other influences or inspirations can you name?

"Influences can come from anywhere. TV, movies, books, even random conversations. Last year we wanted to do something a little different for where it was set, so Jane Turner and I talked about it, and decided to do a melodrama that took place on a River Boat, so that's what I wrote. We like to try to do something different than before to keep them interesting."

How long have you been writing and directing original plays for the Heritage Festival?

"The first year we did an adaptation of an old melodrama. The second year was Wayne County's Bicentennial, so I wrote an original melodrama that was set during the founding of Wayne County. The third and fourth years were also originals, as is this one. Before the Heritage Festival, I had been doing melodramas with "The Great American Tent Show Company" for over 25 years and was deemed the "resident villain" of the company, so I know a little bit about melodramas."

You're a published playwright! Where can fans find your work?

Melodrama fans can find 
The Lost Treasure of Blackbeard
All That's Buried is not Gold

which is currently being published by Pioneer Drama Service known as "The House of Melodrama".  To avoid people thinking that the show had pirates in it, we discussed it and the title was changed to...

The Secret of Charity Teach
Tide to the Wharf

It should be listed on the Pioneer Drama Service website in the next few weeks. It is already in the most recent catalog they mailed out. They've already asked me to submit more, so the one from last year...

Cast of the Mighty Mississip (Image provided by D.M.)

Peril on the Mighty Mississip
A Disaster of Titanic Proportions

will be sent in shortly, and after we are done performing this years melodrama, I plan to submit it as well.

Visit Pioneer Drama to look for future melodrama publications. Until then, be sure to swing by Mad Dog Mulrooney's Sassafras Saloon for The World Premier on September 6th at 7:30 pm or September 7th, 8th at 2:00 pm at the Wayne County Historical Museum in Richmond, Indiana!

Donald Mellen works as a Senior Consultant at Incirrus. Among his many plays, he's also the author of the handy dandy SQR Programmer Reference a 2nd Edition.

Special thanks to Don Mellen the man of the Melodrama & Co-Director of The World Premiere for this interview!

<3 the Local Gal

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