The young playwrights Ashley Berrett and Eva Perkins and I had communicated many times via email, some texts … but we’d never met in person.
After our wonderful day touring the area, courtesy of Ashley’s parents’ company https://www.riversandruins.com/ Ashley’s mom, Spring Berrett, invited Al and me to their home for dinner, where we got to meet both playwrights and their large, lovely families. It was a magical evening…
Everyone in the family was so warm to both Al and me, appreciative of our coming so far to see the play and for my granting permission to turn my book into a musical and providing feedback on the script and lyrics. I responded that it had been an absolute pleasure and that I was so impressed with these high school seniors’ work.
Eva’s mom, Kd, told me how much she loved ME AND THE WEIRDOS as a child and was eager to share it with her daughter. I was especially touched when she thanked me for allowing the girls to change certain aspects of the plot in the musical.
We all “hit it off” and felt like old friends right away. We learned about each other and our lives. We heard how the parents had pitched in at rehearsals when the girls had other obligations and had built the set. Everyone in both families was charming, including the adorable little siblings. On paper, we are very different–suburb near big city for us, little town far from a large city for them, etc. But we shared a similar sense of humor and love of fun. The food was delicious, too!
We discovered that though Ashley and Eva and I live 2400 miles apart and I was 10 years older that they are when I originally wrote the book, we all had the same goal: through an entertaining piece of art, to show readers/audiences that being different is just fine.
And then, Eva and Ashley asked if we’d like to hear them sing a couple of songs from the musical before opening night. Yes!!!!
It had been an absolutely amazing day. We couldn’t wait for what would come next–opening night!