Jacqueline West, Writer

Bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere and Dreamers Often Lie

Snow Day

November 27, 2017    Tags: , , , , , ,   

So, I wrote a play.

I didn’t exactly plan to do this. I’m a theatre nerd, and I’ve done lots of acting, and I’ve written lots of fiction about characters who are fellow theatre nerds (see DREAMERS OFTEN LIE, “A Midwinter Night’s Dream” in STARRY-EYED…), and a few years ago I wrote a play for kids called “Under the Bed” that was premiered by a local middle school. But I’d never really thought about writing a play for adults.

And then, a few years ago, during the polar vortex, this idea hit me. And I knew this wasn’t a book or a story idea. This idea was play-shaped. It was about a bunch of small town Minnesotans, trapped indoors by a climate change-driven Ice Age, trying to deal with their new reality without completely losing their minds. I wrote several pages, and then I got busy with a bunch of other things–having a baby, releasing a book, writing a couple more books, blah blah blah.

And then the presidential election happened. I finished the play within a few weeks.

That climate change–that even basic scientific fact–has become politicized seems crazy to me. But here we are. And when we can’t agree on facts, even the most basic ones, what kind of discussions can we have? How will we all deal with what’s happening to our environment when we can’t ignore it anymore? With science? Religion? Anger? Denial? Knitting and crafting? Lots of beer?

I guess that’s what I wanted to explore onstage with SNOW DAY.

The play opens here in Red Wing, MN next week — and I couldn’t be more excited. Soapbox Players is putting it on at Hobgoblin Music Loft at Stoney End. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. on December 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9; tickets sold at the door.

It’s a funny play (at least it’s supposed to be). The cast is hilarious. There’s lots of broad, goofy stuff in it: A would-be caveman grad student. A woolly mammoth. Baby Jesus in a Tupperware tub. But I’m sure my fear for the future, and my grief over what we’re doing to the planet, and my hope that somehow collective action and love for each other will save us are woven into it too. If I’ve done my job right, people will see the show, have a good laugh, and then go home and get into big, passionate, political fights with each other. Or they’ll just have a good laugh. That would be great too. 🙂

All profits from the show will go to the Red Wing chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group dedicated to influencing national policies that address climate change.

Here’s a write-up that just appeared in our local paper:

(My fellow townspeople: I didn’t say life in Red Wing is bleak. Don’t hate me.)




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