Thursday, August 1, 2013

The MoonQuest: The Stage Musical?

When I began writing The MoonQuest book (Book I of my Q'ntana Trilogy), I always saw it as a movie...though I never imagined that I would be the one to write the screenplay. Then, when I found myself writing The MoonQuest screenplay a dozen years later, I began to see the story's potential as a large-scale stage musical.

Now that I have written all three of the Trilogy's books and screenplays (Book III, The SunQuest, will be released in a few weeks), my muse has started nudging me toward that MoonQuest musical.

She began her campaign a few evenings ago, when, after it had languished for many, many months at the bottom of my Netflix queue, a filmed stage presentation of The Phantom of the Opera suddenly demanded my attention.

I was walking to the store the morning after having watched Act I of this 25th anniversary production (staged brilliantly at the Royal Albert Hall) when she whispered to me, my muse did. "It's time," she crooned."

Tonight, as I sobbed through the musical's final curtain calls, she whispered again, louder this time: "Now. It's time. Now..."

To be clear, I wasn't crying because of the story or its production. I was crying because those curtain calls brought me back to a time in my life when I went to the theater religiously, wrote about the theater regularly and fantasized about writing stage plays. This was a decade before the creative and spiritual awakening that would ultimately birth The MoonQuest.

"Perhaps," Toshar ponders as he prepares to tell the story of his MoonQuest on the first page of the book, "it is time to allow the boy I was to touch the man I have become."

I was no longer a boy when my theater dreams first ignited. I was a teenager in my junior year at Montreal's Mount Royal High School, working on a school production of the musical Mame --  a time I write about in Acts of Surrender: A Writer's Memoir. My experiences of the past few days suggest that those long-ago theater dreams never died, even if they were overtaken for many years by other imperatives.

On Sunday I wrote here about the surprising (to me) rediscovery, reclaiming and reintegration of my artist-self. Today, it seems, those three R's have found another target: my theater self.

In the next days, I will allow that part of me to reignite as I welcome back my long-dormant, never-realized playwriting self. And once again, the mythical tale of a land stripped of its visions and stories will live out in my life in a new form.

I know no more about crafting large-scale stage musicals than I did about writing novels when I began The MoonQuest or screenplays when I launched into its film adaptation. What I do know is The MoonQuest story. I know it intimately because, in so many ways, it continues to be my story, a story that, as always, begins once upon a time...

While you're waiting for The Q'ntana Movies and stage musicals to show up in your neighborhood, pick up The MoonQuest and StarQuest books in the Kindle, Nook, Kobo or iBook stores -- for your e-reader, tablet, computer and smartphone. And watch for The SunQuest...coming soon!

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