In December 2005 the film The Producers opened: a movie based on a stage musical that was based on a movie. In December 2012, Rick Stemm and I created a short version of You’ve Ruined a Perfectly Good Mystery: a 15-minute (or thereabouts) play based on a full-length play that was based on a 15-minute play. The motivator was the opportunity to submit a script to the Simian Showcase produced by Monkeyman Productions, which calls itself “Toronto’s Geekiest Theatre Company.”
There are elements of the original short script from 2009 that we used in the 2010 full-length: similar opening scene, audience interaction, Narrative-Detective tension, and an investigation at Heaving Hall. But the plots are different. We nevertheless used the 2009 script as a starting point, keeping its basic structure and rewriting to incorporate concepts and dialogue from the full-length version. We replaced the single ending of the 2009 play with abridged versions of two of the three endings from the full-length. This meant we had to rewrite the original so that instead of investigating a surreptitiously drugged noblemen, the Detective and Doctor were collecting information that led to a confrontation with either clockwork men or a mind control device.
The scenes of the two scripts mapped pretty well to each other, so one of the biggest challenges for me was figuring out what to cut, to keep the script around 15 pages. I worked on a draft and sent it to Rick, who would respond with his suggestions, and after an exchange of six drafts we had a script ready to submit. It was an interesting project to work on, and I’m glad that we can now include calls for short plays in the submission opportunities we look at for Ruined.