Denise Winter, the Artistic Director of Key City Public Theatre in Port Townsend Washington commissioned me to write and direct a play for their 2022 season. Along with Gin Hammond (a fellow theatre-maker out of Seattle), Denise and I began discussing “New Moon” in January of 2022. We talked a lot about our favourite bedtime stories and decided to create an experience that celebrated all those tender tales that bring magic, wonder and whimsy to our lives. We knew it would be a holiday show (presented in December 2022). Whatever the occasion (Hanukkah, Ramadan, Solstice, Christmas…), holiday celebrations are a time when we shrug off the trivialities of life and focus on what is most important: love, gratitude, and belonging. Now for me, belonging is about being needed, and this is the crux of the “New Moon” story… or should I say Oswald’s story, for as soon as I discovered that Oswald (the family dog) was the narrator, he took over the telling of it. I used terms such as “Pack” and “Caregivers” in this story, purposely avoiding terminology that would limit how we define family. For in this story, like in all our lives, we redefine our “families” as we navigate our way through our ever- shifting experience of belonging. The script and subsequent direction and design of it was predicated on my research into community, ecology, and embodied experiences.
Whenever a play is being produced for the first time, the actors embodying the new characters and the designers bringing sound and image off the page and into the theatre, influence the script itself and help the writer/director bring their imagined world to life. In this way, this production of the story was co-created by the cast and creative team at Key City Public Theatre.