The Meth Project, Des Moines Social Club
June 14 - 24, 2012
Chris Ford, Matthew McIver, Chris Peterson
June 18, 2012
I had the opportunity to interview 3 of the 4 writers of CoLab: The Meth Project currently performing through June 24th at the Des Moines Social Club. The following are selected quotes from these interviews:
Chad Michael Cox: How does this play fit into the DMSC mission to use the arts as a catalyst to create unprecedented community engagement?
Matthew McIver (writer and director):
· CoLab was formed as a way to tell Iowa stories.
· These plays are original pieces of theater.
· Our first play told the story of Evelyn Davis who created Tiny Tots Daycare and touched so many parts of Des Moines.
· We started thinking about what else impacts multiple areas of Iowa.
· The Meth Project provides multiple perspectives…a 360 view of the subject
· The play tells 3 different stories and asks the questions, “What is the context?” and “How do we view drugs as a society?”
· I think people will emerge from this play thinking differently.
CMC: How did you get involved in this project?
Chris Peterson (writer and video):
· I’ve done video production for DMSC in the past.
· The video provides context for the stories in the play.
· I was drawn to this project because a friend of mine was on Meth…she eventually got away from it.
· I wrote the druggy scenes based on her experiences.
· These stories are based on recent issues. They’re informative and real – factual tales with creative license.
CMC: Describe the collaboration process during this project:
Chris Ford (writer and music):
· We didn’t really know what we were writing at first.
· I got involved initially as a music director.
· Wrote environmental music, conceptual in nature. This music is different from my typical style because it’s focused on thematic interpretations.
· I’m really proud of the result!
MM: We wrote a ton of material that never made the stage.
MM: I think the end result of collaboration is more interesting. It’s also a way to share the work load and keep each other accountable. We all have full-time jobs, so it helps to work together.
CF: We were meeting weekly, but there was also a lot of downtime. We had to push the project back a few times.
CP: At one point I don’t think we did anything from September to February because of one thing or another.
CF: We initially wanted to produce a commercial.
CP: We didn’t restrict ourselves. We spent the first three months just spewing ideas. I wrote this whole scene based on a Marilyn Monroe character in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but we eventually threw it out…we discovered we had three story arcs.
MM: Three stories without any forced cross-over of stories. Everything comes together naturally.
CMC: What should people know about this play?
MM: It’s funny, sad, moving, dramatic…
CF: It’s important that people understand what kind of drug Meth is…the Meth issue is still a real issue in Iowa.
MM: It’s not about good guys vs. bad guys. Yes there’s consequences to the decisions each character makes, but we can connect with all of these characters.
CMC: (To Ford and Peterson) As first time playwrights would you do it again?
CP: Yes, I would do it again!