When Logic Strikes

Listen, listen, listen….just listen. Because you’re missing my point completely, people. Just break it down to the bare facts and you should be able to see where I’m coming from. One: we are Wilkes-Barre’s most renowned all-volunteer community theater group. That’s not immodesty; that’s a cold hard fact. The Register’s three and a half-star review of Noises Off did not write itself. Two: despite our success and the undeniable buzz over our upcoming staging of Murder on the Orient Express, subscriptions are down ten percent, from twenty to eighteen this year. Three: through an incredibly unique confluence of one-of-a-kind factors, I have been offered what I think you would all agree is an amazing price on a used, all-wooden, thirty-six foot catapult. Now, take a moment and put these three facts together, adding a dose of progressive thinking, and try to deny the immutable truth that with the writing of a single check, we would be the only community theater group in this town in possession of a working catapult. Before you open your mouths again to repeat your tired arguments, let me say again that finding a use for the catapult is not the issue at hand. First we must take action; then we can figure out how to make the catapult work for us. And don’t tell me it would have “no purpose.” I refuse to believe that six intelligent people, a group which includes a bank manager and a high school science teacher, will never be able to come up with a plan to marry a rock-sturdy catapult with the perfect maximum-cast-of-ten drama presentation. I mean, do I need to show you the picture again? Have you noted the sheer size of the thing? And it’s functional, everyone. It works. I’ve seen a video. And if it ever breaks, my brother thinks he can even fix it. So, long story short, we, The Princely Players of Wilkes-Barre, have less than twenty hours to invest no more than fifty percent of our treasury in the most extraordinary prop and/or marketing tool we will ever know. If ten o’clock tomorrow comes and I have not placed a call to the name written on the back of this matchbook with a promise of four hundred American dollars to be delivered no later than Tuesday as payment in full, there will be no tractor trailer on I-81 next week bringing us a catapult. It will simply be gone, with no opportunity ever to get it back. There is even a chance, albeit remote, that some other community theater group---perhaps a direct competitor for our fan base’s attentions----could wind up with the device in question. Instead of us using it to completely re-invent Agnes of God, the Birch Street Amateur Actors League or maybe the St. Martin’s Seniors Theatrical Society could conceivably wind up working it into Arsenic and Old Lace or even their annual winter production of The Anne Frank Story. Then where would we be, people? How stupid would we look? Again, it is immaterial at this juncture that plays of modest budgets involving catapults are rare, or that it won’t currently fit inside the building. This is why God gave the people in this room such extraordinary imaginations. We are pillars of the creative community, and as such, we will find a profitable use for this catapult which both makes for provocative theater and honors all time-tested stage traditions. On this issue, I see no more room for debate. Now then, who here has access to a phone so we can get this ball rolling?