Eddy is a struggling playwright and also a dad in charge of taking care of the house, the kids, and the mother-in-law while his wife works the daytime shift at a fast-food restaurant. And boy, does he have his hands full! The house is a disaster, and as far as taking care of the children, what can he really do? Rambunctious triplets and an adventurous teenage daughter are not meant for the inexperienced! Then there is his mother-in-law whose age seems to be affecting her mind, and a neighbor lady with opinions, but without manners. Toss in a couple of FBI agents and an unlikely mobster duo who are members of the notorious crime ring called Animal Kingdom, and believe it or not, a romance begins to bud. Oh, and don't forget the nanny the triplets have tied up in a chair! There's no shortage of rope or chaos as Eddy and family turn the tables on the bad guys and find themselves just laughs away from exposing a family secret.
PLAYWRIGHT GARY RAY STAPP
TALKS ABOUT FAMILY TIES & LITTLE WHITE LIES
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: The idea of an ordinary American family experiencing a day of the extraordinary. I wanted to write a play that comically demonstrated family connectivity in a not-so-perfect household, and do so with typical characters I could exaggerate with my sense of humor.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: My favorite part of the play is the ending. In my opinion, the manner in which the plot is resolved is the most important aspect of a play. Choosing a favorite line is a toughie-too many one-liners that personally crack me up. So I'll go another direction and chose Francine's line when she's clutching the pink flamingo, but only because of my whacky devise to link this play to my first play, Love Thy Neighbor. "This was a Christmas gift from my sister, Leona. I don't think she likes me very much." (In Love Thy Neighbor, Leona mentions hating her sister.)
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: The characters are purely "children" of my imagination but I'm sure there are some who are subconsciously influenced by my observations of real people, although I have to admit, there is a lot of me and my wife reflected in the bantering between Eddy and Eileen.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: My goal was to write a comedy with an underlying theme of revealing the strengths and capabilities of the women and children of a family and force the dominant male to discover and validate those qualities (i.e. "pull one over on the ole man!") And naturally I wanted to cultivate and fertilize the story with a lot of fun and hilarity. I believe I succeeded, but I'm open to feedback!
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE TO ADD?
A: My goal is to write the type and caliber of play I look for when perusing script catalogs and evaluating scripts under consideration by my theatre group. I strive to create characters that are rich and vivid, whether they have two minutes or an hour and two minutes of stage time. I am very diligent in weaving a story that will ultimately conclude with an unexpected, yet plausible, twist at the end, and artfully tie up the loose ends ( both the obvious ones, as well as the subtle), and when possible, toss in a little irony for the sake of Shakespeare.