Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Judy Sheehan's "I Woke Up Dead at the Mall"

Judy Sheehan is one of the original cast members and creators of the long-running stage hit Tony ’n’ Tina’s Wedding. She was the playwright-in-residence at New York City’s prestigious Looking Glass Theatre and has had plays produced there and at regional theaters around the country.

Here Sheehan drops a memo to her dream producer-director with some casting suggestions for an adaptation of her new novel, I Woke Up Dead at the Mall:
Dear Joss Whedon,

Here is how you should cast your movie, I Woke Up Dead at the Mall. I remain confident in your influence, skill, and your powers of time travel.

Sarah: Skyler Samuels. Loved her as Chloe King, adored her in Scream Queens. She has the right balance of smarts and vulnerability. If I were sixteen, I’d want her to be my BFF. But your first choice for the lead is almost never available. If Skyler turns you down (No!!) call Vanessa Marano from Pretty Little Liars. And you’ll be fine.

Nick: Play it smart. Call both Taron Egerton and Jack Quaid at the same time, and see who takes the role. You can’t lose. Handsome, charming, talented guys. You’re good to go.

Harry: Ansel Elgort. Accept no substitutes. Done. He’ll gripe about how the role draws him back to The Fault in Our Stars. Please stock craft services with his favorites, and keep him on set. I want to see what he looks like bald. Don’t you?

Lacey: Shanice Williams is the first choice. She has the ideal presence for Lacey’s self-confidence and her transformation. If she’s (understandably) busy, cast an unknown. Shanice would approve and even celebrate that.

Alice: Nina Dobrev has the right waif-like quality. If you can’t get her, time-travel to get a younger Alexis Bledel. Those early Rory Gilmore years would work perfectly for sweet, lovely Alice.

Bertha: Abigail Breslin, please. The only problem here is that she’ll play the part so well, she’ll get typecast as the fussy, nerdy type for a few years. Sorry, Abigail. Loved you in Little Miss Sunshine. Tweet me!

Declan: Zac Efron. #micdrop. Yes, you’ll need the High School Musical version of him, as the Baywatch version is too ripped. Too ripped. Too, too, too, too, too ripped.

Dad: Martin Freeman. Or Nathan Fillion. Or Kyle Chandler. The Author would be equally pleased to be on the set with aaaany of them.

And cast Trinity Rep’s Fred Sullivan, Jr. as the screaming man in Washington Square Park. He’s a brilliant actor who can do so much more than this part requires, but you’ll love having him there. So will I.

And, of course, you’ve got Lin-Manuel Miranda writing the score. I’m satisfied.
Visit Judy Sheehan's website.

Writers Read: Judy Sheehan.

--Marshal Zeringue