Playwright pitch for “The Rally”

I’ve never tried to pitch an idea for a new play on my blog. So I’m hoping that lots of my readers are theatre or film producers. You are, right? I’m guessing this would work better as a cinema release than a theater script.

The setup: Imagine a time when a populist politician has won the presidency using mass rallies to get his message across. During the campaign most opponents dismissed the stunts but he was elected regardless. He kept up the rallies during his term but many people just shook their heads at what they regarded as a crass stunt.

Now remember this is all a script invention. Anyway, imagine that for some reason, whatever reason, the rallies were suspended for a while but are just about to be started again. And imagine, if you will, that for whatever reason, his opponents are suddenly more organized and savvy and motivated. Those “reasons” are not in the script, you can fill in the blanks with your own suppositions.

Now, start the movie. Instead of some mass violent event, instead of some crass counterattack, the local opponents are smart and clever. They have many of their members go online and sign up for tickets to the event in singles and in pairs. They are assigned random seats throughout the auditorium. They do NOT bring weapons, they do not bring banners, they just come as they are. Perhaps with a red hat if they can find one. They mix and mingle and chat with the devoted and smile and laugh at their jokes.

Now the action really starts. The candidate enters the stage and is greeted with a wild, standing ovation. The audience plants all get quick closeups from the camera, yelling and clapping with the crowd. The candidate starts his stem winder speech and about 3 minutes in one random plant stands and yells something. I’m not sure what, maybe “Black Lives Matter” or some other phrase. He or she does not threaten, does not attack, does nothing physically aggressive. Just states an opinion.

That person is likely attacked by the crowd and security and dragged from the hall, cheered on by the candidate. After a moment, the hall settles down and the speechifying starts again. Then another plant stands and speaks up (one or two at a time, never a mass movement). Wash, rinse and repeat. I’m still working on the script, but I wonder how long it would take for members of the crowd and especially the candidate himself to lose their marbles. If the disruptions were peaceful but clear and seemed to happen through the night, how long before it is all called to an end? And how many good film clips would be gained from such an evening? Organized resistance. Thoughtful resistance.

So what do you think? How do you like my script? Know anyone who can use it? Pass it along. It may come in handy somewhere in the heartland or maybe in a swing state or two. I’m looking forward to see this script realized.

As always you can find more at and on Twitter @walterthinnes

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