After a year-long wait due to the coronavirus, the Bellevue Little Theatre is ready to premiere “Temporary Insanity,” a farce written by Des Moines, Iowa, playwright Karen Schaeffer.
In this farce, Collyn and Emerson run a marketing firm but haven’t landed a major account. A dinner invitation is extended to a potentially lucrative client who’s in town for one night. However, Emerson’s husband, Ted, has been mistakenly hypnotized and now goes through an entire gestation period every 24 hours.
Schaeffer said this is not the first time one of her plays has seen the stage, as her previous work, “Girls’ Weekend,” has seen a theatrical run across the country and internationally as well.
She said it is not too weird seeing her written work being performed on the stage.
“It is interesting to watch how it communicates to the stage, seeing something on its feet for the first time is always fascinating because the thing that you put on the paper is suddenly performed and taken up by actual people,” Schaeffer said.
She said with her first show “Girls’ Weekend,” it was interesting to see the interpretation of several different productions.
Schaeffer got inspiration for her writing after she saw a scarcity of comic roles that she believed honestly represented mature women in contemporary society.
Schaeffer said she told one her friends whom is an actress that she would write a play with her in mind.
“It took me a couple of years to get everything flushed out but when I did, it really came together quickly,” Schaeffer said.
Schaeffer plays a game of “If Then” when developing her plays.
For example, she will start with a scenario with two women and ask questions such as what type of business do they work at? If they work at an ad agency then what?
Eventually after asking and answering a lot of these questions, Schaeffer will come up with an entire show.
Schaeffer said she has the idea of what a show is going to be from the start.
“If you’re writing just a romcom, that’s a different kind of comedy than when you’re writing a farce, so when you start a farce, you have to go in with a farce in mind, there’s no other way around it,” Schaeffer said.
She said it is fun seeing how audiences react to particular parts of her plays.
“I know most of the time where the good laughs are going down, the things that surprised me are the other laughs that I’m not expecting,” Schaeffer said.
When it came time for the BLT to select show for its 2019–2020 season, Schaeffer was approached by Laureen Pickle about her shows.
Schaeffer was told that “Girls’ Weekend” was not quite right for the BLT but was asked by Pickle if there were any other plays of interest.
“I sent her ‘Temporary Insanity’ and she read it and said, wow, this is really good and she gave it to the rest of the play reading team and they all really liked it,” Schaeffer said.
Schaeffer said she is grateful the BLT decided to put the show back on the schedule after it had to be canceled last year due to the coronavirus.
“So many of us playwrights lost work and it was just gone because some of the theaters folded and some of the theaters decided to move on to different shows,” Schaeffer said.
Schaeffer said she encourages the community to see the show.
“The actors who are performing in this show are brilliant and John Flowers is a great leader and an amazing director,” Schaeffer said.
“Temporary Insanity” will run weekends June 11 through June 27.
Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings and 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoons.
Reservations may be made by calling 402-291-1554 or by registering on BLT’s website bellevuelittletheatre.weebly.com.
Adult tickets are $20; seniors $18; students with proper ID $10.