Flowers Up Her Attic, an unauthorized parody, will make its world premiere at The Ringwald Theatre in Ferndale. The show is parody of the well-known book Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. Michigan playwrights Marke Sobolewski and Joe Bailey wrote the play and could not be more excited to debut it at the theatre.
“Flowers Up Her Attic is right up the alley of what The Ringwald is known for,” says Bailey, who is from Ferndale, and he has many roles at the theatre. Not only is he one of the playwrights, he directs and acts in the show while being the artistic director of the theatre company and one of the founding members of it. “We wanted to do something fun in our regular space for October,” he says. The company is also putting on Evil Dead The Musical with Olympia Entertainment at the City Theatre in the Hockeytown Café in Detroit. “Flowers Up Her Attic is a one act and pretty small in scope, so it fits the theatre well,” says Bailey, “and it stays true to what we do.”
Bailey had been interested to write a parody of something for a while, was interested in this book, and reached out to Sobolewski, also from Ferndale. “He approached me about turning it into a comedy,” says Sobolewski, “and I thought it would be fun.” The two of them went about reading the lengthy book and watching the movie, while making notes about the two different mediums. “We prioritized the iconic moments in both,” he says. “Our show has elements that may have only been represented in the book or the movie, but we combined them to get the best of both stories.”
The writing experience was a very different experience for the two writers, but really enjoyed working together. “I don’t write too often,” says Bailey, “plus, as most writers are, I’m my own worst critic, so it was really good to have Marke there as a sounding board and someone to prod me along.” Bailey liked having a writing partner because it was someone else to hold you accountable and it is not just yourself that you are letting down. “Marke is such a great writer who is hysterical and talented,” he says, “I really could not have had a better person to do this project with.”
“It has been a really interesting process because it almost felt at times we were writing two different scripts,” says Sobolewski, “Joe would work on his assigned scenes and I would work on mine, then we would get together and fill in the holes.” Since Bailey was acting in the show, he wrote the scenes that his character, the Grandmother, was in and Sobolewski wrote the other scenes. “He knew how he wanted to play the character so he was able to write her a specific way,” he says, “so every time she is absent, that was the writing that was my responsibility.”
The writers are really proud of their work and feel that people who know the story, or even if they are not familiar with it, will enjoy it. “It’s hysterical and people will get a kick out of it,” says Bailey, “plus, we stay true to what The Ringwald does well.” Sobolewski thinks the parody of the well-known story will entertain. “It’s an iconic story that has been turned into a campy show,” he says. “It will be really fun to see characters that are familiar with in a new comedic way.”
Flowers Up Her Attic opened tonight, October 13th and runs through October 29th at The Ringwald Theatre in Ferndale. For more information or tickets, visit www.TheRingwald.com.