We then discovered that three people can fit in the box. We played around with the idea of the three victims being three past women in his life. The man coming to his house would be a detective of sorts. The women would come out of the box and 'haunt' the killer until he confessed. Another extremely rough idea.
Our third idea was to have the killer bring home his date. As in most of Poe's stories, the killer hates one minute detail about a person which makes them want to kill them. We decided he was going to hate her haircut. He leaves the room to get something and the victims would come out of the box, but the thing that he didn't like would be cut off. So, for example: I was going to play a prostitute he had slept with, he used me for my body and didn't like my voice, so he cut out my tongue. I would only move and not talk. We found a thing for each one of our characters. We would also create the beat from our original piece (tapping fingers, crying, stomping foot etc.). While the killer was out of the room, the past we played with the idea of having the past victims drape themselves on the new girlfriend so only the killer could see them or having the girlfriend see and interact with them, but not the killer.
Needless to say, we were stuck. We had about 14 hours to come up with SOMETHING...and we were basically starting from scratch. We decided to take an hour break and come back with clear heads.
We are trying to figure out new ways to use this box
After our break, it was all business. Jeff had a revelation during the break: no killer, but a girlfriend who is about to die. The people in the box are part of the man's family who had died. The box also represents his heart. Once someone is out of the box he can't remember them.
When we further explored this brand new story, we realized that it touched on what we really loved about the Tell-Tale Heart: the fact that the heartbeat he hears is actually his own. So the remnants of Beat was the box and the fact that someone was in it. We played around with various combinations of people in the box, but settled on: younger sister, father, and high school sweetheart. We cranked out this new story in less than three hours. It was amazing. It was as if the stars aligned and everything just worked out. The resulting piece had it's comedic moments but was pretty sentimental. We achieved our goal. We played around with the idea of calling it Almost, Almost Maine because the feel of it is so similar to that of Almost, Maine. We decided to call it Stay. I am incredibly proud of the piece and am totally in love with everyone in the group. When things got hairy, we knew when to take a break or have a check in to make sure we were all being taken care of.
Stay was pretty well received when we presented it. Everyone seemed pretty surprised by our complete change of story. The story was simple and the problem was very clear, which the professors liked about it. PHEW! This just proved what Ronlin said was true: Only when the artist is fed up or desparatley seeking divine help, inspiration will come.