“Welcome, one and all,” says Will Scarlet, with a broad smile and a bow, “to Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre!”
“Every second Friday,” says Allyn-a-Dale, “Will and I and our friends from the story world of ‘The Outlaws of Avalon ’ trilogy—”
“Coming one of these days to a book retailer near you!”
“—Will take at random two of the suggestions gleaned from you, our gentle audience, and incorporate them into… well, the sort of tomfoolery Will calls entertainment.”
“So make yourselves comfortable,” says Will, “as we now present to you: ‘Back to the Drawing Boardroom’!”
[The curtain rises on a corporate setting. To one side, a window wall looking out onto a backdrop painted with skyscrapers. To the other side, a projector screen waiting blankly atop a stand. In the center, a massive boardroom table packed with chairs, in a random three of which sit Will Scarlet in a red business suit, Allyn-a-Dale in a blue business suit, and Danielle E. Shipley in a hooded pirate captain’s coat and fabulous boots.]
Will: All right, calling this meeting to order. First item of business. [raises mug ] A toast to the memory of “Jack and the Genre-nauts”.
Danielle: Did you bring enough celebratory beverages for the whole board?
Will: No, I did not.
Allyn: Speaking of “the whole board”… [looks around the table ] Given that we amount to three, is there any particular reason behind this many chairs?
Will: Shameless excess, Allyn. It’s a sign of the wealthy. To Jack Snow ‘n’ ‘em! [downs drink ] Ahhh, I’m going to miss that character. So many directions we could yet have taken his story. Could’ve set him up as Jack the Giant Slayer, or sent him tumbling down the hill with Jill—
Danielle: Who’s Jill?
Will: Why are you dressed like that?
Danielle: ‘Cause I can.
Will: Legit. [turns to Allyn ] Your recurring character will be dearly missed. But the sun cannot rise without setting first. It’s a new day for Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre! We’re starting fresh. Secretary Shipley, which two new prompts from the audience have we got on the agenda?
Danielle [glancing at her legal pad of notes ]: Looks like “Jack the Giant Slayer”, and “The sun cannot rise without setting first.”
Will: All right. Brilliant. We can work with this. Here’s my vision.
[Jumping up from his chair, he points some remote clicking device at the projector screen, on which the following image appears.]
Danielle: That’s not your vision. That’s Marvel’s Vision. He’s copyrighted.
Will: Hear me out. We have this race of massive, cranberry-skinned aliens living in spaceships cloaked to look like the clouds. Our hero, Captain Jack Harkness—
Allyn: Also copyrighted.
Will: —Top agent of a secret organization known only as B.E.A.N.S.T.A.L.K.—
Danielle: Which is an acronym for what, exactly?
Will: Um… Badass Everymen Actively Neutralizing Scariness To, uh, Avert Local Kerfuffles.
Allyn [genuinely impressed ]: You just came up with that?
Will: Like a boss. Seriously, like your boss. Keep in mind who runs this company before you shoot down my awesome ideas and hurt my feelings.
Allyn: I would never shoot down your awesome ideas. This idea, however, comes off as a bit… [diplomatically ] over-derivative. I believe we can do better.
Will: Eh. I guess you’re right. [clicks off the projector ] Anyone else got anything?
Danielle [raising a hand ]: We could always transcribe this meeting’s minutes into a script and use that.
Will [pointing at Danielle ]: I like it! Allyn? Objections?
Allyn: Beyond the egregious waste of our production budget on office chairs? No.
Will: Then we are agreed. Good meeting, everyone! [satisfied thump of his mug on the table ] Adjourned.
“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.
“Thank you to audience members Chelsea de la Cruz and Kelton de la Cruz,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ and ‘The sun cannot rise without setting first.’”
“If you enjoyed yourselves,” Will says, “(or if you didn’t, but you totally did, right?), don’t forget to leave suggestions for future productions in the comments! Words or phrases we’ve got to include, a prop to use, a prompt to run with… anything goes! ‘Til next time, friends: Will and Allyn out!”