Timon & Pumbaa Are Dead


On 6 and 7 December, I was part of a one-act theater showcase at Caltech. One of the plays we put on was “Timon & Pumbaa are Dead”, written by yours truly, in shameless imitation of Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead”.

The train of thought leading to my writing of this play proceeded thusly. Step 1: “The Lion King” is “Hamlet”, but with lions. Uncle kills the king Father, takes over kingdom; vengeful Prince kills Uncle. (Obviously, “The Lion King” has a happier ending.) Step 2: in 1966, Stoppard wrote a play about the off-stage antics of the two clowns from “Hamlet”: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Step 3: and lo and behold, “The Lion King” has clear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern analogues: Timon and Pumbaa! Step 4: “Timon & Pumbaa are Dead”.

Due to lack of actors and directors (and possibly my desire to act and direct), I ended up directing the play, and playing Timon. This was my first time writing a play, my first time directing a play, and my first time acting in a play. Needless to say, things went swimmingly.

Only the first of the three planned acts was performed. Regardless, I learned quite a bit about writing for stage, and when I’m done writing the full play, I’ll put it up here.


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