And so the adventure begins…
My writing partner, Blake Pinter, and I have finished a working draft of our new screenplay, “TILLIE.” As most creative projects are, this was a major labor of love. I am sure neither of us realized what we were getting ourselves involved with by taking on this adaptation of the book, “TILLIE, A MENNONITE MAID; A STORY OF THE PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH.”
In order to write this, I made some major changes; mainly, giving up my career as a professional musician. It became impossible to devote the time and energy required to write this while also working until midnight and taking three trains to get home. After holding our first reading yesterday, and hearing our work come to life, I know I made the right decision.
“TILLIE” is the story of a young girl who hungers for an education, despite her father’s belief that, at the age of 12, she’s “learned enough for a girl.” It takes place in 1890s Pennsylvania Dutch Country. To write it, Blake and I immersed ourselves in researching the era, the (New) Mennonite religion, the unique language spoken in this area, and the accompanying traditions, clothing, slang, philosophies and more of that time. We were fortunate to actually visit the area where this story might have taken place and get a picture of how life might have been for Tillie.
Everything that Blake and I have written to date is about people seeking their identity and discovering their truths and their strengths. “TILLIE” spoke to us on many levels and we hope we have done it justice.
Although the road to write this first draft was a long one, I know full well that it is just square one on the game table. To do this properly, we know there will be notes and rewriting sessions. That is part of the journey, we understand. But just getting here has been an amazing ride.
I hope in the months that come we will have good news to share about “TILLIE.”