Expanded Universe, Alyssa

Some years ago, I started working on a story about the late-90s tech boom in Atlanta, which featured as its main character a web developer turned entrepreneur named David Cairo (pronounced Kay-ro, like the town in Georgia). I created the rough outline of a story and several chapters, but never fully fleshed out the material and eventually set the project aside. The rough storyline was that Cairo started out as a web developer in Atlanta just before the Olympics came to town, and afterward started his own tech firm, which he took public, making him a billionaire, and dealt with the problems that come when someone from a low-income background becomes very wealthy very quickly. It went onto the back burner in my head, where I’ve continued to occasionally look at it and stir it around a bit.

Around 2010, an actor who saw some sketches I wrote for a Sketchworks Comedy acting showcase approached me about writing a short script featuring a part for her. After several fits and starts, I came up with an eighteen-page script, called Rebecca Two, about a young woman who wakes up in the hospital following a car accident thinking she’s someone else. There are no apparent connections between her and the other woman, who died five years prior to the action of the story. The actor liked the script, but the director passed on it. I found the story interesting, however, and wrote up an extensive history on the woman, who I initially called Allison, and how she came to know the woman, Rebecca, she woke up claiming to be. Once again, I shelved the project.

Around late 2011, I wanted to try my hand at writing a full-length play, and since I had all the background from the screenplay, I used it as the basis for the longer work, which I now entitled Rebecca, Too. In it, the character I was still calling Allison was the surprise child in her family, and was about twelve years younger than her closest sibling. She had two older sisters, only one of whom was named in the play, Beth, and her mother, Melinda, was a character in the play. The result was an incomplete script, approximately seventy-five pages long, and the words pretty much just sat on the page.

In this script, Allison, who’s recently lost her father, wakes up in the hospital after a car accident, thinking she’s Rebecca. She has a scene with a nurse, then argues with her husband, who then goes to seek out the brother of the woman she’s claiming to be. Eventually, her mother reveals that she’s not who she thinks she is, so they set out to find out why she’s taken on this personality. Along the way, it’s discovered that Allison and Rebecca met in Florida during spring break, and this caused some friction with Allison’s friends. Rebecca later died in a car accident outside Braselton, Georgia, leaving behind a brother named Steven, and a girlfriend named Claire. In the end, Allison confronts Rebecca’s estranged father, and snaps back into being herself. While a lot happens in the script, there was little tension, and nothing to drive the action of the play. Perhaps the only innovation to come from the incomplete script was that I changed the name of the protagonist, since I already had a character named Allison in another work, so I looked up “Allison” at Wikipedia, hoping to find an equivalent. As a result, my character became Alyssa Renee Caine.

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