Although his first full-length play is a dramatic thriller, Nick McCord has spent a lot of his life making people laugh.
McCord who is producing, co-directing and acting in the play he wrote, Good Night, Good Doctor, this weekend at The Midnight Sun is a former comedian.
I worked as a stand-up comedian for about six years and traveled all over the United States after my first failed attempt at college, sad McCord, 31, of Olympia. I was headlining; I was doing pretty well. After that, I was picked up as the emcee for the Pokémon World Championships.
McCord, whos studying dramatic writing at The Evergreen State College, is still emceeing for Pokémon. And hes writing plays.
One of the reasons I quit stand-up comedy was that I felt limited on stage to expressing just one facet, just the funny haha stuff, he said. Thats one of the reasons I wanted to be a playwright. I didnt just want to make my audience laugh, I wanted to make them cry. I wanted to make them leave the theater talking about what they saw.
In the case of Good Night, Good Doctor, what he wants them to talk about is psychiatric medications.
The story centers around a French physician who is being held in a detainment facility in Virginia, McCord said. Hes about to be extradited for crimes against humanity. Rolling Stone magazine has dispatched a reporter to talk with this doctor about why the government is ready to ship him off.
This doctor has figured out a way to circumvent this idea that we all have to be on something, he said. But this good idea comes with a cost.
The reporters son has attention-deficit disorder, and he and his wife are arguing about whether to medicate the boy. The wifes mother takes an antidepressant.
Its a dramatic thriller where you have all of these different elements, and everything is going to coalesce at the end of the play, McCord said.
The play has a cast of three McCord as the doctor and fellow Evergreen students McCauley Fox as the reporter and Allison Schneider as the reporters wife. All three have directing experience, so they took turns directing scenes they werent in.
Theres only three of us for an hour and 20 minute play, McCord said. Its really dialogue heavy.
McCords own Shallow Gallows Productions is producing the show. The playwright aims to produce new and thought-provoking works, including but not limited to his own.
Next up for Shallow Gallows, though, is McCords next play, Oh, Wally, which still is being written. He expects to produce it this summer.
That is a really weird take on the 1980s sitcoms, except, in this case, the child in that 1980s family like Family Ties and Growing Pains has just died, he said. The family is trying to work in the usual pattern, where they have easy problems that are solved in 45 minutes, except they cant.
It will be a tragic comedy.