Alcoholidays a Christmas Production

meet the Writers

Ted Satterfield grew up in Spiro, Oklahoma and has lived in his home state for most of his life. He holds a master's degree in professional writing from University of Oklahoma, has worked as a newspaper copy editor, and was a journalism professor at Northwestern Oklahoma State University for six years. He and his wife Melanie live in Norman now, and is the editor of publications for the Oklahoma Geographical Survey on the University of Oklahoma campus. His first screenplay, The Lightning Round, won two awards at the Bare Bones Film Festival in Muskogee, OK and won 'Best Short Script' at the 2012 deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City. He went on to produce and direct "The Lightning Round" and it premiered at the deadCENTER in 2014 and has accumulated an impressive number of awards on the film festival circuit. He and his wife Melanie collaborated for the first time when they co-wrote the stage play Alcoholidays which was produced by the NextStage Theatre Company for the 2013 holiday season and in a joint venture of The Oklahoma City Theatre Company and NextStage in 2015.

Melanie Wilderman grew up in Choctaw, OK and holds two degrees from the University of Oklahoma: a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in professional writing. In 2013, she returned to her alma mater as an assistant professor of journalism after spending eight years as an instructor of mass communication and student newspaper adviser at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, OK. Writing has been her passion since grade school. She is the author of a young adult e-book series, The Ghost Glimpser and is a freelance feature writer for Oklahoma Living magazine and Luxiere Oklahoma. In 2013, she took home the best short script award at the deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City for the piece, Uterus Chat, (yes, the same award Ted won in 2012. To deadCENTER’s knowledge, this is the first time a husband/wife team won such an award back to back.) Ted then turned Uterus Chat into a short film that has one two awards for best comedy short at both an Oklahoma and a Texas independent film festival. Melanie and her husband, Ted, co-wrote Alcoholidays, their first work for the stage. The couple lives in Norman with a beagle-mix named Sidnee, and they enjoy road trips, books, and movies of multiple genres as long as there’s a good story.

About the Script

The Alcoholidays writing project's genesis was in a very unusual location -- Interstate 40 in Oklahoma on Christmas Day. Melanie and Ted were in the middle of carrying out their yearly tradition of driving from her parents' house in Choctaw to his parents' in Spiro. They started talking about how different their families are and how those differences manifest themselves even more over the holidays. Ted’s family is fairly quiet and reserved, and Melanie's is the complete opposite. Ted’s family opens presents one at a time while everyone watches, and Melanie’s family rips them open at the same time. Ted’s family doesn't do a lot of drinking, while Christmas breakfast with Melanie’s family would not be complete without a copious amount of mimosas.

On this fateful holiday, Melanie got out her laptop while Ted drove, and they took notes about the interesting, awkward, and funny scenarios during family get-togethers. Over the next few years, taking these notes became their Christmas tradition during this drive. After awhile the couple branched out to taking notes about other Christmas parties such as those with coworkers and with friends. They did all of this wanting to do something with the writing, but not having anything specific in mind.

In summer of 2013, the writing duo had the privilege of meeting the wonderful people of the NextStage Theatre Company in Oklahoma City while at deadCENTER. The NextStage folks asked the couple if they would be interested in writing an original stage play. Melanie and Ted kicked around several ideas, but decided to read over the years of Christmas notes and laughed so hard they knew they had to bring this to life.

The script features a young couple as they attend four Christmas parties: Work, Family 1, Family 2, and Friends. While writing, the characters took on a life of their own, so there are really only traces of real family members and friends found in this play, but reflecting on family weirdness during the holidays is where it all began.


Ryan D. Tomlinson

Phone: 214-728-3877

Email: rdtomlinson91@gmail.com

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