Crystal and Marisol were standing on Deception Pass staring into Puget Sound. Crystal came to Seattle as a part of a long road trip from San Diego. 8 months prior, Marisol had moved back up to Seattle after being in San Diego for about 2.5 years.
During those 2.5 years, Marisol and Crystal got really close. They started the Opehqueh project, they shared secrets, invented a new sport, they farted (mostly Crystal) and laughed until tears streamed down their faces, just general friend stuff, you know. So when Marisol moved away, Crystal was heartbroken. They said, “We’ll keep in touch,” and thanks to technology, they did. They texted, called, skyped and facebooked. It was almost like Marisol had never moved away, except that she could no longer smell Crystal’s farts.
So as they stared off into the sound, knowing that Crystal’s trip was going to come to an end soon, they were sad, but they knew they’d still stay in touch. But then Marisol said, “we should write a play together from afar through letters.” Then their wheels started spinning, like they often do when Marisol and Crystal are together.
What if we only communicated with each other through letters? No modern technology period.
And the Pen-Pal Project was formed.
Here are the rules for the Pen-Pal Project:
#1 No Email. (Unless their jobs mandate it. Both work in the theatre education world, and while they are far apart, there is a slight possibility that they could cross paths)
#2 No Text Messages
#3 No Skype dates
#4 No social media communication (Includes facebook, twitter and even this blog)
#5 No phone calls *details below
#6 Write a minimum of 1 handwritten letter per month. No maximum.
About the letters: They cannot contain any memory cards, usbs, videos or cds. Only in case of a hand injury are you allowed to send recorded audio.
#7 They can phone call or text only if they are in the same city
#8 They cannot and should not find loopholes to communicate. For example, asking friends via facebook about each other.
#9 The project begins on October 6, 2013, and ends in at least 6 months or when they can next meet face-to-face.
#10 MOST IMPORTANT RULE:
The only way to break the rules is in case of serious illness or DEATH. This is serious bidness.
*phone call details: Each gets one phone call during the project to be used at their own discretion, and should last no more than 10 minutes.
Phone Call Definition: phone call is defined as one person calling the other, and speaking. If one leaves a voicemail, that counts as their one phone call. For example, if Crystal calls Marisol, but Marisol doesn’t answer, Crystal can either leave a voice message and use up her one phone call, or keep calling back until she gets to speak to Marisol. But if Marisol sees her missed call, and calls Crystal back, then Marisol has used up her one phone call.
When the project is over, they’ll do another post with reflections about the experiment.
Wish them luck!