Have you ever been in a situation filled with interesting people, finding their way, pursuing their dreams, hoping to be appreciated while at the same time not selling out?
That’s how it was for me when I lived at the Unarmed Underground Art Centre, an artist’s community, a live/work space, in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida, some years ago.
It was a hamster cage for the disenfranchised, a particle collider for dreams, absorbing and pushing out energy and attracting others into its orbit to participate, refuel, and collect ideas before heading on their way to other planets in the constellation.
That was when I first got the idea for Dumpster Diver the musical, using people who lived at this art’s space as inspiration for the characters.
Here’s a drawing of what I feel the characters would look like.
Faith is the main character, a nomadic hippie who becomes an activist, dumpster diver and the reluctant muse for the Dumpster Liberation Front (DLF).
Trevor is another main character, a software developer on the career fast track for a well known, yet controversial technology firm. When he finds out what his company really intends, he has a decision to make: continue working there and keep silent, or joining Faith and the DLF to expose the company’s real intent.
Professor Shelby is Trevor’s former college professor and current vice president of Angelwire, where Trevor works. He introduces Trevor the cushy lifestyle of Angelwire and reminds him of the scholarship Angelwire provided during his college years.
Jonchaub is a member of the Dumpster Liberation Front. He’s based on a kid I met in Burlington, Vermont, named Jonchaub, who was formerly training to be a Greek Orthodox priest.
Melody is based on a girl I know who is a dumpster diver and a narcoleptic. In this musical, Melody is also a poet. She’s a DLF member.
Eli is the supervisor of the Dumpster Liberation Front. He’s based on Alan Patrusevich, art director of the Unarmed Underground Art Center (UUAC).
Erin plays the part of Trevor’s girlfriend. She’s also the daughter of Professor Shelby, vice president of Angelwire and Trevor’s boss.
Meghan is the security guard working for Professor Shelby, who begins to admire Trevor’s courage.
Waffle is a member of the Dumpster Liberation Front.