Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Asylum No More, once more

When I finish a draft, I read it aloud in order to clean up spelling errors that cannot be caught by spellcheck. I also find lines that don't flow well, other little bits that need cleaning up. This time I realized I really did have to include that final scene that I thought I could leave out. The irony is I had started to write it, then thought "oh no, they'll think the play was over with the last scene. I'd better just cut this out." So I deleted it, didn't save a scrap. When I read the play aloud, I thought what? where's the rest of the play? Just like my audience would have. Too abrupt. Fortunately, I had the beat sheet right there in front of me, so I knew what was lacking. This morning I wrote that scene -- again -- this time, fully, and finally. Much better.
I also took a gigantic risk and sent the play out to a producer who is looking for material for Fertile Ground. I am already planning to have this play in Fertile Ground, but if it is accepted, I will let them produce it instead. I will do something else. I sent the producer two plays. Maybe they will choose the other one. Or neither one. Submitting plays is always a risk, a risk of rejection. But if you don't send them out, they will never be produced. And I write mine with the assumption that I will see them onstage at some point. I love the act of collaborating with the producer, the director, the designers, the actors, everyone involved.
I have co-founded and founded theatre companies myself, so I know the work involved, and I know that it is hard, that it takes a ton of organization, of commitment, and I also know that it needs to be fun. No one wants to work with people who are jerks, or who don't follow through, or don't pull their own weight. I love to do my part. I love to hear what others bring to the table. I like hearing others' feedback about my plays, and I will let it in. I want my plays to entertain audiences, so I try to create good stories. I know that other theatre artists may know more about certain aspects of the story that I'm telling than I do. So my ears and my heart is open.
For one of my plays (The Godmother) I have grandiose dreams. It would make a fun and interesting serial. Either live onstage, or on TV. I don't have the money to produce it myself or I would. Then I would produce live serial versions every year. Why? Because I believe in the characters in this play. Everyone of them is real and deep and interesting to me. They deserve to have their stories told. Maybe someday.

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