The Blame Game and the Playwright

I’d like to blame it all on the person who is in charge of our readers theatre group. She tanked my play reading.

We all love to place blame and who can blame us? Blame must be found somewhere and it surely can’t be heaped on ourselves. Blaming ourselves would make us less than perfect (human, in other words) and would attract all sorts of negative vibrations lurking about… Continue reading

Absorbing the slings and arrows

My play is getting a reading and maybe even a full-blown production. That’s nice.

I am getting criticism at every turn. That’s nice.

The play is still being tweaked by my readers. One fellow, a natural-born fact checker, found two historical mistakes. I welcomed that. Things can get by an author.

There were more comments, of course. These generous people were helping make the play better by… Continue reading

Director as traffic cop: the administration part of the job

So I’m directing the play I just wrote. Or at least I was.

I spent a week going over my own script to determine how best to bring it alive in the reading we’re doing to show the board of directors of my community theatre an idea of what the play would be like should they chose to produce it.

But what a disaster! The readers theatre group… Continue reading

Directing: whose bright idea was this?

I’m in the “Be careful of what you wish” mode. I’ve been invited to give the board of directors of my community theatre a reading of the play I’ve written so they can decide whether to produce it. Great opportunity, hey?

Yes, just great.

What is my problem? Why

Now what do I do?

I have been working on a play and for the first time ever, it is getting read, workshopped really, and hearing actors reading the lines has been a huge help to the writing process. Terrifying, but so necessary. Maybe because I am older, now, or that I am finally evolving, I no longer feel like a failure when some of the lines fall flat. Instead, I cringe a little, but… Continue reading

Taking criticism

The very minute your work of art is read, or hung or built or whatever, and brought to public attention, it is no longer just your work of art. It is quickly taken over by criticism. Opinion. It may take different forms, but each person who views the work of art has an opinion.

Some criticism will be considered, with training and experience behind it. Some, not so much… Continue reading

Playwright as a work in progress

The Princess Place Preserve in Flagler County, Florida, is the oldest standing structure in the county, built in 1889 by Henry Cutting and his wife Angela (who later became the Princess of this country hunting lodge. It is visited by locals and eco-tourists alike. Watching park rangers and long-time residents talk about the history of this place and this area in a DVD that serves as an introduction to your… Continue reading

Playwriting workshop at the community theatre – back to the future

Let me throw a few names around: Eugene O’Neill, George S. Kaufman, Elmer Rice, Maxwell Anderson, Robert E. Sherwood, Susan Glaspell. What do they have in common? They all got their playwriting chops at local, community-run Little Theatres.

While New York’s Theatre Syndicate were touring lots of money-making shows that were fresh hits on Broadway, these playwrights were able to make their mark in theatre history. These people found… Continue reading

What is site-specific theatre?

In a nutshell, and nutshells work just fine for me, a site-specific performance of any kind—be it performance art called Happenings (1950s-60s) or flash mobs (2000s), or Stephan Koplowitz’s beautiful compositions that show dance at its most dynamic, or Punchdrunk’s production of Sleep No More—is a dynamic production that takes place, not in a conventional theatre, but at a location that has in some way inspired that production. It means… Continue reading