Monday, December 13, 2004

Dec. 13 Part III

I made a difficult decision to pass on submitting to several theatres in search of plays. I miss having my work on stage – I love the rehearsal process – but, in each of these cases, should the play be chosen, I would have to be onsite for a solid period of time without pay, and I simply can’t right now. It goes beyond the financial aspect. I’d be acting in a semi-producer role as well as the writer role, and I can’t spread myself that thinly right now.

While a play is never truly “finished” – in that it evolves in every performance throughout its life – some of these plays have been done enough with me onsite for me to know that they’re solid. Solid enough to now have a life of their own without me watching over them every moment.

It’s an extremely difficult choice, but both the Business Angel and the Creative Angel agree on it. I’ll definitely continue to send out proposals to theatre companies with some of the plays – and some of the pieces will be retired, because they’ve served their purpose – but they need to fly or fall without me.

It’s also time for me to write new work for the stage. I have several plays that have percolated for too long and need to be written. One involves seven years’ worth of research and about five or six false starts. It needs to go on the calendar for next year. All that I’ve learned, writing-wise, over the past few years needs to now be applied.

I adore the rehearsal process, and any rehearsal process with me is quite intense. Actors either love it or hate it. When I had plays regularly done, I developed a group of actors that would always get first call because they had an innate understanding of the work and we created a shorthand. The rehearsal process is incredibly intimate, and that’s one reason why it’s so important to have the right cast, the right director, and the right stage manager. You can have all the other elements, but if you have the wrong stage manager, the project will be poisoned.

I don’t work with dramaturges. While I understand their use, in theory, my personal experience with them has been negative. The majority of them feud with the director, or they create friction between the director and the cast. Many of them want to be directors themselves and try to re-direct the director’s work, which only sabotages the entire piece. I’m sure there are many good and dedicated dramaturges out there. Wish I’d worked with some of them.

For the new work, I think I want to pursue opportunities internationally. As a writer, my work has been well-received in the UK and Australia – where they actually respect writers are part of the process. A Scottish interviewer once told me he thought my work plays well there because it’s got what’s best about American sensibility without the American arrogance that turns off the rest of the world. It is a compliment I hold dear.

I want the work to be inclusive rather than exclusive, and I want it to make people look at what may be a different point of view, but with sympathy for the characters.

I’m running out of disks and paper. I’ve gone through two boxes of disks and three reams of paper in about two weeks. So why do I feel as though I’m unproductive?

I’m having problems getting back into the world of Charlotte. Charlie, the pirate nutcracker just stands there on the desk and is NO help at all. I can’t find my notes for the next sequence – that’s what I get for organizing my space – and I don’t remember if the sequence between Charlotte and Woodes is before or after what happens with Alarico. I wrote the scene as a fragment so I wouldn’t lose it, and it’s an excellent scene. I just can’t remember where to put it. Guess I’ll move it around until I find the right spot.

Maybe I should worry about Widow’s Chamber first, since that’s been flowing well.



At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Devon, I hope you feel better. It's a shame about Earthsea. SciFi channel did such a good job with Children of Dune.



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