Posts Tagged ‘Drama’

From the Editor’s Perch

February 26, 2013
At a Live Reading, the Playwright is Often a Ball of Worries.

At a Live Reading, the Playwright is Often a Ball of Worries.

The Fun of Live Theater

 

We had a reading of several small plays last night.  A piece was read which a friend and I had collaborated on.  Then a piece of each of ours was read.  The evening went well.   It’s fun to write.  It’s fun to imagine.  But the payoff of sitting in an audience who are clearly enjoying your theater work is hard to acquire any other way that by just putting it up there.  The warmth and the fun of it are something to bathe in quietly for at least several days.  And the memory can well be enjoyed for years.

Usually, it’s just a few select scenes which are so cherished; scenes where the acting and script seemed to speak and live so naturally, that you treasure the memory as if it were a relation, or a wife.   The play, as a whole entity, is usually cumbersomely remembered as part of the whole package of production materials: a concretion of crisis’s, breakdowns, adjustments, grit and slog, insights, fear and loathing, people who fail you, people who save you, etc. – rather like a life, out of which these special scenes surface like a State of Grace.  These are what we work for.

There’s nothing like having it breathing in front of you.  Statistical hits on the website don’t do it.  Comments are fine.  But after falling on your ass in front of people so many times, (which all playwrights do) a live success is something cherished. The whole room is happy.  The actors are happy.  The audience is happy.  You’re happy.  It’s the best sort of party.

Photo by Carl Nelson of model/playwright John Ruoff

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From the Editor’s Post…

October 28, 2012

Editor’s Note:  I was thinking a little bit about plays…

From “Saving Harry” with Chuck Brastrup and Daniel Woods.

Getting ‘Stupid’ Right

The most important part of crafting a play is getting ‘stupid’ right.   Plays can have great dialogue, ready wit, sparkling language, lots of drama, but if they don’t get ‘stupid’ right, there’s a good chance it will not be a hit.  ‘Stupid’ is that thing below all the language which makes everything move.  Some playwrights are born getting ‘stupid’ right and some have to really work at it.  ‘Stupid’ is what young people drink to become.  ‘Stupid’ is what happens in extreme situations.  ‘Stupid’ is what the young woman who has the handsome software engineer boyfriend over for dinner says, after she’s heard about Moore’s Law for what seems the fifteenth reference, as she pours him some wine, “I think,  tonight, I’m going to have to get you a liiitttttle stupid.”

Responding to stupid is something everyday audiences are good at; cultural mandarins sadly, not so good.  Cultural mandarins (and many critics) are like alcoholics; it’s hard to get them drunk; it takes a lot, and when you do it’s often on stuff which will make you go blind.

Photo by Carl Nelson


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