Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What I will/can do here

Here’s what I will do:

Answer questions about how to submit your work to theatres, where to find collaborators, how to write a synopsis, whether or not to submit a script that is intentionally flawed in the hopes that the person who reads it will be inspired to produce the play so they can fix it (NO!!!!). I will help you think differently about a scene or a character. I will tell you what to look for (and look out for) when you get a reading or workshop of your play. I can (and I will) ask you questions that will provoke you to create the best play you can create.

I am not prescriptive. It is your privilege and responsibility to write the play, not mine.

We can talk about writing, why you do it, how you do it, even where. We can brainstorm. We can vent. I can tell you the reason a theatre has rejected your work (they do not share the nature of your obsession enough to spend whatever amount of money they spend on a given production) and what that means (write your next play).

I will help you compose your work so that your potential collaborators are invited into the play. Directors, actors, designers, literary managers, producers, and volunteer scriptreaders will be drawn into the world of the play.

I know I know I know: dramaturgs have a bad rap. Some theatre folks have had bad experiences with what I call ‘samurai dramaturgy.’ You have probably heard terrifying stories about dramaturgs who think they can “fix” plays that are somehow “flawed” until they put their fingerprints all over them. Some people believe that we are nothing more than geeks with library cards and/or Advanced Google Search skills.

And it’s not always pretty and it’s never easy and you will get pissed off and perplexed. And then it will land; you will hear a character speak in a different tone, you will see him stay in the room, you’ll deprive him of the opportunity to indulge himself in a 7-minute direct-audience-address monologue. You will no longer set your plays in a “large American city” because you’ve figured out that Los Angeles is different from New York and Chicago and Miami and Houston and Milwaukee. There will be more texture. You'll be less worried about what is "realistic" and free to worry about what will be dramatic and theatrical. There will be more to work with/in/from. Because you ignored the vicious rumors and listened to a dramaturg who is not afraid of telling you the truth and who has your highest interests at heart and in mind.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds fantastic.
    How do we get this rolling?
    Should we post questions?
    Thanks, Mame!