As it comes to the end of 2012, it’s been amazing what’s happened in such a short period of time. As you may know, I started writing plays maybe in dibs and drabs at the end of my first year at uni (about 7 years ago), and really focused on writing short stories, novellas and poetry. Reading and seeing plays have always been my passion, but I tended to view them at a distance – they looked so intimidating too write, subtle but engaging in such a different way. Finally, I overcame my fear in a rather bold move – writing my MA thesis as a full length play (first one I did). Since then, playwriting has become my “go-to” medium. Writers are often famous for pursuing a particular medium, with their attempts at the others either banished from the light or simply vanishing into obscurity. I do like writing short stories, however, but it takes me a while to get used to articulating what I really mean, whereas playwriting comes to me a lot more naturally, as does poetry, I think. It’ll take me a good while to write a story that goes somewhere, whereas a play or a poem is something I could knock out once the muse gets through the spiral static.
Anyway! My point was to share what’s been going on. As a stage manager, script reader and assistant director, I’ve been used to seeing new writing, assisting rehearsals and operating etc. but to see it with my own work is such a thrill that makes it feel that I’m entering the process anew. The best part is rehearsal, seeing what the actors make of their character and little mind travels that I never realised I was plotting while writing. It’s a beautiful collaborative process which I guess is a lot different from the relay from editor to writer (wait, I should know this, haha!). I’ve learnt a lot from what exercises can be built through a script, especially in terms of building the sense of cognitive estrangement in the sci fi play that I wrote to the shaping and directing of attention in the simple scene of En Passant. I do want to be writing short stories (I’m in the process of writing one now, actually), but the whole process of playwriting is something I definitely want to pursue further. The words you write are just a blueprint – it’s great because even though after the excitement of getting the words down, it’s just the beginning. Plays are famous for being never finished – it’s like a doll that’s put in its box after every performance. Every time you take it out to play it’s an entirely different character.
I want to thank all the directors, producers, actors and of course the audiences who support new writing. It’s been an amazing journey and I cross my fingers to get more opportunities like this in 2013!
Next post will be on Constellations – an amazingly domesticated play linking quantum realities with the relationship of two people. The staging is almost bare but the illusions are easy to grasp, powerful yet subtle. It relies on the actors so much to be able to stop and start and repeat – reminiscent, I’d say of Churchill in A Number. Anyway, I’m rambling. I spent some time on the journey back from the play swearing to myself at some intervals – it taught me a lot, folks!
Also, I’m in Doollee! This is so exciting – to be listed with playwrights since 1956 I believe. Even my advisor for my PhD is listed there too. His name is Dan Rebellato and is a great playwright and academic!
Check out my profile here. Not all of them have been produced of course, but it’s great if you want to see hints of what might be made flesh in the future!