Looking At the Bones

Being a playwright at a playwriting festival is really cool.  I belong to a fraternity of six other playwrights and we all walk around, torn somewhere between mind numbing creative angst and heart pounding raw inspiration.  We all are going through the same thing and the experience bonds us.  Better yet, all kinds of other theatre creatures are hanging around and they’re more than happy to discuss our plays with us.

Normally when I write, I head for a coffee shop or a quiet nook with a view, but hanging around the festival and working on my play is quite rewarding.  On Tuesday I sat in the festival lounge and transcribed all the pencil markings on my script into a fresh new clean draft.  People were milling about, having conversations, sleeping, or chilling.  It was a great energy.  I didn’t find it distracting at all.  I fed off it.

I spent yesterday marking up that fresh new clean draft.  I broke each scene down into beats and gave those beats titles.  The act of doing that taught me a great deal about my play.  I was able to see the bones of it.  I was able to see what was working, why it was working, and also where the problems were, why they were problems, and how to fix them.  My goal was to have a new draft ready for my postmortem meeting on Saturday, but now I think it would be better to simply deconstruct my play, inventory the bones, and let the possible solutions peculate for a little while.

Having said all that, I’m off to the farm tonight to celebrate Shy’s 19th.  She’s been planning it for several months now, and missing it will not be an option.  I’m back at the festival tomorrow.

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