Finally finished my play and found myself sitting around a table in Saskatoon with most of my original cast. Not everyone could make it, so I wound up reading one of the roles. What a schizophrenic experience! Last night I was an actor, playing a character, who is based on me. I was thinking actor thoughts, playwright thoughts, and personal thoughts.
In some ways I felt like a 12 year old kid getting ice time with his NHL heros. During the workshop at the end of May, I was the writer, a bit out in left field, and rarely dealt with the cast directly. That was Don’s job. Mine was to shut up, sit back, listen, and learn. This time I got a chance to be one of them. It was truly a rewarding experience.
Even so, my judgement of how well the play stands up was a bit cloudy as a result. I was too busy hitting operative words, playing objectives, and ‘acting’ to be a proper judge of the dramatic structure. I still saw where the dialogue got bogged down in places, or where little messes needed to be cleaned up, but in general, I was far too wrapped up in my role be a dramaturge.
I’ve already sent it off to the SPC to request another workshop. My next step will be to get the TeleFilm application complete and sent off for potential funding. Following that, I plan to get the pen out and start breaking the script down into beats — get a good look at its bones to see what kind of shape they’re in.
Overall, I’m really happy with it. The cast was thrilled with some of the changes, questioned a few other things, and expressed their desire to be a part of the next draft’s reading.