Basking In Festival Thoughts

I’ve been living in residence here at the University of Regina, basking in the SPC’s Spring Festival of New Plays.  It’s my second time around and it’s absolutely GREAT being a playwright in a playwrights’ festival.  I managed to drain a couple of pints with Ryan Gibbins, a playwright from New Brunswick when I first arrived.  Sat in on day one of the workshop for his play, ‘Demolotics’.  The festival gave him an excellent group of professional actors, and his director is someone I’ve known for years.  After breaking at lunch, I took him to Triffon’s for his first taste of ‘Regina Pizza’ and we discussed some issues with his draft.

I’m surrounded by writers, actors, directors, and dramaturges and we all are doing our best, to bring the best out of each other.  If I have a story problem, I have people to bring it up with.  If others are having story problems, I’m happy to lend my ear.  In between, there is us just being us, hanging out, drinking, musing, and polishing our crafts.

Last time I was here, I took it all for granted.  I didn’t realize what an honour and a privilege it was to have this opportunity.  I still gained much from the experience, and indeed, it did set me on my present course, but I could have done so much more with it.  Artistic Directors from a number of theatres populated the place, and I did nothing to schmooze them.  I just assumed people would line up to read my play.  I’ve since learned that everyone has a stack of new plays on their desks that reach to the ceiling.  Getting them to watch your workshop, and following up a short time after does wonders to a play’s future.

My workshop for ‘Dick’ is tomorrow.  I thought about pulling out the script for a quick once over, but decided against it.  I’ve had several months worth of thoughts about it.  It’s now time to put it in the hands of the theatre creatures to see what I already might know, but haven’t communicated on the page yet.  I’m also looking forward to learning about the things I don’t know yet.  It’s gonna be a busy day.

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