I found out last week that a brand new play of mine, Sweep Under Rug is going to be part of the Unpublished Play Reading Project at the AATE (American Association of Theatre Educators) conference in July. The idea is that the Project promotes scripts to producers and artistic directors for young audiences, so I’m quite thrilled to be a part of it.
The submission process takes place in two parts: everyone gets a feedback form returned to them giving a critique of the play and then of those who receive a certain mark a number are chosen for the reading.
When I submitted the play, I didn’t know that feedback was mailed back – perhaps I blocked it out. I haven’t had the best of luck with feedback forms. (I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I once got a form that said one of my plays was the worst ever.) In fact when I was pulling the piece of paper out of the envelope, once I realised it was a feedback form I dropped it so I wouldn’t have to read it.
Feedback is an odd animal – it’s absolutely necessary and I have learned a lot about my work from what people take away from it. But it can be so hurtful too, particularly in a situation without boundaries. Like feedback forms from strangers that come in the mail.
But, curiosity got the better of me. This play is a strange one – one of the characters is so despondent that she starts to loose her vocabulary, an element that I love but it’s important to find out how someone unfamiliar to me will respond to it.
Thankfully, the person giving the critique (I don’t know who it is, it’s a blind process) writes feedback extremely well. It was very positive and the questions he/she had about the script were posed in a thoughtful way which made them easy to accept and consider. It was a bit overly academic for my tastes, but the organization is made up of educators so that’s neither a bad thing nor surprising.
A big sigh of relief and a happy ending.