Playwriting

International Thespian Festival

Been a busy week getting ready to go to the International Thespian Festival in Nebraska next week. We’ll have an exhibitor table for Theatrefolk and I’m going to be doing workshops during the week as well. The festival is quite an experience – I went for the first time in 1996 and the first show I saw was The Pirates of Penzance. We walk into the theatre and there are four-colour programs and matching buttons for everyone. The cast had at least 50 Pirates and Maids. The play opened with a life-sized Pirate ship moving on stage (with pirates on it) with cannons booming and belching smoke. This was a high school production! The next year I saw a Jesus Christ Superstar that had eight follow-spots.

Based on what I’ve seen, it does seem that some plays make it to the mainstage because they are large and they can fit the space – the theatre is a 3000 seater. Sometimes large does not equal good. On the other hand, I also saw a mainstage show that first year with four actors and four wooden chairs. They played on the lip of the huge stage and it was great. I imagine the festival must be such a wonderful time if you’re a teen – I would have loved it!

I got some good news this week – my workshop that got canceled two weeks ago is on again! I’m off to the school tomorrow and I can’t wait. I have three hours to work with the kids and I’m sure to get lots done. My process towards publication is different than most – the plays I’m writing are often quite short – twenty minutes. Because of that I can go from a reading to being on the feet really quickly. I know exactly what I’m looking for in a play (being that it’s my company) and whether or not it’s ready to move forward. It’s very¬†efficient It’s one of the things I like about our company mandate – we have pretty specific requirements and that makes writing plays (and reading submissions) not necessarily easier, but focused. I know exactly what I need to see in Tick Talk tomorrow – here’s hoping I get it!

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Lindsay Price

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