Playwriting

International Thespians Day Four

Greetings from the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska.

On Day Four of the International Thespian Festival, Lindsay chats with Carolyn Greer, one of the Thespian Playworks directors.

Transcript

Lindsay: Hello, we are here at the International Thespian Festival. I am sitting here with Carolyn Greer. Hello.

Carolyn: Hello.

Lindsay: And Carolyn, the reason I wanted to talk to you is because you said you are directing one of the playworks.

Carolyn: Yes.

Lindsay: So first, can you tell me what playworks is?

Carolyn: Playworks is a portion of the festival where students, high school students, who are playwrights submit their plays to be screen-adjudicated, so to speak, and then four are selected to be brought to the festival to be workshopped.

Lindsay: And I think that everything happens here, like the audition process happens here…

Carolyn: Mm-hmm.

Lindsay: …all the rehearsal happens here.

Carolyn: Everything.

Lindsay: So when you show up on Tuesday, you don’t know who you’re working with or how it’s going to go.

Carolyn: I have a script, I know the playwright, and I know the dramaturg who I’ll be working with, and other than that everything else is fresh.

Lindsay: How many people showed up to audition?

Carolyn: We had over 150.

Lindsay: And how many were in your cast?

Carolyn: Two.

Lindsay: Wow.

Carolyn: So there were four…five shows being cast. That’s still…I don’t think we needed more than 20 or so…

Lindsay: All told.

Carolyn: …actors, and the talent was phenomenal.

Lindsay: Okay, so you ended up your two… So over the week, how many rehearsals did you get?

Carolyn: We’ll get four. Four. Today’s our fourth.

Lindsay: And then what’s the level that is expected?

Carolyn: Well, it is a staged reading.

Lindsay: Okay.

Carolyn: So in performance tomorrow, the kids will have scripts in hand. What our goal has been primarily is to get them on their feet, to give them some basic blocking, some basic objective and intention. And the main purpose really is for the playwright to see how their work plays.

Lindsay: Right.

Carolyn: And you would understand that.

Lindsay: A hundred percent.

Carolyn: Yeah.

Lindsay: I say over and over again that seeing your work is the most important thing for a playwright, and it’s sometimes the thing that gets missed in student writing because we’re so focused on the finished product of the play, and it’s like, well, the finished product’s not until you actually see it.

Carolyn: Right.

Lindsay: So how has your playwright been in terms of…

Carolyn: She’s been wonderful. Morgan is my playwright. She is an adorable girl, she’s from North Carolina, and she’s already…her show’s been produced twice. She directed it once, but we’ve been working with Steve Gregg. He’s her dramaturg.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Carolyn: And he’s been really great with her, and she’s really been open to both of our thoughts and ideas. She had rewritten a scene, but when I blocked it with the old script, she said she liked what we had done because we made a change in just the movements really, and she liked what we did so she went back to the original with the blocking that had been created on the two actors.

Lindsay: Oh, that’s fabulous.

Carolyn: So she’s really, really open to making her piece as strong as it can be, and she’s so creative.

Lindsay: That’s fantastic. Okay, so these are being put up Saturday afternoon.

Carolyn: Saturday afternoon, all four.

Lindsay: Awesome. Thank you so much, Carolyn.

Carolyn: You’re so welcome.

About the author

Craig Mason