Have been in think mode for the past couple of days over the plays I workshopped on Wednesday. Sometimes workshops give crystal clear answers for a play, sometimes I need to let things roll around in my brain for awhile. My husband will often catch me staring into space – I’m not in a daze, I’m just thinking! I’ve been a runner for about four years now and runs are the best place to think through a play and come up with different ideas to try. I’m a big advocate for writing through problems and getting ideas on paper instead of leaving them in your head, but sometimes a big think is in order.
The great thing is that I’m going into another school next Friday with the scripts. That’s perfect timing and should work to get the kinks out.
Fridays are my library days (this is my last one though till July, boo hoo). I’ve been working on a cut version of Hamlet with sidebar notes for the last six months and it’s been helpful to have all the different versions of the text right at my fingertips. I’ve also been reading a lot of plays – it’s kind of my warm-up before I get down to work. I just read Rebecca Gillman’s Boy Gets Girl It’s a play about a woman who must deal with a stalker and it just gripped me by the throat from beginning to end.
I also just re-read Angels in Ameria by Tony Kushner. Such an epic drama – in both good and not so good ways. I love the largeness with the writing – particularly all the stuff with harper and Mr. Lies. Dead people interact with live people, people who’ve never met tell truths to each other in dreams, past lives comes forward. It’s theatrical and so beyond what writers are being told (subversively) to write these days: small casts, small plays, no money, etc.
Having said that, I did not connect with the most epic aspect of all in the play – the angel. I know that reading on the page does not compare at all with the live experience, so this is a incomplete view – and it’s not the crashing through the ceiling that I’m referring to, it’s the dialogue. What the angel says and the way she says it did not grip me or hold me. Compared to the moment in the second part when Belize talks to Lewis about Cohn and about how he’s not surprised that the note for free in the National Anthem is so high no one can reach it.
Today I’m going to look at Copenhagen by Michael Frayn. I have an idea for a science play so I’m going to read some and see what’s what.