Playwriting

Observations

30 Days of Development: Lindsay is writing every day for thirty days, and submitting every day for thirty days, and blogging about it every day for thirty days. Whew! Can she do it? Stay posted….

DAY TWENTY

Writing: Hmmm. I typed out the first montage scene for Act Two of the Bee play and it didn’t come together like I thought. Hmmm. Well. That sucks and kind of stopped me in my tracks. Back to the drawing board.

Turned back to the Nano-play (you know, the full length I’m NOT working on???) and wrote some thoughts on the third sister. Thought about adding a brother, but he doesn’t seem to want to come out and play. He’s nowhere, I can’t even see him.. Came up with a nice intro but I definitely don’t have time to work on it so why am I doing this? I supposed writing on a play I’m not working on is better than staring into space…

Thoughts: I went to see Frost/Nixon last night at the St. Louis Rep Theatre. These are my observations:

  1. On the front door of the theatre there is a sign that says, ‘Concealed weapons are not permitted on these premises.’ Who, carrying a concealed weapon to the theatre, sees that sign, turns around and takes their weapon back to the car?
  2. The St. Louis businessman has a Stepford devotion to the khaki pant. Was there a memo and I missed it?
  3. This play has no intermission. It’s an hour-forty. Oh oh.
  4. Oh good, there’s a multimedia aspect. I see a bank of twelve TVs. I want to add screens to the nano play I’m not working on.
  5. First watch check. 8:25. Oh oh.
  6. I don’t know much about Nixon and I know nothing about Frost. Will this play help me?
  7. Second watch check 8:45.
  8. The TVs are used really poorly. They don’t add to the design of the play, or to the theme, or to much of anything. I even forget they’re there, which is a bad sign. Marti, our host, says when she saw the play on Broadway, the TV screens almost became another character – they were an integral part of the play.
  9. This play doesn’t help me. Nixon borders on human and the actor playing him does a great job. Everyone else is a cardboard cutout. I know nothing about them, I learn nothing about them. I could give a crap that Frost wins at the end. Doesn’t that mean something, that I don’t care if he wins or loses?
  10. I love token women roles. Really. I love them. Furniture movers, silent nose powderers, girlfriends who wear nice dresses, go for food and refuse champagne. I can’t get enough. Why isn’t this play a two-hander? Frost and Nixon. Why should we care about anyone else? Why are there more people on stage?
  11. Because, dear reader, we have narrators. Narrators to tell us what we’re seeing, what the characters are thinking, talking, talking, talking. I despise narrators. I loathe them. Why am I being told this play instead of shown this play? Who wrote this play?
  12. Peter Morgan wrote this play. He’s a brit, mostly a screenwriter. He wrote the screenplay for The Queen and The Last King of Scotland. Frost/Nixon is his first play. It went to Broadway. Huh.
  13. Third watch check 9:09.
  14. Fourth watch check 9:10.
  15. Oh My God. There is so much talking.
  16. Shoot. Me. Now.
  17. Now, I’m spiraling deep into my green-eyed monster. How did this get to a stage? I am sitting in a rep theatre that would never never read the title of one of my scripts, watching a mediocre play that has been to Broadway. Frank Langella won awards for his portrayal of Nixon. It’s really the best part. Is that enough? Was he better than the play? Shouldn’t a play stand on its own?
  18. Is it because I’m a girl that I hate this? A bitter playwright?
  19. Nixon just said, ‘When a president does something wrong, it’s not illegal.’ The entire audience gasps. That’s a good line. His next is, ‘I realise no one shares this view.’
  20. I wish that had been the thesis of this play. That’s a line to base a play on.
  21. I’m not that bitter. But this is why I don’t go to the theatre.

Submission: Ten minute play The Drive to Longwood University.

About the author

Lindsay Price