Chicky has finally flown home, so it’s time to get back on my regular blogging schedule! I’d like to start today by covering the rest of my time at The Playwrights’ Center, with a little preview of what’s to come on the dramachicks blog. 🙂
This past Thursday I was privileged to see Sarah Gubbins’ The Water Play, a culture-conscious examination of the ways we perceive our government and their responsibilities, tied to the timely theme of potential water shortage in our world’s near future. During my first viewing of The Water Play, I felt a little overwhelmed by the terminology and the amount of new information being presented to the audience, not to mention the length of the show. But this is what is so great about PlayLabs; by the second read-through Gubbins had tightened the script by slashing lines, clarifying vocabulary, and condensing information, making The Water Play much easier for an audience to swallow. Overall, The Water Play is a thoughtful and thought-provoking piece with beautifully theatrical elements. The icing on the cake is the fabulous character of Lady D, a glamorous synchronized swimmer who leads the cast in “swimming” exercises demonstrated on rolling office chairs. I mentioned it’s theatrical, right? 😉
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were dedicated to second readings of all four plays, with wonderful results all around. Each show evolved in some way; each playwright took advantage of the rehearsals leading up to their first reading, but I was amazed to see how much they changed AGAIN before the second reading. As a budding playwright, I am fully convinced of the validity of PlayLabs and similar programs that encourage playwrights to develop their work in an environment beyond the page or computer screen. Giving voice, sound, image, and movement to a performance piece helps a playwright discover whether or not their vision is being realized. The readings and subsequent script modifications not only bring a playwright one step closer to a production-worthy play, but also opens up the playwright’s work to public knowledge, helping them to connect with directors, actors, and producers who may be interested in building a relationship with a talented writer. The Playwrights’ Center offers a huge service with PlayLabs and their other writer-focused programs. I was blessed to be a part of that process in any small way.
Now that I’m home and recovering from my perpetual state of exhaustion, I am eager to return to my own writing, as well as exploring new ways my husband and I can use our small theatre group — Ghostlight Productions — to help playwrights in similar ways. Home again, home again, but a new adventure begins!
Oh, and coming soon: interviews with three female playwrights I met during PlayLabs: Christina Ham (Many Voices Fellowship Coordinator at The Playwrights’ Center), Sarah Gubbins (The Water Play), and Winter Miller (The Arrival). Stay tuned! And check below for some fun pictures from my trip. 🙂
Here’s a close-up…