I’m pretty sure my title for this blogpost is a grammatical nightmare, but today, I care not. Today I’m here to tell you about the most exciting news of my fledgling career as a playwright. In October of 2013 my play, DROWNING OPHELIA, will be produced by the Repurposed Theatre of San Francisco, California, and directed by the theatre’s founder/artistic director, Ellery Schaar.
Sorry about that. Unprofessional screechy-excited girl moment is over now. ;-)
But no, seriously, SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So far, I have been incredibly blessed as a playwright. I’ve been commissioned to write (and sometimes perform) short pieces – from sketches to monologues to short one-acts – but this is the first REAL production of my first REAL full-length play by a REAL theatre company who read my work, loved it, and contacted me asking to produce it. (Be prepared for more blogposts on this topic, as well as an interview with Ellery!) And by the end of October I’ll be able to put on my resume “world premiere production of DROWNING OPHELIA in San Francisco, California.”
And now comes the scary part; does this mean that I am actually, TRULY, a writer now? Isn’t that always the question? When do I BECOME a writer? The moment I write? The first time I’m published? The first time my work is performed?
Or have I always been a writer and now is just when everyone else is hearing about it?
Regardless of when I “became” a writer, I think if nothing else, this production is confirmation that I’ve written something other people actually care about. That I’m no longer writing “just for me;” I have a new responsibility – to myself, to my beliefs, to the truth, even – in terms of what I “put out there.”
There’s this great play that I saw a few years back – off-Broadway, I think, – called The Metal Children. It was written by Adam Rapp and it’s a strange, intriguing play (and the cast was great; we saw Billy Crudup as the protagonist) but my favorite thing about it was that it really called into question the responsibility a writer bears for what they choose to put down on paper. It’s a controversial debate, I’m sure; as writers, are we responsible for how others interpret our writing? Do we bear responsibility for how others respond to our writing? Maybe not. But the words we put on the page are OURS. The thoughts, the emotions; they spring from our hearts, minds, souls, and experience. No matter how someone interprets it or responds to it, we are starting a conversation with the world. And for as long as our work is read or seen, we are part of that conversation. That is our responsibility; to create a conversation worth having.
Those are my thoughts for today. I’m really excited about the world premiere of my play (can you tell?!) and I am also sobered by the weight it carries to have one’s work produced. I’m grateful for the opportunity, the responsibility, and most of all, for the conversation that I hope is just beginning.