Over the last few weekends Scott and I had the chance to take in two Shakespeare shows in Spokane. Twelfth Night, put on by Spokane Ensemble Theatre, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, put on by Spokane Shakespeare Society. Many things rushed in my mind as we took in these shows.
To be genuinely great, you must have something more. What is the piece that weaves the magic? What’s the spice that gives this script its particular flavor?
“Scripts contain bones, not people. Good playwrights limit their choice of bones to those which make the character unique. Onto the uniqueness the actor hangs the rest of the human being.”
The biggest advice I give writers is, relinquish control and let it become something new. Ball makes that a little easier by giving the advice of only making bones. I interpret it in my own way of course so… Let me break it down.
You know you want to write something. You’ve cleared the time, the passion is there. Just one problem. You have no idea what to write about. You are at your computer staring at a blinking cursor. If only you had a good story idea. Or, maybe you’re mid-draft, and suddenly you have NO IDEA whatContinue reading “The Lists of Five”
A few months ago we shot on a sample of the SPL Lab experience video for a grant application, and we used a piece that I wrote. Now, I’m a workhorse and just love putting stuff together and checking boxes. I approached the work of writing the piece as an item on a checklist to do. I gave it full focus when Scott and I did the doctoring process, and while we did the actual 4 hours of Lab time with it, my head was in multiple places at once. Scott would ask me how it went for me as the playwright and I’d just grin and say, “I’m still unpacking the experience”
One of my favorite questions to ask people is, “when was the last time a play changed your life?” I particularly love asking theatre artists this question. Aside from being an interesting conversation starter, it cuts right to the heart of what our collaboration will be. We at SPL believe the primary purpose of theatreContinue reading “When was the last time a play changed your life?”
How many writers have fully finished productions renting space in their minds? Personally speaking, I had a lot of those. Early 2013 I bought this little laptop that only had enough power to be a writing machine. On this laptop resided about a dozen ten minute plays, half as many one acts and the bare bones for two full lengths. It was a two year explosion. When I was writing music, I had never experienced such a flurry of Inspiration before. I dubbed myself an “Inspiration Writer.”
There are a number of steps that need to happen before your work can grace the stage for a live paying audience. In general, a script passes through three phases before it can make its world premier: 1) playwright review and revision 2.) peer review and workshopping 3.) Networking and submission. There are tips and trade secrets to be successful in each phase, but for the purpose of this article, we will be focusing on step 2. Why? Because while it might be the most critical step in determining your success, it is often skipped entirely. However, a solid commitment to reviewing and workshopping from trusted sources can give you that competitive edge you need to set your work apart.