28 Sep


Weightless posterSo, rehearsals are going well at Perishable for Weightless.
I’ve done a ton of rewriting—mostly structural, to shape this chaotic world into a story with some forward momentum. Working with a director I know and trust (the wonderful Vanessa Gilbert) makes a lot of difference to trying things out in the room. We did two plays together in Brown’s MFA New Plays festival, and she also directed my short play Mothergun in its world premiere at Perishable’s International Women’s Playwriting Festival.

With new scenes and rewrites in the current process—I bring them in, the actors read through the scene and ask any questions… I listen again… and that usually tells me a lot about the scene. Often I end up making adjustments or further small cuts. Then seeing it on the floor also tells me a lot about the shape of the writing.

I like it when the process is open and fluid like this, and there’s enough trust in the room for everyone to go with a script in process, and for us all to try things out. Of course at a certain point you have to sign off and let the actors learn the damn lines. We’re just about at that point now–locking it in for production.

I’ve been thinking of how vital directors are to playwrights lately (Well duh–) but beyond the obvious fact that we need them to bring our plays to life, how vital relationships with directors are in setting up productions in the first place. I think almost every single one of my productions has happened because a director fell in love with one of my plays and worked like crazy to put it on stage. People have encountered my work by other means, for sure–agent submission, my submissions, (note the tone of that word SUBMISSION–it doesn’t augur well does it?). And that’s important too. But the igniting spark is almost always a director. So playwrights— don’t bemoan the fate of your “cold” submissions. Go and find directors whose work inspires you and see if it’s mutual.


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