Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Play's The Thing

As I already stated in an earlier post, I’m directing a play right now. 

The Last Rose of Innod

I originally wrote the story in novel form a few years ago, but then I kind of dismantled it and used parts of it in another book that I’m currently trying to get published.  So, it was sort of not a book any more, but the basic story was still there, and it actually worked well for a play, I think... I hope... now I'm beginning not to care at all as long as it is presentable.

I kind of feel like I need a mini evaluation/reflection session right now (perhaps with a therapist or a counselor), since we are about to launch into the final part of the rehearsal process – the BIG OVERHAUL.  Basically, the play is blocked (at times I'm not so sure), essentially rough-sketched, out... sort of... or at least it should be.  Anyway, now is when we must put it all together, and take it up notch, after notch, after notch. I’m getting tired just thinking about it. 

So… here are some reflections about this process so far to help me reinvigorate for the last leg:

     The good thing about producing/directing your own play is that you don’t have to pay any rights or royalties to a playwright/publishing company.  Plus, you get to have the satisfaction of seeing something you wrote take form and shape.   Also, there’s the knowledge that people are going to actually see and experience something you wrote (see also bad experience), which is more than you get as a solitary novel-writer whose books are not yet published.

2.       The bad thing about producing/directing your own play is that sometimes you can’t get a fresh feel about it, since it’s so close to you.  In my case, I feel like I was already tapped out creatively when I starting rehearsals, since I had to finish it really quickly and jump right into everything. Another bad thing about directing your own play is that people will watch and experience something you wrote (translation: they will also judge it).

3.       The funny thing about this is that I’m working MOSTLY with teenagers (some younger kids, including my two oldest daughters), and they are a pretty interesting subset of the human race... almost alienish. Sort of kids, sort of adults – on the verge. You never know what you are going to get - will it be an adult? Will it be a child? But really (thankfully), these kids are all pretty good to work with, so I'm not complaining. For the most part they all work really hard, and even after I harangue them about things, they tend to pull through.

4.       There’s nothing like a play to foster community (if you don't kill one another first). Theatre is the ultimate collaborative art, and in my opinion, it’s the easiest way to make friends (or enemies) and feel like part of a team.  Most people like being involved with a production, even if they didn’t realize how much work it would be (I think it’s a shock for some to realize how much time and effort is put into a production, even a small one like ours).

5.       If you’ve been part of a production before, you may have experienced “Post-show Depression.” This is when the show is over, and you’re just sitting around, thinking about how much time you have on your hands, and you are simultaneously:

a.       exhausted (and not wanted to do anything)

b.      bored (and wanting something to do)

c.       glad (that you don’t have any more rehearsals)

d.      sad (because you want to go back to rehearsal)

Phew, I think it worked.  Now, instead of stressing out, I’m going to live in the moment, realize that I’ll feel like this was “the best time ever” when it’s over, and embrace the insanity. Okay, maybe that is way too idealistic, but at least it distracted me for a moment.  

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree - the greatest collaboration. I'm so glad your cast is involved in set and props. Great experience!