Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Writing a Play

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What Should Be Its Theme?

Pat and I were taking a vacation-walk and I told her that I was thinking of writing a play on Time for my class this upcoming semester, since the professor specified in the syllabus that we could do a creative project.

"Why not write about someone who's being held captive and who doesn't know if and when the release date is?"

"That's such a great idea because that has a conflict and people would want to see it, but what I was thinking of -- and would want to write about -- would have much less universal appeal, but still....I was thinking of writing about how long it takes one and one's family and friends to learn to accept one's sexual orientation when it differs from that of the mainstream."

As soon as I said all that, I recalled Pat, telling my mom yesterday that what I really ought to write are "...lesbian potboilers." Again, it's relatively big market...and not even slightly compelling to me as a writer. I don't read any sort of mysteries myself.

What I'd love to have the powerful talent to write is a poignant or provocative drama like Marsha Norman's 'night, Mother, or Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour, or Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July, or Martin McDonough's Beauty Queen of Leenane, or Edward Albee's Zoo Story or Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

What a tall order! To go from not yet having written a play to aspiring to create something of these playwrights' caliber! Ugh, I'm a little embarrassed...but obviously not too embarrassed to wish for it in any case.

I need to read, and absorb, more of Robert Henri's The Art Spirit.

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