When playwrights go to theatre, we presumably go to enjoy ourselves. We may be thrilled, bored, surprised, offended, delighted, so many possible reactions. When playwrights are called on to give feedback on other playwrights' work, we suddenly become scientists, detectives, housekeepers. Scientist, detective, and housekeeper are honorable professions. Nevertheless, I believe the practice of bringing … Continue reading Playwright, sheath thy checklist
I love iTunes, and I love the variety of songs I can purchase from the iTunes store. But sometimes I wonder what their computers must "think" of my varied tastes. I even wonder whether I might be messing up their recommendation software. And a similar question applies to theatres who want to market to me. … Continue reading How do you recommend to an omnivore?
Thirty-two years ago, a group of playwrights was formed. They got together, presumably on a regular basis, to read scenes from plays they had written and occassionally to hear or see an entire play read. According to the earliest PCSF history page, the first play to be read was The Jury by Harry Hattyar. Thirty-two … Continue reading Playwrights Center of San Francisco (PCSF)
A year or three ago, Theatre Bay Area Magazine mentioned that it had a database which allowed them to track audience members across multiple theatres' productions. They mentioned that one audience member was particularly "promiscuous" in their theatregoing, crossing the threshhold of ninety-some Bay Area theatres in three years. That theatregoer is not me, but … Continue reading Reaching 100: on being promiscuous
As if theatregoers forgetting to turn off their phones weren't enough, now we have to contend with smartphones that turn themselves on. I've been testing an Android smartphone for work. After a recent system update, I noticed that several minutes after I had turned it off, I would often hear the trademark "Droid" sound coming … Continue reading Zombies belong on stage, not in the audience
One thing most playwrights like to do, besides writing plays -- if you are a playwright and you don't like writing plays, please stop immediately! -- is seeing plays. And in this Internet age, one thing many of us are happy to do is purchase our tickets online. Having done some of this myself, I … Continue reading Ticket-purchasing websites
If realism in theatre is so important, why doesn't smoke go away when the scene ends? Why isn't the smoke instantly smellable throughout the theatre rather than wandering here and there according to the vagaries of physics and the ventilation system or lack thereof, turning up in ones nostrils several minutes later, taking this audience … Continue reading Making fire in a crowded theatre
Despite it taking much work and having long gestation periods, I work almost entirely in full-length works of 70 minutes (70 is the new 90) to 2 hours. While I've written three 10-minute plays - one of which was produced by the Playwrights' Center of San Francisco - I don't find them fulfilling to write … Continue reading Next!