There's an incredibly useful article over at the Playwrights Center website (not Playwrights' Center of San Francisco, the group I'm involved with, but the national one in Minneapolis), Tips From Artistic Directors. In that article, there are a lot of positive tips: send your best work, follow guidelines, and many more. Two ADs chose to … Continue reading Playwriting and the Pet Peeves of Others
I've made a post on my other blog, The Lark's Nest, about sex on stage. Explicit content/NSFW.
(Some of my plays include strong language. I don’t normally put it in my blog. I’m making an exception here.)
This is something I wrestle with in my plays. It would be very safe for me as a white male, albeit queer, playwright, to write only white male characters. On the other hand, if I write female characters and characters of color – which I want to do to ensure there are roles for such actors and because I want to comment on our world and not a tiny subset of it – I have to try to get it right.
The Ars Marginal post by RVCBard is an outstanding analysis of what it means to actually try. The distinction of whether the fucked-upped-ness is that of the writer or the world of the characters is critical.
One of the things that always seems to trip people up when it comes to analyzing marginalized identities in stories is the difference between a story that has fucked up shit in it versus a story that says fucked up shit.
This is a very important distinction that everybody analyzing narrative media needs to understand.
So I’m going to help a muthafucka out right quick.
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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
In the January/February 2013 issue of Theatre Bay Area, Melissa Hillman, artistic director of the kick-ass Impact Theatre in Berkeley, writes about color-blind and/or non-traditional casting. This blog post is not so much a response to that article, "In the Land of the 'Color Blind'", as my continuation of the discussion. And continue it must. … Continue reading Color-aware, -blind or none of the above?
Not sure whether I can really call it richer, although it was fun. I was actually shooting for "So bad it's good." Some of them are probably "So bad it's bad," but such is the life of first drafts. Yes, I wrote 31 short plays! 28 riffs on Shakespeare as performed by pandas and other … Continue reading The world is now 31 plays, erm, richer?
I eavesdrop like crazy. I don't care what people are saying, but I care very much how they say it. I don't consciously put it into my dialog, but the process seems to work. Actors often compliment me on my dialog. (If only plot and character were that easy.)