My play Wet (working title) has gone into its rehearsal process. This is my first experience having an a full length play go into production while having the opportunity to edit as we go along. I have a team of dedicated actors and a wonderful director who are all dedicated to making the script as strong as possible.
This experience is magnificent. I have a sounding board to throw ideas around with. I have people who engage with the work and have responses. They challenge my ideas and force me to deepen my own understanding of the work.
It’s also hard. People have questions that I don’t necessarily have answers to. I feel a pressure to satisfy my actors and director’s questions and suggestions. The line gets blurred on when it is useful to have feedback and when its stifling.
It’s easy to see what insecurities I have as a writer. There are some questions that excite me and asks me to search deeper. However, sometimes someone will ask an innocent question that provokes me. I feel as though I’m on the defense. I don’t know why I’m on the defense! I don’t have words for it. Perhaps it’s because they are picking up on moments in the script that I am unclear of.
I also have questions about when the process of writing ends. When is the script ever really done? With each rehearsal I understand 110 new facts. My director is wonderful about identifying when we are going down a rabbit hole, but once I’m there I’m THERE. The play is so endless that it’s hard to stop.
Having a strong creative team on my side keeps me uplifted and focused. I realized that I need to distinguish when I need to make solo decisions as a writer and when I need to rely on my ensemble. The process is easy when I trust my collaborators and know that they trust me. This is a beautiful, complicated process.