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Ambition vs. Skill

This weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to attend Jiehae Park’s master class with Company One at the Boston Public Library. The class was an hour and fifteen minutes of unending wisdom, but one piece of advice in particular stood out to me.

Park, whose play Peerless is currently running with Company One, spoke about a time in her life when she tabled a play because her skill did not match the ambition of the play.

This really struck me. As a playwright, I have a bad habit of abandoning my plays midway. I never mean to stop writing, I just put it aside indefinitely. While I think most of the time it’s because I need to get past a wall of some sort, but I think a few times it’s also been this matter of ambition.

I just wrote a play for my thesis. It was lovely, and the development of that story was immensely helpful for it’s future drafts. However, I think I’m going to table it for a while. This was not something I was happy to think about. But I feel like I need to work on my craft before I tackle this very ambitious play again. I think what I want it to be is going to be very hard for me to write at this skill level. And instead of writing kind of what I want this play to be, why don’t I get better at writing plays, and then write the play as it needs to be.

It was not a thought I had put words to before, and for that alone Jiehae’s master class was invaluable to me.

So, instead of diving into draft two, I’m off to start my next project. Happily so, because I have a lot of ideas, and soon I’ll have buckets of time to write them.

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