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tlkng Pt. 2

I also didn’t know how to write here in Boston- which sounds strange. At Lesley, I was able to be here for two weeks then go home and write in my world. It was a very big adjustment moving from cow country to the city. It was overwhelming/overstimulating and I didn’t know what my voice was. I knew what it was then – at least I thought – and I was forcing myself to write the same way I did then and it wasn’t working. Writing 84 Bull-Orky, Mechanicsburg, PA (the bar play), changed a lot for me and in me. The best thing that happened was Ronan telling me to write without a plot in mind- I was like WHAT!- and then I did it, and I wrote a play in a voice I didn’t know I had. And I truly didn’t know I could write like that. I remember Ronan pushing me to stop writing the same thing (in my words) and I was defiant. And I think about Project Runway and RuPaul’s Drag Race (which are great shows- Both All Star Seasons are starting this winter) – and when the contestants bring/make/wear/design the same thing they created the previous week- they got put into the bottom 3 or worse, kicked of the island. I wasn’t about to go home early. I finished 84 Bull-Orky and then I began writing Dead House.

This semester I have been in Dramaturgy with Ilana Brownstein- this class has opened me up to deconstructing and really understanding the bones of the work and why. I remember asking the last time I had this big meeting with everyone- What can I do to learn how to close read and play and understand it- mostly everyone said, go out and see more theatre and read. I did that but this was the 350 degrees on the Pillsbury frozen cookie dough.

This class also helped me looked at canons of work and how the writer has adapted and changed.

ALSO, God Bless Garry Garrison who had us all work outside of our comfort zones at one point in time this semester. We all worked on stellar 10 minute plays and were able to edit them at least four times- which was very important. One thing we don’t get enough of is rewriting. Garry really showed us the stages of rewriting and developing the 10 minute. In that class I wrote a little play called, Scrimmage which I’m very proud of, about homoerotic hyper-masculinity in the football world. I remember calling my folks saying- you won’t believe it, but I wrote a play about football- my mother could only be prouder if I wrote it about the Packers. Something I also learned in Garry’s class is, there is always work to be done on a play, every single week as soon as I thought I accomplished a goal from the feed back MORE feedback came and more edits- it never ends.

Half-way through Dramaturgy I began to create a dramaturgy book for myself for a play I had no idea I was about to write. I collected images, wrote ideas, short 10 minute plays, character descriptions. Through this studio class and Dramaturgy I was able to marry the two styles I’ve had. 84 Bull-Orky was my scratch pad. Dead House is my thesis.

I entered this semester wanting to prove to myself that I wasn’t the weakest link. And I did that for myself.

Four plays I saw this semester that altered by way of how I approach work were: Home, Sleep No More, A Crack of Strange Light and The Flick (I know, why haven’t I seen or read this earlier). I’m running out of space for the two page limit so I can talk about this more in-depth in our meeting but- Home– wow, who knew a play like that was moving around the U.S. Sleep No More– I’m enthralled with idea of being able to go back again and again and be able to get different stories and the physicality of it.  The Flick– Annie Baker, is a genius. A Strange Crack of Light is a monthly installment experimental devised play by this woman named Madeline Bugeau-Heartt, who from Tisch. She’s doing incredible work out in Walpole, MA.

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