Monday, May 4, 2009

Playing with Plays

I love writing plays. My first non-teacher-enforced writing was a play I wrote at the age of eleven (or so). I forced my little brother and his friends to play the parts. Many years later I rediscovered the joy of writing for the stage. This past weekend marked the third time seeing one of my short plays performed on stage. I love the magic of transforming words on a page to a performance. I love standing in the back of the theater to watch the audience react.

Playwriting, especially writing a ten minute play, is a great exercise on many levels. The immediacy makes everything count. The writer cannot wade in slowly; instead, a writer must dive in. Characters, setting, and action create the story. Then, the characters have to change, transform. The events of the play, the insights, make the character find something new, something different—a deeper perspective or a new understanding.

The ultimate goal is to transform the audience as well.

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