Saturday, February 15, 2014

Writing is Planning

As I finished the draft of a short play, a colleague sent me a message asking how many new manuscripts or adaptations I have written in the last twelve months or so. It seems best to list them:

  • Billie's Girlfriend, written in early 2014 and submitted to Acting Out! Pittsburgh Pride for consideration. It might not be selected, of course, but it is a new play.
  • Twists of Choice, written in early 2014 for The LAB Project, premiering in 2015.
  • Women Say F*ck, Too! written in late 2013 and premiering during the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival in May, 2014.
  • The Fertility Dance, written in 2013 and submitted to a regional contest. The company passed on the script, but it found a home for 2015.
  • The Cat Lady, written in 2014, about to be submitted to a regional contest.
  • Under Development, written in 2013, received a staged reading by Organic Theater Pittsburgh.

That would be six new works, with another two or three outlined. My goal is to complete seven new works in the 20-minute or longer range during 2014. Most of my plays run 70 to 80 minutes, not counting intermissions.

Friends say it seems like I've done more. That's because older works that had been collecting dust are now finding homes as I dedicate myself to completing them, too. Older plays that have been revised or rewritten in the past year:

  • A New Death, my oldest unproduced script was rewritten and submitted to Throughline Theatre and will be premiering in July 2014.
  • The Gospel Singer, premiering in August, 2014, received as staged reading in 2013 as part of the "In the Raw" festival of Bricolage Production Company.
  • Clown and Mime, revised in 2013.
  • The Garden, which was produced in 2012, has been revised for a future production. (I can dream.)

I have at least ten scripts I hope to revive by 2015.

These counts do not include scripts I edited, revised, or completely wrote for other individuals as a consultant.

I don't sit around waiting for ideas and I've stopped trying to perfect my old ideas. Now, I aim to get as many good scripts to producers and directors as possible. A good scripts becomes better, or even great, during the development process. Trying to perfect plays by editing alone for ten years was an ineffective approach to writing scripts.

Writers write. It's that simple. Some of what I write will never be produced, some of it will be. You can't write one or two manuscripts and then spend years and years trying to craft perfection. Write, and write some more. You never know when a script will find a home.

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