Manhattan Rep Cultivating Amazing Theatre in the Heart of Times Square!
#28 - A Script is Not a Play! - May 14, 2017
I know I talk about this all the time but this is so important for you to remember as a playwright. A lot of you won't like it, but suck it up and take it in and it will make you a better PLAY CREATOR.
A SCRIPT IS NOT A PLAY. A written play is just a script, a map for the playwright, director, creative team and cast to bring it to life. Never be married to your script for it is TWO DIMENSIONAL. It needs direction, actor choices, and venue to bring it to the next level.
The rehearsal process is the most important process in the PLAY CREATION journey. It is where you discover what works, and what doesn't work. It is where you discover that your dialogue sucks at times and at other times, that it is eloquent. It is where your characters breathe, where you discover real behavior not the made up behavior like you wrote in your script. It is where your characters discover what they are fighting for and it is where your actors discover BIG FRIGGIN' holes in your play. It is trial and error time while your director and actors look at scenes in different ways, and sometimes they create something which is so much better than what was in your script! SO MUCH BETTER - you just gave them a MAP, and they created magic.
The good news is now you get to take credit for that magic. As if you wrote it, but you didn't, you just gave them an opportunity to discover it.
Don't be addicted to your play. Anything about it. Often, in most full length plays I read, there are too many characters, too many subplots and lots of silliness. In rehearsal, you can see what is too much, what is silly. Focus on the thru line of the main character/characters and throw the rest away. Also if you have too much LOCAL COLORING in your script, you will see it as soon as the actors start embodying your play. The actors, and the costumes and set will OWN the world - you don't have to color it, or tell us anything so CUT THAT MESS OUT. Admit you wrote too much and CUT, CUT, CUT. When embodied, and developed by good actors and a wise director, you will clearly see what does not serve your play. AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO TELL THE AUDIENCE ANYTHING!
So stop writing. Get you play into some sort of low budget workshop production and get it off its feet. There are a myriad of possibilites for this in any urban area in the world with play festivals, development programs and more. (Check out the possibilities here at MRT on this site.)
Get off your computer.
GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD, and bring your PLAY to life!