Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 1: Concept(ion)

I've decided to write a play. Or, as the word playwright indicates, wright a play, the way iron is wrought, as creating a play is about far more than just writing. I've never done this before, so I'm curious about what this process will be like and want to keep a record of it. Perhaps you will find this process interesting as well. At least, that's my hope.

How - or perhaps more importantly why - does someone decide to write a play? That's a long story, which I may tell later but as I've learned in playwriting class, I don't want to start off with too much exposition before my audience cares about my characters (me, in this case). So suffice it to say that I've decided to write a play. This is the "inciting incident" or problem that begins the action, as writing a play is certainly a very big problem.

I've also learned that adding layers of conflict or obstacles to solving the problem makes things more interesting, so I'm setting up some conflicts for myself:

1) As creating a work of theater is as close as I ever plan to get to creating a life form (and inspired by the friends I have who are currently pregnant or trying to get pregnant or desperately wanting to get pregnant), I'm going to attempt to "give birth" to a play in 266 days, the typical length of human gestation from conception. As today is January 15th, my "due date" is October 8th. I aim to have a public reading of my play on that date. This is a bit ambitious, but I am nothing if not ambitious.

In addition to the element of a deadline, the other layers of conflict I have are inherent in my life and the process:

2) In addition to my creative pursuits as a singer, actress and now writer, I also work 3 jobs, have a very active social life with my chosen family of friends, and have an amazing boyfriend who deserves my time and attention. So merely finding TIME will be a challenge.

3) I have never written a full-length play before, so I don't really know what I'm doing. As a singer/performer I've co-written cabaret shows and the book for a hybrid theater-cabaret show for children, plus I've written a dozen or so 10-minute plays for my playwriting class. But a full-length play is quite a different beast and a task far more daunting. Lack of experience is another challenge.

But here I go. While I won't claim that the later stages of giving birth to a human child is easier than giving birth to a play, I can definitely say that at least with getting pregnant you know how to start. How does one start writing a play? What on earth will I write about? I guess we'll find out.

1 comment:

  1. Natalie--

    I'm so excited for you. It's going to be an amazing process filled with extreme highs, a few lows and a lot of unexpected emotions, reactions and actions.

    If I can be of any help (including the courtesy of not offering ANY advice), just let me know.

    I'm proud of you, sweetie. And welcome to the fraternity. (Or sorority, or ... we need a new term here ...)