Saturday, December 01, 2007

This week's report from writing class...

Well, not too much to report this week (shockingly), but in 10 days *I* go, so look out, all! :) I might write a dissertation, if I can get past the wreckage. Ever optmistic am I. Perhaps there is a play hidden within...

Anyway, we read two plays this past week. Let me just say how incredibly useful it is to have the plays in advance and have time to think about them rather than get them that evening and have to respond after one cold read. Some would say (and have), Hey, that's what readings are like. To respond, I say:

1) Typically, the actors have had time to read over the script, so it's not entirely a cold read; and
2) You're not expected to give detailed analysis of the play 30 seconds after it's been read. And don't get me started on a full-production. If you can't figure out your reactions, well, then, that's life.

Granted, we do have the popcorn round (I brought in popcorn for my hosting food, because I am *very* clever and the first play was about S&M and the boy feeds Desi popcorn as they watch the end of Jurassic Park and she is in a harness; no, don't ask), where we throw out the first impression, something that "popped out" at us, so we have a little time to digest (ha ha) the play before we give detailed comments, but still...So I had the plays in advance, could read them a number of times, make notes, and then use other students' and Ken's comments to offer a more thoughtful analysis. I have had several other writing classes when I was at Emerson College, and *all* of them were this way. If I ever teach playwrighting, this is what I will do (i.e., have the writers email the classmates at least a day before with the piece). Ken even agreed with me a number of times. I suspect that is because I had the time to really understand the plays and because, just maybe, I am starting to get the jist of the internal conflict issue. I still think of it as a putting out there a well-rounded character. So, for example, if Desi and boy (yes, boy) are engaging in S&M whilst watching a movie, then why? Does this happen all of the time? How exactly do both of them think about this? Is the end of sex (I, er, didn't think of that question)? As the play ends and Desi walks out in anger, is this the *last* time, or does it happen every time? Why is boy called boy and Desi has a name? Is she a prostitute (unlikely)? Do they enjoy this or do it in a rote way? Who enjoys it more or does neither enjoy it? So, these are the questions that the classmates and I had, and it's not so much internal conflict (I think) as it is a fleshing out of the characters and the story in general and not because they want this and they want that, and their needs/wants are in opposition. Maybe that's just me.

I won't go over the other play, b/c I think you get the idea. And b/c the play initially seemed very off-putting but wasn't so as I reread and reread it, so had I not had a chance to get familiarized with it, I think I would have had time commenting on it.

I continue to tweak my play, but man, I am going to get creamed when it's read and discussed.. I'd bet money on it.

Oh, and I began physical therapy on Wednesday. I was given four *very gentle* exercises, which tells you how far I've regressed. Medicine number *five* did not work, so that's it for medicine, aside from Advil. It's now 25 degrees in Boston, and I wish it was spring already. My trip to Florida in February is way too far away.


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