The play’s the thing

It’s been gorgeous the last few days. Right now I’ve got the windows open and blues on the radio and my laundry is all clean and folded and put away. Sometimes the simplest things make me the happiest.

I’ve seen quite a few plays lately. A few weeks ago I saw THE MUSIC MAN, last week I saw MATT AND BEN, and last night I saw ANYONE CAN WHISTLE. This weekend I will see CITY OF ANGELS presented by the University of Michigan Players. I will also, sometime this week, rent CLOSER on DVD, based on Patrick Marber’s play of the same name. All of this, mixed with my current musical theater workshop have made me miss being involved in the theater very much.

The play last night was put on by my university theater company and afterward, talking to some of the cast who are in my class, I hated not being part of the inner group. That group had been my lifeblood in high school and my first few years of college and it felt weird. One of my writing workshops in the fall will be a playwriting workshop called adaptive narration for the stage. It will focus on adapting novels and short stories for the stage. I think adaptation is one of the coolest skills a writer can master. It’s so much more than just ripping dialogue from the page and figuring out which scenes to cut.

I’d hate to ever be in this situation, but if ever forced to work in one medium for the rest of my life, I would probably choose playwriting. But for now, I’m concentrating on getting an MA in prose fiction and then I’d like to go on for an MFA somewhere, hopefully somewhere with a playwriting component. Since I consider my strongest traits as a writer dialogue and character, playwriting is a natural fit and I’ve gotten the most pleasure so far in my short writing career out of seeing my first play staged in a Flint alternative theater about six or seven years ago.

There is, of course, a long history of mystery writers working in prose and drama, Agatha Christie being the most famous perhaps. While I love Christie’s stage plays, I don’t think I’d ever like to write that type of puzzle play; I just don’t have the brain for it. I would probably concentrate more on the “psychological thriller.” Though my two most popular scripts are satirical comedies so go figure.

Hmmm, not sure where I was going with all of this, it just needed to be written. What other mediums do other writers enjoy (or have the desire) to write in? Film? Stage? Radio? Lyric? Television?

4 thoughts on “The play’s the thing

  1. I know what you mean – I’ve done a couple of one act plays (for competitions) and one for radio. Never had anything produced though. That must be exceedingly cool.

  2. well, since I’m not an official “writer” i can’t answer that question. 🙂 I will say this – when I was younger, I always wanted to do plays, but I didn’t go to a public school so I really didn’t get the chance, to do the whole audition thing and “hope i make it” whatever. Then when I got to college, I realized all the thespians were total dorks and I really didn’t want to hang with them. Not calling you a dork, just…well, open mouth insert foot. :)and can I just say, I feel that first paragraph. i feel it in my bones. the simplest things make me happy too. especially fresh laundry.and Closer is phenomenal. you’ll enjoy it. be prepared for some shocking dialogue. from Julia Roberts, of all people!

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