– 25 May 2014 –
I see a lot of theater – a LOT of theater – and what gets into and through the development pipeline these days, well, much of it has some commonalities that make for interesting lecture series but very little good theater. Why? Because they’re all good reads.
They all have interesting, timely themes and likable characters, but what’s on the page has little nuance, no mystery, and requires little imagination to read. Don’t get me wrong, all of these plays are much better when directed and acted by people who understand the uses of subtext, but they can easily be performed “on the words.” I’ve also been a lot of 3/4 thrust and in-the-round situations, and I’ve watched a lot of audience – who come out insisting that these were good plays – sleep.
So, there’s your prompt (or challenge, if you will). Come up with an interesting theme, a good premise, compelling characters, and write a short play that could be performed without any nuance or depth. Now (okay, here’s the actual prompt): take out as much as you possibly can without completely eviscerating your work.