– 2 August 2015 –
Last weekend I was treated to staged readings of six new plays at playpenn. What a gift. One of the plays started me thinking about our personal fables and mythology, and how these help us survive and thrive in our assorted worlds.
So here’s your prompt. Warning, it’s personal. Of course, if it didn’t cost – and I’m not talking about writer’s block or other meta-writing issues – if it didn’t cost, it’s worth bupkes anyway… but I digress.
Think about your experience in the world.
Think about the ways the world has judged you or your behavior or your demographic harshly.
Think about the ways you have judged yourself harshly, how your idea of yourself is somehow horrifying.
Think about how that has impacted you over time. Has it been wretched? awful? merely inconvenient?
Keep going with traits and habits and states-of-being until you get one that answers “wretched” or worse.
Consider how you can enlarge and expand that trait or habit or demographic beyond the bounds of reality.
Mythologize it into a being ten times more intense than your experience.
Now, find real sympathy with that being.
And write a play.