Saturday, April 26, 2014

daily deadlines

Plays happen in so many ways. I feel fortunate in that I’ve had some very powerful work (powerful to me and some of my supporters, mystifying or crappy to others at times) beckon and once that call is answered the play arrives, whole. There is rewriting to do, but that initial draft, bleeding out in a matter of days, is an inexplicable high. The nearest equivalent is childhood dreams of flying, in that moment when the work of the “take-off” is over and you simply soar through the world, a perfect part of it. In this work, I feel my grannies and great aunties. Never consciously the male ancestors, though... not often. When young playwrights hit that wall of fear, and come to me for a nudge, I always remind them “You are the culmination of all of your ancestors, gifted with the desire to tell stories. We’re privileged enough that we’re not forbidden to do so anymore. Go Write!” I know it’s easier to speak the poetry of our bloodlines than to sit down with the keyboard, longing. Longing to have it all figured out, or longing to recline on the couch with movies instead. Both very strong urges.

There are plays that take ages to eke out of the world’s many blessings and onto the page. For me, these are often the commissions. It’s difficult to take an impetus from another living person and craft that into something that can really speak to you and your drive to create. There are two such plays that remain unfinished for me. In both cases, the creative teams were brave and invested a lot of faith in me, but ultimately the words didn’t find their rightful life. I will return to them in the coming years and make good of the investment. I have to consider that a play can find me through

Right now, I’m sorting out the math of an existing bleeder play - The Ministry of Grace - as well as researching and writing some new works. With thanks to the OAC’s TCR program, I am at liberty to do this work. I’m also trying to nail down a first draft of a play I began working on in 2010. Interested parties have been very patient and generous. For the first time ever, I am assigning myself a page count per day until a draft of new TYA play Dear Louis Riel is on the outside. I am forcing writing like work-outs or flossing - so rewarding when you get them done.
The Ministry of Grace plays, in workshop production, at Fort York in Toronto in June 2014.

Best of luck to you with your creations, and if you can please wish me the same, I’ll be thanking you.

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