Saturday, March 1, 2014

Letting Go

As you're reading this some of your fellow Tehachapi area residents are getting ready to put on a show. Actually eight shows. That's right, it's time once again for Tehachapi Community Theatre's Playwrights Festival. Starting March 7th and going through the 16th at the BeeKay Theatre TCT will be doing world premieres of eight 10-minute plays.

These plays were selected from 45 that were submitted at the end of last year. Four of the plays selected were written by Tehachapi Playwrights. (Yes, one of them was mine.) The directors were selected from a pool of volunteers and auditions were held. As always with the festival there are both regulars and newcomers to be seen.

The particular play I wrote this year, well, it was actually originally written to be submitted to another festival. But when it was done I was too proud of it and didn't want to send it across the country where I would never have a chance to see it. So instead I kept it here. And the judges picked it out from the rest. (And names aren't on the plays as the judges read them, so they don't know who wrote which one.)

And the last few weeks have been tough on me. Through rumor on the street and a few posts on Facebook I've gotten hints as to how the play I wrote is being done. And it's not the way I would have done it. But you see, that's the thing about writing plays. A novel, poem, or story and such are individual acts of creation. (OK you could collaborate but still it's at most a few people involved.) But a play well that's different. There is not only the overlay of a director's vision, but also the interpretations by the actors. And if the play was performed again in a year, there would be a different director, different actors and a different result.

So a playwright has to learn to let go.

And I've stayed out of the production of my play. And I think that it's the right thing to do. The play has to move on and be nurtured by new people and given its chance to shine without me hanging over it.
And I have confidence that it's going to turn out well. Even if it isn't quite the story I thought I wrote. I have had people that have read my poems tell me what they thought I was writing about, and I've been surprised at some of the things they've said. I never even thought about it that way. And that's the thing with getting a chance to see my play from another person's point of view. I'm likely to come out and see the play and find that the director has found things already in the play that I didn't even realize that I put in. And I love when that happens.

 So come out in March and go see the plays that were selected this year. And like every year at the festival, you'll have your chance to say which ones you liked. The top three in audience votes get extra prizes (extra since being selected is a prize already). So come out and see the plays and encourage these playwrights that it's OK to let go and watch their plays grow.

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