Aug 16

Et Alibi …

Relevant to the topic at hand here, we’ve just posted a new edition of ‘1 MC & 1 DJ’ on the Monkeyman site. This time around, the Artistic Director (and Close Personal Friend) Martin Chodorek and I discuss the relationship we’ve fostered between director and playwright over multiple productions (though we talk quite a bit about the gestation process behind the original production of Godzilla on Sundays).

I even make reference to one of the wackiest B-movie team-ups between an aging character actor and a professional football player ever brought to the screen! And Marty mentions some hack named Harryhausen – not sure why anyone remembers his work. 😉 /geekcontent

Check it out here – and feel free to drop us a comment if you’d like!

Aug 15

Revising With Your Company From a Distance. Like One Does.

(Quick caveat: I was one of the founding members of Toronto’s Monkeyman Productions, so you’re going to hear a lot in particular about my work with them.)

We’re in the very earliest stages of production with our fall show, Uncharted Zones; I thought a good place to begin in talking about my writing process would be with what’s driving me mad currently. 😉

Our company’s collaborations are always in flux, depending on the needs of a particular show. We’ve done public readings of scripts in the past, we’ve done group sessions where the whole company came together before there was even a cast and tried to solve as many problems as we could at that point, and of course there have been many playwright/director conferences (some even without the lubrication of being set at a friendly pub). This time around, we’re lucky enough to have a full cast early on and a significant amount of time to devote to workshopping the individual sections that will eventually come together into a show (a good month and a half, where usually by the time we have actors, we’re asking for final drafts as soon as possible). So it gives us some interesting options to play with – and I do mean ‘interesting’, as in ‘interesting times’.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 12

A Brief Procedural Note

I have to give full credit to my friend Debs – she was the one who came up with the idea for organizing my entries in this blog. As much as I seek out connections in my work, as far as this whole Internet thing goes I tend to be just a little bit late to every party. So I had no idea how to best arrange my thoughts.

She suggested that I sort entries into categories by the project I’m working on. That way, if you want you can see all my blogging related to a certain script, or production, clumped together if you wish. So, keeping a few broader categories for General Playwriting, Random Theatre, and Random Pounding (non-theatrical entries), I’ve set up categories for all the projects I have in the works as far as writing, revising or submitting – and a category for one-acts in general; I may break that out eventually if it seems worthwhile.

If you look at the main site menu above, you’ll find pages you can click through to if you wish to find descriptions of each project; if you want to see all the entries associated with a project (once I get around to posting a significant amount of content) – you’ll see the categories listed down a few widgets in the right-hand column. I’m linking every category to this post just to get things started.

Hope that helps. If you feel like I’m ignoring a project you want to hear more about, please email me and let me know!

Aug 12

Inaugural

Although by the time I formally open the doors on this blog, this entry will be buried at the bottom of the list (I hope to launch with at least a couple of things to say), I wanted to begin with a little bit of a welcome and explanation of what I hope to do.

We’re at a point where deciding to create another internet journal – unless you’re writing primarily for yourself, or your friends, both of which are completely fair believe me – seems a bit superfluous. If you’re starting a blog and expect people to pay attention, you better have a damn good reason. The blogs that are thriving are ones with a very particular goal – and audience – and a strong sense of some overall conversation that they want to take part in.

It’s really a process not unlike playwriting. There was a time when writing for the stage was a more popular undertaking, and if you had any talent it was easier to find a producing company and put your work out there. (I’m not saying it was any recent time.) But to write drama for the contemporary theatre, and particularly to get it produced, takes all the usual work plus an extra heap of dedication and a finely-honed sense of what you’re saying and where to find an audience who wants to hear it. You can’t just be the author; you have to be an agent, a promoter, and quite often a producer as well. There’s just no other way to make it happen.

I’ve been writing (and occasionally selling, and more often lately producing) theatre for over twenty years now. I’m not a big name and I don’t ever really expect to be, but I’m getting my scripts produced with some regularity now and I feel like I understand the way it all works. Or more likely, a way, since everyone has to find their own. But maybe by talking about my experiences, and beliefs, and process and plans for the future, I can open the doors and provide a bit of insight to others with a similar goal. At the least, I’ll be taking part in the conversation.

If you have any interest in theatre in general, the process of playwriting in partiucular, or the geeky stuff I generally write (and my company, Monkeyman Productions, generally produces), I hope you’ll join in.

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