This week was the first ‘real’ rehearsal I’ve attended since the initial read-through with the cast. At the read-through, I had the opportunity to answer questions, provide a backstory for the characters, and share ideas. At the rehearsal this week – ten days until opening night – I got a chance to see a new dimension of the play.
Now seems like the time when the playwright steps away for a bit. At least that’s what I like to do. After the all-important first read-through, when questions were answered, character motivations hashed out and script tweaks made, Connection is now in the hands of the director and actors.
Most of my plays have taken place in what you’d call the ‘real world.’ They were fictional, but played by the rules of time, physics – all the stuff that, in our real lives, dictates what we can and can’t do.
But when I first began dabbling in what’s often referred to as ‘magical realism,’ I felt a great sense of liberation. “Hey, this is set in a world that doesn’t follow the rules, so hell, I can get away with anything!” Well, yes … and no.
It was more than a sigh of relief after the staged reading of my play CONNECTION at Mechanics Hall last Saturday night. For me, because my play does a lot of ‘bending’ and playing around with time, it was an affirmation that, yes, folks will actually know what the hell is going on!
For a playwright, the interval of time between having your play selected for production and the performance’s opening night can only be described in two words: ‘Ebullient anxiety.’
When my play, Connection, was selected for this year’s Maine Playwrights Festival, I experienced the adrenaline rush I’m sure all playwrights know. Because up until now, it’d existed in a world solely inside my own head. After the first draft, questioning almost every line, every plot twist. Delete. Write. Mutter to myself. Revise.