Thursday, 9 July 2009

The Second Workshop

Has it really been that long since my last post? Oh dear, I knew wouldn't be very at this 'regular' thing!! On the assumption that at least one person is reading this, apologies for keeping you waiting!

When I started writing this blog I wanted to make sure I was honest and upfront about the whole writing-workshop-performance process and that's exactly what I'm going to do - especially about the second workshop...

The Second Workshop
...was a very different experience to the first workshop. The first one had a real air and buzz of excitement - a brand new never-before read script was about to be explored and the day as a whole was very positive with a lot of encouragement for me as a writer and for the play in it's own right.

That isn't to say I didn't receive praise and encouragement in the second workshop - because I did, and I'm incredibly grateful to those that turned up and supported the play. However, the second workshop was a lot more critical of the text. I don't want to sound like I only want praise for my work - far from it; the only way I can grow as a writer is to be criticised, questioned and pushed on my decisions. But compared to the first workshop it was a sharp sudden shock.

Some points raised were valid - a character called 'Josh' has had his name dropped as it's pretty hard to say when used in the sentences it was placed in (e.g. "Josh just disappeared..."); the indication of wealth from the description of the cooker needed revising. Then there were other opinion-based criticisms, and the questions, and the nit-picking. Frankly, at the time it just felt like an onslaught, and I could feel the patches appearing in the pits of my t-shirt with the shame/embarrassment/pressure.

But in hindsight I learned two valuable lessons:
1. Even the best work has it's flaws and it sometimes takes other people to point them out before you spot them, and
2. If they didn't think the play was worth it then they wouldn't have turned up in the first place!!

One interesting point was that the group didn't realise it was a civil war and thought Peter had returned from abroad. This has meant a few clarifications and additional dialogue early in the first act but hopefully it should work.

The best outcome was that the play, based on the draft seen at the workshop, has been approved for performance. Hoorah! I'm going to keep rewriting and working on the text throughout the rehearsals as I'm sure things will need to change but we'll see...!

More to come later about 'Auditions' - check back this evening!

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