Perilous Playwriting — Let’s Air Some Dirty Laundry, Shall We?
(first posted Apr 2017)
“Be truthful, one would say, and the result is bound to be amazingly interesting.”
― Virginia Woolf, “A Room of One’s Own”
Or…rather confusing for all concerned.
Picture, if you will, a boardroom table…
Six strangers are sitting around said table: a playwright, a dramaturg and four actors. All are gathered to read aloud a play script.
What, perhaps you wonder, might this be experience be like — for the (squirming) playwright?
Imagine a big pile of dirty laundry (belonging to the playwright) being dumped on the table and then the next eight hours are spent watching a small but determined group of strangers systematically sift through (and comment on) each and every piece of one’s (not only dirty but decidedly un-sexy) undergarments.
A tad uncomfortable?
Oh, you betcha.
For that playwright was me. The script was Saviour. And the “dirty laundry” was not just my chaotic thoughts and heartbreaking emotions experienced during the darkest days of my life, but also some marital laundry as well, such as two spectacular (but significant to the story) arguments that John and I had about my habit of procrastinating on my writing and my refusal to say no to unreasonable demands placed on my time.
And those were just a few of the facts (and the human response to those facts) connected to the real-life story. Add in a complicated plot, a completely imagined world (what the soul experiences as the body dies as the result of a brain-injury), and four well-developed but overly chatty characters still trying to sort it all out themselves, and let’s just say the script was in need of…some slashing ☹
Here’s a snapshot of Saviour:
Can one soul save another? A young couple, Sam and Adri, have an argument about Adri’s procrastination as a writer and belief in Virginia Woolf’s idea that in order to write well, women need a secure income.